Category Archive: Uncategorized

6 Industries That Use Laser Cutting

Due to its precision, efficiency, and versatility, laser cutting is a widely used fabrication technique. 5-axis laser cutting, in particular, is capable of creating highly complex designs, with no finishing required. Since it is compatible with many types of metal and can adhere to tight tolerance requirements, it’s a popular choice throughout many industries. 

At Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping, our laser cutting services meet the needs of highly diverse applications. Below, you can learn about the top six industries that rely on this subtractive manufacturing technique to craft precise, intricate, and cost-effective components. 

Automotive 

Automotive parts must adhere to demanding precision, accuracy, and tolerance requirements. Many of these parts are small and intricate or feature complex designs that can be challenging to recreate using traditional stamping and die-cutting methods. This industry, in particular, requires minimal deviation among parts while still achieving high production rates to keep up with the rapid pace of manufacturing. Laser cutting is ideally suited to these requirements.

This highly adaptable process is used to create many types of automotive components while ensuring they adhere to rigorous industry safety standards. Some of the most common laser-cut automotive parts include sheet metal body panels, exhaust and brake systems components, and engine parts. 

Furniture 

The furniture industry relies on laser cutting to create durable yet attractive products. Many furniture items are crafted from metal, particularly those designed for outdoor use. Mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum are just a few common materials used in furniture making, and they are all suitable for laser cutting processes.

When fabricating metal furniture, high-precision lasers not only cut the product’s legs and surfaces but also add intricate designs for visual appeal. Virtually any decorative pattern or image created in a CAD file can be accurately recreated in metal. Some of the most common laser-cut metal furniture items include:

  • Bistro tables
  • Picnic tables
  • Patio end tables
  • Benches
  • Bar stools
  • Chairs

In addition to these items, many metal outdoor patio items are laser cut, such as decorative fire pits, gardening planter boxes, fencing, and privacy screens. 

HVAC

Laser cutting’s unparalleled precision is vital for creating the intricate parts that HVAC systems require. Both residential and large commercial HVAC systems must be customized to the spaces where they will be installed. To fit perfectly, each component must be accurately crafted. Laser cutting is ideally suited to these demands. In fact, since the process is so accurate, there are significantly fewer waste materials associated with production, reducing cost.

While traditional cutting techniques are time-consuming, laser cutting is fast and efficient yet does not sacrifice quality. The process is also easily scalable to meet fluctuating levels of demand without delays. Decorative air vent grilles, air ducts, ventilation ducts, stainless steel hoods, kitchen smoke exhaust systems, and fan installation components are just a few common laser-cut HVAC items. 

Injection Moulding 

Injection moulding machines rely on a variety of metal fittings to perform plastic injection molding processes. While these components can be created using laser cutting techniques, CO2 or ultraviolet lasers are also used during the injection molding process itself. After a component leaves the mold, a laser equipped with machine vision can cleanly trim off gates and excess flashing that occur as a result of the injection molding process. The extreme accuracy of the laser cutter ensures there is no damage to the molded component itself. 

Commercial Lighting

Laser cutting is a common choice for creating both functional and artistic commercial lighting components. The types of metal frequently used in this industry, such as brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel, are all suitable for the laser cutting process. Unlike other fabrication methods, laser-cut components feature precise edges with no mold processing characteristics. Since there is no need to perform further finishing techniques, production is fast and efficient. 

Laser cutting not only produces the functional aspects of commercial lighting fixtures but decorative components as well. Using this process, artistic metal lamp shades can be created in styles ranging from simple to highly intricate. 

Electrical 

The electrical industry uses a large number of small and delicate components that must be manufactured precisely. Laser cutting is a popular fabrication method since its accuracy guarantees that precise measurements will be adhered to. This fabrication method is also a popular choice since the delicate parts it creates feature clean, smooth edges that do not require further finishing.  Components like heat sinks, connectors, enclosures, and circuit boards are all created using this method. 

In addition to cutting metal parts out of sheets of metal, laser beams are also used to etch important information onto parts. Many small electronic components are identified and tracked by these laser engravings. Laser welding, which is a similar process, is also a widely used technique in the electrical industry. It neatly joins two pieces of metal without the need to apply heat or use filler materials. 

5-Axis Laser Cutting Services From Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping

With its exceptional precision and accuracy, laser cutting is a vital tool throughout many industries. In applications that require large quantities of identical parts, laser cutting excels, creating finished components at a fast pace with no sacrifice in quality. When parts that are intricate or feature complex geometries are required, 5-axis laser cutting is the ideal solution. 

