We added sheet metal fabrication to our capabilities through our acquisition of Molines Sheet Metal Company. Sheet metal fabrication includes any process that fashions useable parts from previously manufactured sheet metal. These sheets are occasionally the final product, but more commonly go on for further manufacturing processes that ready the material for its specific application. Sheet metal fabrication describes many related processes that form sheet metal into finished products. The benefits of sheet metal fabrication are far and wide because so many different industries depend on custom fabricated metal parts to function.
Sheet metal fabricators utilize three main processes – forming, cutting and finishing. Forming procedures mechanically apply deformation forces to alter the form of a flat sheet of flexible metal. Different forming processes include annealing, bending, cold rolling, drawing, forging, mechanical working, press forming, roll forming and welding. Cutting processes include stamping, shearing, sawing, drilling, blanking and punching and are used to physically alter the shape of a metal by removing some of the material. Sheet metal fabricators use finishing methods to finalize the work of a product, such as deburring, sanding and vibration techniques. Aesthetic considerations like painting and visual design applications are also included in finishing methods. Other machining procedures that can be incorporated into sheet metal fabrication are laser cutting, electrical discharge machining and waterjet cutting.
Technology is constantly evolving, and many sheet metal fabricators are making new advances in ways to improve and enhance old methods. Tru-Form utilizes these technologies including CNC machining, which utilizes a central computer to control fabrication processes, to reduce costs and improve quality. These computers have to be programmed for the specific task, and often use CAD/CAM system software to help design precisely what needs to be done.
Examples of products created during sheet metal fabrication include metal cabinets and enclosures. Others are ventilation shafts, hoods, exhaust systems, tanks and prototypes. Many industries need sheet metal fabrication for their equipment: military, food dispensing and storage, communications, automotive, computer, medical, electronics, aerospace, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, residential and construction. Tru-Form works with each of our customers using factors such as size, strength, number of parts needed and materials, as well as the specific applications, to determine the exact process to use when fabricating their sheet metal product.