“We can laser cut more in one day than our waterjets could cut in a week”, founder and owner of Metzfab Industries Brandon Metzger says
When you talk to Brandon on the phone, without having met him you likely create an image of a well-seasoned eXpert in his trade, a well spoken and confident business owner with incredible financial savvy, and a man with decades of experience under his belt. Almost all of this is true, but Brandon just turned 30, and he launched Metzfab, a precision sheet metal manufacturing entity, when he was 20 years old. Thus, he has a decade, not multiple decades of experience.
“As a business, we are becoming what I have aspired for Metzfab to be”, Brandon says. Per design, Metzfab’s customer base today is highly diversified in the industries it serves, and it includes direct relationships with such key OEMS as Intel, Honeywell, Raytheon and Boeing, among others. Brandon explains, “Diversification is key in my business plan, as I never wanted to lose sleep at night from having one or few customers control our business.” He added, “I view Metzfab as a contract manufacturer, and our 300+ customers either require high volume precision sheet metal parts, or if their quantities are for lower volume, then their complex parts require our assembly and machining services.” The company can offer a full “lights-out” operation to accommodate largest production volumes and turnaround requirements for nearly any size customer.
From its inception, in 2010, Metzfab was profitable. The company started in a large garage Brandon built on his property equipped with the tools he had acquired from his hobby of welding and building products, and when the company moved to its first industrial space in Deer Valley shortly after, business growth was exponential.
Two years ago, in early 2019, Metzfab announced its move to a larger 16,500sq foot facility, one now owned by the company. The Phoenix, Arizona-based sheet metal fabrication company made the move to accommodate the rapid growth and future expansion plans for its waterjet and laser cutting operations and precision sheet-metal business. Brandon says the new building provided much needed capacity for manufacturing, customer support, engineering, sales and services and leadership functions across the entity.
He adds, “We built our reputation on being a superior choice for fast turnaround precision sheet metal fabricated parts and assemblies. As our business has grown, so too has our turnaround time. Our customers know us for our (typical) 1 to 2 week turnaround, and with increased demand, today our turnaround is 3 to 4 weeks.
To accommodate their high volume customers’ requirements and to get back to their 2 to 3 week turnaround, Metzfab recently made significant investments into new state of the art equipment. Brandon says, “We run a lean shop, and since finding employees remains a challenge, it is imperative that the equipment we invest in is highly automated, extremely efficient, and very user friendly. We like the Bystronic brand because it meets our criteria; they have some of the most innovative, well built machines.” He elaborated, “Three of our most recent significant machine purchases, include:
- A Bystronic BySmart 3015 6 Kw flat laser
- A Bystronic ByTube 130 tube laser 3 Kw
- A Bystronic Xpert 40 Press brake”.
Both the Xpert 40 and the ByTube 130 were purchased right in the middle of our pandemic; clearly a testament to Brandon’s bold yet calculated investment into the business. And it paid off, as business last year was up 120% over the previous year.
We were the first to purchase Bystronic ByTube130 tube laser in the country, and today it can’t be found in a job shop anywhere in Arizona, and to my knowledge, there is only one in a job shop in all of California. It can cut stainless steel and aluminum up to 1.18” thickness and can cut brass and copper at thicknesses of .59” and .47” respectively.” While we were touring the Metzfab facility, the tube130 was busy laser cutting 1/5” spacers, at a rate of 1 per second.
At Metzfab, capital machine purchases that can individually approach $1,000,000 are made with significant research and analysis of the market overall and with surveys of their current customers. Brandon elaborates, “Our customers who require tube bending, for example, had to send their parts out of state, to California or even further away. Our ByTube 130 tube laser cutting system enables us to offer tube processing for all metallic materials in sizes from 10 to 130 millimeters (~3/8 “ to 5.2”) and raw material lengths of up to 8.5 meters (~28 feet).
Chad Mooneyham, VP, Regional Manager of Landmark Solutions, supports Metzfab for Bystronic. Chad says, “While fiber laser technology has already established itself for the cutting of sheet metal, it is now also gaining popularity in the field of tube processing with thin and thicker material thicknesses. The consistent cutting quality is another compelling argument in favor of fiber laser technology. Due to its shorter wavelength compared to CO2 laser technology, it has no problems with highly reflective non-ferrous metals, such as copper and brass.” He added, “The ByTube 130 Tube laser offers Metzfab’s customers 3 key advantages: variety of material, efficiency, and cutting precision.”
Brandon says, “As a contract manufacturer, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality steel, aluminum and stainless steel, acrylic, glass, granite and more components through use of cutting-edge technology to ensure your order’s accuracy and on-time delivery. Between our waterjets and our laser cutting machines, we can accommodate parts from .005 to 8” in thickness.
While Brandon agrees that waterjets are ideal for cutting thick materials, and for plastics and exotic metals and he is already planning to upgrade Metzfab’s waterjet capabilities with a 10’ x 20’ machine, still he says,
“I only wish I had bought a laser years ago.”
Brandon says that the software and controls on the equipment factor into his decision making when purchasing new equipment. “Bystronic has some of the best software and controls in the industry”, he says, “and the look and feel across our Bystronic flat laser, tube laser and press brake are quite consistent. If you are running our Bystronic EXpert 40 press brake, for example, you can navigate the Bystronic BySmart flat laser or the ByTube 130 tube laser pretty easily. The software and controls are all extremely user friendly and the functions and touch screens across the different platforms have a similar look and feel, even down to the icons. This helps get a new employee up and running in our shop much quicker than otherwise would happen if our machines came from a variety of builders.” And while Brandon has a very capable team that runs Metzfab’s machines on a day-to-day basis, still he says that he is the first one trained on a new piece of machinery and he runs the machines early on. “Bystronic excels at taking a complex piece of machinery and making it simple”, he says.
Chad says, “Automated laser cutting is a decisive success factor for our customers. They increase the capacity utilization of the laser cutting system and reduce the user’s workload with regard to the time-consuming material handling. Both these factors mean that cutting jobs are performed faster and at lower cost.” He added, “Brandon’s aggressive adoption of key technologies for the precision sheet metal fabrication industry clearly creates a differentiator for Metzfab; you just don’t find many shops around that have all of the capabilities and experience that his company has.”
About Landmark Solutions and Bystronic, Brandon says, “When you are purchasing top of the line equipment, key to its success is implementation and training. We rate Landmark and Bystronic as best in class; they help our team to become eXpert in the technologies.”
Bystronic is a leading global provider of high-quality solutions including: laser cutting systems, press brakes, and associated automation and software solutions for the sheet metal processing business. The company, headquartered in Switzerland, last year announced the assembly of the first laser-cutting machine at its new facility in Hoffman Estates (Chicago, Illinois). The company says it is providing locally assembled machinery to reduce overall lead time, installation time, and import costs.
Metzfab Industries has eXpertise in design, fabrication, CNC machining, waterjet cutting, welding, and finishing. You will not find a precision sheet metal fabrication contract manufacturer of its size in this area of the US that has all of the capabilities that they offer in-house. To learn more about how Metzfab Industries can support your production needs, contact them at: 602.539.9591; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: metzfabindustries.com