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The Use of Laser Cutting in Sheet Metal Prototyping

May 7, 2018

industry

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Though there are a number of ways that sheet metal can be shaped and cut, few are as precise, reliable and cost effective as laser cutting. The technology involved in laser cutting is so effective that a continuation and improvement of its future capabilities is inevitable.

Categories of Laser cutting Tools

Laser cut is a versatile tool whose use can be applied across a broad spectrum of materials such as stone, glass, wood, plastic and sheet metal.

A CO2 laser is a popular type of tool that is prized because it is easy to control and highly accurate. A beam made of concentrated CO2 gas is activated by electricity to fuel the cutting.

A fiber laser uses glass fibers to increase the potential of a seed laser. The result is a laser that is both more powerful and more precise when compared to a CO2 laser. A fiber laser is often used for metals because of its focused and intense beam.

A crystal laser is similar to a fiber laser except it uses both pump diodes and crystals to generate the intensity of its beam. A crystal laser has a comparable performance and application potential to a fiber laser.

There are numerous reasons why using laser cutting is the preferred method when developing a sheet metal prototype.

More Intricate
Because a laser has an average size of only a few micrometers, it allows for precision to create and cut sheet metal prototypes that would be impossible if other methods were utilized. This results in an almost limitless array of possibilities.

Finished edge
Using a physical technique, such as a blade, to cut sheet metal results in imperfections, such as roughness and burrs, along the edge. For many designs, these would need to be buffed out or otherwise removed which can increase the time it takes for the end user to receive their product. Using a laser eliminates this issue.

Scalability
The tools enable companies to cut as many or as few sheet metal prototypes as their customers need. These lasers often don’t have to be adjusted or retooled to accommodate the design of a particular piece. When adjustments are inevitable, they are easier to accomplish when using a laser cutter.

Laser Cutting and the Future

As of right now, CO2 lasers are still the industry standard though fiber lasers are being adopted rapidly. Although fairly new, the fiber laser technology is projected to become standard over the next 10 to 15 years. Many companies will continue to use their CO2 lasers alongside their fiber lasers, giving them more options for designs they can offer their customers. It could also be paired with 3D printing to create precise and reliable products for customers.

Heat Shrink for Safety, Durability and Aesthetics

May 7, 2018

industry

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Cable accessories not only safely secure wires of various sizes to protect the power systems but also bring neatness to the place by covering ugly wires and color coding them. Heat shrink products such as shrink tubes, heat end caps; shrink boots, etc. find application in variety of industries such as aeronautics, automotive, electrical, pharmaceutical, etc

What are Heat shrink products?
Heat shrink products are made of Fluoropolymers, Polyolefin, Nylon, etc. They work on the principle of heating to contract and attain a perfect fit around wires and cables. The heating is usually done with a heat gun. shrink tubes are sized based on ratio such as 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 For example a 3:1 ratio will give 67% shrinkage on heating. Here ¾” tubing will contract to ¼” Heat shrink end caps are small mug shaped. When exposed to heat they adhere to the object and protect the same. They insulate wires and cables. They come in variety of colours and sizes. The heat shrink end caps can be used to differentiate and identify wires from a bundle and network of wires. This helps in properly organizing the entire electrical network. The adhesion lined shrink tubes have a layer of thermoplastic which acts as a superior sealant ensuring complete safety.

Properties
• Products are resistant to water, fungi, chemicals, heat, etc. This protects them from environmental wear and tear such as corrosion, oxidation, effects of UV rays, etc. thus making them durable.
• They are tough, flame and heat resistant which makes them safe.
• Due to the flexibility of heat shrink products their installation and maintenance is easy. This also makes the functioning effective.
• The smooth tubing adds to the safety by covering sharp edges and preventing fluid leakage.
• These properties make the shrink tubes, heat shrink end caps cost effective.
• They are ideal for insulating against moisture as well as heat.
Installation

The installation of shrink products should be done as per international standards and guidelines. The choice of shrink tubes and end caps must be as per area of application. ISO certified products must be used to ensure quality leading to safety. The voltage that gives best performance must be chosen. After installation, operation at stated specifications must be checked and the same must be verified thrice. The installation, operation must be done as per the manufacturers’ checklist. The entire process must be documented.

Summarizing
Heat shrink products have a wide range of application. Heat shrink tubes and end caps are used to cover spliced cables, insulate wires, secure cables, and provide additional protection against environmental stress. These products enhance image of the products. They are the most natural choice to protect all our equipment such as TVs, computers and to bring an aesthetic appeal to products like boats, vehicles, aircraft, etc. What would we do without these?

