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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.


Folded sheet metal work

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Folded sheet metal work

Folded sheet metal work

Sets of zintec coated mild steel folded sheet metal work used to create heating fan units. The flat blanks were produced by CNC punching from 0.9mm think material and after edge de-burring being bent up on one of our CNC press brakes. Typical batch sizes for these parts are 50 to 100 off with a turn round time of just a few days as we normally have stock of this material on the shelf. Sheet metal folded sections such as these can be CNC programmed on our CNC press brake bending machines in minutes and then saved away to be recalled for another batch whenever they are needed, helping to keep down set up times and costs for every batch that we fold up.

Folded stainless steel sheet metal channels

Folded stainless steel sheet metal channels

Whether it’s mild steel, aluminium or stainless steel folded sheet metal work makes no difference to us when we are sorting out production for you. We have a range of machine types, tonnages and tooling to suit all types of materials and in a section of materials thicknesses. So whether you are looking for sheet metal to be folded in 0.3mm tin plated mild steel, 0.9mm pre-painted mild steel, 1.5mm stainless steel, 3mm aluminium, 4mm not rolled plate or 8mm grained stainless steel we can sort it for you.

Folded sheet metal sections

Folded sheet metal sections

Folded stainless steel sheet metal work used to create the base and back for an adaptor housing to secure a light fitting to a ceiling section. This view shows the folded sections with bushes inserted before the separate folded end plates have been seam welded in place. Once the stainless steel ends were TiG welded in place and the n cleaned off smooth and powder coated the whole folded fabrication looked like one triangular block with all joints hidden from view to the final customer.

If you are looking for folded sheet metal work from the smallest of angle bracket right up to 2.5M folded profiles then please contact us with a drawing and we will be happy to take a look at your ideas and turn them into finished product.


Sheet metal welding fabrications

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

I thought it would be useful to pick out 3 quite different sheet metal welding fabrication projects being manufactured during January 2015 to use as illustrations of the type of welding techniques we can employ when making fabrication assemblies.

Sheet metal MiG welded fabrications

Sheet metal MiG welded fabrications

Here I have shown a batch of 100 wall mounting bracket assemblies for supporting speaker systems. We normally manufacture 100 to 200 of the bracket assemblies at a time from mild steel square section tube, 5mm bar and 6mm thick mild steel plate. The 6mm thick plate is screwed to the wall with the welded tube projecting out at 90 degrees. The 5mm bar is used both sides of the tube to strengthen the joint and prevent the heavy speaker sagging once it has been fixed to the tube.

We used to buy the laser cut 6mm plates in from another source as they were too thick for us to CNC punch with our Trumpf punch presses. Now we have invested in a new Trumpf 3030 3KW fibre laser cutting machine we can easily laser cut them in house, out of interest the laser cutter is able to cut steel up to 20mm thick so 6mm was no problem. We also used to saw the mild steel tubes to length and then drill all the holes both sides with a standard pillar drill set up. We have now moved this operation onto the laser cutter as well with some customer built jigs. We still saw the tubes to length and then simply position them into the jig on the bed of the laser machine and as the laser head can move in the Z axis it can move onto the tubes and cut the holes require. We just cut a row of tubes and then flip them all over 180 degrees before cutting the other side. This has proven to be much quicker than having to drill them all out by hand. The tube, strengthening bars and wall mounting plate is positioned within a jig and then MiG welded together. By using anti-spatter spray we can keep the surface of the plates clean and they need little cleaning up before being ready to go for powder coating. MiG welding tends to be used on heavier sheet metal welding fabrication jobs than TiG welding as it’s quicker to apply and you can build up a lager weld quicker than TiG welding. I’s not a neat as TiG welding but in this case that was not important.

Sheet metal TiG welded fabrications

Sheet metal TiG welded fabrications

This is a simple sheet metal support shelf for a rack mounting enclosure. We often make 20-30 of these fabricated assemblies at a time with both parts being manufactured from 1.5mm mild steel. The main shelf and stiffening channel was laser cut from the same sheet of metal using nitrogen as the assist gas. Using nitrogen produced a very clean cut that didn’t need and edge de-burring and also is a perfect finish ready for zinc plating or powder coating.

Although you cannot see in this photo the stiffening channels have small tags laser cut in them and the main rack shelf has a small rectangular slot cut to match the tag. The welder who TiG welds them together doesn’t have to worry about positioning them or measuring point to tack weld as the 2 parts simply press together and are them welded. This method of assembly for welding is also a simple check that the 2 parts are being bent correctly as they can be checked once the first parts are bent to ensure they all line up before running the complete batch through the CNC press brakes.

Sheet metal spot welded fabrications

Sheet metal spot welded fabrications

These spot welded fabricated assemblies are used as part of a chassis used on some scientific measuring equipment. The batches can vary from 25 off up to several hundred at a time. They are laser cut from 2mm thick mild steel with nitrogen as the cutting assist gas in house on our Trumpf 3030 fibre laser cutter. The front section with the curved forms are folded up and the then extended sides are created but spot welding them to the front section with support strips as the overlapping joint inside the profile. The spot welding tips on the outside sheet metal surface were flat to reduce the amount of distortion and any indents to these surfaces. Spot welding is good for madding welded joints were great strength is not needed, they can be much quicker than TiG or MiG welding but as they are so small several spots are needed over a larger are to ensure sufficient joint strength is achieved.