Traditional laser cutting equipment works along x-, y-, and z-axes and requires the part to be continually repositioned. This creates room for errors and diminishes repeatability. However, with 5-axis laser cutting, equipment operators can simply tilt the table to work on three-dimensional parts. A wide range of thick and thin metal materials can be cut effortlessly, creating three-dimensional components with curved surfaces, tight angles, and highly intricate designs. 

At Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping, our laser cutting services meet the needs of many industries, creating diverse components with minimal lead times. As a fourth-generation family-owned company, we’ve been committed to quality for over 60 years. Whether you need laser cutting, metal spinning, or metal stamping, we have the expertise needed to make your project a success. To learn more about our capabilities, contact our team or request a quote today. 

How to Choose the Right Industrial Metal Fabricator

How to Choose the Right Industrial Metal Fabricator

When searching for the ideal metal fabricator for your needs, service providers may all start to look alike. However, even if multiple companies share the same service offerings, there are numerous other factors that will help you determine if a fabrication company is right for you. For example, look for a metal fabricating company that offers the optimal balance between quality and price. Additionally, your fabrication partner should be able to meet your deadlines, deal in the materials and order volumes that best fit your application, and fall within your budget. Having a solid understanding of what you need and researching metal fabrication companies thoroughly before partnering with one will help ensure that you receive the high-quality goods you expect.

What to Consider When Choosing a Metal Fabrication Company

To find a service provider that’s a good fit for your metal fabrication needs., search out examples of a fabricator’s reputation and past work, including:

  • Company reviews
  • Case studies
  • Customer testimonials
  • Product samples

You may also wish to take a facility tour. Gathering this information will help you weigh factors like commitment to quality, state-of-the-art equipment, and customer service.

Quality Materials and Fabrication

Quality is obviously one of the most important factors when choosing an industrial metal fabricator, and quality products start with quality materials. The ideal metal fabricator will use high-quality materials that best suits your product.

Finding a service provider with experience working in your industry and, if possible, on your specific type of components will help you ensure a positive outcome for your project. They should also have the ability to achieve close tolerances for reliable accuracy, achieving all of this within your budget. You might ask the fabrication company for a sample, possibly even of your unique part, to help you gain a better perspective on their capabilities for quality before you sign on with them.

Applicable Equipment and Technological Advancements

Reputable metal fabrication companies are typically equipped with advanced machinery, cutting-edge software, automation technology, and more to support efficient processes and high-quality end products. Automated computer numerical control (CNC) equipment, for example, quickly produces precise, uniform, and repeatable metal components, regardless of the profile complexity or production run size. The metal fabrication company you choose should prioritize efficiency and have the ability to keep up with your production timeframe.

Determine if the fabricator in question uses the equipment and fabrication processes that are optimal for your specific application and if they have the capacity to scale operations. Also, ask about the future of their shop, particularly their plans for equipment upgrades when newer technology becomes available. Ideally, should you have large, recurring orders with this company, they will be amenable to making an investment in such equipment to customize their options to your needs.

Quality Assurance

Metalworking facilities must meet certain quality standards and safety ratings based on industry requirements, local and federal regulations, etc. Make sure that your fabrication partner is familiar with all applicable standards for your specific operation and has any necessary certifications. You’ll also want to discover if the fabricator has process checks in place to guarantee product quality throughout design and production and if they have inspection capabilities, as well.

Comprehensive and Transparent Customer Support

With any company you work with, reliable and transparent communication is key for a successful long-term business relationship. The point of contact at your fabrication partner should reply to calls and emails promptly, speak candidly about pricing and scheduling, and be knowledgeable about your account and their own service offerings.

The best metalworking companies will provide you with personalized attention, giving you the support you need to ensure products arrive on time, as expected, and within budget. Should there ever be an issue, you want to work with a company that is proactive and can quickly address any concerns you might have.

Why Choose Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping

Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping is a family-operated, full-service metal fabrication company utilizing cutting-edge metal spinning, stamping, laser cutting, and automation techniques and equipment to produce high-quality products for diverse industries worldwide. Since 1969, we’ve specialized in customized metal parts, with myriad options for size, shape, and material construction. Our skilled engineering team can meet your needs for performance and aesthetics, working closely with you from the initial design and prototyping stages through low- to high-volume production runs.

We’re committed to offering quality services, innovative and precise fabrications, on-time delivery, and personalized customer support. Request a quote today to get started on your industrial metal fabrication project with Metal Craft.

