Metal Fabrication is art done on “Metal”. It is a constantly growing field with numerous members with enormous talent. An artisan skilled in metal fabrication contribute a lot to finished goods. An individual metal fabricator can craft multiple types of machinery and structures from metals such as stainless steel, steel, aluminium and so on. The process involves cutting, bending, welding, forming, rolling and assembling of metal. Finished products are numerous and they include goods such as parts of machinery, iron rods used in building, furnishing used in offices and homes, mechanical parts for vehicles, bathroom sanitary ware, cookware, and so on.
A major reason to select an expert metal fabrication company is that experienced metal fabrication craftsmen can make a product that is safe, functional and lasts for long. Before making finished goods, the fabricator will understand metals capabilities, its type as well as its thickness. As some materials are flexible and strong (enough to bear weight and pressure) while others break easily, using the right product can result in long-term durability and safety.
In ancient time, artists used a paintbrush, an easel, a tin basher’s tools such as anvil, welder, grinder and hammer, but in the 21st century “metal fabrication” depends on modern technologies. Nowadays, technological advancement has brought in automation in producing better tools to achieve results in less time, producing well-finished goods and a fraction of the cost as compared to the old tools.
In order to get the best finished goods out of the best raw material, one should take care in selecting proper “Metal Fabrication Company”, which uses latest technologies and machinery such as laser cutting, metal bending, metal rolling, metal shearing etc., and offer services like aluminium fabrication, steel fabrication and so on.
When it comes to metal fabrication, whether one works as a tin basher or is a fully automated shop – the output remains the same. Automation and technology will only ever be as good as the person who programs, sets, and operates the machines. The ideas, the thought processes, and the implementation of new methods are no difference between a tin basher and someone involved in the technological fabrication processes. Technology just helps a fabricator to express their art by using these tools. However, one has to be careful while using a metal fabrication tool.
“Metal Fabrication is an art” because metal is transformed from one state into a completely different state. It takes skills and education to be able to create these custom metal products for different marketplaces. Many companies offer some types of custom metal fabrication, but few can meet the needs of so many varying marketplaces.
We all know steel is widely used metals all over. It is made up of low carbon alloy that is nothing but iron, tin, and carbon. Steel industries are the spine of any process of industrialization. Steel and iron form the basis of any primary industry.
Steel = Iron + Tin + Carbon
Only 2% of carbon is added to iron to make steel more brittle. More the ratio of carbon particles more brittle the steel is. Steel is prepared by eradicating oxygen from iron ore and carbon is used to bond with oxygen. Iron is heated at 910 degree Celsius, then water or oil is used for slaking and finally, oxygen is removed. During the process of eradicating oxygen-carbon fuses with iron to form the final product, which is “Steel”.
Steel and Steel Fabrication Utilization
The Steel industry is one of most important measure of economic development and progress of any nation. Steel fabrication supplies us with an amazing array of domestic and industrial goods. The process of steel fabrication is to get the raw steel material and convert it into finished items from kitchen utensils and shower trays, to nuts and bolts that connect each and every thriving industry together. Each and every industry use steel in its own way. For instance, Blacksmiths hammered raw steel into shapes as diverse as horseshoes, weapons, armor, tools, and jewelry. While other made chains, locks and keys, gates, siege engines and so on. These finished products/goods required the variety of fabrication skills. All these things led to the need for steel fabrication and thus steel fabricators came into existence.
Nowadays fabricators provide all services related to fabrication of metal such as laser cutting, metal bending, metal rolling, aluminum bending, cutting and so on. So there is a very high demand for steel fabrication in today’s market.
Facts about Steel Fabrication
- Henry Bessemer invented the scientific smelting method of steel in 1856, for basic building material.
- The main feature of any steel fabricator is to refurbish the design from a sketch into a usable finished product by blending, cutting, rolling to reshape and amassing steel.
- In developing countries, steel fabrication is the most elaborated industry for primary sector, giving products used in health & welfare services.
- The steel industry’s turnover is around 900$ billion. It’s the second largest industry in the world, next to petroleum and gas.
- Steel bridges are 4 to 8 times lighter compared to concrete bridges.
- More than 50% of all products in the world today are made with the help of steel fabrication, right from the bridge to boats, apartment, office blocks, aircraft and other vehicles, designer stairs etc.
- There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel. Though the exact count is uncertain, associations such as the World Steel Association state that “there are more than 3,500 different grades of steel” and that “approximately 75% of modern steels have been developed in the past 20 years.” As materials evolve, it’s likely that there will be many more steel alloys emerging into the market in the not so distant future.
- Average computer is made up of about 25% of steel.
- Steel industry directly employs more than 2.5 million people over the world.
