Sheet metal manufacturing is a term used for turning flat sheets of metal into a range of products. These structures are created through various processes, beginning with cutting out parts from a sheet of metal. The techniques then used include CNC punching and laser or plasma cutting. Once cut, we form a flat part by rolling or folding the metal into a desired shape. After a part is formed, it can then be assembled. Depending on customer needs, this could also be with other parts using methods such as welding.
It is also common in manufacturing to add finishes to a product, such as powder coating or plating. This leaves the end user with a very aesthetically pleasing product.
While every product is unique, the processes and techniques involved in sheet metal manufacturing remain very similar. These include:
The initial design phase is often the most critical. This is where a customer's product is broken down into manufacturable parts. It is the engineer's job to ensure that the design can be produced using the manufacturer's equipment.
Once the design is finalised, it can then be programmed. We use software to turn drawings into a language that is understood by the machinery. This allows the machinery to produce an exact copy of the desired product. This step is important because if the programme is wrong parts could be manufactured incorrectly.
After the machines are programmed, the CNC punching or laser cutting process can begin. These are the most accurate methods of cutting sheet metal material. As the machine heads follow the programmed design, they cut through the material with ease and precision, ensuring strict tolerances are followed. CNC punching also means you can add allows 3D forms to the sheet such as louvres, dimples and hinges which eliminates the need for additional operations.
The forming process is achieved through methods such as rolling and bending. One of the most common methods is using a CNC Press Brake. This process is extremely precise, meaning we can easily adhere to tight tolerances. This method is commonly used in manufacturing due to its speed, easiness, and ability to form an extensive range of parts using multiple thicknesses of sheet metal.
As well as KMF's standard manufacturing services, we offer additional processes to offer a one-stop shop manufacturing facility. This includes electrical integration, powder coating, screen printing, and bead blasting. In addition to this, we have a dedicated stainless steel manufacturing unit that specialises in bespoke non-ferrous products.
Complementing the second-to-none welding services, multiple metal finishing services are available. This includes linishing processes such as grinding, sanding and polishing of metal parts to leading quality and standards. What's more, we can dress welded fabrications to their original grained appearance or give them additional finishing applications such as powder coatings.
Powder coating is a vital part of the sheet metal manufacturing process, delivering a complete manufacturing solution. We can finish any sheet metal components that are fabricated using laser cutting, forming and welding with powder coating to create a smooth, durable and resilient surface finish.
Offering additional processes means that customers can have a fully functioning product, tested and ready for its next location.
At KMF, we deliver high-quality precision metal fabrications for many industries and applications where quality and tolerance control are critical. Our extensive weld offering is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, allowing us to deliver a complete subcontract precision fabrication service.
Our highly experienced weld team specialise in fusing low to medium-gauge materials and is trained to a very high standard.
To find out more about KMF Group and our expert sheet metal manufacturing processes, visit: www.kmf.co.uk