The Difference Between 5-axis and 3-axis Laser Cutting

When selecting a laser-cutting solution for your part or component, it’s important to consider whether a 3-axis or 5-axis machine is necessary. While 3-axis laser cutting machines are capable of producing traditional parts, 5-axis machines can create more intricate components in a shorter amount of time and with greater precision. At Metal Craft, we take pride in delivering the optimal solution for your specific part or project.

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The Difference Between 5-axis and 3-axis Laser Cutting

What Is a 3-axis Machine?

A 3-axis machine is set up by an operator using computer instructions. The machine works on 3 axes — X, Y, and Z — using a cutting tool. This means it can cut in left, right, up, down, front, and back motions to manufacture parts. 3-axis machines are ideal for conventional part shapes and simple geometries but may require an operator’s intervention to reposition workpieces for more complex shapes because it is limited to 3 axes.

Benefits of 3-axis Laser Cutting

The primary benefit of 3-axis laser cutting is that it can create simple, rapid prototypes without the expense of a 5-axis machine. It increases the degree of freedom compared to traditional cutting methods and allows for a broad range of shapes and surface finishes.

What Is a 5-axis Machine?

A 5-axis machine works on the X, Y, and Z axes like a 3-axis machine, with the addition of A and B axes. This allows the tool to rotate front or back around the X-axis and left or right around the Y-axis. The 5-axis machine eliminates the need for an operator to reposition the workpiece and comes in two varieties, 5-axis, and 3+2-axis machines. It can achieve more complex geometries, planar compound angles, curves, and organic shapes that typically require molding with a high-quality finish.

Benefits of 5-axis Laser Cutting

5-axis laser cutting provides various advantages over 3-axis laser cutting. It offers the following benefits:

  • Improved flexibility to design and manufacture various parts and highly complex 3D components
  • High efficiency for high-volume leads, quicker machining speeds, and continuous operation
  • Produce larger part sizes and require fewer tooling changes and intervention
  • Parts require less setup time and secondary processes or finishing

Choosing 5-axis Over 3-axis CNC Laser Cutting

A 5-axis machine offers all the functionality of a 3-axis machine and can produce more complex 3D components. It is the preferred method of producing industrial parts with high precision for the aerospace, oil and gas, and medical industries. A 5-axis machine is ideal for producing deep and complex parts, reducing the time and operator interference required to manufacture them. Its operation can be completely automated and provides high-accuracy finished components.

Why Work With Metal Craft?

Metal Craft offers engineering services to design and produce solutions for our client’s needs. We offer 5-axis laser cutting, metal spinning, and metal stamping. The eight reasons to choose Metal Craft include:

  • CNC automation
  • Customer-first approach
  • Experience
  • Flexibility
  • Hassle-free shipping
  • Quality
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Design advisory

Contact Our Experts for Premium Laser Cutting Solutions

While 3-axis machines can create conventional shapes and geometries, 5-axis laser cutting is ideal for complex shapes and geometries. Metal Craft has been delivering quality metal services since 1969. With over 50 years of experience, we can provide you complete engineering and laser-cutting solutions. Contact us or request a quote for more details about our capabilities.

Waterjet vs. Laser Cutting: Materials, Uses, Benefits

You’ve probably heard of waterjet cutting and laser cutting, but how do you choose the right option for your fabrication project? This blog will cover the main distinctions between laser cutting vs. waterjet cutting, including their respective benefits and applications.

Laser or Water Jet Cutting – Which One Is Best for Your Application?

When deciding between waterjet vs. laser cutting, it’s important to know what each process involves and the applications that benefit from them.

Laser cutting

All You Need to Know About Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a precise fabrication technique that’s more energy-efficient than waterjet cutting. It has the ability to make cuts in multiple metal sheets at once, with a 0.002” tolerance. Although laser cutting equipment still requires manual programming, repairs, and inspections, the process itself is fully automated. Laser cutting requires a curved lens, nozzle, and compressed gas to produce a spherical, focused laser beam controlled by the program.

Five-axis laser cutting in particular allows for one-pass, highly repeatable 3D cutting of even the most complex geometries and features.

Main Benefits of Laser Cutting

There are multiple advantages of using laser cutting, including:

  • Repeatable and precise 3D cutting
  • Ability to cut workpieces into irregular or complex shapes with smooth edges
  • Compatibility with metal and non-metal materials
  • Produce cuts at high speed and efficiency, no need to retool
  • Can cut narrow widths
  • Minimal waste

Types of Materials Cut

Fabricators can use laser cutting to cut most types of metal and non-metal materials, like plastics, glass, wood, paper, and cardboard. This process also works with thin materials that might not work as well with other less precise cutting methods.

