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What Is the Difference Between Sheet & Plate Steel?

Prestige SM Director

Steel is an alloy of iron that has enhanced chemical and physical properties. The most commonly found steels are alloyed with between 0.2 percent and 2.15 percent of carbon, but some steels can be found that are alloyed with other materials like tungsten, chromium, vanadium and manganese. Steel has been used since ancient times but it was produced inefficiently and expensively until the mid 19th Century, when the Bessemer process was invented. Since then, steel has been mass produced in many forms, including metal foil, plate metal and sheet metal.

Metal Foil

Metal foil is a very thin sheet of metal that has been hammered or rolled flat. Metal foils can be made from any type of metal, although the most commonly found foils are aluminum foil and gold foil. Aluminum foil typically has a thickness of .03mm, although any sheet of metal with a thickness of less than 0.2mm is considered a foil.

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is any metal that is thicker than a foil and thinner than 6mm, the thickness of a metal plate. Sheet metal is often used for building structures that do not require durability. It is also often corrugated or diamonded for additional strength without increasing weight. Corrugation is the creasing of the metal at regular intervals to form ridges, and diamonding is the addition of diamond ridges that add structure to the metal.

Plate Metal

Plate metal is any sheet of metal with a thickness of 6mm or more. Plate metal is used in applications where durability is more important than saving weight. It is used in automobiles where durability is required to pass crash testing.

The Difference

The only difference between sheet and plate steel is the gauge (thickness) of the metal. They both have very different uses, depending on the varying durability and weight requirements for different projects.

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The Benefits of Laser Cutting

Prestige SM Director

The idea of design for manufacturing (DFM) isn’t really new. For decades, manufacturers have sought to make the manufacturing process easier and more efficient by verifying that a design can actually be manufactured early on in the development process, saving time and money, and speeding up time to market for new products while also ensuring optimum productivity.

Most DFM efforts have focused on simplicity; that is, attempting to reduce the complexity of designs to prevent complications in the manufacturing process. As a general rule, the more complex a design, the more difficult it is to manufacture — and with difficulty, comes costs. However, the development of new technologies such as laser cutting have made the manufacturing of more complex products easier. Rather than simplifying the products themselves, laser cutters have simplified the process of manufacturing products simpler, thus allowing for greater complexity in less time — and increased innovation.

The Benefits of Laser Cutting in General

In general, laser cutting does offer some substantial benefits to the manufacturing process. For starters, laser cutters can be customized to cut nearly any material of any thickness to exact specifications. It’s fast, accurate, and can be quickly and easily adjusted to meet the changing needs of the market or a specific product. It’s also a cleaner process than most cutting options, as it requires little to no secondary cleanup.

Of course, there are some drawbacks, as it does use more power than other types of cutters and does require more training to do properly, as poorly adjusted lasers can burn materials or fail to cut them cleanly. And while laser cutting does typically cost more than other types of processes, such as wet cutting, the benefits often far outweigh those costs.

In terms of design for manufacturing, laser-cutting technology can have a beneficial effect on any product. Cost and quality are two major influences on the marketability of any product, and laser cutting allows for high-quality components at a lower cost overall, therefore making it possible to offer a more affordable, better quality product. Laser cutting also allows more flexibility in the manufacturing process. A laser operates with a heat intensity that is several times hotter than the sun, making it possible to cleanly and accurately cut virtually any material, from the strongest alloy all the way down to the thinnest polymers. This flexibility contributes to design for manufacturing process, as engineers aren’t limited in the scope of materials they can use. Rather than having to choose materials based only on their cost or availability, manufacturers can choose the exact materials that are best for the job.

Laser cutting also allows for more creativity in product development processes. Lasers aren’t bound by geometry, so parts do not have to conform to the capabilities of the laser cutter. Because the laser itself never actually touches the part being cut, materials can be oriented in any fashion, which allows them to be cut in any shape or form. In many cases, the precision cuts made by the lasers require little to no post-cut processing, which also speeds up the manufacturing process.

