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Sheet metal work and sheet metal working

Updated on December 27, 2011

Sheet metal work and sheet metal working

The use of sheet metal to manufacture useful components has been around for many years. What is new now is the speed in which these sheet metal components can be designed and manufactured with almost infinite variability in design. Sheet metal materials can include mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium alloy, copper, brass ans specialised materials such as pre-painted steels, pre-anodised and polished reflector aluminums and plastic coated materials for cladding systems.

The connection of powerful software systems with sheet metsl CNC punching and CNC bending equipment has enabled the flexibility to produce smaller batches of sheet metal components with unique features at the prices of larger volumes of standard components.

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3D development - the start of sheet metal work and manufacturing

sheet metal work and fabrication

In today's fast moving business climate it's essential to be able to communicate design ideals fast and accurately between customers and their suppliers. V and F Sheet Metal have addressed this problem with the complete implementation of the Radan® suite of CAD/CAM software for 2D drafting, CNC programming and 3D software solid modelling.

3D software models of sheet metal fabrications, sheet metal components and fully working assemblies can be created to eliminate design errors before any sheet metal manufacturing is undertaken. 3D and 2D images can then be used to help visualise your own designs for production suitability or to present your design ideas to your own customers. If you only have a sheet metal sample we can still produce fully dimensioned 2D drawings to work to in our manufacturing factories in Fareham, Hampshire and for your future reference. These detailed dimensioned drawings can be output in AutoCAD® compatible file formats DXF and DWG. We can also import your 3D data (STEP and SAT) from AutoDesk® Inventor and Solidworks® software to speed up CNC punching program generation and reduce the possibility of interpretive errors. Precise 2D sheet metal flat pattern developments can be automatically and accurately produced by unfolding the 3D sheet metal model ready for the selection of the best CNC punch tooling and most efficient program nesting for a given sheet size which are usually either 2M x 1M or 2.5M x 1.25M. Other sheet sizes can be sourced and of course parts of sheets are used for smaller batch sizes or physically smaller parts.

The use of Radan's automatic sheet nesting capabilities enables V and F Sheet Metal to quickly try out different CNC punching nest options to evaluate the best material utilisation for you before starting production. With raw material prices rising faster than general inflation, the material cost is becoming a larger percentage of the overall component costs. Radan CAD/CAM software helps us to keep control of these costs which in turn is passed onto you in more competitively quoted parts.

All the CNC punching features that are available on our Trumpf 3000R and Trumpf 200R CNC punching machines is fully supported by our Radan CAD/CAM software, enabling us to support you whether your design is just for a simple flat sheet metal plate right through to the most complicated electronics chassis with many special features.

Bending sheet metal work with a CNC press brake - Fast and accurate bending of sheet metal lighting reflectors

please follow http://www.vandf.co.uk/trumpf7036.html for more information on CNC bending on our Trumpf 7036 CNC press brakes. This new machine is one of the fastest press brakes in the world. With off line CNC programming this machine is equally well suited to small batch or volume sheet metal fabrication. This video shows a small lighting reflector being folded from 0.8mm pre-anodised aluminium.