There is no doubt in saying that “Steel is the bread and butter of a Fabricator’s Company”. It will continue to be used to manufacture modern goods, today and in near future.
“We’re going to build our steel and aluminum industry back,” Trump said.
Demonstrating what he said, United States President Donald Trump recently stated that he would impose massive tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, while Canada and Mexico, being the primary trading partner of US, will be devoid of new tariff rules on national security ground.
An investigation by the Secretary of Commerce suggested that steel imports threaten to hinder the national security and hence recommended to impose tariffs.
Stocks of domestic steel and aluminum producers in the US brushed up immediately after the news. Tariffs may profit US steel and aluminum makers, yet other nation might strike back in response and possibly raise the expenses for American shoppers. While the Pentagon stated that the US only imports about 3% of total steel it uses and hence it is likely to have no risks involved.
Some metal fabricators may have given thumbs up to the judgment, but some economists believe that tariffs would be a big blow to the employment. Majority of Fabricating related associations have opposed the idea of the tariff. According to them, steel may or may not have been purchased domestically, but tariffs would affect the supply chain because everything revolves around the cost of a product.
According to Mark Perry, Professor at the University of Michigan, domestic steel manufacturers are at bay in comparison to the Asian manufacturers. Increased Input prices and low profit, sales and market shares will be a blow for American manufacturers.
Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) President and CEO Ed Youdell said, “One likely result of this action is to add headwinds to the market for American-made fabricated metal product producers. Just when this market had some sustained momentum, the specter of retaliatory duties and tariffs now hangs over this important manufacturing sector. The association is concerned that jobs and job creation are at risk; those countries affected by this announcement will likely choose to circumvent the tariffs by producing and exporting low-cost fabricated metal parts rather than exporting steel and aluminum.”
The tariffs could altogether have different monetary and political outcomes, depending on countries affected. The news walloped Asian nations like South Korea, one of the highest suppliers of steel, on the other hand, metal fabrication in Singapore and that of Malaysia’s shares rose after the tariff exemption. China, though most top exporter of steel in the world, sums to only 2.9% of steel imports in the US. To curb this loss, China can build new export markets in Asia. A source at a global trading house in Shanghai said: “We believe the fabricators can divert their exports to other Asian countries if the US situation plays out as they expect,”. A metal fabrication company in Singapore, an Aluminum trader, stated that it would be tough for China to export metal fabricated products to some Asian countries due to their import duties.
Metals are produced in excess in Asia, and hence the prices may drop due to the tariffs fiscal, which is ultimately an advantage for the customers. With the change in rate, China will have competitors like Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Middle East etc. although the strong domestic requirement of steel will be a sign of relief for Chinese manufacturers.
Tariff on metal fabricated products might be a complicated issue, especially after 2008 financial crisis. It is worth noting how other countries and their fabricators react to it take steps to curb their export cut.
Fine grinding is a common term in metal fabrication. It is a process of a weldment to the metal surface of the fabricated part for a smooth, attractive look, and consistent finishing.
This is important, especially for stainless steel fabrication because after the metal fabrication process is done, stainless steel product remains uncoated and that’s why they need to be smooth as silk. But sometimes in Aluminium fabrication, fine grinding can give you an edge to find the best and smooth surface.
But how do you do it?
Here are some tips that might come in handy when you try to get the smooth surface after you are done with laser cutting, metal bending, metal rolling and any other fabrication processes to get the sheet metal part you need.
- 1. Blending Welded Connection on the Railings
Blending the welded surfaces on the rounds, squares, and surfaces is the trick to get a good-looking welded connections on the railings.
- 2. Grinding on the Commercial Food Service Grill
The main challenge for working on the Commercial grade food service grill is reducing the weld surface.
Fabricators can start by using the pneumatic grinder with 36 to 80 grit discs to round-grind that surface. Then finishing it with the pneumatic drum with 40 to 220 grit abrasive belts will give you even smoother surface. Get the process done with discs made of the synthetic fibers, grit, and the resin will eliminate the chances of welding dislocation.
- 3. Polish Stainless Steel tube to Mirror finish
The first step should be grinding by using an 80 to 120 grit zirconium belts to get polished stainless steel tubes. Then switching to the surface conditioning belt will be the next big step. Then use a pre-polished wheel and a polishing compound.
- 4. Grinding Weld & Miter Joints on the Structural Steels
Removing the weld beads from your steel miter joints using the 60 to 150 grit Zirconium-fiber discs should be followed by a drum sander with the 40 to 220 grit Zirconium-blended belts. Then cove the part with any template.
The surface conditioning belts would give you a proper finish and a 100 to 200 grit flap brush would give the surface a satin finish.
