© Quality Metals, Inc. 2016 All rights reserved, Step-by-Step: The Sheet Metal Fabrication Process, Get Familiar with the Different Types of Workable Steel, Getting to Know Common Structural Steel Shapes. If you’re a metal fabricator that’s obvious, but most of our customers aren’t, and that’s okay. Working with blueprints Welding is achieved through numerous methods and tool types. The process for sheet metal fabrication may seem generalized and straightforward, but it’s of the utmost importance to suppliers and fabricators alike. Steel and aluminum start out as huge slabs that get rolled down into long coils. The design stage also allows the metal fabrication plant to plan the manufacturing process, including... 3. Specialized metal fabricators are called fab shops. Welding Like a giant pair of scissors, the shearing machine has a long blade that makes a straight cut through the sheet. Remember Lois Lane? Not every customer or job needs welding. Then tack welds are made to hold everything together. For example, an aluminum billet may be fabricated into a curved aluminum tube by using the extrusion process and then folding the tube. Our laser machines can produce intricate metal blanks ready for bending. Strictly speaking, punching is a process for putting holes in sheet, but by nibbling on a turret punch, (making a series of joined holes,) we can punch out a complex form. Metal fabrication is key in producing aviation gauges, such as the casing for these meters. Start with These 6 Alloys. Punching is another way of producing complex shapes in sheet metal. Fabricators often start with stock metal components, such as sheet metal, metal rods, metal billets, and metal bars to create a new product. Required fields are marked *. Finishing generally means undergoing processes that make an item commercially viable—such as an acid wash bath, heat treatment, coatings, painting and more. Some metals harden as they bend, which can lead to cracking. In this process, a metal sheet is cut or removed by applying a strong force. After assembly or joining most fabrications get some finishing. In fact, depending on the nature of the item being created, there are different levels of fabrication that may be required and various methodologies for customization that can be deployed: Again, blueprints will dictate the demands of the fabrication process. Sheet metal fabrication refers to multiple processes that alter a metal sheet’s original shape to produce desired parts and products. Machining 8. Allow us to summarize. Most sheet metal bending is done on a machine called a press brake. Step 6 – The manufacturing, fabrication and finishing process. by Ben Wiley | May 8, 2017 | Assembly, Bending, Custom Metal Assembly, Cutting, Finishing, Metal Fabrication, Metal Fabricators | 0 comments. Drawing 4. Like a giant pair … Cutting can be done using various methods. Such a process will introduce an atmosphere that is conducive … Each piece of the assembly is held in position and with clamps or fixturing as appropriate. One of the biggest challenges in bending is managing springback. Finishing can also include establishing the properties of the product being fabricated, including making it inert to certain elements or dampening its conductivity through specialized treatments. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Punching 9. Before the process of fabricating the metal can begin, engineers usually come up with drawings... 2. For cutting a large sheet into smaller rectangles shearing is the way to go. Only then are the long welds made that join the pieces together. Metal stamping is a cold-forming process that makes use of dies and stamping presses to transform sheet metal into different shapes. CNC sheet bending is also used to adjust a finished or near-finished product. So allow us to offer some education. 8 Steps in the Sheet Metal Fabrication Process 1. Sheet metal fabrication is a very flexible process, so it can be used in most industries to create everything from components to automotive bodies. But this step is far from an inclusive one! Rectangular sheets coming off the shears will usually need holes punching or drilling and corners notching so we can put in the bends. Just about every sheet metal fabrication goes through those four steps. The process that takes sheet metal from its rawest form to a finished product is one with many steps and can vary greatly depending on what the finished product is. Sometimes you’ll see trucks hauling them on the highway. By anticipating the needs of fabricators through an understanding of their fabrication process, suppliers can better equip themselves to stay ahead of demands. Cutting 3. Designing the product. However, advanced laser machines are used … As the name clearly indicates, it consists of cutting the metal sheet. Your email address will not be published. Common custom metal fabrication processes are as follows: 1. The advantage is that if a part gets damaged it’s easier to replace. Casting 2. Something simple like HVAC ductwork may only require basic bending and joining, whereas a complex item may require multiple forms of fabrication. Blueprints should include rough drawings of the final product, specifications about measurements and dynamics, and detailed instructions for complex steps (if needed). Practically every sheet metal fabrication goes through four process steps: cutting, bending, joining and finishing. Likewise, fabricators who understand their process thoroughly will be able to better streamline their operations, cutting down on everything from turn times to material waste. In any case, everything must be done to the exact specifications of the blueprint. Again, this step is overarching and may be more or less complex depending on the item being fabricated. biggest challenges in bending is managing springback, 5 MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY TRENDS FOR FUTURE SUCCESS, Understanding Temper and Tolerance in Extruded Aluminum, FIVE COMMON APPLICATIONS OF ALUMINUM EXTRUSION, In Search of Building Better Truck Trailers. All the different steps help in ensuring that the product meets the design specifications. The parts used in a welding application could be sheets, panels, bars or shapes — as long as the parts are made of metal. For instance, shearing is the common method of cutting a metal sheet. The above steps should be followed in order to create a transparent working relationship between the client and the fabricators. Choosing a fabrication method suited to a given project depends on part geometry, the product’s intended purpose, and the materials used in crafting it. For cutting a large sheet into smaller rectangles shearing is the way to go. This ranges from cleaning up welds to polishing to a mirror finish, (like truck bumpers.) Design and draw drawings of sheet metal parts. The holes are formed on these sheet metal when the sheet metals expand around the expansion machine’s “knife” and no metal is lost in this process. Founded in 1941 by L. Silverberg, Quality Metals, Inc. is a thriving and expanding business that has been dedicated to quality metal services for over 75 years. These usually have two objectives: protect the fabrication against corrosion, and provide whatever finished appearance is needed. If anything is sub-par, overlooked or incorrect, there’s an opportunity to fix it or scrap it. Every fabrication starts with a plan. Depending on the final application, riveting, screwing or bonding might be more appropriate. So there you have it, the entire steel making process in 6 steps!