Metal fabrication is a profession that dates back centuries–long before the industrial revolution. At one time it was closely associated with elite circles and warriors with large swords. The Bronze Age over 3,000 years ago marked the beginning of mixing metals together. Since then, metal has been used for the nuts and bolts that hold the industrial world together. Here are some key elements of metal fabrication to focus on when planning your manufacturing projects.
Definiton and Applications of Metal Fabrication
Sheet metal is at the core of the metal fabrication industry, which utilizes techniques for joining metals together as well as cutting, bending, and shaping various metals. Common materials used in the industry include plate metal and expanded metals. Here are typical products that result from the metal fabricating process:
- aerospace and military equipment
- automotive parts
- off road components
- architectural panels
- medical industry devices
- industrial machinery and building materials
- computer / tech industry
How Laser Cutters Speed Up Projects
Although traditional cutting methods are still used even by large manufacturers, laser cutters are considered state-of-the-art for precision and quick delivery on metal fabrication jobs. Not only are the cuts cleaner without degrading sheet metal; laser cutters can also handle various metal thicknesses better than traditional cutting tools. The key to cleaner cuts is that laser beams rely on microscopic heat zones and precision tools rather than physical force. That’s why laser cutters are preferred by professionals for drilling holes placed close together.
Traditional cutting tools such as saws are based on blades that eventually wear out. Laser cutters, however, do not use blades so they inevitably have more longevity. One of the main reasons for this quality is that laser cutting is a non-contact process. Ultimately laser machines are more efficient and produce less waste due to allowing more parts per sheet, making them the more sustainable solution. They also cut production and material costs substantially. From a design perspective these machines are more suited for engraving fine lines into sheet metal, which can be used for various purposes.
When identical metal parts need to be repeatedly produced, laser cutters once again are the superior choice. Simply by programming the machine you can roll through several feet of sheet metal per minute to produce hundreds of parts. Other modern alternatives for metal fabrication include plasma cutting and waterjet cutting.
Customization is another strong reason to go with laser cutters, which allow much more flexibility for cutting unique geometric shapes in metal. Thanks to laser cutters, manufacturers can now promise faster turnaround times. Part of this acceleration is due to eliminating secondary refining processes since precision cuts can be made the first time. Laser machines can also be automated, which means more work can be done with less people, amounting to cost savings.
Call Serra Laser to Learn More
Metal fabrication is at the core of industrial manufacturing with laser cutters serving as the high end of manufacturing equipment. Contact us at Serra Laser & Waterjet to learn more about how laser cutting machines speed up and improve the manufacturing process.