- 5. Graining Stainless Steel Weld
Using the pneumatic right-angle grinders with the plastic support plates, incorporated with a cooling effect and the 80 grit fiber disc, the graining process should begin with a pre-grind.
Graining the surface by using a right-angle grinder with high-hardness, normal, or nonwoven finishing disc will be the best option for your sheet metal product. Then grind the weld beads using a 120 grit grinding belt & another 40 to 320 grit finishing belt.
- 6. Eliminate the Orange Peel effects
To eliminate the orange peel effects, fabricators should begin with any rough prep using the 40 grit belt. Then he should fine-grind the metal surface with a soft controller roller. This will ensure a satin finish.
To get the industrial grade finishing, use a flap brush and a 220-grain abrasive pad.
- 7. Grind Inside corners on the Stainless Steel
Smoothen down the weld with an electrical angle grinder and an 80 grit mini flap wheel to finish the inside corners of your stainless steel. Then fine-grind them by using a soft disc and electrical angle grinder.
For different metal fabricators, the term “cleaning metal surfaces” has different significance. For some, the finishing of metal structures is extremely important and for some fabricator, the finishing may not be a great deal to pay attention.
That’s why the importance of metal surface cleaning is different to each. But in most cases, a quality product is something that not only has a durable construction and an efficient functionality but also a smooth finished surface to look at and feel.
This process of metal surface cleaning can be overwhelming especially for the metal fabricators which have powder coating and painting lines. This is because of the headache of pretreatment systems, which requires intense oversight that ensures the chemical creating the perfect surface for powder and paint so that they can properly adhere.
Other fabricators may do the surface with power tools and welding but they know that a clean surface requires a lot of resources. So, to make a surface perfectly smooth, a lot of resources, as well as time, is wasted. That’s why laser has been a proven an effective way to get smooth surfaces. To be honest, Laser changed the way how fabricators thought of cleaning metal surfaces.
This laser system wipes out residues, contaminants, and coatings with the help of the high-energy fiber laser source. The same type of power sources is used in laser cutting and other laser equipment in the fabrication industry. The best possible way that someone can reduce production cost is by implementing the best equipment and best process.
This process is generally meant to minimize the use of Chemical & Abrasive for cleaning the metal surfaces. The fabricator will place that part to be cleansed in the Class one enclosure and then starts the cleaning program. Once everything is set up, the machine operator will choose between a customized pattern that meat certain surface specification and a preinstalled cleaning pattern throughout the process. The machine operator can also customize the program to include different passes using different values for frequency, power, and the speed on each laser pass. He can arrange a database so that he doesn’t have to remember a metal surface cleansing job that was done previously.
Another great feat of this laser cleaning is it can clean almost any type of metal surfaces that you want, like steel, galvanized steel, stainless steel and even copper and brass. Another interesting fact about laser cleaning is it can even clean reflective surfaces like glass. Apart from metal surfaces and glass surfaces, the laser can be used to clean nonmetallic materials like rubber and plastic.
But the laser cleaning isn’t limited to the flat surfaces only. Recently, the laser is being heavily used in curved surfaces too because the cleaning units are designed in a way that can clean hard-to-reach areas of 3D objects.
Most of the laser systems have a precise cleaning head, which allows the trajectory beam to pass through a certain static path. To clean the surface, the object needs to sit in X and Y axis of the cleaning chamber and then the movements ensures that the surface is fully exposed to the laser beam. This is how you get the smooth and clean finishing to the metal surfaces.
Are you planning to design a structure with non-standard structural components? Are you in need of an experienced metal fabrication company for your big project? Need a fabrication company that can take care of drawing, designing, and manufacturing of structures and platforms and shapes your project? It’s vital you hire the right custom metal fabrication company as they are crucial to a project’s success or failure. Here are the few factors that you must consider while choosing the metal works and metal fabrication company for your project.
It is not a critical factor but having a fabrication company in close local proximity has few benefits. One of the most significant benefits that geographical proximity offers is logistics. A local company is familiar with the logistics of the buildings in the area and the building codes as well. Moreover, a local company nearby will allow you to conduct project meetings with ease. For example, if your project site is based in Singapore, it would make sense to work with companies like FMB Trading and Engineering, a metal fabrication company that is familiar with the building codes and the area throughout Singapore.
A little bit of homework before finalizing a metal fabricator can go a long way. Before you finalize your metal fabricator, make sure you study their portfolio and assess if they have worked on similar projects before. Each industry has its unique compliance protocols and regulation procedures. A metal fabrication company with substantial experience in industries such as chemical, biotechnology, food processing and manufacturing will be familiar with these strict guidelines and specifications. Such experience and knowledge empower them to handle the most demanding requests with ease. If the customers of these fabricators are satisfied with their services, you should definitely add them to your vendor shortlist.