Sheet metal work - components and manufacturing - sheet metal fabrications

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Sheet metal fabricated box manufactured in aluminium with Tig welded seams.  The box has been powder coated black.3D model creatd in Radan software of a stainless steel welded assembly used to support a pumping system.Srainless steel sping clips manufactured using fly presses.  These spring clips are used to hold a lighting reflector in place in an aluminium cast housing.Sheet metsl work, chassis and cover to enclosure electronics used for a LED light fitting.Copper brackets manufactured from sheet metal using modern CNC punching and bending techniques.A range of sheet metal components used in the lighting industry.Galavanised steel electrical enclosure manufactured from sheet metal.Sheet metal work which has been CNC punched on a Trumpf 3000R CNC punch press.Stainless steel brackets which have been CNC punched and CNC bent using Trumpf sheet metal manufacturing equipment.Sheet metal lighting component used to hold a reflector in place around a lighting lamp.
Sheet metal fabricated box manufactured in aluminium with Tig welded seams.  The box has been powder coated black.
Sheet metal fabricated box manufactured in aluminium with Tig welded seams. The box has been powder coated black.
3D model creatd in Radan software of a stainless steel welded assembly used to support a pumping system.
3D model creatd in Radan software of a stainless steel welded assembly used to support a pumping system.
Srainless steel sping clips manufactured using fly presses.  These spring clips are used to hold a lighting reflector in place in an aluminium cast housing.
Srainless steel sping clips manufactured using fly presses. These spring clips are used to hold a lighting reflector in place in an aluminium cast housing.
Sheet metsl work, chassis and cover to enclosure electronics used for a LED light fitting.
Sheet metsl work, chassis and cover to enclosure electronics used for a LED light fitting.
Copper brackets manufactured from sheet metal using modern CNC punching and bending techniques.
Copper brackets manufactured from sheet metal using modern CNC punching and bending techniques.
A range of sheet metal components used in the lighting industry.
A range of sheet metal components used in the lighting industry.
Galavanised steel electrical enclosure manufactured from sheet metal.
Galavanised steel electrical enclosure manufactured from sheet metal.
Sheet metal work which has been CNC punched on a Trumpf 3000R CNC punch press.
Sheet metal work which has been CNC punched on a Trumpf 3000R CNC punch press.
Stainless steel brackets which have been CNC punched and CNC bent using Trumpf sheet metal manufacturing equipment.
Stainless steel brackets which have been CNC punched and CNC bent using Trumpf sheet metal manufacturing equipment.
Sheet metal lighting component used to hold a reflector in place around a lighting lamp.
Sheet metal lighting component used to hold a reflector in place around a lighting lamp.

Sheet metal work being produced using CNC punch presses - Trumpf 3000R being used to CNC punch sheet metal brackets

please follow http://www.vandf.co.uk/sheetmetaltrumpf.html for more information on CNC punching on a Trumpf 3000R punch press.

These small Zintec sheet metal plates are being dropped down a chute from the CNC nest into a collecting bin. Parts don't then have any corner tags that need to be de-burred.

CNC punching sheet metal components in aluminium alloy - Trumpf 3000R CNC punch press

CNC punching sheet metal work
CNC punching sheet metal work

Sheet metal components such as these can be arranged to get the most from the material and thereby reducing the component price.

Staibless steel spring clips for light fitting reflectors - Sheet metal work manufactured with fly-presses

Stainless steel spring clips
Stainless steel spring clips

These sheet metal stainless steel spring clips show the manufacturing flexibility that can be achieved by using simple fly press tooling and corner notching processes.

Sheet metal work for the UK Lighting Industry - Typical sheet metal work

Sheet metal work for the lighting industry
Sheet metal work for the lighting industry

These sheet metl components are typicsl of those that we manufacture in our factories in Fareham, Portsmouth, Hampshire. They represent the type of sheet metal work that is often needed by our customers in th UK lighting industry.

Sheet metal aluminium section - Bending sheet metal work

Sheet metal sections bent using CNC press brakes
Sheet metal sections bent using CNC press brakes

Sheet metal sections such as these have been CNC bent on our 2.5M Edwards Pearson CNC press brake.

Sheet metal brackets protected by zinc plating - Mild steel brackets

Sheet metal zinc plated brackets
Sheet metal zinc plated brackets

Sheet metal brackets with PEM bushes inserted before a zinc plating and clear passivating treatment.

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    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 2 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

      This is a fascinating hub! I am a metal artist. I always am facinated with its sheen, robustness, and its ability to be shaped,forged, welded, riveted, bolted, painted and patinaed.

    • profile image

      Rose Henderson 2 years ago

      I always liked working with wood and building stuff. Working with metal must be a completely different ball game though. I would like to learn about it though. 3D development must be a really unique part of the job.

      http://www.klondikewelding.ca/en/

    • profile image

      Caleb Hart 2 years ago

      I used to work in a machine shop when I was in high school. I loved the work that we did. Reading this hub made me really miss that job. I think it would be cool to go back and do some work in that shop some day. http://www.nisteel.com/fabrication.htm

    • vandfsheetmetal profile image
      Author

      vandfsheetmetal 5 years ago

      @Bakersgas: Hi, thanks for your comments. It is true that there are many welding techniques being used commercially today. We TiG, MiG, gas, spot weld and stud weld on a range of sheet metal materials. For more examples of welding and sheet metal fabrication why not take a look at our website www.vandf.co.uk

    • Bakersgas profile image

      Bakersgas 5 years ago

      Great lens, there are many different welding techniques that can be used to join sheet metal.