Main Applications

Laser cutting works with many applications, such as:

  • Metalworking
  • Medical devices
  • Automotive parts
  • Aerospace components
  • Injection Moulding
  • Packaging products
  • Metalworking

waterjet cutting

A Primer on Water Jet Cutting

Another cutting method you might use is waterjet cutting. A waterjet cutter uses a solid stream of pressurized water to cut different types of materials. The water used in this method could include additional abrasive materials such as aluminum oxide or garnet.

Main Benefits of Waterjet Cutting

Waterjet cutting offers numerous benefits that make it a popular option in many applications, such as:

  • Longer material life
  • Safe operation
  • Reduced risk of thermal damage and warping
  • No overheating
  • Accuracy
  • Low waste production

Types of Materials Cut

Originally, fabricators used water jet cutting to cut paper and other delicate, thin materials. However, with recent innovations in water jet cutting technology, it’s possible to cut a wide range of materials of varying thicknesses, including metals, marble, stone, and ceramic.

Main Applications

Today, waterjet cutting is a popular choice in the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries. Specific components include:

  • Metal gaskets
  • Vehicle bodies
  • Flanges
  • Skid plates
  • Turbine blades
  • Engines
  • Cabin panels

Which Cutting Method to Choose?

Both of these processes offer specific advantages that may make them ideal for certain applications. Waterjet cutting is less potentially damaging to the workpiece, while laser cutting offers optimal precision, repeatability, and efficiency, especially for 3D cutting operations.

Generally, laser cutting is often the better process to use in most cases. It offers a higher level of precision with a minimum cutting slit size of 0.006”, compared to the 0.02” minimum slit size of waterjet cutting. Compared to laser cutting’s tolerance of 0.002”, waterjet cutting’s tolerance is 0.008”. Furthermore, laser cutting involves minimal risk, cleanup, and waste production, which is why it suits many applications.

Premium Laser Cutting Services from Metal Craft

At Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping, laser cutting services are available for your application. Our new five-axis laser cutter can cut a variety of substrates with high precision and efficiency. When you work with us, you’ll benefit from our vast capabilities, which include:

  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • CNC automation
  • Design assistance
  • Customer-first approach
  • Hassle-free shipping
  • Quality assurance
  • Flexibility
  • Nearly 60 years of experience

Contact Our Experts Today!

Contact Metal Craft to discuss your unique needs or request a quote today.

Benefits of Custom Metal Products in the Agricultural Industry

The agricultural sector uses a variety of machines to carry out challenging and time-consuming tasks from planting and harvesting to irrigation and grain storage. As a large contributor to the North American economy, the industry requires equipment with reliable, high-quality parts to continue to meet our nation’s needs. Fabrication processes like metal spinning and stamping offer many advantages in creating such components.

Sometimes referred to as metal turning or spin forming, metal spinning is a technique that takes flat or cylindrical metal and transforms it into a completed, hollow end product with circular cross-sections. Another efficient and low-cost method, metal stamping utilizes pre-cut dies and applied pressure to stamp components from sheet metal. Both processes produce robust, long-lasting parts ideal for agricultural projects.

Benefits of Custom Metal Spinning and Stamping

Metal spinning and stamping processes offer a variety of advantages in creating durable, strong, and accurate parts that can handle rugged applications in the agricultural industry.

Benefits of Metal Spinning

  • Low- to high-volume production. Metal spinning can assist with prototyping and small runs through manual or partially automated processes. Alternately, computer numerical control (CNC) machinery generates high volumes of tight-tolerance parts using automation.
  • Decreased turn times. Metal spinning is an efficient process, particularly when you combine it with automation. It provides a great opportunity for reducing order turnaround times.
  • Reduced costs. Metal spinning involves much less of an initial investment than other metal forming techniques. There are also fewer costs associated with its tooling.
  • Design flexibility. You can use tooling changes to easily modify part designs, especially when the alteration simply involves a sizing reduction.
  • Enhanced metallurgical properties. Using this process to create components actually improves the metallurgy and tensile strength in a part by realigning the metal’s grain structure. This gives you the capability to use a lighter gauge of material for the same project without sacrificing durability.
  • Multi-process capabilities. As a versatile manufacturing technique, you can integrate other processes into metal spinning production, including welding, rolling, and deep drawing, to create parts with complex designs.