A Few Considerations

While laser cutting is a useful tool when it comes to design for manufacturing, there are a few things that engineers need to consider.

The first is the possibility of over-engineering. Often, an engineer who understands the capabilities of a laser cutter will design parts or products with exceptionally tight tolerances. While there are times when a 5/1000th of an inch tolerance is necessary, often a 1/16th of an inch tolerance is adequate. The tighter tolerance will increase the cost and production time of a product, and potentially lead to waste.

Choosing the right materials is another consideration. Again, just because a laser can cut a material doesn’t mean that material is right for a particular project. Designing for manufacturability means ensuring that the design can actually be brought to life. Choosing the right materials can mean the difference between a design that can be manufactured and one that cannot.

Laser cutting is just one technology that is beneficial to the design for manufacturing process. However, it’s become a vitally important one, and has helped many products reach market more quickly and with less cost.

 Original Source

Growing demand drives global laser cutting machine market

Prestige SM Director

Analysts forecast the global laser cutting machine market to grow at a CAGR of close to 9% from 2016-2020.

London – Technavio’s newest research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global laser cutting machine market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from sales of laser cutting machines.

Technavio heavy industry analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global laser cutting machine market:

  • Need for automation
  • Growing demand from end-user industries
  • Increasing need to develop superior-quality products
  • Need for automation

Companies are increasingly resorting to automation as a way of meeting the anticipated quality standards that have been necessitated due to globalization.

Investments in the global process automation market are increasing and projected to touch $120 billion by 2019, a growth rate of more than 6%. The growth is specifically related to sectors such as technology, software, hardware, services, and the communication protocol used in automation.

According to Anju Ajaykumar, a lead analyst at Technavio for engineering tools, “Many companies implement process automation to enhance their productivity and increase profit margins. The use of automation in ports is a recent trend in the market. For example, the automation of Rotterdam port has resulted in effective management of the largest port in Europe. Other ports have also adopted automation with the aim of controlling their losses and regulating resources.”

Growing demand from end-user industries
Industrial outputs that had taken a hit in many countries following the global economic recession of 2008 are showing signs of a slow recovery. Industrial sectors in which automation is employed on a full scale such as medical devicesautomotiveaerospace and defense, electrical and electronics, industrial machinery, and renewable energy are showing signs of positive growth, which is reflected in the stabilized manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs).

Growing air traffic is spurring the commercial aviation sector to higher growth. The global aerospace market is expected to reach $352.5 billion by 2023. In this industry, the commercial aerospace sector is projected to show a robust CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. The commercial aerospace sector is driven by factors such as increasing aircraft size, high replacement rate, technological advances, and growing number of high net worth individuals (HNI).

Similarly, with the global automotive industry in a better condition now than it was five years ago, this sector is being driven by the rising demand for vehicles in emerging economies such as India, Indonesia, and Brazil. But due to the economic instability in the US and more recently in China, the sector may take some more time to recover its profit margins to pre-crisis levels. It is expected that profit margins will grow by almost 50% by the end of the forecast period.

Increasing need to develop superior-quality products
The manufacturing scenario is different from what it used to be even a decade ago. With advances in technology and innovation, it is possible to produce parts quickly, efficiently, and at lower costs. “One such advanced technology is laser cutting that uses advanced equipment and machines to produce parts at record speeds in industrial manufacturing while simultaneously saving on costs,” says Anju.

Despite the deployment of several high-quality machining centers and other such machines, the use of the right cutting tools for machining components is a prime factor that determines the quality of the products manufactured.

With the use of laser cutting, it is possible to cut a variety of materials including metallic, non-metallic, and synthetic materials of varying thickness. During the process, a laser beam is used to cut the material precisely. Depending on the particular material, lasers can be produced through vaporization, thermal stress cracking, melt and blow, cold cutting, or other methods. It is also possible to manipulate the laser with a multitude of reflective surfaces. Precision is the most important quality offered by the lasers. A laser cut part is more accurate, and has smoother edges. Since there is less operator involvement in laser cutting, the possibilities of human error are also less. Another economic advantage of laser cutting is the less time required for the process compared to conventional cutting.

