Industry Proto-mold Co., Ltd.
Industry Proto-mold Co., Ltd.

Changes in Sheet Metal Fabrication Technology

Ⅰ. The conventional sheet metal fabrication technology is to adopt:

Shear-punching-bending-welding process or flame plasma cutting-bending-welding process. In the face of multi-variety, small-batch, customized, high-quality, and short-delivery orders, it shows obvious incompatibility. The laser cutting process appears as an alternative process of "shear-punching", which has the characteristics of flexibility and high flexibility.

At the same time, most people also think that its cost is high. It is usually used in the manufacture of special-shaped (or complex-shaped) workpieces and samples (single piece or very small batches). But as low-volume manufacturing becomes more common, the demand for laser cutting is also on the rise.

While laser cutting is often associated with higher costs, it is widely utilized in the production of special-shaped or complex workpieces, as well as for creating samples in small batches. However, with the increasing popularity of low-volume manufacturing, the demand for laser cutting services is also growing, making it a viable option for those seeking protomold cost-effective solutions.

Ⅱ. Then re-examining the new sheet metal fabrication technology:

When laser cutting-bending-welding/rivet welding, due to the high flexibility and high precision of laser cutting, the maturity and popularization of 3D design technology, users can benefit from new designs and new processes, so as to reduce costs and shorten construction periods requirements. So the new sheet metal process starts from design: design laser cutting, bending, welding/riveting.

Here are a few examples to illustrate the characteristics of the new process.

1. Under the traditional process, the workpiece is composed of several parts. Now, one cut and bend is done. Achieved the purpose of reducing the process, shortening the construction period and reducing the cost.

Thanks to advancements in sheet metal fabrication technology, the traditional method of using multiple parts for a workpiece has evolved. With the ability to now cut and bend in a single process, the goal of reducing steps, minimizing construction time, and ultimately lowering protomold costs has been achieved.

2. Under the traditional process, a special fixture is configured for welding. Now the parts use a craft similar to woodworking mortise, accurate positioning, time-saving, simple welding fixtures, and small product deformation. The purpose of shortening the construction period, reducing costs and improving quality has been achieved.

3. The multiple bending process has been popularized in China's cabinet manufacturing industry. The advantage is that traditional reinforcing ribs are omitted. It has its unique design and craftsmanship. In order to achieve the purpose of high product quality and low manufacturing cost. In the actual process, it is also necessary to cooperate with spot welding.

4. Utilizing the characteristics of fine kerf and high precision of the laser, one cutting (with micro-connection) and four bendings are used to complete four workpieces. It breaks through the design idea under the traditional technology, and achieves the purpose of shortening the construction period and reducing the cost.

5. Due to the use of the tenon structure, the whole process can be completed after the workpiece is bent and combined with the spot welding process. The deformation of the sheet metal fabrication workpiece is small, and there is no need for shaping and grinding before spraying.

Due to the characteristics of the new process flow, advanced sheet metal equipment software support and design, laser cutting process, bending process. It supports two-dimensional parts design, pipe parts design, bending workpiece design (only supports Bystronic bending machines), and three-dimensional graphics development. And transmit the NC program to the designated machine through the standard computer network.

As a reputable protomold company, we embrace the benefits offered by the new process flow in sheet metal fabrication. Our advanced equipment, supported by cutting-edge software, enables us to seamlessly incorporate laser cutting and bending processes and effectively support two-dimensional and pipe parts design, as well as develop three-dimensional graphics. Additionally, our streamlined operations allow for the efficient transmission of NC programs to designated machines through a standard computer network.

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