Benefits of Metal Stamping

  • Precision. Custom metal stamping enables you to achieve a component’s unique specifications with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability.
  • Durable strength. This manufacturing method guarantees that your product can endure an array of difficulties for reliable, lasting use.
  • Efficiency. Metal stamping is an efficient process, decreasing both production time and the associated costs while boosting output and profits.
  • Compatibility. Enabling custom designs, metal stamping allows you to generate sheet metal parts with a size and shape that will ultimately be compatible with your equipment, which isn’t typical for the majority of stock metal parts.

Custom Metal Spinning and Stamping From Metal Craft

A virtually endless array of metal-spun and stamped parts are involved in planting, harvesting, storing, handling, and temperature control equipment. Since 1964, Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping has supported our agricultural customers across North America with top-notch metal spinning and stamping services for prototyping and high- and low-volume manufacturing.

To meet your project’s unique size, shape, material, and tooling specifications, we draw from our background in custom metal fabrication and rely on state-of-the-art presses and CNC equipment. Metal Craft’s processes are compatible with aluminum, brass, and copper, as well as cold-rolled, galvanized, and stainless steel, so that the parts we create will provide you with the performance your application requires.

Metal Craft’s Custom Solutions

Whether you need parts for heavy machinery or something as small and simple as a fence post cap, the team at Metal Craft can provide you with agricultural equipment metal products. Through a commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, we strive to go above and beyond your expectations with superior quality in our offerings and timeliness in our deliveries. To inquire about our custom product capabilities, request a quote today and partner with Metal Craft on your next agricultural project.

5-Axis Laser Cutting vs. Metal Stamping

There are several methods for creating custom sheet metal forms, with metal stamping and laser cutting being two of the most prevalent. When determining which method is best for your project, it’s important to understand the differences between each technique. 5-axis laser cutting and metal stamping processes each offer their own unique advantages and properties to consider when making your selection.

What Is the Difference Between Laser Cutting and Metal Stamping?

Laser cutting is a technique that employs a high-powered laser to burn, melt, vaporize, or otherwise cut various materials for both industrial and aesthetic purposes. Using computer numerical control (CNC), the laser beam is directed at the material to make cuts based on preprogrammed instructions, leaving behind high-quality finished edges.

Metal stamping is a low-cost, high-speed manufacturing method capable of producing many identical metal components. It is a cold-forming method that uses dies and stamping presses to shape sheet metal into various forms.

Laser Cutting and Metal Stamping Advantages

Advantages of 5-axis laser cutting include:

  • Flexibility. With laser cutting, the same configuration may be used to cut a variety of forms from the same material thickness.
  • Precision. With an accuracy of +/-0.1 mm, it is possible to achieve high precision without any after-treatment.
  • Repeatability. With tolerance capabilities up to +/- 0.05 mm, laser cutting assures that pieces are almost identical.
  • Speed. Laser cutting is much faster than standard mechanical cutting methods. This is especially true for more intricate cuts.
  • Quality. Laser cutters leave just a little burr when used properly, which oftentimes doesn’t need to be removed.
  • Versatility. Laser cutting is appropriate for a wide range of materials.

Metal stamping benefits include:

  • Excellent accuracy. Metal stamping offers a very accurate way to form tough materials into intricate shapes.
  • Amazing quality. Although multiple components are cut together, the stamping procedure produces high-quality results.
  • Great properties. Stamped parts are extremely robust, rigid, and light in weight.
  • Waste reduction. Metal stamping results in less wasted resources compared to other forming processes.
  • Automation. Metal stamping allows for great automation and can incorporate subordinate operations such as tapping, welding, and more.

Applications of Laser Cutting and Metal StampingCNC laser metal cutting

The many benefits of 5-axis laser cutting make it an ideal option for applications such as:

  • Automotive parts
  • Metal and utility cabinets
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Electronics
  • Medical

Metal stamping is commonly used for the following purposes:

  • Power tools
  • Panel fastening systems
  • Industrial switches and connectors
  • Mounting brackets and chassis
  • Fastening solutions
  • Trash compactors and disposal systems

Partner With Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

Laser cutting and metal stamping are both beneficial processes that result in high-quality parts and components. At Metal Craft, we strive to provide the best solutions to meet your unique demands. Our knowledge, experience, and state-of-the-art equipment allow us to deliver excellent metal stamping and 5-axis laser cutting services for our customers in various industries. For help determining which process is best for your needs, contact us today.

