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Aitkin, MN 56431

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Why Manufacturing Jobs Are a Great Choice for Your Career

Are you looking for a career that offers stability and the potential for growth? Manufacturing jobs can provide both. Manufacturing jobs offer a variety of roles and opportunities, from machinists and quality control engineers to project managers and assembly line workers. 

With the proper training, these positions can provide job security and a rewarding career. In this blog post, we’ll look at why a manufacturing career could be an excellent choice for your future.

If you are interested in a manufacturing position, take a look at Elemet Manufacturing. They are committed to fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace where all backgrounds are welcomed. Recruiting, developing, and managing exceptional manufacturing talent is their goal.

 

There Is a Skills Gap in the Manufacturing Industry

Entry-level manufacturing jobs are becoming increasingly accessible, making them an excellent option for those seeking to build careers in this rapidly changing industry. Working in manufacturing allows individuals to pursue career paths leading to long-term growth and job stability.

By taking advantage of the job opportunities that manufacturing offers, workers can increase their earning potential and set themselves up for successful career growth. The manufacturing industry is vital to the global economy and is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Despite the looming skills gap, manufacturing remains an excellent choice for those looking to start a new career or take their current one to the next level.

By recognizing the importance of manufacturing jobs and taking advantage of the training and job opportunities available, you can ensure that you’re on the path to success.

 

Manufacturing Jobs Are Well-Paying and Provide Good Benefits

G ELEMET Group

Working in the manufacturing industry can be a great way to start and build a career. With many entry-level job opportunities and promising career paths, a career in manufacturing can provide stability and financial security for years to come.

Manufacturing jobs often offer competitive pay and benefits packages. For example, Elemet Manufacturing provides Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance, Life Insurance, Company Match to 401k Retirement Plan, Long-Term and Short-Term Disability, Monthly Catered-in Lunches & “After Hours” Events, Holiday Parties and Summer Picnic Tradition, Profit-Sharing Program, Company Paid Uniforms, Quarterly and Annual Legacy Awards, Annual Steel Toe Boot Reimbursement, and other planned employee appreciation events throughout the year.

But it’s not just about the salary also offers career growth and development opportunities. You can work in higher-level positions within the company or even move into related fields like engineering or quality control. Plus, you can gain valuable skills that will stay with you throughout your career.

The manufacturing industry has plenty of job opportunities, whether you’re just starting out or looking for a long-term career. By working in manufacturing, you can enjoy competitive salaries, good benefits, and career growth opportunities that you won’t find elsewhere.

 

Manufacturing Jobs Offer Opportunities for Career Advancement

Are you looking for a career with excellent job opportunities and room for growth? If so, a career in manufacturing may be the right choice for you. Manufacturing jobs offer more than just entry-level positions; there are career paths in various roles, such as engineering, robotics, product design, production, and logistics. In addition, as technology advances, the manufacturing industry is becoming more automated, creating new job opportunities in areas such as programming and automation.

Manufacturing jobs also offer many benefits that can help you succeed and grow professionally. For example, many employers provide specialized training, apprenticeships, and mentorship programs to help employees gain skills and experience. These programs can open the door to new positions within the company or even to opportunities at other manufacturers. Additionally, manufacturers often offer competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits packages, and incentives that can further boost your income.

Whether you are just starting your career or looking to advance your current role, a career in manufacturing can provide you with the opportunity to progress and develop. With countless job opportunities and the potential for career growth, working in manufacturing can be a rewarding choice for many people.

 

The Manufacturing Industry Is Vital to Economy

Man in the industry choosing a career in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is a significant job creator and a key player in the global economy. It provides opportunities for entry-level and experienced workers to build careers in manufacturing. The field offers diverse job opportunities, from entry-level positions to high-level management roles. The jobs are well-paying, and the potential for career growth is excellent. Career paths in manufacturing often include job openings in production, maintenance, engineering, research and development, and management.

Working in manufacturing also allows individuals to gain skills that can be used to gain employment elsewhere. Many skills obtained in a manufacturing job, such as problem-solving and critical thinking, are highly valued by employers. In addition, many employers are willing to offer advancement opportunities, such as continuing education or training programs, that enable individuals to take their careers in new directions.

With so much potential, it’s no surprise that the manufacturing industry is essential to the global economy. By choosing a career in manufacturing, you’re helping to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to the economy’s overall strength. So why wait? Start exploring your career options today and join the team at Elemet Manufacturing.

