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Tips to reduce sheet metal fabrication costs

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-04-28      Origin: Site


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Tips to Reduce Sheet Metal Fabrication Costs 

    Sheet metal fabrication can be labor-intensive, which may drive up manufacturing costs. Therefore, it makes sense to choose simple design solutions whenever specifications permit it. This section provides you with eight effective tips on reducing sheet metal fabrication costs.


1. Choose the Right Raw Materials

     Choosing the appropriate raw materials for production will assist in reducing the cost of fabrication. It is preferable to choose low-cost materials such as low carbon steel and hot-rolled steel during the prototyping stage.

     Also, it is best to use the most affordable metal material that can effectively perform the parts’ functions for the final production parts. For instance, you can consider aluminum over stainless steel. Aluminum is less expensive than stainless steel, but it can also offer similar properties you will expect from the latter. Doing this will help you save overall manufacturing costs.

If your component will be in a hostel environment, you should choose pre-plated metals. These metals are less likely to rust, so they will save you the costs of additional finishes.


2. Use a Common Sheet Gauge

     Standard sheet size and gauge are ideal for design. Ordering unique gauges of metal sheets can increase production costs. Standard gauges are often readily available, and there will be no need for a lengthy ordering process. Therefore, choosing metal grades according to the current market condition and using the common gauge will help reduce costs associated with variable gauges.


3. Avoid Welding and Plating

     Another way to reduce sheet metal fabrication costs is to avoid plating and welding. Welding of pre-plated metal sheets is not so safe; it releases toxic zinc oxide into the environment. The risk of welding tends to increase manufacturing costs, especially when using pre-plated metal sheets.

     For instance, uncoated cold-rolled steel will also need plating to enhance its corrosion resistance properties. The overall plating process increases lead time and manufacturing costs. Thus, it is best to avoid anything that has to do with plating and welding.


4. Avoid Complicated Design Elements

     Although complex designs are of aesthetic value, they tend to increase the cost of manufacturing. For example, adding too many cuts and small bends with thick metals will cause difficulties during manufacturing. They will require several different fabrication tools and also increase the risks of getting inaccurate results during the process, thus increasing costs.

     Therefore, designs should have simple angle bends that follow the design tips discussed earlier. Another way to reduce sheet metal fabrication costs is by keeping the bend radius steady. Features like chamfered edges, blind holes, and machined pockets should be avoided if not compulsory. All these additional features increase lead time and production cost.


5. Optimal Bend Radius

     Using optimal geometrics in the part’s design is another way to reduce metal fabrication costs. The internal bend radius must be between 0.030 inches (0.762mm) and the material thickness. Following this will enable manufacturers to form the radii with tools specifically for those geometries. There will be no need for a specialized toolset or other alternatives that may increase manufacturing costs.


6. Stick with Appropriate Tight Tolerances

     Every zero added to tolerance will increase the cost of manufacturing. Tighter tolerance features are often more challenging to manufacture, requiring specialty toolings placed under great strain. Such tools also require constant replacement. All these combine to drive up sheet metal fabrication costs.

     Just a few parts of the surface play a vital role in the functioning, so it is better to allocate critical tolerances to such surfaces. This allows you to reduce tight tolerances while maintaining components’ essential performance needs and saving costs.


7. Consider Fast, Frugal Fasteners

     Fancy, custom-designed fasteners drive up the manufacturing costs and slow down the manufacturing process. Therefore, it is best to stick with readily available, fast, and frugal fasteners.


8. Consider Finishing Options that Minimize Costs

     The choice of finishing process will depend on several factors, including the aesthetic requirements and applications of the parts. For example, if the operation of the component is in an unfriendly environment, using a pre-plated metal will be better. Delaying finishes such as silk screening and engraving till the last stage of production can also help reduce costs.

     Some materials do not require a specialized finish because they are naturally resistant to corrosion. Adding specialized finishes to such materials adds to the manufacturing costs and increases the lead time. Standard finishes like passivation, chrome plating, etc., are pretty cheap and faster.


Hey there, I am Sunny!
From Holy Precision, we're ISO9001 customized cnc machining manufacturer for more than 20 years and in wide range of different industry.Contact us with OEM services.
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