Hydroforming vs. Metal Stamping

Both hydroforming and metal stamping are efficient metal shaping methods. However, their shaping methods are vastly different from one another and offer certain advantages depending on the application. The unique characteristics that make hydroforming ideal for one project can be the very things that make metal stamping the better choice for another project, making it very important to understand the differences between the two methods.

If you’re deciding between hydroforming and metal stamping for your next project, here are some considerations to keep in mind.

Hydroforming

Hydroforming uses high-pressure fluids to form metal parts made from ductile materials, such as stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, or aluminum into specific shapes. These fluids enable hydroforming to produce intricate shapes that other methods cannot and is ideal for applications that require the creation of asymmetrical, complex, or long and shallow components.

Hydroforming’s broad design freedom, high material utilization, reduced part weight, high mechanical strength, and improved dimensional accuracy contributes to its popularity as the chosen manufacturing method for many industries such as automotive, lighting, and appliance industries.

The Hydroforming Process includes the following steps:

  • A round disk of metal is first placed over a pre-designed molding tool—either a mechanically driven mandrel or solid female die.
  • Hydraulic fluid is pumped at high pressure into a chamber sealed by a strong, flexible rubber diaphragm.
  • The hydraulic fluids place pressure on the diaphragm to counter the force of the mandrel to facilitate deep drawing applications. Alternatively, the pressure can be used to force the metal into the female mold to produce shallow convex and concave shapes.
  • Pressure is released from the forming chamber.
  • The punch is retracted.
  • The formed part is removed.

Advantages of Hydroforming

  • One comprehensive tool: No mating part is needed and modifications are much simpler, which reduces tooling costs.
  • Reduced weight: Because hydroforming is not a subtractive process, thinner materials can be used for the blank, resulting in a lighter end product.
  • Minimal to no waste: The material can be precut before entering the hydraulic press, reducing waste.
  • Reduced spring back: Increased strength obtained from hydroforming is especially helpful in reducing spring back in closed sections, such as a can or cup.
  • Few abrasions: Working with high-pressure fluid, rather than compression, means fewer abrasions.
  • Smooth finishes: Hydroforming produces beautifully smooth finishes that require little to no secondary processing.

Metal Stamping

Metal stamping uses pre-formed dies to compress metal sheets and round disks into the desired shape. This process is often chosen for both high-volume and short-run productions due to its low-cost, high-speed process that can produce a high volume of identical metal components. Metal stamping is a traditional technique known for its outstanding repeatability and is ideal for simple components. The Metal Stamping process can leave scoring on the final product making it ideal for products that don’t need a presentable finish without touchups. Metal Stamping

The Metal Stamping process includes the following steps:

  • Dies and tools are chosen depending on the project.
  • Selected tools are attached to the press.
  • A flat metal sheet is then manually or automatically fed between the tool and the press.
  • The press then compresses the sheet metal against the tool, which forces the metal into the desired shape.
  • The formed part is removed.

Advantages of Metal Stamping:

  • Consistent, accurate, & repeatable: Once a die is designed, it can produce identical components indefinitely, yielding repeatable accuracy.
  • Higher quality components: Consistent, repeatable processes yield high-quality components.
  • Cost-efficient: Dies can be affordable tooling options, and the ability to produce high volumes of product quickly makes metal stamping a cost-efficient option.
  • Timely: Metal stamping offers high-speed production without sacrificing quality, delivering product gets to market more quickly.
  • Exceptional precision: For short-run metal stamping, the inside of a part can be kept within +/- .02-.03 inch of its die.

Hydroforming & Metal Stamping from Metal Craft S&S

Whether hydroforming or metal stamping is the best choice for your project, Metal Craft is committed to quality in both our metal fabrication processes and our customer service. From one-off metal components to a full production run, our knowledge, experience, and extensive equipment resources mean we can provide you with superior metal component forming solutions.

Our commitment to quality, on-time delivery, and personalized customer service began four generations ago and continues today. Contact us or request a quote online for additional information about our hydroforming and metal stamping capabilities and to experience our world-class customer service.

High Cost of Raw Materials: How to Save by Understanding the Supply Chain

Raw material sourcing issues can have a significant impact on the overall supply chain. Volatility and price fluctuations involving raw material markets create a trickle-down effect that touches every sector. COVID-19 has affected industries more intensely and for a much more extended period than ever anticipated. With an approximately 18% higher Raw Material Price Index last year as compared to 2020 and material prices averaging up due to prolonged instability, despite analysts expecting some stabilizing this year, suppliers would be wise to prepare for the potential of future price increases and volatility.