 

Learn More About Us

If you’re looking for a rewarding career with job security, growth potential, and good benefits, then a career in manufacturing might be the right choice. With so many job opportunities, excellent salaries, and career paths, you’ll have plenty of options. Whether you’re just starting or looking to advance in your career, there are entry-level and high-level positions in the manufacturing industry that will allow you to grow professionally. 

Contact us today or visit our website for more information and tips on growth in the manufacturing industry.

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Welding

Welding Procedures 101 and the Fundamentals of Welding

Welding is an engineering process by which two pieces of metal are joined together by heating them to high temperatures and fusing them into a joint. It is one of the most essential fabrication procedures with many applications in the automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries. 

Welding is increasingly benefiting from the development of modern technology – welding machines are more precise and reproduce higher quality welds than ever before. In addition, that technology allows fabrication processes to be both faster and safer. 

Technology advancements in TIG, Stick, and MIG welding procedures have refined welding, allowing for improved safety protocols, faster cycle times during production, and increased accuracy and quality control techniques in automated welding processes. The welding professionals at Elemet Manufacturing are experienced, qualified, and dedicated craftsmen ready to complete your next welding project.

 

Welding Procedures

Welding procedures - Welder doing welding project.

According to AWS, welding procedures are comprehensive practices and techniques in producing a weldment. A typical joint welding procedure includes detailed methods, materials, and practices that welders should employ to achieve the customer’s specified result.

The welding procedure records the elements, factors, and variables involved in creating a weldment or specific weld. Welders require these procedures in various cases to achieve the following:

  • Comply with certain codes and specifications
  • Maintain the proper dimension by controlling distortion
  • Consistently create a weldment the same way
  • Reduce detrimental metallurgical changes
  • Minimize residual stresses

 

Welding Procedure Specification

A welding procedure is only valuable for welding practices if its results can be tested, verified, and communicated to those who need to know. The parties involved include welding inspectors, designers, supervisors, and the welders themselves.

A welding procedure specification (WPS) is an important qualified document that communicates, in written form, the essential elements to perform a high-quality weld. It includes various requirements according to multiple codes and standards, as well as referencing relevant drawings and other documents for clarification, which describes the technical details of how you should implement a welding process. 

A qualified welder must have knowledge of the WPS and interpret all its elements in order to ensure that the work meets all necessary quality requirements. In short, this document serves as an explanation of how to reach welding objectives correctly.

 

Variables in Welding Procedures

Industrial woman welder teaches younger student how to weld metal with a torch

Welding procedure variables are essential components in welding techniques and operations. Welding procedures must consider not only the proper techniques specific to a joint but also the equipment and capabilities that come into play; any of these essential or nonessential variables can affect the quality of the weld.

The typical essential variables for welding procedures include:

  • The welding technique
  • Welding position
  • Method of applying process
  • Type of welding gun used
  • The welding process and its variation
  • The base metal geometry changes
  • Electrical or operational parameters involved

Other specifications that include nonessential variables are:

  • The polarity of the welding current
  • Specific details of the weld joint design
  • The travel progression
  • The use and type of weld backing
  • Size of the welding wire

The procedure write-up should include the listed variables and detail what welders should use to create the desired result. The second portion of the welding procedure will consist of the schedule of welding conditions and a list of the joint requirements.

 

Basic Types of Traditional Welding

Different welding procedures apply to different welding techniques. Technology has revolutionized welding, allowing it to be used in almost any environment, including under water and in the vacuum of space. Technically, welding combines two objects using molten metal and heat, resulting in a strong joint called a weld.

The three basic types of welding include:

  • Stick welding
  • Metal inert gas (MIG welding)
  • Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG welding)

Other welding variations include laser and plasma arc welding, but the three main types cover up to 90% of welding tasks globally.

 

Stick Welding Procedures

Stick welding, also known as Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), is a technique that uses an electrode to provide the filler material and generate heat while simultaneously providing its own flux to protect the weld. This method joins two pieces of metal by melting both together at the joint. It can be used on any metals with a low melting point, such as aluminum, copper, magnesium, and mild steel. 

Stick welding has been an essential technique in many industries since it was invented due to its versatility and ability to join many different types of joints, from small beads to large fillet welds. It is the most common technique in use today due to its low equipment requirements, accessibility from suppliers, and ease of use.