Resources to Handle the Project
Gauge if the hired company is equipped with resources to support your project throughout all the phases whether its design, fabrication and steel erection. If they lack the resources to carry out all the stages, are they going to outsource any phase of the project? A metal fabricator equipped with capable internal resources can offer critical insights into any nuances that your building may offer. Assessment of the fabricator’s resources will also help you gauge their capability of completing the project promptly reducing the risk of project downtime.
Safety Standards and Protocols
A fabricator that aims to deliver quality services to their clients always follows the best-practices and the protocols that come with it. Ensuring personal safety for the employee as well as the visitors is one of the most critical safety standards that successful companies follow. The safety standards and protocols they follow will help you gauge their safety score and the quality of process and execution they implement in the project. Any company that adheres to strict employee safety will adhere to strict quality control standards as well.
Good metal fabricators utilize materials of the highest quality. The assessment of the grade of structural stainless steel or metal alloy vital for the completion of the project gets overlooked in the early stages while choosing between the fabrication shops. Competent metal fabrication companies ensure you understand what materials they will use for your project and why.
With a diverse experience spanning across various industries since 1992, FMB Trading and Engineering have completed and managed most complex metal fabrication projects across Singapore. We have the capable in-house teams and a treasure of resources at disposal to meet customers’ needs and offer customized fabricating services. Contact FMB Trading and Engineering to discuss the details of your next metal fabrication project in Singapore.
Stainless Steel and Galvanized Steel are two of the most commonly used metal for production. They have some similar characteristics and only a few difference, especially in their composition. But their application is quite specific. But many industrialists face a dilemma when they have to choose either one of them. That’s why today we’ll explain who should use Stainless Steel and for whom, Galvanized Steel is best. But before that, you should know their significant characteristics and why they behave is such way. Both stainless steel and mild steel can choose to be cut by laser cutting, or bent by our bending and rolling machines.
Stainless steel is also known as Inox steel and it an alloy of 10.5 percent Chromium & Iron. Iron is its main component but the added Chromium creates an extra thin Chromium Oxide layer on the surface of the iron. This layer is known as the Passive Layer, which is the signature characteristics of stainless steel. This passive layer prevents any corrosion over the metal surface. And the more Chromium is mixed to the alloy, the more resistance against corrosion and oxidation becomes inevitable. Besides, there are other elements like Silicone, Manganese, and a good amount of Carbon added to the Stainless Steel. Besides, Molybdenum & Nickel are also added to enhance formidability and few other useful characteristics.
For extreme resistance to corrosion and flawless finish, Stainless steel is used in pharmaceutical and culinary industries. Stainless steel is way better than galvanized steel in terms of the surface appeal. The physical composition of stainless steel makes it long lasting and that’s why stainless steel is used in those industries where the product needs to maintain its integrity for a long time. The lack of any type of rust or layer keeps the surface smooth and shiny for a long time. In short, stainless steel is much more durable and strong than galvanized steel.
That’s why many industries use stainless steel as their raw material for production. Here are some of the most common applications of stainless steel in different industries where the manufacturers understand stainless steels potential.
Applications of Stainless Steel
Architecture: Architectural use of stainless steel is not new. For stainless steels anti-vandal characteristics and the low-cost maintenance, they are being used in modern architectural infrastructures. Mainly stainless steel is used for roofing, cladding, and facades in houses. Nowadays, stainless steel is proving itself to be quite efficient as the main structure for buildings because of its durability.
Cutlery: As mentioned earlier, stainless steel is completely rust proof and that’s why they have smooth and clean surface. Because of its shiny and appealing surface, stainless stereo is being used as the main raw material in the cutlery industry.
Power generation: The resistance again corrosion in hot temperature is a useful characteristic if stainless steel. That’s why power generation industry uses stainless steel for their ventilation shafts and in gas and steam tribune. The stainless steels with low cobalt are the ones to be used in nuclear power plants.
Chemical, Oil, gas industry: One of the industries with their constant want for stainless steel is chemical, oil, and gas processing. In this industry, starting from the tubes and pipes up to the storage tanks where gas, chemical or oil is stored, are made of stainless steel. Especially stainless steel’s 304 grade is of great importance to the industry and that’s why it is considered to be in the most important sector for stainless steel.
Automotive: Stainless steel is used in automobile industry for its low impact on the environment, low maintenance cost, and the minimum life-cycle cost. They are used to make the vehicles structures, exhaust system, catalytic converter, etc. And it seems like, the use of stainless steel in the automotive industry will most likely to increase.
