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Another busy day at V and F Sheet Metal

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Sheet metal work facility

Sheet metal work facility

Here’s a quick snap shot across our main factory area showing all our bending machines in action.

Sheet metal work can start in the CNC punching and laser cutting area and then be transferred into the main factory production area you can see here. The red and white machines on the left hand side are both able to fold sheet metal sections up to 2.5M long and well as take a range of specialist tooling for curved components and press tools for production work. The white machines in the middle of the picture are our newest Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes which we use for all our small sheet metal work up to 1M long. They are very quick to set up and have a great accuracy which is perfect when repeating batches of work again and again using the same CNC programs and tooling. The person on the right hand side of the image is preloading sheet metal panels with studs before they are pressed into the job using our Haeger bush inserter machine. Further down the factory on the right stands our HME 55 ton power press which we still use on some projects where press tools are needed for higher volumes. And finally in the distance on the right we have 2 welding bays for TiG, MiG and gas welding.

The work flows from machine to machine as needed on any particular job and finally to inspection and goods out. Having such a range of sheet metal manufacturing equipment means we can turn our hand to most jobs for people.

The CNC punching and laser cutting machines are housed in a separate area within the factory enabling us to contain the noise in one area when we are CNC punching thicker material or stainless steel sheet. It also works well for us keeping all the sheet metal together and when the factory doors are open for unloading packs of material we don’t have cold air coming into all the factory.


Sheet metal angle bracket projects

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Aluminium sheet metal angle brackets

Just another day at V and F Sheet Metal and I spot brackets being manufactured in aluminium, mild steel and stainless steel. These small aluminium sheet metal angle brackets are typical of the manufacturing projects we are producing all the time. The have been CNC punched and bent up in batches of several hundred. The final brackets didn’t need to be edge deburred or painted as these were being used inside a larger housing and wouldn’t be seen by the final customer.

Stainless steel brackets

Simple stainless steel brackets cut and folded from 0.9mm thick material. Items like this we all walk past and pay little attention to until the moment that our customers need the to finish an import order and then they become the most important sheet metal bracket in the world!

mild steel angle brackets

3mm thick angle brackets laser cut using oxygen as the assist gas to produce a smooth burr free outer profile. Any oxide burning on the cut edges will be removed when the parts are zinc plated and passivated.

If you have any sheet metal brackets that you need manufacturing give us a call or email your drawings and we will be happy to quote for your project.


Laser cutting CNC programs using Radan software

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Laser cut nest

Laser cut nest

Here’s a small section of a much larger CNC nest program that filled up a 2m x 1m sheet of metal. We only have to worry about programming 1 part and then the software takes care of finding the best most efficient pattern wasting as little material as possible. The programming software even picks the fastest route through all the parts so that the laser cutting head doesn’t have to keep going over sheet that has already been cut. This image shows just one type of part nested over a whole sheet but the same principle works with multiple part types on a nest.

Full sheet nest of stainless steel components

Full sheet nest of stainless steel components

This image shows a CNC laser nest used to laser cut out 4mm thick 304 stainless steel plates. The panel on the right hand side shows us the different profile conditions for the holes and outer profile. The bottom panel shows the order cutting text where we can later the order that features and parts are laser cut. The main window shows the parts as they will appear within the actual sheet of metal on the laser bed. We can simulate the cutting sequence to verify that all parts will be cut and that there won’t be any problems with parts flipping up and catching the laser cutting head.

Laser nest with 3D model and production notes

Laser nest with 3D model and production notes

This view shows all the information that can be used to aid production staff when manufacturing a component. Not only is there the nest shown filling a standard sized sheet of metal but there are notes giving part numbers, laser cutting run times, assist gas types, sheet type and thickness information as well as a 3D images and dimensions bends ready for production. It’s easy to provide a print out of this information to go with the customer drawing and route card to answer most of the questions setters need when setting up each work centre.

For more information on Radan sheet metal software follow the link or give us a call.


Sheet metal work from V and F Sheet Metal Fareham, Hampshire

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Welded sheet metal fabrications

Welded sheet metal fabrications

Sheet metal work here at V and F Sheet Metal can be very diverse on any day of the week. These images just show 3 sheet metal projects taken a random being worked a busy workshop. During a month we produce hundreds of different items from parts as small as your little finger nail to section 2.5M long.

The top image is of Zintec coated mild steel brackets with seam welded joints. The middle image is mild steel U shaped folded channels powder coated and the bottom image is Zintec again being CNC punched on one of our Trumpf CNC punch presses.

Powder coated mild steel brackets

Powder coated mild steel brackets

The need to have a diverse range of production plant and skills keeps the job interesting and enables us to offer many services to our customers. Our customers rely on us to help them with their designs, suggest the best production methods and where they can save money. We are more than happy to help if it means improving their designs for manufacturing saving them money and then enabling them to sale more product themselves.

We are always investing in new production plant to speed up the manufacture of sheet metal work, improve the quality of finish and maintain cost effective parts prices for our customers.

CNC punched zintec sheet metal

CNC punched zintec sheet metal

These CNC punched parts have common line cutting on one edge. The slit tools can be shared along this edge reducing the number of hits needed and therefore the time taken on the punch press to produce the parts. Even a few hits on a large batch or batches of parts that repeat often save the customer money and that’s what’s its all about.


Mild steel fabrications

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Mild steel fabrications

Mild steel fabrications

We have been busy manufacturing these mild steel frameworks for ceiling mounted LED light fittings in September and October 2014. The 4 sides have been made from individual sections which we have laser cut and CNC bent using Trumpf plant in our own factory in Fareham, Hampshire. We manufactured a simple tray to act as a jig to help position each part ready for a few tack welds creating the final frame. The frames are all stacked on pallets waiting to be packed up and powder coated for our customer.

Mild steel fabrcation details

Mild steel fabrication details

We have a lot of experience in welding together thin sheet metal fabrications such as these. These were manufactured from 0.7mm thick CR4 mild steel sheet metal to keep the weight down on the final product and keep the material cost down. The welds didn’t need to be cleaned off at all as the final welded fabrication is out of view from the customer and acts only as a housing to hold the LED lights and plastic cover for an office light fitting. If you have a welded sheet metal fabrication project that you want us to take a look at please just email us a drawing in 2D formats PDF, DXF or DWG, 3D formats SAT or STEP or give us a call on our main number above.