 

MIG Welding Procedures

MIG welding is also easy to learn. The method works by feeding a filler wire on a welding torch and selecting the speed you want it to come out. It creates an arc allowing you to melt the wire directly on the joint. The resulting weld will be clean and strong. Welders prevent oxidation using gas, making it more expensive than stick welding.

 

Tig Welding Procedures

TIG welding is an arc welding process that involves using a non-consumable electrode and an arc with an inert shielding gas – typically argon or helium – to form the welded joint. TIG welding provides excellent versatility as virtually any type of metal, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and copper alloys can be worked on. 

The arc is created when current passes through a tungsten electrode, and filler wire is added by hand to increase the strength of the welded joint. The method allows welders to control the weld puddle and temperature to offer the best precision. Welds created by TIG welding are strong and aesthetically pleasing.

 

Welding Techniques That Meet Your Specifications

Today, welding is used in a broad range of industries, such as automotive, construction, manufacturing, shipping, and railroads. Highly-skilled welders create structures that power the global economy through ships, bridges, and skyscrapers. Overall, the scope of today’s welding projects is functional, efficient, and integral to driving progress in industries around the world.

Elemet Manufacturing is a first-class provider of precise welding services that can fulfill any need. With experienced and qualified craftsmen on staff, Elemet has all the necessary skills to handle any welding project, no matter the size or scope. Choose Elemet Manufacturing for your welding needs, and you can be assured that all your projects will meet or exceed your specifications.

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The Right Sheet Metal Bending Process to Your Sheet Metal

The fact that we have metal bending tools for forming sheets into various shapes hides one of the world’s most significant innovations in engineering today. So routine is the process that we rarely think about it until we have a metal sheet and would like to craft an object out of it. 

A simple sketch by Leonardo da Vinci laid the groundwork for the sheet metal bending tools and processes that have helped mold the world we live in today. The ever-increasing demand for custom-made parts calls for ways to simply and rapidly form accurate pieces.

This article will introduce you to sheet metal bending and which type is the right one for your needs. It is a basic overview of the processes we have mastered while serving Americans through our manufacturing operations. Contact Elemet Manufacturing for more information.

 

The Process of Bending Sheet Metal

Bending is one of the most widespread forms of sheet metal fabrication. It goes by other names, such as folding and edging, flanging, press braking, and die bending. 

This process involves using force to change the shape of a piece of sheet metal. It is necessary to achieve various forms and configurations of the raw material that go on for further fabrication. Sheet metal bending is widely preferred because of its simplicity and efficiency when fabricating new products. 

Note that in sheet metal bending, only the external features of the work material will change. Other parameters, such as sheet thickness, density, or conductivity, remain unchanged upon process completion. Because metal is malleable, the sheet can undergo other shaping processes. 

Sheet Metal Bending Tools and Operations

Metal Bending Tools and Operations

The end goal of these operations is to transform the sheet metal into the shapes you desire. The difference comes in which process is used to make this transformation happen. You can apply various methods to obtain different physical characteristics and achieve the final effect. 

You’d also have to factor in material type, thickness, bend radius, bend size, and intended use of the finished product to determine which method of sheet metal fabrication best suits the purpose. Below are some of the most common bending operations you’ll encounter. 

V-Bending

AdobeStock 185701859

This is the most effortless sheet metal fabrication operation you’ll ever encounter. The process involves instruments known as a punch and a V-die. During the bending procedure, the sheet metal is placed over the V-die, and the Punch presses down onto the sheet and into the V-die. 

The outcome is a bend at the desired angle, depending on how much pressure the operation placed on the sheet metal.

This method can be classified into three operations, namely;

  • Bottoming: This operation involves pressing the Punch into the sheet metal until they come into contact with the bottom of the V-die. This means the sheet gains a new permanent structure with a definite shape and angle. 
  • Coining: The preferred method when looking for precision. Coining is capable of creating a distinguishing sheet with no spring back. 
  • Air bending: Also known as partial bending, it is a more straightforward method but less accurate. The Punch presses lightly against the sheet metal to attain the desired angle. It is prone to spring back. Thus, the bending has to compensate for the springing action once the pressure is lifted. 

Roll Bending

Metal tube fabrication - Sheet Metal Bending

This is the method to utilize when you expect curved or rolled shapes. It involves three sets of rollers, a press brake, and a hydraulic press and is superb for making cones, hollow shapes, and tubes. 

