Services Offered by Fabrico Sun Domes

Pattern Development: In those instances where the customer has not developed its own patterns, Fabrico’s engineers and technicians can develop patterns for industrial fabric based products in a number of ways: the “old school” technique of draping flexible material over the item which is to be covered or enclosed, much in the manner of a tailor; with sufficient dimensional data we can develop patterns using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software; if provided with an accurate scale model, it can be scanned in three dimensions, and patterns developed using solid modeling CAD software.

Engineering/Design for Manufacture: In many cases, the customer may have preliminary data concerning the shape of the final product, or only information concerning the function, but not the shape. We can work with you to assist in the development of the product, or to advise you as to the most cost-effective means of manufacturing it, while maintaining the desired function.

Material Sourcing: Fabrico has access to literally hundreds of product manufacturers and suppliers of industrial fabrics, webbing, sewing thread, synthetic or metallic accessories such as grommets, snaps and connectors and other components. For more detail concerning the range and types of materials available, please see Material Sourcing.

Die Cutting: Many industrial fabric applications require close tolerances and/or uniformity between one part and the next. In either case, the best means of producing such results is the use of steel rule dies for cutting large numbers of parts at the same time. These dies can be constructed such that the dimensional tolerances are as small as ±0.015”. Fabrico has several die cutting machines (see our Equipment List for details), capable of cutting parts from fabric rolls as wide as 78”. The cutting dies are typically produced by the use of CAD/CAM technology; a full-scale drawing of the die is sent to the die manufacturer, where it is translated into the machine language of the computer aided manufacturing equipment which is used to make the die. The expense of cutting dies is, in some cases, not justified by the quantity of pieces to be cut. In these instances, full-scale patterns can be generated, again using CAD/CAM technology; the pattern is then used to mark and cut the part.

Heat Sealing: As described more fully on the Seaming Methods section of our site, Fabrico offers a number of different methods of effecting a heat-generated weld between the elements of an assembly. The method which we use most often is radio frequency (RF) welding, the most effective means of producing a weld between industrial fabrics. Our Equipment List provides details concerning the characteristics of the considerable number of RF welding machines in our plant.

Industrial Sewing: In many cases, seams between the elements of a finished product can be made most effectively and economically by the use of industrial sewing machines. In many ways these machines resemble the home sewing machines which once populated many American households, but they are far more powerful and versatile than those devices. For more information concerning industrial sewing, please refer to Seaming Methods, Material Sourcing and our Equipment List.

Assembly: Many industrial fabric-based products require multiple stages of assembly before a complete item is ready for shipment. In some instances this can involve the attachment or insertion of grommets, snaps, zippers, specialized metallic or plastic parts, etc., or the attachment of hoses to the product using various methods. In the 50+ years of our existence, and the hundreds of years of collective experience of our employees, there is little in the way of assembly that we have not seen; if it can be done at all, we will find a way to economically assemble the final product.

Prototype and Small Quantity Manufacture: Our customers’ projects can be at any stage of development. Fabrico is fully capable of producing prototypes, beta models and small quantity production runs. Few projects are too small for us to take on, and fewer still are too large. In the case of producing prototypes or small quantity production runs, we simply use the same methodologies as we would employ in the course of preparing to produce a high-volume product, in the early stages of its development. The one thing that never suffers is quality; regardless of the size of the order, quality control and a thorough inspection regime are integral elements of our manufacturing process.

Silkscreen Printing, Hot Stamping, Stenciling and Marking: Many industrial fabric products require marking of some sort. The most commonly used method is stenciling, in which lettering or other markings are cut out of a stencil, the stencil is pressed against the fabric, and a quick-drying ink is applied. This is often used on military products which must be marked with the National Stock Number (NSN) and other means of identification. Screen printing is a process in which a silkscreen (a piece of specialized cloth which allows ink to pass through it at some locations but not at others) is placed on top of the product, and ink(s) are applied to the screen to produce an image on the fabric. It can be as simple as a logo or lettering applied to the fabric in a single color, to 4- or 6-color process printing is used to create a full-color image. Hot stamping uses a heated lettering applicator to apply numbers, letters or a combination thereof onto the product, and is generally less expensive than stenciling or screen printing. Other marking technologies include etching a logo or a pattern onto a sheet of clear or tinted film in a continuous pattern; this requires the manufacture of a special die for etching the pattern, and can be quite expensive. It is therefore not used unless large quantities of etched material are required.

Documentation: Many of Fabrico’s customers require documentation of various sorts with their orders; Fabrico has a particularly long history of providing products to the U.S. Department of Defense. We can provide First Article Testing/Inspection and written documentation of the results, Purchased Parts Approval Process (PPAP) documentation for automotive parts, Certificates of Conformity for specified parts and materials and Certificates of Origin for Government orders, in compliance with the Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment. Other required documentation can be provided as specified in contracts and purchase orders.