Medical: Surgical tools for operation needs to stay hygienic. That means they can’t have any rust on its body. That’s why stainless steel is a preferred for Surgical equipment.
Sculpture: Metal sculptures are a form of art. This art is also backed up by the use of stainless steel. Many designers chose to use stainless steel for the sculptures because of its durability and
Bridges: Like building a structural frame, stainless steel can also be used in bridges where they need a material that is long lasting yet cost-efficient.
When you shouldn’t use Stainless Steel
In places where two pieces of steel parts may need to collide or rub together, stainless steel should not be used. Because friction breaks down the passive layer of stainless steel, making it lose the resistance to corrosion. Another place where stainless steel won’t be an ideal choice is the place with chlorine. Chlorine also breaks the oxide layer that removes stainless steels’ “stainless” part. So any places with chlorine bleach isn’t an ideal place for stainless steel to keep its integrity.
Galvanized steel is simply a carbon steel variation that is dipped in molten zinc. The process is called dipping and that’s why galvanized steel is often referred to as dipped steel. The main benefit of galvanized steel is they are corrosion resistant like stainless steel.
Due to the added layer of Zinc, Galvanized steel is mostly used in places near water. Because the layer of zinc prevents carbon in the steel to react with salt water. So no chances of rusting. That’s why, workstations around 5 miles radius of the coast, should use galvanized steel.
Application of Galvanized Steel
Construction: Galvanized sheet metal is used for verandas, support beam, street furniture, staircases, ladders, industrial walkaways, fence, handrail, ductwork, canopies, building frames, balcony, awing, etc.
Electronics: To make computer cabesings & the precision instruments rust- and moisture-free, manufacturers use galvanized steel.
Bolts, Nuts, Nails: Galvanized steel is used to produce nails, nuts, and bolts to make them rust proof.
Piping: Galvanized pilings have been replacing lead and iron in cold water plumbing since the early 20th century. Because galvanized pilings can maintain its integrity for 70 years on average in such conditions.
Playground Equipment: Kids play equipment like swing sets, jungle gyms, bicycle racks are made of galvanized steel for its resistance against rust.
Transportation: Aircrafts and cars have a rather large demand for galvanized steel. The manufacturers use galvanized steel to make spring housing, seating, roofing, parking brakes, oil pans, fenders, hoods, etc.
Wire Rope: Another common use of galvanized steel is in high stressed wire ropes.
When you shouldn’t use Galvanized Steel?
Although galvanized steel is much effective against water and humid atmosphere, it loses its resistance against rust when it maintains regular contact with salt water. Besides, Galvanized steel nails shouldn’t be used while building a cedar fence. Because the naturally occurring enzymes in cedar react with zinc, making black stains on the fence.
Which one should you choose?
Galvanized steel and stainless is very similar when it comes to their characteristics like rust-resistance. But stainless steel is much more efficient in protecting the metal than galvanized steel because the outer zinc layer will eventually wear off.
Besides, stainless steel is much more durable than galvanized regular carbon steel. So, stainless steel is the clear champion here.
But if you have a small project at hand or want to cut a slack from your manufacturing/production cost, galvanized steel can be your pick. Because galvanized steel is much cheaper than stainless steel.steel is much cheaper than stainless steel.
People refer to quality assurance as a process of evaluating and testing the products before they leave the factory. With physical products, the process involves acceptance sampling, stress testing, statistical press control, and error proofing among many other things. The aim of this assurance test is to make sure the customers are getting what they ordered while ensuring minimal variation to keep the model’s integrity. Since people realized the precision and efficiency of laser cutting in the early 1960s, industrialists are looking for ways to implement this cutting-edge technology to their respective industries. That’s why, from clinical to aerospace use, laser cutting is ruling over metal integrity without raising any questionable eyebrows in case of profit. Laser cutting is usually the first step of the process before it continues down the line to undergo metal bending, metal rolling, and other types of metal fabrication in stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium.
The company maintains there quality by evaluating each batch of production. This way, the company can know where they are wrong and they can fix the issue before the product reach to the customer. Also, they do not make the same mistake with their products in future.
Although it may seem like quality Assurance is a way to find faulty products, actually, it is a way to make sure your customers are getting what they deserve. That’s why no company or business should avoid the quality assurance because this process can help them grow and produce better products for the customer. Here’s why Quality Assurance is important to any company.
Finding defective products
The best and most important reason why companies should take quality assurance for granted is finding the defects. Defective products are harmful to any business for two reasons. First, the customer who got your defective product will never purchase or take your service anymore. Secondly, they will make bad mouth-to-ear publicity to their friend and family. This way, you are not only losing the customers whom you delivered your faulty products but also, you are losing hundreds of potential to-be customers before you know it. Even if the fault is a minor defect, your customers will see it as a big deal. There’s no escape from it.