Automation Technologies And Manufacturing Safety

May 7, 2018

industry

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As a business leader, you have to continually search out ways to increase operational efficiency and throughput, and lower manufacturing costs. Besides improving the productivity and streamlining production processes, the working environment is something that demands special attention from business leaders. It is crucial to ensure safe working conditions and reduce incident rates. This can be a challenge to maintain a balance especially when production and safety are in a constant battle with each other.

Fortunately, industrial automation and safety systems have made major advancements in the past decade. Sophisticated automated machines and control systems have bridged the gap between production and safety. Your job is to make sure that your engineering staff is implementing new technologies correctly.

It is a necessity to have a corporate safety plan focusing on the implementation of plant safety technologies. We need to dig a little deeper in order to understand how an integrated production system can contribute to a company’s overall success. Safety management is supposed to provide a safe workplace for employees, whereas, engineering department is tasked with improving the manufacturing process. We cannot separate these disciplines as they are interconnected.

Most of the traditional machine guarding systems are simple in design and do not require an engineering background to implement or understand them. However, traditional machine safeguarding techniques are limited in scope. Modern automation and engineering safety controls are intelligent enough to automatically change the safeguarding methods depending on current hazards.

What if the safety system at your production facility were intelligent enough to allow safe human interaction for tasks that are repetitive, routine, and integral? An intelligent safety mechanism can help you improve the productivity of workers and lower the injury risks. It can have a big impact on your bottom line. The advanced industrial technology offers capabilities necessary to develop an integrated manufacturing process where manufacturers can maintain a balance between safety and production.

The advanced integrated technologies are more complicated than traditional safeguarding devices. The use of safety-rated devices can unknowingly create an unsafe environment where safety is nothing but an illusion. Even the advanced safeguarding solutions come with the risk of creating a dangerous work environment. Therefore, it is important to have skilled engineers who can implement and maintain modern machine safeguarding systems.

If you are not satisfied with the current safety conditions at your production plant, consult an engineering company that can design a better safety plan for your manufacturing unit.

Simple Steps To Improve Manufacturing Productivity

May 7, 2018

industry

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Staying competitive in a global economy demands consistent efforts to improve manufacturing productivity. In order to succeed with the objective of sustainable growth and the capacity to generate useful output, manufacturers have to make critical decisions regarding the deployment of resources, implementation of new technologies, elimination of operational inefficiencies, etc. A sound manufacturing strategy plays an integral role in shaping the competitive position of a company.

The more effective your manufacturing productivity, the more profit your company can make. In some cases, it is easy to identify variables that interfere with operational efficiency and productivity. However, it is not always simple to understand the complexity of a process. Once you are determined to improve manufacturing productivity, you will be able to better understand underlying problems and resolve them. Following are simple steps and strategies that can help you improve the productivity of your production plant:

Collect data regularly

As you put efforts to comprehend your manufacturing processes in depth, you become better positioned to enhance your production process. First and the most important thing is to understand manufacturing patterns through data. The number of production hours, efficiency of production machines, time to manufacture each item, output per hour, and productivity of employees are some of the variables that highlight the overall efficiency of a manufacturing plant. Successful manufacturers keep track of everything happening on their factory floors.

Identify bottlenecks

It is very important to locate points in your workflow where production gets backed up because production processes are not properly integrated. Integration of production processes plays a vital role in bringing about an efficient factory floor where everything is connected and works in harmony. So, identify and eliminate bottlenecks in order to develop a more streamlined and organized workflow.

Upgrade manufacturing systems

Old-fashioned, manual production processes cannot meet the growing market expectations. Customers demand high-quality products. It will be extremely difficult for a manufacturer to address emerging market trends without implementing innovation and bringing in modern automation technologies. As a manufacturer, you should continuously look for modern production means that are fast, efficient, and flexible. It is the only way to maintain manufacturing productivity over a long period of time.

Industrial automation solution providers offer a variety of affordable manufacturing systems that you can integrate into your existing setup and witness dramatic improvements. Consult a reputable automation engineering company that can develop custom machines and control systems for your factory floor.

Process of Injection Molding

May 7, 2018

industry

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Injection molding is a technique used to manufacture parts of a product or whole product by fabricating the plastic. The process in simple terms can be laid down as a process where the molten form of a metal or plastic raw material gets injected into a mold and when solidified is taken out of it to produce a product of the same specifications as the mold. But everything is not that simple as it looks. Someone who wants to take up injection molding as a business needs to understand the whole process in great detail. Let us discuss what the process of injection molding is all about. The process is not only quick and efficient, but cost effective too.

