Sheet Metal Fabrication Stages for Product Manufacturing

Metal fabrication is the creation of metal parts or larger complex structures from raw metal with the use of different processes. There are different fabrication techniques that are used in the manufacturing process. There is a broad range in the processes used. There are also key phases of sheet metal fabrication which will vary slightly from one project to another.

The design is the first stage of the fabrication process. Depending on the nature of the metal Fabricators near me, the design process will also change. There are companies that will allow the client to provide design specifications in the beginning especially when it comes to a specific requirement. In this case, the client can get involved in the design process from the beginning and discuss with the design staff at the company about the best manufacturing approach to the project and how efficiency can be maintained throughout.

The design will go through schematic and development phases before being finalised. And then these designs will be converted into a format that is understood by the complex machinery that creates the products. This stage is called the programming process in which parts of the product is set into a 2D form on a metal sheet. This ensures that maximum material is used keeping material wastage and unnecessary costs down.

The laser cutting process will start once the machine programme is initialised. This is a very accurate way of cutting the sheet metal as the laser can precisely go over the 2D form that was initially set into the metal. Depending on what the product requirements specify, certain techniques are used to achieve the final product. One of the techniques is punching; this is used when certain components require perforations, louvers, ribs etc. A CNC punching machine is used in this instance and it will hit the metal in order to create the perforation and get the desired shape. There is also CNC folding that takes the combined effort of manual and automated machines. You can either go with an automated panel bending machine or a robotic bend cell; this will be determined by the complexity of the product or component that you require. The sheet metal is bent in the intended curve or angle when the machines apply pressure on it.

Welding is another technique that binds metals together and it is a blanket term to cover many different techniques. Some of these are robotic welding, TIG welding and MIG welding. Once the parts are formed into the intended shapes, the assembling stage begins. Depending on the complexity of the product, the assembly can be either simple or complicated. There can be electrical integrations required for the assembly as well which will fall into the more complex category. Assembly can also require the insertion of a stud or nut in order to unite the product altogether. You may also have heard of power coating which is a process of applying electrostatic powder to a metal part that has been charged before it is heat cured. This will result in the creation of a durable coating.