Metal Forming & Fabricating

Material forming through stamping, notching, punching, bending, shearing, drawing and more using machinery such as mechanical presses, hydraulic presses, punch presses, turret punch presses, press brakes, shears, hydroforming machines, cold forming machines, hot forming machines and other equipment assisted by Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Numerical Control (CNC), automation and robotics.

The Cloud: What It Is and Why You Should Care

This primer examines the competitive advantages your shop can gain and the pitfalls to be avoided. 
Experts
Additive Manufacturing Systems

Human Powered Submarine Team Produces 3D-Printed Propeller

Testing of the 3D-printed propeller was successfully performed on the test stand at the University of Michigan’s Engineering Department. 
Take a look at how metrology and 3D printing distributor Burton Precision applies 3D printing technology to solve a variety of CAD issues and challenges for producing a unique plastic propeller design for a human powered submarine.
Angle Rolls

Hot Rolling Zirconium Pushes Possibilities

CTL hot rolled the 40 mm thick Grade 702 Zirconium plate under strict procedures, controls and other special requirements.
British engineering company Charles Thompson Ltd breaks ground with a scarce source possibly never seen before – a heat exchanger component rolled from an unusually thick (40 mm) flat plate.
Automation/Robotics

Practical Success: Measurable Energy Savings in Die Casting Automation

More than 40 percent of the energy consumption takes place in standby operations outside the production process itself. In many cases, systems are not switched off in standby operations between production cycles and so they continue to consume energy.  
The integrated control system inside this standard casting cell with trim press from Reis Robotics saves the Pierburg foundry up to 30 percent on energy consumption.
CAD/CAM Software

Using Software To Better Run Your Shop

2D blanks for cutting and bending are produced from 3D designs by using the bending factors and punching tool data gathered from the punching and bending programming software. Numerous 3D interfaces also make it possible to unfold different 3D designs, including those received from customers or an engineering department. 
In today’s manufacturing environment, software has evolved. No longer designed for simple NC code and nesting parts for the best material utilization, it has become an increasingly useful and necessary tool for any production facility. Look for software modules which can be tailored to your needs and can create an ideal interaction between machine, control system, and production software. 
Coil Handling Equipment

Flat Metal Doesn’t Always Mean Stress Relieved Metal

Whether it's coming from a service center or an upstream process, most sheet or plate will contain residual stress, as shown in left sample, compared to same material (on right) after processing in a parts leveler.
Parts leveling can't free a shop from the stress caused by a missed shipping date, but it CAN relieve those production frustrations caused by metal components loaded with internal stresses that are released during welding, laser cutting, punching or bending. 
Laser Cutting Systems

Micromachining of Metals Cheaper, Faster with New Laser Technology

Figure 4. The precision and control possible using the fiber laser marker.
Advances in single mode fiber laser marking technology with superior beam quality can now replace traditional EDM or other micromachining equipment.
Plasma Cutting Systems

Harnessing the Power of CNC Software for Plasma Cutting

The intelligence built inside today’s CNC controls enables it to provide real-time instruction to all elements of an automated plasma cutting system. Here, the CNC has optimized parameters for cutting bolt-ready holes.
What if you could get real time orchestration between the power source, the accessories connected to it and all of the other key elements of your cutting system? 
Press Brakes

A Practical Approach to Bending Length Precision

Figure 1. Measure the total width of the tool front-to-back with your micrometer. Make sure to use a lower tool that is symmetrical. If your die has different width shoulders to either side of the V-opening, it is not a good tool for the test.
To hit those very small flange length tolerances on our prints, we need to master that material stretch. This means we need to understand not just the material, but also how the press brake tooling being used to perform the bend will change the amount of stretch and impact the size of the blank.
Punch Presses

More Productivity, Less Power

Punching on the E6x punch press. The type of work which Dale Sheetmetal does lends itself to punching. It has made bespoke panels with 130,000 holes, while white laminated steel and coated aluminium are not suitable for laser cutting as it can damage the surface or make the coating difficult to remove. The shop does mix processes where appropriate, with both punching and laser cutting being performed on one part where this is faster.
For this family-run sheet metal fabricator, moving to Ex-Series servo-electric punch presses solved its power consumption problems and improved productivity at a stroke. 
Roll Forming