Original Source

How Is Sheet Metal Made?

Prestige SM Director

Melting

Sheet metal can be made from a variety of different metals including aluminum, steel, copper, brass, nickel, tin, sterling silver and titanium. No matter what type of metal is used, the first step is to melt the metal in a container called a crucible.

Pouring

When the metal is completely melted, it is poured out of the crucible and into a rectangular mold. The metal must be kept hot as it is poured into the mold so that it does not begin to harden outside of the mold.

Pickling

When the metal has cooled completely, it is taken out of the mold. We now have a rectangular block of metal known as an ingot. The ingot is then dipped into a mixture of chemicals to be cleaned; a process known as pickling.

Rolling

Once the ingot has been cleaned, it is put through a press. The press consists of two large rollers that thin out the metal. The press rollers are then moved closer together and the metal is run through again. Ingots may have to be run through the press several times before they reach the desired thickness.

Annealing

As the ingot is run through the press the metal will become increasingly harder. It may be necessary to anneal the metal several times throughout the rolling process. Annealing the metal consists of heating it up and then pickling it again. During the annealing process the metal is only made warm-it is not melted again.

Shipping

After the metal reaches the desired thickness, it is either shipped flat or rolled into a coil. Finished sheet metal is anywhere from .05 millimeters to 15 centimeters thick.

Original Source

Global Metal Stamping Market 2019 To See Worldwide Massive Growth

Prestige SM Director

The intention of the Global Metal Stamping Market 2019 research report can be a supply of data for techniques and business plans. The industry summary is provided by the analysis in addition to the increase metal stamping market trends, futuristic and beyond cost, revenue, require, earnings, and also the source data. The distributor analysis, in addition to the description of this market value chain, is given by the specialists. The metal stamping industry report also provides data, which enriches extent, the understanding, and also applications of the report.

International global metal stamping market report has been replete with step by step analysis from exhaustive research, notably on questions which boundary on global metal stamping market size, creation environment, autonomous progress, functionality position, pathways, and directions. These are all of understanding the situation that a is currently in 2019 offshoots including North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa.

The Scope of the International metal stamping Industry: This report assesses the growth rate and the current market value on the grounds of the fundamental market dynamics, in addition to the growth causing variables. The analysis is by growth potentials the industry information and global metal stamping market trends. Also, it comprises an analysis of scenario and this sector, along with the metal stamping analysis of their competitors.

Read more: Global Metal Stamping Market 2019 To See Worldwide Massive Growth

Sheet Metal Fabrication Services Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2018 – 2026

Prestige SM Director

Global Sheet Metal Fabrication Services Market: Overview

This report on the global sheet metal fabrication services market provides analysis for the period 2016–2026, where 2017 is the base year and 2018 to 2026 is the forecast period.Data for 2016 has been included as historical information.

The report covers market dynamics including drivers, restraints, opportunities, and trends expected to influence the growth of the sheet metal fabrication services market during the said period. The study provides comprehensive analysis on market growth throughout the above forecast period in terms of value (US$ Mn) across different geographies.

Global Sheet Metal Fabrication Services Market: Trends and Opportunities

Economic diversification in areas such as biomedical engineering, electronics, industrial machinery, and medical sciences is set to attract investments into various countries in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.As these industries grow, demand for machining tools, semiconductors, and electronic products are expected to increase in tandem, thus creating indirect opportunities for the sheet metal fabrication services market in different regions.

Opportunities remain positive as governments across the globe are continuously structuring and developing plans to promote these new industrial areas.Additive technology has gained growing interest in the field of sheet metal fabrication services in recent years.

Metal fabrication is a broad business, and additive manufacturing offers serious potential for a surprising number of applications, from scale models of large fabrications to a variety of tools and fixtures.