After the spot welded joints had been made the outer surfaces were cleaned off and the orbital sanded before being powder coated silver.

If you have a sheet metal work project that needs welding then perhaps you might consider using our skills, please give us a call on 01489 577786 or e-mail us some drawings at sales@vandf.co.uk


Sheet metal bending services

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Sheet metal bending services offered at V and F Sheet Metal for sub-contract manufacturing of sheet metal cases, enclosures, boxes, brackets, channels, chassis up to 2.5M long

Sheet metal CNC bending facility in Fareham, Hampshire, UK

Sheet metal CNC bending facility in Fareham, Hampshire, UK

Here’s a range of larger sheet metal items being bent with our Edwards Pearson PR6 2.5M CNC press brakes. The parts in the front of the picture are 0.9mm thick Zintec coated mild steel pump bases and have been laser cut without the need for any edge de-burring. The parts on the left hand side and at the machine itself are 0.7mm thick pre-painted mild steel light fitting housings and the longer parts on the right hand side are 0.7mm thick pre-painted mild steel light fitting gear trays. both of the pre-painted parts were CNC punched out with the longer gear trays also having plunged form for self tapping screws to fit into. This range of sheet metal work is typical of the types of parts that are bent up every day of the week. The PR6 CNC press brakes have 6 axis computer control of the bend tooling and the back stops so they can handle very complex cross sections when needed or simple parts up to 2.5M long.

Sheet metal working bending service

Sheet metal working bending service

Although the Edwards Pearson 2.5M CNC press brakes can fold small items we tend to put them our Trumpf 7036 machines if possible. These machines are electric rather than hydraulic which means they are very quiet, fast and cheaper to run. They have the ability to save CNC bending programs direct to the company wide computer network so that they jobs can be run on either machine or both together if needed to provide a useful flexibility to production when we are busy. The Trumpf 7036 press brakes are also very accurate which helps us to offer a comprehensive sheet metal bending service to all our customers.

Bending sheet metal chassis panels

Bending sheet metal chassis panels

Here’s our other Trumpf 7036 bending machine with 0.9mm zintec pump trays chassis panels being folded. These parts were run in a batch of 150 off which is perfect for this machine with samples and small batches up to jobs with many thousands of bends often being worked on throughout the week.

Perhaps you have a manufacturing project that needs our sheet metal bending services. Please give us a call on 01486 577786 or send us you drawings (PDF, DXF, DWG, SAT and STEP formats excepted) and we will be happy to take a look for you.


Sheet metal work fabrication and assembly

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Here’s some new examples of sheet metal fabrication and assembly I’ve spotted in our factory.

Sheet metal work spot welded assembly

Sheet metal work spot welded assembly

Spot welding is a great way of joining thin sheets of metal together in a permanent way. The process is fast, simple, cheap and produces little or no distortion at the point of the joint. There is a small burn mark and witness where the 2 copper spot welding tips come together to momentarily squeeze the molten spot of metal together. On most occasions this type of welded joint is not seen as in this case of these air conditioning fan housings. No further cosmetic cleaning up was needed as they were assembled into a larger outer sheet metal case and now seen by the final customer. When the spot welds are seen, for instance on a front panel, we can cleaned them off and orbital the outer surface before say painting so that there is no visible sign of the spot welded joint. You can see on these units that we have applied several spot welds to each bracket to ensure they do not fail in use. These sheet metal fabricated assemblies illustrate quite a range of manufacturing techniques including CNC punching, CNC press brake angle bending with standard tooling, forming of curved sections with custom tooling, inserted hank bushes, assembly and of course spot welding.

The ability of sheet metal work to encompass such a range of different techniques is its biggest strength enabling it to take on so many different forms to meet a customer’s design requirements.

Sheet metal presswork and assembly

Sheet metal presswork and assembly

Here we have a formed end cap that is assembled to long bent slats in 12 places by means of a series of hollow rivets. The end caps have been run through power press tooling to firstly produce the blanks with the holes pierced in place. There is then a second power press tool to form the end cap sides up all in one operation producing soft rounded corners. The slats are made separately from cut strips of Zintec sheet with fixing holes positions pierced in our fly presses and then the ends are bent up to match the fixing positions in the end caps. Once the rivets are pulled into position all the thin Zintec coated mild steel parts become very strong. Using press tools enables us to manufacture sheet metal components in just a few quick operations and this type of production method is best suited to higher volumes of work due to the initial cost of tooling at the start of a design project.

Sheet metal work folding and assembly

Sheet metal work folding and assembly

These end cap assemblies are very similar to the ones show above except that they have end caps that have been laser cut and folded up on our CNC press brakes rather than formed in press tooling. The method of assembly to make up the fabrications is the same rivet method used. Laser cutting and CNC bending up the end caps isn’t as fast as dedicated hard press tools but does has the advantage of being able to be easily changed to suit new design ideas and updates without any tool costs. You have to decide whether a design will be stable enough and the volumes high enough to suit press tooling over CNC punching / laser cutting and CNC bending.

We are happy to review components in both ways for you to see what would be the best price and method of production for your new sheet metal fabrication assemblies.