From Producer to Partner

The cost of tooling and associated cost amortization terms help determine which fabrication process is most appropriate. There is no such thing as free tooling anymore. A manufacturer that does not own the tooling or does not amortize it over time will eventually pay for it in the future. Partially owning the tooling ties up capital and often requires additional payment or fees to manufacture with another supplier or in-house.
From product design and prototyping to metal fabrication and assembly, companies need an expert, all-in-one supply chain partner to help them take their business strategy to the next level.
Sawing Systems

Sawing Systems

The RingSaw™ from Graebener-Reika is capable of cutting tubes, bars, and profiles with diameters ranging from 10 mm to 610 mm, and wall thickness from 1 mm to 150 mm. The machine is operated electro-mechanically without hydraulics, and is therefore oil free.  The cutting process is either dry, with a mini-coolant, or with flood emulsion.
A review of some of the latest technologies in sawing systems that can reduce your operating costs, improve your part quality, and increase your shop profitability.
Software

From Days to Minutes

The advanced 3D simulator provides realistic real-time visualization of the tube bending process to help designers create production-ready control programs. (first view)
To dramatically shorten design-to-manufacture time, this advanced 3D simulator unveils powerful real-time visualization with collision detection that speeds tube bending program development so that shops can optimize their computer-controlled bending machines.
Stamping Presses

Stamping Out a New Generation of Automobile Parts

To transport parts between forming stations, the press uses a modular transfer system that consists of autonomous units equipped with their own electronic drives to optimize the transfer motion for two forming stations at one time according to the particular part shape, and separately adjust the press speed and transfer motion so even difficult shapes with inclined forming positions in the die can be produced in continuous operation.(click on photo to enlarge it)
The question Ford and General Motors asked was how to produce hoods and doors with improved productivity, design flexibility and reduced costs. The answer from Schuler, Bosch Rexroth and Morrell was a compact crossbar transfer press that does all that and more.
Tube & Pipe Fabrication

The Secrets to a Long-Lasting ERP Implementation

The Tube Specialties shop in Tempe employs 97 employees in tube fabrication and assembly, including bending, end forming, machining, welding, brazing, swaging and non-destructive testing for tube assemblies. 
Infor VISUAL enables Tube Specialties, a fabricator of complex tube assemblies, to improve their overall productivity and shop efficiency, and support customer requests without spending excessive time and absorbing additional costs. 
Turret Presses

Rethinking Your Parts: Combining for a Competitive Advantage

A combination punching and laser cutting machine can improve shop profitability by producing metal parts up to 0.312 in thick in the most cost-effective way. 
You may discover a whole new profit method in a combination processing machine that can produce all of the geometries you need at the same cost, regardless of the number of parts required. 
Waterjets

Specialty Precision Fabrication Shop Grows with Waterjets

Precision Waterjet Concepts uses a Jet Edge 4 ft x 4 ft High Rail Gantry system equipped with four abrasive jet cutting heads that is powered by a 150 hp waterjet intensifier pump.
Precision Waterjet Concepts uses waterjet cutting systems from Jet Edge to cut virtually any material, especially AR Plating and titanium.
Metal Forming & Fabricating: Products

Wet Grinding and Polishing of Tube and Pipe

The abrasive belts on the Scantool Centerless 75CGC belt grinder with coolant are quickly changed to accommodate the necessary tube finish without removing machinery guards. The machine converts quickly to a stand-alone industrial belt grinder with heavy duty rubber contact wheel or convenient top mounted grinding surface providing a consistent vibration free grinding surface for heavy material removal or simple part cleanup. 
The Scantool Centerless 75CGC belt grinder with coolant from CML USA is ideal for removing rust and creating a highly polished or brushed surface finish on diameters ranging from .75 in up to 3 in.

Sealed Computer Keyboard for Machine Shops

The Really O'Cool keyboard is great for machine shops, production lines, part manufacturing or metalworking where oils, dirt or water is a problem. 
The Really O’Cool oil-resistant keyboard from Man & Machine is tough enough to stand up in heavy-duty metal fabrication environments where oils, dirt or water is a problem.

Cloud ERP for the Small Job Shop

A completely integrated cloud solution, Exact Online JobBOSS features anywhere, anytime access through a web browser to quotes, manufacturing processes, customer information and business financials that help shops increase operational efficiency, on time delivery, customer loyalty and profits.
Exact Online JobBOSS is ideal for make-to-order, make-to-stock, mixed mode and assemble-to-order metal fabricators, job shops and machine builders.