Global Sheet Metal Fabrication Services Market: Key Segments

The sheet metal fabrication services market has been segmented based on form, material, industry verticals, and geography.Based on form, the market has been classified into bend sheet, punch sheet, cut sheet, and other forms.

In terms of material, the market is divided into steel, aluminum, and others; By industry verticals, the market is classified into industrial machinery, construction, aerospace & defense, automotive, electronics, telecommunication, and others (medical, energy and power, etc.); Geographically, the report classifies the market into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East & Africa (MEA), and South America.

Read more: Sheet Metal Fabrication Services Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2018 – 2026

Still Building America—Adam Deuling’s ‘go for it’ attitude pays off

Prestige SM Director

Adam Deuling reached out to me after being tagged in a Facebook post about my “Still Building America” column. He was excited to share about his small sheet metal fab shop in Muskegon, Michigan.

From taking every metal and wood shop class available in high school, to learning CAD in college, to becoming a plumbing apprentice, to working in drafting and moving up to an engineering position, Adam has developed a “go for it” attitude that led him to start his business.

Josh Welton: Could you explain what kind of work do you do? What got you started?

Adam Deuling: I own a small sheet metal fabrication business, Deuling Design LLC, that I started in October 2015 at the age 24. I fell in love with sheet metal fabrication through my day job as a product engineer and started buying the tools to be able to do it on my own.

Read more: Still Building America—Adam Deuling’s ‘go for it’ attitude pays off

Global Sheet Metal Fabrication Services: Market Outlook to 2023

Prestige SM Director

The Sheet Metal Fabrication Services market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.55% over the forecast period of 2017 to 2023.

Increasing investment in various industries like automotive, construction, aerospace and defense drives the growth for sheet metal fabrication services market. Sheet metal fabrication has become an integral part of the various end user industries which continue to fuels up the demand in the market.

Increasing investment and development in APAC region is expected to further boost up the market and may create ample of opportunities for manufacturers and venders. Technological advancement in manufacturing sector has continued to evolve over the period of time in the developed regions which further remain the driving force for the market.

Major industry players profiled as part of the report are Classic Sheet Metal, Inc, All Metals Fabricating, Inc, Moreng Metal Products, Inc, BTD Manufacturing, Inc., Metcam, Inc and Dynamic Aerospace and Defense Group among others.

Read more: Global Sheet Metal Fabrication Services: Market Outlook to 2023

Laser Cutting Machine Market

Prestige SM Director

Laser Cutting Machine Market: Introduction: Laser cutting is a technology that uses lasers such as CO2, solid-state, and fiber to cut materials. Laser cutting machines are capable to cut materials ranging from steel to plastic with absolute precision. It is an important manufacturing tool required by industries to manufacture components with complex geometry, such as machine tool industry, automotive industry, consumer electronics, and other manufacturing industries. Over the past decades, the laser cutting industry has gone through different phases of improvements in quality and thickness of cutting material, power, and efficiency which bring today’s laser cutting machines with higher cutting speed and quality level, the ability to cut thin and thick metals, and the user’s need to process both steel and aluminum on the same equipment.

Read more: Laser Cutting Machine Market

 

What metal additive manufacturing means for the metal fabricator

Prestige SM Director

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) crosses markets. Both the machining world and specialty welding and fabrication arenas have been paying attention. A high-end, previously machined part could be totally redesigned to take advantage of all that AM has to offer, complete with impossible-to-drill internal contours and impossible-to-mill contours. In this sense, metal additive complements machining.

On the other hand, metal additive technology fuses metal particles together; it is essentially welding and, therefore, potentially in the wheelhouse of a high-end specialty fabricator.

If a specialty fabricator—like those serving industries such as aerospace, medical, and defense—is eyeing metal additive technology, it should start with the basics: what these technologies are, what they can and can’t do, and (not least) what’s hype and what’s not.

Read more: What metal additive manufacturing means for the metal fabricator

 

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