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5 Things You Didn't Know About Metal Manufacturing

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If you're new to the world of metal manufacturing, you'll find these five facts interesting - and maybe helpful.

Things You Didn't Know About Metal Manufacturing

1.  Many metal manufacturers also offer engineering services.

Many manufacturers employ manufacturing engineers to take care of the machinery, optimize current processes, and develop innovative new processes. These manufacturing engineers understand both the principles of design and the physical limits of modern machinery.

These engineers can look at a design and advise you on potential problem areas, best practices, and optimal design techniques that will help the customer get the most out of their manufacturer.

2.  Metal fabrications are divided into two main categories.

Removal: There are a number of metal manufacturing processes that remove sections of metal from the product. These processes include:

-Cutting
-Machining
-Punching
-Blanking
-Stamping
-Shearing

Removal processes are used to cut parts to size, add fabrications (holes, notches, tabs), or cut a design from sheet metal.

Deformation: Deformation (or forming) processes alter the shape of the original piece without removing sections of the metal. The most common deformation processes are:

-Bending
-Roll forming
-Drawing
-Spinning

3.  Looser tolerances make metal manufacturing cost less.

Basically, the more leeway a manufacturer has regarding fabrication placement, the less the project will cost in the long run.

Tight tolerances mean more rejected parts and more materials used making acceptable pieces. The time, labor, materials, and other resources that go into each piece contribute to costs. The looser the tolerances can be while maintaining part integrity, the more the customer will save overall.

4.  There are three categories of metal based on thickness.

You've probably heard of sheet metal - that's the most common type of metal that goes into manufacturing, and it's also the middle-of-the-road in terms of thickness. Here are the three levels:

-Foil or leaf metals are the thinnest, typically 0.20mm and under
-Sheet metals range from 0.20mm to 6mm
-Plate metals are the thickest, typically larger than 6mm

5.  The Bessemer process made steel one of the most affordable metals for manufacturing.

It wasn't until the 1860s that Henry Bessemer made steel a viable alternative to iron. Before then, steel was expensive and used mostly for small items such as weapons and tools. By 1870, steel caught on as a popular material for structures, transportation, and other applications.

Today, steel remains one of the most popular and affordable metals for a host of metal manufacturing projects.

Want to know more about metal manufacturing?

Learn more about this age-old industry in this article: the Differences Between Aluminum and Steel.

Have questions about metal manufacturing and can't find the answers in Google? Give us a shout - we might be able to answer them!

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