Raw Material Issue

The beginning of the coronavirus pandemic saw a decrease in demand for most raw materials as consumers and business owners alike shifted their focus to keeping themselves, their families, and others safe by staying home. With diminished demand came decreased production. This, combined with supply chain disruptions and economic instability, has resulted in upheaval and increasing market prices for raw materials. For those suppliers closer to the bottom of the supply chain who depend on raw materials as a large portion of their overall costs, lack of access to cost-effective raw materials can be devastating.

The procurement of raw materials and part sourcing can create an unwelcome disturbance that is not limited in scope. The following industries are just a small number of examples of the widespread impact of problematic raw material sourcing:

  • Apparel
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Industrial equipment
  • Oil and gas

Solutions

Global shipping and supply chain

The first step to decreasing the impact of rising raw materials costs and shortages is to create a snapshot of your sourcing strengths and vulnerabilities. In determining the actual raw materials used in part production and how that corresponds to demand for parts, you can better forecast your comprehensive material requirements.

  • Financial modeling. Procurement departments that are skilled at in-depth monitoring of expenses and evaluating any inherent risk, limit, or variation possibilities enable the broadest hedging options.
  • Intensive review of the supply chain. All stages of the supply chain should receive careful consideration to minimize waste, evaluate raw material sourcing locations, and analyze the balance between sustainability and value, with the goal of creating cost savings over time.
  • Measurability and sustainability. Leading companies are enacting more environmentally friendly techniques like new recycling methods or reworked product modifications that take both organizational reputation and cost into consideration.

Additionally, OEMs lessen the burden on the part supplier by capturing the contract manufacturers’ raw data for each part. This allows OEMs to better forecast the raw material requirements, allowing for the timely purchase of what they need. Doing so can result in the following:

  • Better pricing from suppliers
  • Favorable contract terms for procurement departments
  • Improved efficiency in supply chain operations
  • Shorter lead times for receiving raw materials

Finally, scrap materials can be a significant cost, particularly for larger components. By modifying parts instead, companies can maximize material yield and save on scrap metal expenses. Additionally, another way to cut costs is to consider changing the type of material used if the current material is in high demand or requires additional steps to process.

Looking to the Future

Creating a greener economy starts with business leaders who embrace a futuristic vision and adopt stewardship measures. Traditionally, OEMs, contract manufacturers, and suppliers have looked to the past or to guesswork for forecasting raw material demand in the future. However, choosing to better understand the supply chain and the raw materials used in products, then sharing that information with the sources of those materials, allows OEMs to improve their cost of doing business both now and in the future.

Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping has over 56 years of experience and has grown to produce thousands of items for supply to customers across North America. With a commitment to exceeding our customers’ expectations through quality products and innovation coupled with on-time delivery, we can provide precise, accurate metal parts to fulfill your project requirements.

Contact us today or request a quote, and we will be in touch to see how we can meet your metal forming needs.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning

Metal spinning is a rimless metalworking technique that stretches back from the era of artisans and craftsmen in the past to today’s mass manufacturers. While techniques in the past were forged in manual work, modern processes use a combination of both hand spinning and processes governed by CNC machinery. By rotating a metal workpiece at high speeds around a fixed axis, metal-spinning tools can cut and shape the metal into an axially symmetrical product. In mass manufacturing, the first stages of metal spinning are completed by automated machines before being finished by hand. This process is popular across multiple different industries. 

In this guide, learn more about the similarities, differences, and applications of both hand spinning and CNC spinning processes.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning: Similarities

Metal SpinningBoth hand and CNC spinning operate off of the same basic principles. They transform workpieces of metal into a range of shapes, such as tubes, bell-shaped parts, and spherical components along a fixed axis of symmetry. Both processes are also fast, which make them especially advantageous for creating prototypes. 

In fact, spinning is one of the fastest processes for forming metal goods; other popular processes such as metal stamping can’t keep up. This increases the efficiency of spinning-based production processes, as does the minimal amount of waste the process creates.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning: Differences

hand spinningHand and CNC-spinning processes do have some crucial differences that you can use to determine which is the right fit for your next project. 

Hand spinning is a much more manual process than its modern CNC alternative. The technician controls the spinning speed while operating forming forces to produce the final shape. This allows for fine-tuned control and artistry. It’s also more cost-effective for the production of prototypes, unique pieces, and small-volume orders. 

Because hand operators exert less force on the metal, it also tends to be used with fragile or ductile metal that need a more delicate touch like O-tempered aluminum and some stainless steels. It’s also the preferred choice for precious and semi-precious metals.