U-Bending

Here is an operation quite similar to V-bending, with the only difference being the die used. U-bending requires a U-die to perform successfully. The shape that comes out is, of course, a U. Despite its popularity, other methods are capable of providing similar outcomes. 

Wipe Bending

When seeking sheet metal with bent edges, wipe bending is the operation to enable you to achieve it. This forming process relies on a wipe die, which sandwiches the sheet metal between itself and a pressure pad. A punch will then bend the edge of the material to the desired outer radius. 

Rotary Bending

This bending operation has significant advantages over wipe and V-bending. It is a perfect operation for scratch-free outcomes. It can also bend materials into cross sections greater than 90 degrees.

Are You in Need of Sheet Metal Bending Services?

Then look no further than Elemet Manufacturing. We have been the premier manufacturing service provider for Aitkin, Minnesota, since 1935. Since then, we have spread our wings across the world, and now, we would love to partner with you.

We have a wide range of experience offering services such as waterjet cutting, CNC machining, welding, and other metal cutting and fabrication services. 

So, whether you are farming, mining, logging, or looking to craft new pieces by sheet metal bending, there’s no one better than us to help you dominate the world. If you’d like to know more about how we can serve you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Elemet Manufacturing. 

 

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When to Use Metal Bending

The process of metal-bending is done by bending sheet metal or pipe (or an arbitrary sheet form) about a centerline, the radius of which may be fixed or variable. The rivet and blind holes are usually drilled through the circumference. The details of this operation may be varied by utilizing different bending tools.

worker operating metal press machine

What is Metal Bending?

Metal bending is a process where metal is shaped by plastically deforming it. This can be done using heat, cold, or mechanical methods. Bending is often used to create curved or angular shapes from straight metal stock.

There are many reasons why you might want to bend metal. Maybe you’re creating a piece of artwork, or perhaps you need to make a custom bracket for a machine. Whatever the reason, metal bending can be a great way to get the shape you need.

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not metal bending is the right choice for your project. First, not all metals can be bent using this method. Second, the amount of force needed to bend the metal will vary depending on the type and thickness of the metal. Finally, metal bending can introduce stresses into the metal, weakening it, so it’s important to consider if this is an acceptable risk for your project.

If you’re still unsure if metal bending is right for you, contact Elemet Manufacturing. We will be able to help you determine if metal bending is the best option for your project.

Bending sheet metal with a hydraulic machine at the factory

How to Determine the Right Bending Shape

Metal bending is a process where metal sheets are bent into specific shapes. This can be done using various methods, including hand-held tools, presses, or hydraulic machines. The machine and method used will depend on the thickness and type of bent metal and the desired shape.

To determine the right method for your project, you’ll need to consider a few factors:

  • The thickness of the metal. Heavier gauge metals will require more force to bend, so you’ll need a sturdier machine.
  • The type of metal. Softer metals like aluminum are easier to bend than harder metals like steel.
  • The desired shape. Some shapes are easier to achieve than others. For example, a 90-degree angle is easier to achieve than a tight curve.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you can choose the right bending shape for your project. With the help of a professional, you can ensure that your metal bending project is completed successfully.

How to Choose the Correct Bend Width

There are a few factors to consider when selecting the optimal bend width for your project. The first is the types of materials you’re working with. If you’re bending tubing or pipe, you’ll need to consider its wall thickness. The second factor is the degree of bend you need to make. The larger the angle, the greater the force required and the wider the bend should be. Finally, think about how much space you have to work with. Wider bends take up more room than narrower ones.

With those three considerations in mind, here are some general guidelines for choosing bend widths:

  • For thin-walled tubing or pipe (under 0.040″/1mm), use a Bend Width that’s equal to the Tube/Pipe OD (outside diameter).
  • For thick-walled tubing or pipe (0.040″/1 mm and up), use a Bend Width that’s 1-1/2 times the Tube/Pipe OD.
  • For 90-degree bends, use a Bend Width at least 2 times the Tube/Pipe OD.
  • For larger angles (over 90 degrees), use a Bend Width that’s 3 times the Tube.

Manufacturing Process

In the metalworking process, bending is one of the most common ways to shape metal. Bending can be done by hand or machine, and there are various ways to bend metal, depending on the type of metal being used and the desired outcome.

