Mechanical Fabrication Center (MFC)


The mission of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) MFC is to:

  • Provide quality service at a fair price, meeting the most rigid specifications of our sponsors in machining, fabricating, and assembling parts.
  • Provide consulting services and recommendations about the best use of outside resources.

The MFC occupies a modern 17,000+ square-foot facility. We function as a service organization for SwRI with a well-trained and experienced staff of 20 to carry out a variety of tasks. We track labor and material costs for each job. The necessary jigs, specialized equipment, or fixtures are designed and fabricated for each particular situation.

The MFC is dedicated to providing quality service. We encourage you to complete our Customer Survey.

MFC Operations

  • MFC work orders are processed on a time and materials basis and by fixed-price quotation.
  • Work is processed on a “first in, first out” basis. Jobs of four hours or less are processed on a quick turnaround schedule, usually within two days.
  • Rush jobs are accommodated on an optional overtime basis.

MFC Capabilities

Our state-of-the-art facility makes it possible for us to:

  • Turn parts as large as 36 inches in diameter to micro-sized parts on a jeweler’s lathe
  • Accommodate both large and small milling operations
  • Perform limited production runs on computer numerical controlled (CNC) turning and machining centers
  • Interface with all computer-aided design (CAD) software at the Institute
  • Assign tool paths directly to the engineer’s models for manufacturing purposes
  • Simultaneously upload or download CNC programs from our CAD/CAM Programming Control Room [PDF], using state-of-the-art communication software, directly to all of our CNC equipment

Various types of welding are performed, including:

  • Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding
  • Metal inert gas (MIG) welding
  • Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)
  • Oxy-acetylene welding (OAW)

Machine Tools

Our well-equipped modern facility houses a wide variety of lathes, milling machines, sheet metal tools, welders, grinders, drill presses, and saws. The MFC maintains a large inventory of various popular sizes and types of steel and aluminum. More information about our milling machines [PDF] and grinders [PDF] and a detailed list of our tools is available.

MFC Quality Assurance

Essential to the production activity, a large Inspection Room [PDF] is staffed by Institute Quality Systems (IQS) to perform quality assurance measurement control. This operation is conducted under the surveillance of IQS, with all equipment calibrated and traceable to the Bureau of Standards.

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.