Closing the Mold: The first step of the process is closing the mold. Also known as clamping, the closing of the mold leads to tight grip of the plates over the structure of the mold so that the parts are stuck together with great connection. If not connected properly, the molten plastic material can run through the spaces left and this could lead to deformity of the product manufactured. Wastage of raw material will also be there then.

Injection of the Plastic: Now comes the part of the insertion of the molten plastic material into the already assembled mold. The plastic which is melted from the pellet mold form is then injected with pressure into the mold so that it takes proper shape and no bubbles are formed in the product. The standardized product making is the motto of every company and customers also buy products which offer quality.

Holding of the mold: the next step in the process is holding the mold properly in the right position so that the plastic takes proper form. Once the injection step is done, the mold undergoes pressure just to ensure that all the parts are filled properly. This is known as dwelling. After the dwelling is done, the mold is then set out to cool down so that the parts start becoming solid and can be taken out once fully solidified.

The final stage of ejection: after a standard period of time, the moving platen is given command to move away from the fixed part and this opens the mold. The mold once opened is separated from the product by tapping of a rod or air blast. The product then is ready and can be sent for further making of the product or packaging if ready.

The process of plastic injection molding is too simple to understand, but while executing, the tips included in the above article must be adhered to. Problems while designing or giving commands during manufacturing can lead to a number of problems which could mean inefficiency. This must not be allowed to walk in and the individuals who are responsible for production at site must be trained well as the process is the heart of the company. Only when the product manufactured is of a superior quality can the customers be convinced to purchase it. Quality matters and so does the processing!

Top 5 Techniques to Reduce Manufacturing Costs

May 7, 2018

industry

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Manufacturers are always looking for techniques to reduce their cost. Here are five of them that will help the manufacturers reduce cost irrespective of their sector. The primary step would be to assess their process and do on internal audit. Only when the big picture is at view, methods can be implemented to reduce the costs.

Energy Efficiency

Most of the time without our notice we tend to waste a lot of electricity. Implementing sensors that would stop the machines immediately after usage can reduce quite a lot of cost. Replacing energy guzzling machinery with those consuming less energy can save up to 10% of the cost. Usage of alternative energy sources like solar energy which is the cheapest source of energy can cut down operating cost significantly.

Fixed Cost Reduction

Machinery for a manufacturing industry is very important, but only a few machineries are constantly used. Hence, owning the machinery that is used passively wouldn’t be feasible; renting/leasing such machinery can reduce the fixed cost. Using automation in production process can decrease the labour cost abundantly. Outsourcing advertising, marketing and sales could also help in cost reduction.

Overhead Cost Reduction

Maintaining inventory by not over producing and recycling/selling the wastage or scrap of the raw material can always free up and manage the factory space and reduce wastage. At times, outsourcing supply can reduce the business space, risk, staff, and maintenance of vehicles. Buying raw materials at bulk and sharing it with another manufacturer can reduce the material and inventory space. Intercom and internet calling, conferencing and video calling meetings can help reduce administrative cost.

Reduction in Labour Costs

Usage of technology for the manufacturing process like implementing sensors and automation, robotics can drop down as the number of labours drops as the automation requires less human interference and is more accurate. Using part time workers and free lancers can eliminate the idle time of labourers. Implementing methods to increase efficiency; comfortable positive workplace, eliminating overtime as it reduces efficiency, training employees, getting to know the employees, reskilling of the employees rather than assigning them monotonous task can help the manufacturer make optimum use of the labour force.

Customer related cost reduction

Technology can help the manufacturer cut down the cost in every stage of the manufacturing process and also at marketing. Using technology for marketing, advertising and promoting of goods can reduce cost abundantly. Designing products digitally 3D print of the product would help the manufacturer in better understanding of customer needs and can reduce correction and reproduction.

The Most Effective Way to Purchase the Right Generator in Your Budget

May 7, 2018

industry

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An electric generator gives electrical power when there is inadequate or no accessible power supply, guaranteeing that regular exercises and business activities keep amid a power blackout. Besides giving a crisis reinforcement control supply, a generator can likewise be utilized to give consistent energy to inhabitants and organizations in remote areas that are not come to by mains electrical administrations.

There is an extensive variety of fresh new and used generators accessible with various particulars and in different sizes. We give a few hints on the best way to purchase the best generator for your prerequisites.

Recognize your Prerequisites

What will you utilize the generator for? It is safe to say that you will utilize it to control overwhelming machines or will you utilize it for power backup for your home or business? For home or individual applications, a solitary stage control generator with 5kW to 30kW will do the trick. For modern applications or to control a vast business, three stage control generators from 30 kW to 6 megawatts are suggested.

