What do we use metal for? Just about everything. Our cell phones contain thin layers of copper in the circuit boards. We use metal when creating dinner and cleaning up our carpet. Then, of course, we have the more obvious materials like the make of our car and the shape of the doorknob on your front door. Metal interacts with us as much as we interact with it and it’s through this simple knowledge more complex products are possible. What to expect from the metal machining industry starts with these everyday needs.
Metal fabrication is an industry that has to satisfy millions of people, both customers and business, every day. The bar for these standards only gets raised higher by the minute and what would have been seen as groundbreaking a mere decade ago can be seen as unacceptable today. Printed circuit boards, for example, require the utmost thinness and precision to function properly in household and professional applications. Fabricated metals are the third largest American manufacturing industry when measured by employment figures.
Out with the old, in with the new…at least, some of the time. Did you know the very first form of sheet metal was used between 5,000 and 4,000 BC? Much of what we appreciate today was pioneered long ago, with modern technology simply making the basics more affordable and accessible. Sheet metal, just like any other form of metal, is offered in different grades depending on the need for durability, flexibility and longevity. Stainless steel, aluminum and copper are just a few of the options that can be chosen.
Sheet metal fabrication is a delicate process. Sheet metals can be as thin as 0.22 mm and as thick as 6 mm. Steel parts are relied on for being more dent resistant and up to 30% stronger than they were a mere decade ago. Stainless steel is particularly notable for its ability to be easily recycled and reused without a loss of quality and an impressive 70% of steel is recycled in North America every year. Metal fabrication wouldn’t get very far without being able to take advantage of every quality stainless steel has to offer.
The machines used to craft the metal are one of the most important factors in determining quality. 5 axis machining is the process of using a 5 axis CNC machine to use either a part of a tool or the entire tool on five different axes simultaneously. This is markedly different from 3 axis machining, which only moves a part in two directions while the tool moves up and down. Your CNC machining company and precision CNC machining services should be intimately aware of the differences needed to make your products stand the test of time.
By the time 2020 arrives the international metal fabrication equipment market will grow by nearly 7%. The most common metal fabrication job is also the machinist, thanks to occupation employment statistics, and providers will have their work cut out for them keeping companies, employees and customers happy. Thanks to these advances in metal machining, we can expect to live more comfortable and eco-friendly lives from here on out.