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.

A Focused Look at Specialized Tooling

How do you find out if a specialized tooling solution is right for you?
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

The Ins and Outs of Laser Cutting Automation

In a logistic center, software controls the entire process and the production plan of machines that are connected to both sides of a large storage system located in the center of the production that handles raw material and semi-finished goods automatically between various processing steps.
Advancements in laser cutting productivity are shifting the bottleneck away from cutting the material to handling it. This means automation should match specific needs for different production setups. 
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

Tower of Strength

A sheet changeover on the Compact Tower integrated material handling and storage tower system at MTI.
Automated handling dilutes sheet metal fabrication costs in this shop with lights-out running and quick changes between jobs.
Oxyfuel Cutting Systems

Limited Space, Unlimited Returns

The SGX can accept up to two oxy-fuel torches for oxy-fuel cutting of materials up to 4 in thick. Piercing of thicker materials is optimized using ease-on cutting oxygen.  
The SGX automated plasma and oxy-fuel cutting machine is ideal for the small fabricator needing to cut high volumes of mild steel parts with a minimal investment in capital and floor space. 
Plasma Cutting Systems

How to Make the Most of Your Plasma Cutting System

A System 55 robot cell from Lincoln Electric at Cotterman Company. To achieve the best results when plasma cutting, be sure to verify proper piercing height, verify proper travel speeds during the cutting process, and don’t allow the consumables to touch the workpiece when cutting. 
By following these simple guidelines, using the right machine for your application and mastering some tricks of the trade, you should see increased precision and quality in your plasma cutting process.
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 by the Numbers

An AMSAW S100SI carbide sawing machine with automated bar measuring systems is shown here cutting cylinder liners for automotive applications. The stumbling block for many buyers is the upfront cost for a carbide saw, which is two to three times more than for a band saw. But this study shows that just three carbide saws can handle the same volume of work that requires 18 band sawing machines.
On a cost per square foot of cutting basis, circular carbide saws come out on top.
Software

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? 
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

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.
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

Call to Arms

Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, was fitted for a custom socket for his torso and shoulders that supports the prosthetic limbs and also makes the neurological connections with the reinnervated nerves. 
Abrasive waterjet micro machining technology created 23 of the parts used in the fingers, hand, wrist, arm and shoulder of the first Modular Prosthetic Limbs worn and controlled by a bilateral shoulder-level amputee.
Metal Forming & Fabricating: Products

Tell Them What You Saw

The APS-438 Universal Air-Powered Saw from ESCO Tool is ideal for onsite pipe cutting, erection of piping systems, and pipe fabrication in shops.
A review of some of the newest sawing systems and related accessories now on the market.

Ovens for Paint Baking, Heat Treating and Removing Deposits

Designed for paint baking, the No. 806 walk-in oven is electrically heated, with dimensions of 72 in W by 96 in D by 78 in H.
Advanced industrial ovens and furnaces from Grieve are used for powder coating, curing, baking, drying, and other applications requiring the circulation of heated air. 

Next Generation Parts Washer

The scalable Lean-Jet RB-FLEX+ parts washer uses the latest Siemens programmable controller and operator interface screen to boost system flexibility, automation integration, process control and data logging through an intuitive user interface.
The flexible Ransohoff Lean-Jet RB-FLEX immersion cleaning system can be configured for a variety of parts and capacities, from camshafts to locomotive engine blocks weighing over 20,000 lb.