Adequate Research

Some outstanding brands offer an extensive scope of generator sets. To figure out which one fits your prerequisites, do some exploration. Look the Internet for more data about each brand. Prevalent brands will in all probability have their own sites or providers of these brands may have their accessible generators recorded on the web. You can likewise look at item posting sites or discussions and see what different clients have said with respect to a specific generator display. Doing some exploration can give you a superior thought of a generator’s detail and value goes.

Chat with a Specialist

If you require help in obtaining a generator, it is best to discuss your necessities and worries with a put stock in mechanical gear and generator provider. They can talk about with you in detail the pros and cons of purchasing generator and guide you through the way toward purchasing the most fitting generator that fits your determinations. They can guide you on warranty that may not be cost effective for your intended purpose or budget. Some new generator models may expect purchasers to hold up before they can get the unit in view of constrained accessibility.

On the off chance that there is ever an end situation that happens, having a generator will be of great significance. A generator will give power to you and your home for the numerous things we require.

5 Benefits of CNC Machining Over Conventional Alternatives

May 7, 2018

industry

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CNC machining is a popular type of tool used in many industries, including manufacturing. It is very effective at speeding up the manufacturing process because it is a highly automated machine. Alternative tools like the manual shaping machines, center lathes and vertical millers are entirely operated by the trained engineer, but this human input is mostly removed when CNC machining is used.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most beneficial reasons to use this manufacturing concept:

High production quality

The use of CNC machining requires a lot less skill and experience to operate compared to most of the conventional tools. Also, with limited human input, there is less risk of mistakes taking place which is certain to help increase the all-round production quality.

Quick replication

CNC machining is a very appealing option when looking to produce a high volume of parts. Once the tool is programmed with precise data, such as the volume and dimensions, it is extremely efficient at replicating thousands of parts one after the other. They are much more efficient than the conventional tools, which are a more practical option for creating the single custom order piece.

Less labor

The process of operating the CNC machinery is a lot more straightforward than the conventional alternatives. Most tools that need a lot of human input require an operator that is highly skilled and experienced. In a high production factory, this is certain to have a major impact on production costs. However, the highly automated nature of the CNC machinery means there is less need to employ a full workforce. It is more a case of making sure there are enough operators to oversee and input the necessary data.

Software options

The software installed in this machinery makes it possible to create pieces with very complex designs that would be difficult to achieve by hand. Also, the software can be updated at a later date to increase the tools functionality. This is certain to help minimize the need to invest in new hardware because the software can be changed or updated when working on different projects.

No prototypes

The CNC machinery gives the option to simulate a design idea without needing to physically cut it out. The ability to avoid making a prototype is certain to help save time and money. If the prototype has a complex design, this has the potential to literally save months of time that could be put to better use.

How to Choose the Right Manufacturer For Your Products

May 7, 2018

industry

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A company has a great product in mind and has probably designed a prototype. However, if producing it in bulk is too complicated and costly, it is probably about time to work with a manufacturer.

It can be a daunting task to choose the right manufacturer. Most of the manufacturers will probably turn down a company whose production requirements are not big enough to bother with. On the other hand, others may not provide the quality that a company needs. The following are tips on how to choose the best manufacturer to work with.

Search for manufacturers that is ideal for the company.

As a start, the company should decide on whether they want to work with a US-based manufacturer or outsource the job overseas like in China or other countries. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. In general, products made in the US have better quality, making them sell better to discerning customers, while products made overseas cost cheaper when it comes to labor and parts, though shipping fees can add up. The target audience should also be considered in determining whether quality or price is given more priority. Once a decision has been made, the company can go over the website of the manufacturer to know more about their criteria and qualifications. When it comes to overseas manufacturers, a company can visit an international sourcing site. They can check the references and images of products made by the manufacturer. This way, they can determine if the quality of the supplier meets their standards.

Be ready

If a company wants a manufacturer to take them seriously, they should do extensive research prior to meeting with them. It would be best to create their own prototype or hire someone to do it, but if it is quite complicated, they could ask the help of a product engineer, and ask whether the product can be mass-produced before making the prototype. They should have an estimated budget plus a business plan, which includes the product goals and manufacturing requirements. They should keep in mind that the company is not just deciding on a manufacturer, but the latter is also deciding on the company. When the manufacturer thinks that the company’s idea is not feasible, there will be no meeting in the first place.

Inspect the facility

Prior to making a commitment or signing a contract with the manufacturer, the company should inspect their facility to check out their factory and showroom. This way, they can have an idea of the supplier’s capabilities, plus how well they understand the company’s product and needs. Before making a final decision, the company should visit a number of manufacturers. Since the quality of the product will ultimately depend on the chosen manufacturer, the company will want to make sure that this supplier can be trusted.