Home » Advice Centre » Architectural Panels & Fabricated Sheet Metal Work » What is the sheet metal fabrication process and how does it work?

What is the Sheet Metal Fabrication Process and How Does It Work?

When looking for a way to utilise materials which can be used to create high quality architectural features, you may be trying to find the best supplier for your needs.

Primarily utilising aluminium, sheet metal fabrication is a manufacturing process which is used to create metal pressings in a variety of shapes and sizes. These can then be used for architectural applications. In this article, we will seek to explain the fabrication process including cutting, folding, punching, welding and perforating. We will explore what applications sheet metal pressing can provide products for and the benefits of the process.


In this guide:

What is the sheet metal pressing process and how does it work?

The sheet metal pressing process is a metal forming process that can be carried out in a number of ways to suit a variety of needs and applications and to provide the correct sheet metal component for your project.

Cutting process

The sheet metal starts its journey as a standard size sheet which range from 2000 x 1000mm up to 4000 x 2000mm. These sheets are then cut to an original blank size on either our 4000mm guillotine, or for more complex shapes, they can be punched using our LVD CNC turret punch.

Folding process

Panel Systems is able to fold sheet metal materials in which force is applied to the sheet metal, bending it at a specific angle and create the profile required by the project. Using this forming process, folded parts can either be small (such as a bracket), or large (for items such as rainscreen panels on building facades).

At Panel Systems, we complete the sheet metal forming process by:

  • Taking an order with drawings detailing full measurements, grades and colour requirements
  • Our CAD experts convert this order into a CAD design which is then translated into the pressbrake machines’ language.
  • The metal sheet is cut to size using a guillotine
  • The material is folded the correct bend angle by the pressbrake
  • The folded components can then be welded and dressed for details such as boxed ends, or to finish the corners of trays
  • These pressings are sent to be anodised or powder coated. They can also be left in their mill finished state
  • The pressings are then returned to our factory with a protective film to help reduce damage whilst handling and installing on site.

Punching and perforating process

Sheet metal punching and perforating is used to create innovative shapes and modern designs for both interior and exterior applications. This process is carried out at high speed, meaning that products can be produced in large, consistent volumes without any loss of quality.

Panel Systems complete the sheet metal punching and perforating process in a number of carefully carried out steps:

  • Customer’s drawings are again converted into the language of the turret punch
  • The flat sheet of the correct thickness and grade is placed on the turret punch bed
  • Perforations are made using the appropriate tooling
  • Material is also cut into the overall shape with a cutting tool by this same machine which eliminates the need for a separate guillotine process.
  • This offers precise cutting details, ideal for intricate jobs
  • With the ability to cut complex shapes, this process can provide detailed designs for your project and specification

We can work with a wide range of different materials such as aluminium (including anodising grades), stainless steel, galvanised steel, copper and brass to create metal parts for your architectural needs. Whatever your needs, there will be a way to make sure our sheet metal pressing process can meet them.

To find out more about the pressed metal products we can supply at Panel Systems by reading our guide.

What applications can the sheet metal pressing provide products for?

The sheet metal pressing process can be used to create a range of metal components to meet the needs of a project.

Architectural features on buildings

One of the key applications of the sheet metal pressing is providing architectural features for buildings including:

  • General cills and pressings
  • Cladding
  • Perforated sections
  • Retail and decorative displays
  • Rainscreen trays
  • Interior design
  • Insulated pressings

Interior building fit outs

This process can also be used for interior building fitouts, in residential or commercial properties of all different capacities. Alternatively, it can be used to create a striking interiors and sturdy point of display to highlight stock or products without detracting from them or displaying them on an unsuitable surface.

Enhancement of indoor areas

Pressed metal work is often used in order to enhance the aesthetics of an indoor space such as shopping malls or office interiors. This also includes balustrade panels in escalator or stairwell areas.

The benefits of the process

When it comes to metal pressing, there are many great benefits including:

Precise cutting

Using this process means you can have complex shapes created and cut precisely. This is perfect for helping you to get the exact look and style that you require for a specific project. The process can also produce features that are high-quality and durable.

Cost efficiency

When using Panel Systems for pressed metal features, access to the highest quality parts and machines allows us to produce our products in the most cost-effective way. You will be provided with products created by our highly experienced team and most of our products and processes are sourced and created on-site which allows us to distribute throughout the UK and beyond.

Get in touch with our team to find out more about our pressed metal process and how it can benefit your project.

Contact us

Get in touch to find out more about pricing, or to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Get in touch to find out more about pricing, or to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Call us on 0114 249 5626

Quick Enquiry Form