6 Machine types every fabrication shop needs

Your fabrication shop bids on a job. The customer looks for several key factors to decide which bid to go with. You are more likely to win the bid if you have what it takes to get the job done on time and on budget. When they award the contract to your shop, the value provided will be a major part of that decision.

There’s no need to outsource to multiple vendors because the whole job is happening at your shop. You’re going to take their requirements they provide from engineering drawings and make something they can sell without them having to micro-manage the details. This will be extremely quick and easy for you if you have all the necessary machine tools to complete each part of the job.

Having the necessary types of machine tools at your fab shop is essential to winning these big jobs.

6 Essential Machine Tools For Fabrication Shops

Because there’s no one-size-fits-all piece of fabrication equipment, machine selection is especially critical. The right mix of machine tools at your fab shop is essential to winning lucrative jobs. This guide provides an excellent starting point for outfitting your shop with the perfect equipment combination.


HPB 31135 CNC Press Brake

Hydraulic Press Brakes Fabrication

Hydraulic press brakes offer accuracy and versatility for bending simple or complex metal parts. Many press brake designs have multiple axes and come in various lengths and tonnages. Press brakes are an ideal solution for small shops for the purpose of improving the efficiency of their bending processes without overspending on equipment.

Press brakes work well to shape and form various metal types, from stainless steel and aluminum to sheet metal and brass. Since these brakes carry ratings based on bed length and forming capacity, fab shops of different sizes can find a specific machine that meets their production needs.

HGS 3108 Hydraulic Shear Fabrication


Shears are especially critical for the initial fabrication stages of metalworking. They are necessary for cutting larger sheets to more manageable sizes and trimming parts for specific machining applications. Also, shearing systems are highly efficient, cost-effective cutting solutions requiring minimal setup and little training.

The most common types of shears include:

  • Mechanical: Mechanical shears are typically the first step in metal fabrication. Shearing sheet or plate metal with mechanical shears is similar to scissors cutting cardboard or paper. The lower the rake angle, the better the part quality — although low rake angles often require more pressure or tonnage to cut.
  • Swing beam: A swing beam shear is a hydraulic machine with an upper beam hinging on a pivot point in the middle of the side frames. Swing beam shears are heavy-duty, robust machines ideal for cutting thicker material. Many swing beam models feature touchscreens and enhanced controls to maximize efficiency and production.
  • Guillotine: Guillotine shears feature an upper blade that moves vertically to cut a workpiece. Most guillotine shears are fully adjustable in order to allow the operator to change cutting angles and configurations.


Ironworker PS-115 Dual Punch Fabrication

Ironworkers Fabrication

Ironworkers are among the most versatile machines in your fabrication shop overall. With stations for punching, notching, shearing, and more, an ironworker should be one of the first machines you choose when outfitting your shop. Ironworkers are well-known in the trade for saving on labor, time, energy, and cost.

A heavy-duty ironworker has multiple, fully integrated stations, including:

  • Punch work tables
  • Adjustable punch strippers
  • Die holders
  • Support tables
  • Adjustable hold downs
  • Upper shear blades
  • Lower shear blades

RBD-3H 15/8 Plate Roll fabrication

Plate Rolls

Plate rolls quickly and efficiently transform flat sheet metal into cylindrical or radius parts. These machines come in mechanical and hydraulic designs with various roll diameters and lengths. Because many rolled metals have different sizes and shapes, certain metalworking projects may require a specific machine.

Examples of the various types of plate rolls include:

  • 2-roll
  • 3-roll initial pinch
  • 3-roll double pinch
  • 3-roll variable axis
  • 4-roll double pinch
  • Vertical rolls
  • Automated and specialty rolls



Angle Rolls Fabrication

Bending metal tubes, pipes, channels, or beams is fast and easy with a profile or angle roll. Their robust machine frames consist of rugged steel that undergoes stress relief and machining after welding for extra rigidity. Precision bearings together with wide shaft diameters minimize deflection for precise bending.

Angle rolls / Roll Benders offer a long service life due to their strong frame and heavy-duty hydraulic and electrical components. Therefore, they provide short cycle times through a high-torque drive system and fast machine speeds. Equipment manufacturers often build these machines to spec — each design can create specific bends or shapes for certain materials. Special dies are available for extrusions or rolling pipe.


HBS 325 C fabrication

Horizontal Bandsaws Fabrication

Horizontal band saws are essential for various machining applications. The band saw portfolio covers everything from miter band saws to semi-automatic and fully automated models. High reliability and precision are integral to all band saws. In particular, saws with bundle vises are ideal for cutting entire material packs to length.

Fully automated miter saws with programmable cutting angles and automatic feeding deliver fast speeds and high accuracy to meet the most demanding production needs.

High-quality band saws are perfect for cutting applications requiring cost-efficiency as well as quality. Choosing the right blade for your machine allows you to produce chips at consistent speeds. Adjustable feed rates enable you to clear chips before they clog the band.

Contact KAAST Machine Tools to Learn More

At KAAST Machine Tools, we stock all the essential equipment for your fab shop, from hydraulic press brakes and shears to ironworkers and horizontal band saws. We’ve served customers globally since 2010 with some of the industry’s most practical and efficient CNC machinery and chip-making equipment. Call 610-441-7317 or contact us today for a consultation with one of our qualified fabrication experts.

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