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Sheet Metal Fabrication

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About Sheet Metal Fabrication

  • Sheet metal fabrication is the process of forming parts from a metal sheet. 3D CAD files are converted into machine code, which controls a machine to precisely cut and form the sheets into the final part.
 
  • Typical forming tools are brakes, punches, and dies which can form angular bends and features. Installing inserts, such as PEM inserts, is standard practice along with welding and finishing services.
 
  • Sheet metal parts are known for their durability, which makes them great for end-use applications (e.g. chassis). Parts used for low volume prototypes and high volume production runs are most cost-effective due to large initial setup and material costs.



 
Advantages of Sheet Metal Fabrication
  • Extra strong. Metal is harder and stronger than plastic.
  • Resistant to heat. Metals have higher melting points. Even if the temperature rises a bit, metal does not easily degrade.
  • Metal can go through a wider range of processes including chipping, deep drawing, casting, forging, welding, and soldering.
  • Metal is more cost efficient when it comes to long term, high volume lines of production.



 
Sheet Metal Processes
Laser Cutting
Water Jet Cutting
Plasma Cutting
  • Fiber and CO2 lasers
  • Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, & exotic alloys
  • Up to 53″ x 121″ (+pass thru)
  • Tilting waterjet head with 4 or 5-axis CNC control
  • High accuracy, up to 0.1mm
  • Cut more than 4″ sheet/plate metal
  • Up to 1/4″ thick plate



 
Video
  • Sheet metal can be cut, stamped, formed, punched, sheared, bent, welded, rolled, riveted, drilled, tapped, machined.  Hardware can then be inserted to fix electronic components, metal brackets, or other pieces of sheet metal.  To finish sheet metal, it can be brushed, plated, anodized, powder-coated, liquid painted, silkscreen, laser-etched, and pad printed.  And of course, parts can be welded riveted into complex assemblies.
 
  • Just like any other technology, the processing of precision sheet metal is constantly evolving.  Materials, processes, tooling, and equipment are becoming highly specialized which is improving the time involved to make common sheet metal parts and speeding up the design process as well.  To fully leverage all the technological advantages, it is important that you select the right supplier and know the differentiation between metal fabricators; architectural sheet metal (HVAC and ductwork), heavy plate fabricators (staircases, fences, heavy structures) precision fabricators (thin gauge sheet metal, enclosures, brackets etc…).



 
Applications for Sheet Metal
Enclosures
Chassis
Brackets
Sheet metal offers a cost-effective way to fabricate product device panels, boxes and cases for a variety of applications. We build enclosures of all styles, including rackmounts, “U” and “L” shapes, as well as consoles and consolets. The chassis we fabricate are typically used to house electromechanical controls, from small handheld devices to large industrial testing equipment. All chassis are built to critical dimensions to ensure hole pattern alignment between different parts. We build custom brackets and miscellaneous sheet metal components, well-suited for either lightweight applications or when a high degree of corrosion-resistance is needed. All hardware and fasteners that are needed can be fully built in.


 
Overview: What is Sheet Metal?
The Basics Of Sheet Metal Fabrication:

Sheet metal is a common form of raw metal stock, usually 0.006 and 0.25 inches thick. Fabrication is a collection of processes used to shape raw metal stock into a usable product. Sheet metal fabrication includes many machining processes meant to assemble, cut, or form a sheet metal workpiece. After fabrication, a product often needs to undergo finishing processes before it’s suitable for commercial use.
 

How does Sheet Metal Fabrication Work?

There are 3 common stages in the sheet metal fabrication process, all of which can be completed with various types of fabrication tools.

  • Material Removal: During this stage, the raw workpiece is cut to the desired shape. There are many types of tools and machining processes which can remove metal from the workpiece.
 
  • Material Deformation (forming): The raw metal piece is bent or formed into a 3D shape without removing any material. There are many types of processes which can shape the workpiece.
 
  • Assembling: The completed product may be assembled from several processed workpieces.

Many facilities offer finishing services as well. Finishing processes are usually necessary before a sheet metal-derived product is ready for the market.




 
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