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Mild steel sheet metal components

Monday, April 27th, 2015

CNC punched mild steel blanks

CNC punched mild steel blanks

Here is a recent sheet metal projects we have manufactured, mild steel component blanks that have been CNC punched out on our Trumpf 3000 CNC punch press and had the small threaded holes tapped within the machine cycle. The advantage of tapping in the CNC press is the thread form is consistent from part to part, the thread is formed rather that cut so there is no swarf generated and the threads can be formed in 1-2 seconds. Click on the photo to the left and you will be able to see all the tapped holes. All the CNC punch tools used on this part were standard tools within our tooling library so there was no extra cost to our customer in setting up this job.

Bending mild steel components

Bending mild steel components

The Trumpf 7036 CNC press brake is perfect for bending up small sheet metal parts such as these electronics enclosures. The operator can stand close to the tooling while bending the parts and see exactly what is going on throughout the bend cycle. the machine is quick to program, set and run making it the perfect machine tool for producing either small batches and large production runs of sheet metal parts. On the front of the CNC press brake there is a work table that enables of the machine operator to have a pile of the flat blanks and folded components either side of them as the bend the parts reducing the time taken to bend the parts and reduce stress on a long production run.

Folded mild steel components

Folded mild steel components

And here we have the finished CNC punched and CNC bent mild steel sheet metal components. They are now ready to go off to the zinc platers and once back off to our customer in Spain.

Perhaps you have a sheet metal project that needs pricing or some assistance with the design to get the best from modern sheet metal manufacturing methods. Please give us a call and we will be happy to help you.

Folded sheet metal lighting housing

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Folded lighting housing manufactured from black anodised aluminium sheet metal

Bent sheet metal housing

The sheet metal projects that are produced in our factory in Fareham, Hampshire for companies all over the UK and into Europe are very diverse. These black anodised lighting housings for a special installation were manufactured for a customer of ours in Portugal. Being able to take a customers drawing, produce a 3D model, CNC programs and manufacture the finished items with a black anodised finish within a couple of weeks was just what our customer needed to help them meet their tight deadline.

Both the rectangular and 10 sides polygonal housings were bent up on our Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes with no problems. If you are not sure whether a component can be bent up from one piece of metal then just ask us and we will simulate the component and bends in 3D first and help you adapt your design for production if it needs changing.

Folded sheet metal housing

Folded sheet metal housing

Any shape you like and we can CNC punch it out or laser cut it if it’s very complex, a 10 sided folded aluminium housing is no problem.

Perhaps you have a small sheet metal project that you need sorting out, need help on your design, advise on the best method of manufacturing to keep your costs down then give us a call and we will be more that happy to help you.

Laser cutting 3mm mild steel sheet metal

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Fast Tube by Casper

Simple video showing our Trumpf 3030 3KW fibre laser cutter cutting through 3mm thick mild steel sheet metal to produce blanks for electronics chassis housings. You can see that the laser cutting machine is easily able to process this type of material and thickness of sheet using nitrogen gas as the assist gas to cut through the steel. These chassis housings do not has any edge de-burring after laser cutting and once folded with bushes and studs inserted are ready to go straight to powder coating. You can see that whether it’s laser cutting circles, slots, cut-outs or edge profiles it makes no difference to this machine as the laser beam simply follows the program without the need for special tooling. All we have to do is change the nozzle size to suit a particular material thickness and that only takes 1 minute. This makes laser cutting a very versatile process for trying out new design prototypes and small batch work as well as running larger volume production.

As well as watching the laser cutting head cutting through the sheet metal within the laser machine the operator can monitor the progress of the program on the screen show at the end of the video. This enables the operator to make corrections if a gets caught or start the program from the same place so that parts are not lost within a sheet.

If you have a sheet metal component and are not sure whether it should be laser cut or CNC punched then just contact us through the website and we will be happy to take a look at your design ideas and pick the process that best suits the material, thickness and design to give you the best quality and price or component.

Formed sheet metal work

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Formed sheet metal sections

Formed sheet metal sections

Formed sheet metal work with curved forms can be produced in several ways whereas straight line bending is always produced with V block tooling in a CNC press brake.

Forms with a curved shape can be rolled if the curved form is a constant radius without any problems. This works best if the whole sheet metal component is rolled for example a round ring or tube. We can roll part of a form and have straight sections like this picture but it is more difficult to start and stop the roll form within the component accurately so we tend to not part roll components. We can form shapes with curved sections using multi-bend techniques on our CNC press brakes. This programming technique allows us to simulate the curved form with a series of small bends acting as flats or tangents to the curve form. The smaller the gaps between the bends the more smooth the form will be but the longer it takes to produce the component. This CNC multi-bending technique is particularly useful when forming curves that have a compound cross section such as 2 or more radius forms blended together. We use this method in production volumes and for prototyping curved forms for our customers to test their designs before committing to tooling.

These sheet metal air condition fan guards were manufactured using form tools to form the curved shape in one operation on one of our CNC press brake forming machines. The advantage being the speed that each part can be produced. This type of manufacturing is suitable for higher volume or batches that repeat quite often and then there is a quick pay back on the time spent making the tooling. If a design is likely to need to be changed quite often it is better to stick with multi-bending where changes do not involve any tooling just a program change. With all these forming methods we are here to help you make the right decision and keep your production costs to a minimum when selecting sheet metal component forms.

Formed mild steel channels

Formed mild steel channels

If you look carefully you can see 2 sheet metal formed sections on this pallet. Both formed channels have been laser cut from Zintec coated mild steel sheet using compressed air as the laser cutter assist gas. The sections on the left have been formed up on our Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes with two 90 degree bends to form a channel. The sections on the right have been bent on the same machine with the same tooling but only have 135 degree bends. These two sheet metal components are a good example of the flexibility that can be achieved with CNC press brakes using a standard range of tooling and simple program changes to create a wide range of forms.

Formed mild steel end caps

Formed mild steel end caps

No post on formed sheet metal work would be complete with a look at sheet metal brackets. These parts are used on air conditioning / heater assemblies to secure the fan units and motors to a standard fan deck. Again as the example above they have been formed up on one of our Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes with standard V bend top and bottom tooling. They were CNC punched out before being formed up and then had mild steel zinc plated hank bushes inserted before being spot welded to the fan deck.

Perhaps you have a sheet metal product that needs straight or curved forms and you are not exactly sure how to go about having it produced. Just send us your drawings and we will be happy to advise you on the most appropriate forming method to suit your design, material type, thickness and production volumes.

Welded sheet metal enclosures

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Welded sheet metal enclosure assemblies can come in so many shapes and sizes

We are often asked to weld up sheet metal enclosures for our customers in mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium alloys. Being able to TiG weld, MiG weld, gas weld, braze and spot weld helps us to deal with everything that is requested of us for fabricating commercial sheet metal enclosures.

Please follow the links to our welding plant pages or product galleries to see lots of examples of welded sheet metal enclosures and fabricated assemblies.