And even if you don’t intend to deliver a faulty or defected product, by mistake, they can reach to your customer’s hand, if quality assurance process is not maintained properly. So why loose customers when you can increase your business by delivering top-notch high-quality product to every single customer of yours. So, to find out and separate defected products, quality assurance has no other alternatives.
Culture of Quality
If your employees are dedicated then you are one of the luckiest employers out there. But, not all are as lucky as you. Some of the employees don’t pay attention to the production process and that’s why they some of the product come out as defective products. But if they are told about the quality assurance process, they will be alert and conscious. They will start producing the product with more care because they that if the products are faulty, they will get scrapped in the quality assurance process. That’s why they will become more careful and you will get quality products.
Q Quality Assurance is a process where manufacturers can identify defective products. Some of them may only have a minor problem and some of them with major defects. The products with major defects are thrown as scrap. But the ones with minor manufacturing faults can be fixed with little time and dedication. Once they are fixed, you can deliver them to the customers. This way, you can reduce the amount of scrap product. The more you save, the more you protect your business from loss.
Quality assurance team is separate from the production unit. If there is no Quality assurance team in your factory, your valuable production unit will have to check for defects in every product they produce. This is time-consuming. Besides, it’s not an ideal use of the production force because they are much more skilled to just check the products for the defect. It is also a waste of their skills too.
But if you have an experienced quality assurance team, your production unit won’t have to look at the product to find defected items. You will save a lot of time of your skilled workforce. Besides, their experience and skills won’t be wasted on such non-productive work.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Quality assurance team makes sure that every product that comes out of your factory, is built with high-quality material and they are accurate in shape, size, type, and function. That means any product that passes through your quality assurance team is the best quality that your production team can offer. No defected product will pass from your factory, only the good ones will go on the delivery truck.
When these products are delivered to the customers, they will get the best products from your factory. This will make a good impression of your company to the customers. And if the customers are satisfied, your sale will increase automatically. They will remain loyal to your brand and this kind of mouth-to-ear publicity is the best type of publicity that any brand can get. That’s why, for client satisfaction, Quality assurance is a must.
Improved Employee Confidence
A company’s employee works very hard to give its best to the company. But they hardly realize the work they are doing is good or not as good as the company would expect. That’s why they stay in dark about the product’s quality. But if the products go through quality assurance process, they will know what’s happening with his works.
When the product goes through the quality assurance process, they are divided into good products and bad product. At the end of the day or after a batch, it is possible to calculate the ratio of good products and the scarp ones. And if the production workers are being informed about their success ratio, they will feel good and confident about their work. As a result, they will work with enthusiasm and confidence.
Quality Assurance is an inseparable part of any good company. Without it, there is no actual way to figure out if the work you are doing is standardized or you’re just making scrap products.
Although it might seem like a way to identify defected products, in reality, it is an actually a way to separate the good works from the faulty ones. That’s why there shouldn’t be any question about whether quality assurance is important or not.
A steel manufacturing firm would definitely want to improve their quality of production and prevent the problems that might arise. Providing good quality products to the customers and lowering cost by being more efficient should be one of the most important corporate objectives of a steel fabrication firm. One of the most common problems faced by steel manufacturing companies is contamination of mild steel and stainless steel. It is important for a steel fabrication industry to understand about the facts related to contamination between mild steel and stainless steel. Since people realized the precision and efficiency of laser cutting in the early 1960s, industrialists are looking for ways to implement this cutting-edge technology to their respective industries. That’s why, from clinical to aerospace use, laser cutting is ruling over metal integrity without raising any questionable eyebrows in case of profit. Laser cutting is usually the first step of the process before it continues down the line to undergo metal bending, metal rolling, and other types of metal fabrication in stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium.
Contamination refers to the situation where the thin passive film on the surface of the metal is permanently damaged and that causes corrosion. It can further be simplified as iron residue on the surface of the stainless steel as cast or wrought.
There are lots of reasons related to the contamination of stainless steel, and one of the major factors is mild steel, other two common factors are carbon and salt. They are supposed to be eliminated during manufacturing and shipping so that the oxide surface layer protecting the stainless steel beneath is unaffected.
Stainless steel and mild steel:
Stainless steel is a result of steel alloy with a minimum of 11.5 wt% chromium content. Stainless steel does not corrode or rust easily as ordinary steel. They are less malleable and harder than mild steel, as well as more resistant to corrosion. Whereas mild steel is stiff and strong. They are also magnetic, hence widely used in motors and electrical appliances. Corrosion can easily occur in mild steel and their use has to be specific determining the environmental conditions.
