Today, the need for quality and consistency in products is more paramount than ever. Customers expect the very best product, regardless of what they pay. And, it’s not a surprise. With so many factories opening overseas, it’s cheaper than ever to have quality shipped to your door. This need for quality has created a problem, though.
Plastic was first created for commercial use in 1907. Plastic brought with it the age of cheap and disposable products, that are easy to make. People didn’t mind plastic at first, but, now it’s considered to be one of the biggest contributors to the state of our environment. This has lead to more and more manufacturers avoiding plastics, using metals to make their products instead. Of course, the world of metal manufacturing is a complicated one. With so many options available, and so many machines to make your products, it’s hard to know exactly what is best for you. To help you out, this post will go through some of the common metalworking techniques.
When a metal is machined, you will start off with a large piece of the material. A machine will then cut away at the material until the required shape is made. This sort of work produces incredibly strong pieces, which can be made very precisely. Machining can be expensive, so it’s usually best left to be used for prototypes.
Casting involves using high pressure to force molten metal into the shape of a mold or cast. This can also be done using cold powdered metal, with an agent to bind the powder together. Casting is great for small or moving parts but suffers because it doesn’t look as nice as machined parts. It’s much cheaper than machining but takes longer to get a factory setup for. So, casting is only really good for large scale manufacture.
Forming is similar to casting. Except, most methods of forming involve using a moving platform for the product. The platform will move in a way that allows the product to be formed when materials are added. Forming is best used for larger items, which don’t need to be perfect. This process is cheap, and will largely complete itself once materials have been added.
Once you’ve got a product made, you want to make it look nice. This is where finishing comes in. Metal can be finished in many ways, be it will depend on the metal that you use. Aluminium, for instance, can be colored by electrolysis. Whereas steel is best finished using a service like Custom Wytelyne Powder Coating. When choosing a finish for a product, you should consider what the product will be used for. If it’s something that people will never see, it doesn’t need to look nice. But, if it needs to go underwater, it will need to be protected against erosion.
Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of what you need to do to get into metal manufacturing. Take a look at all of the options available before you decide to start the process, and make sure you choose what’s best for your product.