The role of technology in metal fabrication
Technology in laser cutting
In the fabrication shop, cutting of metal used to be done through sawing, shearing and chiseling using both manual and powered options. Technology has introduced oxy-fuel torches and plasma torches including laser cutters integrated with CNC technology. Any fabricator who has worked with sheet metal knows the advantages of using laser cutting to produce clean cuts down to a millimeter without the uncertainty of hand-guided blade cutting procedures. Each metal part or component that has to be cut is positioned on a platform that is controlled by a computer and moves the pieces according to the design. Lasers are stationary but it can cut through the pieces using its focusing lens. The combination of gas and laser vaporizes sheet metal to ensure precise cutting.
Technology in press brakes
Bending in metal fabrication Toronto used to be done by hammering or through press brakes. However, technology has simplified the bending process through CNC controller that assists the operator in calculating the blank size as well as the bending sequence. With CNC technology, setups are minimized in the press brakes. Because of reduced lot sizes, setup times tend to increase which can impact on the flow of components for downstream operations like welding, assembly and powder coating.
Through CNC, part programs are developed with limited operator input. Setup time is reduced because complete and automatic positioning of the ram, bed crowing and back gauge axis can be programmed. It also gives directions to the operator on tooling setups, initial part positioning and other specific instructions relevant to the operation. As more complex parts have to be processed, machine setups also become more complex that sometimes three or four different sets of tooling have to be setup on the machine at the same time. However, advanced systems have allowed metal fabrication Toronto to process complex parts because the press brakes feature the powerful CNC controllers.
Assembling options in metal fabrication
There are different methods of assembly used by metal fabrication Toronto. The options include welding, binding through the use of adhesives, riveting, threaded fasteners or even more bending so that a crimped seam can formed. Specialty adhesive systems have been developed to meet the needs of metal bonding applications. Different kinds of adhesives are employed by metal fabrication Toronto from epoxies, silicones, polyurethanes, polysulfide and UV cures. Self piercing rivets are starting to be used in automobile assemblies because it is a simple and clean method of joining sheet metal components without the need to drill holes. Assembly is achieved by driving the self piercing semi-tubular fasteners into the materials that will be joined. It has both leak proof and high joint integrity.