Contamination between mild steel and stainless steel:
When the mild steel comes in contact with the stainless steel, there is a chance of breaking the protective oxide film on the surface of steel which forms a corrosion cell that can be referred as stainless steel – mild steel interface. There are some major causes of mild steel contamination:
1- Unprotected transportation of stainless still in railway wagons – usually there are lots of mild steel or general iron materials present within the railway wagons, which can easily come in close contact with the newly fabricated steel, and cause contamination, which might result in rust in future.
2- Falling particles of flame cutting and welding – during cutting or welding, particles of mild steel can easily come in contact with the stainless steel. Also, the cutting tools can be made from other types of iron or mild steel.
3- Contamination from the grinding dust created by the use of power tools – for the use of power tools, the same rule applies. Use of power tools can cause dust of mild steel which can easily be a source of contamination in the stainless steel fabrication procedure.
4- Basic tools that have been already used on mild steel, such as – screwdrivers, files, drills and other polishing tools. The basic tools already used on mild steel might have some small mild steel particles attached to them. Hence using the same tools for stainless steel manufacturing process can transfer the mild steel residue to the stainless steel, hence creating the possibility of rust in near future.
There can be so many other ways that can lead to mild steel and stainless steel contamination; this can cause serious problems for the quality of the stainless steel produced. Hence preventive measures should be taken in order to overcome the situations that cause the mild steel and stainless steel contamination. Careful measures during fabrication procedures can help to overcome this problem.
Effects of contamination: contamination on stainless steel certainly have lots of consequences. They can be about the appearance, material identification, application, and others
Appearance – stainless steel is supposed to be somewhat superior to corrosion, and have a shiny outlook. Formation of rust can be surely objective and the reddish or brown deposits on the surface can be easily recognized. The quality of fabrication will be questioned instantly. They are supposed to be stronger, hence people might want to avoid stainless steel that shows visual rust.
Material identification – the most common identification of stainless steel is by the shiny and rust free look. Contamination can lead to rust, and others might assume that it is iron or steel. The customers will not be satisfied and may lead to loss of reputation for a particular company.
Application – stainless steel is sometimes used in specific precision handling of pure substances, such as chemicals, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Presence of iron, even in small amount, can cause problems and issues hence the particular contaminated stainless steel would be unfit for the use.
There could be certain other factors associated with the contamination of mild steel and stainless steel; it is not possible to include all the consequences, but some of the major ones are explained.
How to prevent:
The surface contamination between mild steel and stainless steel can not only negatively impact the visual appearance of the stainless steel but also can affect the performance, so it is necessary to avoid the procedures that cause this in the first place. Prevention should be the primary objective.
The fabrication industry has to follow some basic rules and take careful precautions to avoid contamination of stainless steel. Some key ways to do that is described below.
1- Proper protection – the stainless steel should always be properly covered by plastic and other wrappings as a protective measure, so that mild steel filling and other contaminants cannot settle on the surface of the stainless steel.
2- Separating tools – tools that have been used on mild steel can transfer their small particles to stainless steel if used on them. So it is better to avoid using the same tools on both types of steel. To prevent stainless steel contamination, it is better and easier way to use different sets of tools for different steels.
3- Cleanliness – Highly clean area will be preferred to keep the stainless steel free of mild steel dust particles or other particles that can cause contamination. Proper use of vacuum cleaner and other cleaning tools should be utilized to maximize cleanliness.
4- Use plastic rope – using metal cables to tie stainless steel can cause the same problem of contamination, it is better and safer to use plastic cables for the use of binding and while transportation.
Material contamination between mild steel and stainless steel is common. The contamination causes rust to build up and effects the looks and performance of stainless steel. Certain preventive measures can be taken to avoid this contamination problem
Reverse engineering was the buzz word few years ago. Nowadays, it is not a fancy word anymore. Starting from mechanical sectors up to software companies, Reverse engineering is everywhere. In case you are not caught up with the world recently, reverse engineering is a process where the design and knowledge can be extracted from an existing product in order to preserve and store it or to reproduce it. Since people realized the precision and efficiency of laser cutting in the early 1960s, industrialists are looking for ways to implement this cutting-edge technology to their respective industries. That’s why, from clinical to aerospace use, laser cutting is ruling over metal integrity without raising any questionable eyebrows in case of profit. Laser cutting is usually the first step of the process before it continues down the line to undergo metal bending, metal rolling, and other types of metal fabrication in stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium. In FMB, we only reverse engineering out of production and obsolete components.
Basically, the product is disabled at first (if the product is physical) and then the measurements are noted down. But recently, the manual reverse engineering by hand is losing it charm as softwares are becoming more and more capable of reverse engineering the product digitally.
