3 Benefits of Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication

November 9, 2017 | Sheet Metal Fabrication, Mechanical Engineering

Custom sheet metal fabrications can come in all shapes and sizes--not just baskets and trays, but other components too.Marlin Steel has helped numerous companies achieve their production goals with custom sheet metal forms over the years. Using a variety of specialized tools and techniques, Marlin’s engineers have created numerous customized stainless steel sheet metal forms for clients to help with specific manufacturing challenges.

Why should you use a custom sheet metal fabrication as opposed to a stock metal basket or tray?

While a stock sheet metal form is an established design that can be produced quickly—or may already be available for immediate shipping—there are a number of benefits to using a customized sheet metal product instead:

1: Increased Useful Life

One of the biggest benefits of using a sheet metal product that has been customized for your particular application is that this ensures that it is built to withstand the stresses of your applications.

When dealing with stock sheet metal baskets or other products, they’ll have been produced to a generalized standard. In a customized metal form, the sheet metal will be made of an alloy that is specifically resistant to the chemicals, temperatures, and forces involved in your process.

For example, say that you have a process involving salt water spray. In this kind of application, plain steel would not last very long because the chlorides (salt) in the water would rapidly corrode the steel. A customized sheet metal form using Grade 316 stainless steel, on the other hand, would be able to withstand this process with ease.

Just this one change, this one customization, would greatly extend the useful life of the sheet metal form. This, in turn, helps to greatly reduce the TCO for the sheet metal products since they won’t need replacing as often.

2: Compatibility with Your Components

It’s not uncommon to use stock sheet metal forms for certain standardized parts, such as housings for computer hard disk drives. However, many manufacturers require more specialized designs for their own production processes.

Customizing a sheet metal form’s shape and size allows it to be compatible with a range of specific hardware—ones that a pre-existing design not made for a particular machine might not fit optimally.

For example, if a sanitation chamber for a medical manufacturing process had internal dimensions of 12” x 36”, then a medical parts tray that was as close to these dimensions as possible (without impeding machinery or insertion/retrieval) would be the best option for maximizing efficiency for the total number of parts sanitized per load.

This brings up the next benefit:

3: Increased Process Efficiency

By optimizing the design of a sheet metal form to the needs of a particular process, it is possible to make the process more effective and efficient. The example from above of maximizing per load capacity is one method of doing this, but not the only one.

Another way to improve process efficiency is to minimize the time it takes to move from one process to the next. This can be achieved by making the sheet metal forms compatible with several processes so that the same baskets or trays can be used in each without having to move parts to a different, single-application basket or tray.

This can save several minutes of time each time the load has to transition to a new finishing process. In a manufacturing process with just three transfers, saving 2 minutes on each can save 6 minutes total for each load. If the manufacturing process can produce 10 loads an hour normally, then it productivity would rise to 11 loads an hour.

These are just a few of the benefits of using custom sheet metal fabrications in your processes versus using stock or standardized ones that can more than offset the extra cost involved. Learn more about sheet metal fabrication by contacting Marlin Steel today.

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