Sheet metal processing includes various manufacturing processes, materials and machines as well as tools. In this article we take a closer look at why the sheet metal processing industry is so important and what potential entrepreneurs can continue to draw from it.
What is sheet metal processing?
Sheet metal processing defines a large number of manufacturing processes, including the manufacture of components, products and parts made of metal. The processes within the processing of sheet metal also include cutting, welding and bending as well as punching, rolling, forming and joining.
Sheet metal processing comprises the following subcategories:
- To bend
- steel construction
- Heating coil
- Layer forming
- Bending punching
- Laser processing
- Laser cutting
In this way, soft and resistant sheets can be machined or manufactured, with corresponding features being able to differ from this due to the alloys. The material properties of the sheet are already defined by the elements that have been added to the steel in liquid form. Common elements include titanium, niobium, copper, silicon, chromium, nickel and many more.
Sheets made of various types of steel can be used for this processing, but aluminum is often used. This also results in the processing of the most varied of alloys, because depending on the application, the material must be made far more resistant and this is done, among other things, by a zinc alloy.
Which machines and tools are used for processing?
Different machines and tools can be used within the processing, a distinction is made between power tools and hand tools. Hand tools include iron saws, files or pliers. In the case of power tools, on the other hand, there are hammer drills, drills or soldering irons, lasers and grinders.
For other activities, such as machining axes or shafts of round products, there is then again the lathe, which has a computer control. This enables a large number of parts to be machined while maintaining the same quality. This is essential for entrepreneurs, because nothing is sorted out in the subsequent quality control. This makes the company more effective.
Companies have to specialize
It is a trend that more and more companies are specializing in the metal industry. However, this does not happen in sheet metal processing, because the entrepreneurs want to continue to serve their customers in full and not give them any rejections. The problem, however, is that economic efficiency is hardly related any more.
The ability to deliver takes precedence over economic efficiency, which makes it a challenge for the company. For example, the requirements in the area of surfaces are increasing while the lot sizes are decreasing. This requires different machine technologies.
EXTRA: 3 major trends in series production
It makes more sense to specialize in certain areas and obtain more orders within the standard products via digital distribution channels. In this way, customers can continue to be supplied reliably and efficiently and the economic efficiency remains at the intended and required level.