This is better for many reasons, mainly because it is more accurate. And that’s why it is better to reverse engineer any sheet metal product digitally by creating a 3D model. Here’s how it is done:
Digitally Reverse Engineering Sheet Metal
Reverse engineering any sheet metal product requires 3 things, a 3D model of the metal product, Solidworks, and other related software, and professional skills to get the model right as a CAD file.
Scan the object
The first step towards making a successful flat pallet to understand and know the sheet metal product’s measurement, angle, curves, etc. is to make a good 3D model. 3D scanning is very powerful these days. They can precisely take the measurements of the metal sheet product and contract a 3D model of it. Technologies like computer tomography or industrial CT scanning, structured light digitizers, laser scanners, CMMs, etc. can scan 3D object efficiently. Remember, this important because if the measurements are not correct, there won’t be any use for the next steps.
Using Geomagic Design X
Once you get the scanned 3D model of the sheet metal product, you’ll notice that the model is not quite complete. This is because sheet metal parts usually get distorted by use. Every time they are used, it loses a fraction amount of its integrity. But with Geomagic Design X, you can reverse engineer it and bring back the original shape of that sheet metal part.
Clean up the 3D file
To fill up the distorted region of the metal part and to remove any debris’ 3D print from the 3D model, it should be cleaned up with Geomagic Design X.
Convert into Polygonal Mesh
Once you are done brushing up the 3D model, it is time to convert it into polygonal mesh from point clouds. You can do it by choosing mesh from the left bar below in the Model section.
Auto segmentation of the mesh
By auto segmentation of the polygonal mesh, you get areas made up of similar curvature. This makes it easier to identify and to interrogate geometrical shapes in the 3D model. It can be used to create and establish data on the sheet metal product that you are reverse engineering.
Create real 2D & 3D Geometry
Now you got the basic model for the product. You can now create real 3D and 2D geometry to give the shapes super precision. This way, you will get cleaner edge robust 3D look.
Export the information to a CAD software
By this point, you get all the necessary measurement, angles, and curves of that sheet metal product. You can now use the data from polygonal mesh to create the reverse engineered flat pallet. Simply export the data into a CAD software. IF you were using Solidworks till now, you can continue with that.
Convert the solid model into sheet metal model
Using CAD, convert the solid 3D model of the sheet metal product into a sheet metal model. For that, you need to click on the sheet metal model on the upper side of the left hand corner.
Add required Geometry
Now you can add any required shape if you need any customization to be done with the model.
Validate with Finite Element Analysis
Once you are done reverse engineering the 3D model, you now have to use Finite Element Analysis to validate if the product can take subjected load or not. If you don’t know what Finite Element Analysis, it is a numerical approach to stimulate whether the product can sustain the load forced upon.
Convert the design into Flat pattern
Now everything is done and you have a full 3D design replica of the original sheet metal product. Now you can convert it into a full manufacturing design by clicking “Flatten” on the top menu bar on the right side.
Manually Reverse Engineering Sheet Metal
Reverse engineering of a sheet metal part can be done manually too.
Use delicate tools to measure
The most important part in reverse engineering a sheet metal part is taking the measurements. Even a fraction of a centimeter can ruin the whole structure.
That’s why it’s import that you use delicate tools to measure the product instead of using regular rulers of scales.
Vernier Caliper for Height and width
For measuring the widths and heights of edges, a Vernier caliper would do just fine. The best thing about them is you can measure up to one-twentieth of a millimeter, depending on the number of lines in small scale on it. But make sure the Vernier caliper is error free. Also, it’s better to take the measurement at least 2-3 times. This way, you can evaluate if the data is valid or not.
Screw gauge for measuring the thickness
Once you get the width and height’s measure, you need to get the thickness measured properly. Sometimes the thickness of the product is so thin that a Vernier caliper can be wrong measuring it. In these cases, a screw gauge is the best option to go with. They can measure the thickness precisely, even more than Vernier caliper.
Know the curves and angles
Another aspect of measuring something is the angels and curves. There are a number of ways that you can do it. Choose any one of them that you feel confident about.
Draw out the model
Now draw out the model using approximate ratios of measurements that you took. Make sure you to not down everything in the drawing paper. And now you got the final product design.
Effectiveness of Reverse Engineering Sheet Metal
As it was mentioned earlier, sheet metal products get distorted every time it is used. That’s why there is a chance that you are making out a close replica instead of an absolute copy. This happens mostly if the sheet metal is reverse engineered manually by hand. With the digitally reversed engineered model, the distorted regions can easily be fixed, making the design more accurate and the whole reverse engineering process more effective.