CNC-metal spinning, on the other hand, is controlled predominantly by automated CNC machinery. These machines interpret instructions from a design file and follow those strict steps to create virtually identical part after part. The machinery controls hydraulic presses that force the metal workpiece into shape, and it determines how long the hydraulics are engaged and how fast the workpiece spins. It offers complete accuracy in a way manually controlled processes can’t guarantee.

Because of this consistency, CNC spinning is the preferred choice for manufacturing products that need high volumes of identical parts within strict tolerances. CNC machinery can also exert more force through the hydraulic presses, making it a superior choice for hard materials that are difficult to form. However, it can also handle metals with >2% ductility.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning: Applications

Hand-spinning processes commonly form these products:

  • Beverage can prototypes
  • Satellite parts
  • Aircraft parts
  • Semiconductor manufacturing equipment parts
  • Antennas

CNC spinning processes are used to form large volumes of high-precision products in these industries:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Clothing
  • Food and beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Military components
  • Mining

Contact Us at Metal Craft S&S for High-Quality Metal Spinning

Both hand spinning and CNC spinning processes can craft high-quality metal products across multiple different industries. At Metal Craft S&S, we offer hand spinning and CNC spinning services. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or request a quote for pricing details.

Galvanized Steel vs. Stainless Steel: Which Is the Better Choice?

Both stainless steel and galvanized steel are strong and durable, but each one has specific advantages, depending on the application. When it comes to galvanized steel vs. stainless steel, you have to understand the difference between the two and consider what type of product you’re making and what demands it will face in its environment. From there, the best choice for you will become clear. 

What Is Galvanized Steel vs. Stainless Steel?

Galvanized Steel vs. Stainless Steel
Galvanized steel is coated with zinc to protect it from rust, while stainless steel is an alloy made with at least 10% chromium for the same reason: to guard against rust and corrosion. There are several types of stainless steel, each determined by the type and amount of additional materials, like chromium, as well as nickel, titanium, manganese, and/or molybdenum, present in the steel: 

  • Austenitic stainless steel
  • Ferritic stainless steel
  • Long-wearing martensitic steel
  • Duplex stainless steel
  • Precipitation-hardening stainless steel

Benefits & Drawbacks of Galvanized Steel vs. Stainless Steel

The strengths and weaknesses of each type of steel will help you determine whether it’s right for your application:

Galvanized Steel

galvanized steelGalvanized steel is water-resistant, but it does not hold up well under salt water. When compared to stainless steel, it’s easier to work with and much less expensive. For many construction applications, galvanized steel is a trusted, economical choice, as long as it won’t be in contact with salt water.

However, one drawback is in the welding process: the zinc coating releases toxic fumes that can contribute to flu-like symptoms and discomfort, so it’s important for welders to have the proper protective equipment. Because welding removes the zinc in the welding area, that area is subject to corrosion. In many situations, it may be preferable to galvanize the steel after the welding process is complete. 

Stainless Steel

Steel sheets in warehouse, rolled metal product. 3d illustrationExceptionally strong and rust-resistant, stainless steel withstands contact with both fresh and salt water—but not chlorinated water, which will cause the steel to degrade quickly. It offers more corrosion resistance than galvanized steel, making it a great choice for marine and aerospace applications.

One major drawback is the cost: stainless steel can be about five times more expensive than galvanized steel. It also requires highly skilled welders with exceptional patience and control. Further, stainless steel can weld itself together if two pieces are in contact and the friction rubs through the coating, which could be a concern in certain applications.

Applications of Galvanized Steel vs. Stainless Steel

click to expandGalvanized Steel vs Stainless Steel Which Is the Better Choice

Hinges, gaskets, and fasteners like nuts, bolts, screws, and nails are often made of galvanized steel to withstand extreme weather conditions. In high-moisture environments, like automobile exhaust pipes, marine applications, and the aerospace industry, stainless steel is typically the best choice. 

Choosing between galvanized and stainless steel comes down to your application. For example, galvanized steel is not effective in marine applications. In that situation, stainless steel is essential.

However, in most circumstances, galvanized steel is going to be the more economical option. Materials and labor are both more affordable, and you can still depend on galvanized steel’s strength and long service life. 

At Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping, we’ve been producing high-quality products for our clients for nearly 60 years. As a fourth-generation family-operated company, we’re committed to building long-term, trusted relationships with our clients by providing on-time delivery, a collaborative process, and a personalized approach to every project. Request a quote today, or contact us to learn more about our products and services and whether galvanized steel or stainless steel is best for your project.