Knowing when to use metal bending is an important manufacturing process. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to use metal bending:

  • The type of metal being used: Some metals are more conducive to bending than others. For example, aluminum is a soft metal that is easy to bend, while steel is a harder metal that is more difficult to bend.
  • The desired outcome: What are you trying to achieve with the bending? Are you looking for a tight radius bend or a wide radius bend? This will help determine the best method for bending the metal.
  • The equipment available: Not all manufacturing facilities have the same equipment. This can limit the type of bends that can be achieved. If your facility has limited equipment, it may be necessary to outsource the bending to another facility.

CNC bending machine

Bending Force

Bending force is required to deform a material and create a new shape. The force required depends on the type of metal, its thickness, and the desired degree of bend. So, when do you need to use metal bending?

Many everyday objects are created using bending force, such as: 

  • Hairpins
  • Paperclips
  • Bicycle frames
  • Pipes

To create these objects, different levels of force are required. For example, hairpins can be made with very little force because they are made from thin wire. On the other hand, thicker materials like pipes require more force to bend. The level of force also dictates the degree of bend possible. For example, a 90-degree bend would require more force than a 45-degree bend.

If you need to create an object from metal that requires bending, consider the following factors: 

  • The type of metal 
  • The thickness of the metal
  • The desired degree of bend
  • The amount of force required

Cross sections

When it comes to working with metal, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the weight and thickness of the metal. This will largely determine which type of metal bending process best suits the job. For example, using a cross-section method may be your best bet when dealing with heavier or thicker metals.

The metal is first cut into smaller, more manageable pieces in a cross-section process. These pieces are then heated until they’re pliable enough to bend into the desired shape. Once cooled, the metal will retain its new shape. This method is often used for larger projects that require more precision and accuracy.

The Effect of Bend Radius and Thickness

When it comes to metal bending, two main factors will affect the outcome of your project: bend radius and thickness. Depending on what you’re looking to achieve, you’ll need to consider these factors to ensure a successful result.

Bend radius is the distance from the center of the bend to the outer edge of the metal. The thicker the metal, the larger the bend radius needs to be. You’ll need a smaller bend radius if you’re aiming for a tight, sharp bend. Conversely, if you want a gentle curve, you’ll need a larger bend radius.

Thickness also plays a role in metal bending. The thicker the metal, the more difficult it will be to bend. You’ll need more force to achieve the same results as thinner metal. Keep this in mind when deciding on the metal thickness for your project.

If you consider these factors when planning your metal bending project, you’ll be sure to achieve the desired results.

Types of Metal Fabrication

There are various metal fabrication processes, each with advantages and disadvantages. When deciding which process to use for a particular project, it is important to consider the job’s specific requirements, including the type of metal to be used, the desired shape and size of the finished product, and the production volume. Different types of metal bending processes include:

  1. Hot forming – Hot forming is well suited for large-scale production runs requiring consistent results. The metal is heated to its melting point before forming into the desired shape. This process can be used with most metals but is particularly well suited for working with aluminum and other soft metals.
  2. Cold forming – Cold forming is a more versatile process that can be used for both small-scale and large-scale production. In this process, the metal is formed at room temperature or below, making it ideal for working with harder metals. Cold forming is also well suited for creating complex shapes that would be difficult to create using other methods.
  3. Forging – Forging is a manufacturing process in which metal is heated and shaped using hammers or presses. This process can be used to create parts with high strength and durability. Forging can be performed using a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, and titanium. However, it is not well suited for creating parts with very intricate shapes.

Contact us for more information or concerns, or visit our website Elemet Manufacturing.

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CNC Machining

5 CNC Milling Techniques for Your Best Designs

The tensile qualities of metal make it one of the most exacting materials to work with. This difficulty also poses a significant challenge to producing detailed and accurate components. Traditional methods just couldn’t keep up with the tighter tolerances that modern engineering calls for.

This is where CNC milling techniques come in. Today, it is among the most common metal-working industrial processes. While others, such as laser and plasma, represent cutting-edge technology, they can’t simply stand up to the capability and complexity a CNC mill can deliver.  

To best understand CNC milling techniques, let’s take a look at what it is and how to use them. When you need accurate production on complicated designs or have a fabrication issue that needs to be solved, contact Elemet Manufacturing. We provide innovative solutions for manufacturing problems of all shapes and sizes.

What is CNC Milling?

CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer-controlled rotary cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. The milling process can be used to create custom parts and prototypes from a variety of metals and other materials.

CNC milling machines are generally more accurate and efficient than traditional machining methods, and they can be used to create complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to produce with other methods.

CNC milling is an essential machining technology for the modern manufacturing industry.

CNC Milling Techniques

As you can expect, there are various ways in which a CNC machine can achieve the various designs you create. You begin with a computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D model of the component you want.

The software then translates the model into a machine-readable form, which the Computer Numerical Control reads. The CNC mill carries out the instructions and uses different paths and movements to achieve the product. To accomplish your goal, a CNC machine may use the following techniques. 

1. Surface or Plain Milling

As the name suggests, the CNC machine employs various tools to subtract material from the surface of the item it is machining. During this process, the mill’s rotation axis moves parallel to the work item. 

The type of tool you use depends on the outcome you are expecting to achieve. If you’re looking for a quick outcome, use a wide cutter to remove material from the workpiece quickly. The result, however, may not be the finish you are looking for. 

To get a finer finish, it’s best to utilize a tool with finer teeth. You end up using fast cutting speeds and slow feed rates. The outcome is well worth the effort. 

2. Face Milling

industrial metalworking cutting process by milling cutter

When using the face milling technique, the machine’s rotational axis will be perpendicular to the surface of the workpiece. The tool faces the workpiece face down for the express purpose of removing material from it. 

It would be best if you relied on face milling for more intricate contours with a fine finish. The results tend to be superior in comparison to plain milling because the side teeth do the cutting while the tip teeth do the surface finishing.

3. Angular Milling

The angle milling process the metal plate part by flat end mill tool.

The cutting tool in this technique faces the workpiece’s surface at an angle. If your design has angular cuts such as dovetails or grooves, then this technique will take care of them quite easily. 

If you’re using a 3-axis mill, putting different cutters should be the way to go. You can count on dovetail cutters to attain angled grooves and a conical cutting head if you’re looking for chamfering. 

4. Form Milling

Form milling is your go-to technique when you want to get radii, counters, or curves. You employ different cutting tools to achieve specific accuracy for each detail you’ve worked into your design. Therefore, you spend less time switching between cutting heads.

Done right; you can realize the non-flat cuts in a single session. The tools can help you obtain various outcomes, such as round edges and recesses. They’ll need to be the appropriate tools to attain the result you want as accurately as possible. 

5. Profile Milling

CNC Milling Techniques

For concave or convex designs, it takes a three-step process to get desirable outcomes. These are rouging, half-finishing, and final finishing. For a proper profile milling session, use round inserts for the roughing and then ball-nose end mills for the semi-finishing and finishing steps of the process.  

Do You Need Advanced CNC Machining Services?

Then look no further than Elemet Manufacturing Services. We have been a market leader in providing innovative solutions for problems facing manufacturers all over the globe. We are a joint venture between Precision Waterjet Concepts and Aitkin Iron Works that merged; we provide you with over 100 years of experience.

Not only do we provide advanced CNC machining services, but we also offer 5-axis waterjet cutting, painting, welding, and other solutions. Our combined knowledge and experience make us a manufacturing powerhouse.

Let our team solve your manufacturing problems. Get in touch with us today.

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CNC Machining

When to Use CNC Milling

What Is the Metal Fabrication Process?

Metal fabrication is the process of cutting, forming, and assembling metals to create structures or individual parts. The cutting process involves using tools to remove material from the workpiece and can be done either manually or with a machine.

Welding joins two pieces of metal together and can be done using various methods such as oxyfuel welding, tungsten arc welding, and resistance welding.

CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer-controlled cutting tools to remove material from the workpiece. The metal fabrication process includes additional steps such as surface finishing, heat treatment, and assembly.

The following is a brief description of various metal fabrication processes and a more in-depth look at when to use CNC milling.

Contact Elemet Manufacturing to learn more about the wide range of metal fabrication services available, including precision waterjet cutting, welding, and CNC machining.

Cutting

Metal cutting is a manufacturing technique that uses a sharp tool to remove material from a metal workpiece. You can use this method to create everything from simple objects like coins to complex pieces like car engine components.

In most cases, the metal workpiece is a sheet that is first cut into smaller pieces using a saw or laser cutter.

Once you have cut out the desired shape, the parts are welded or fastened together to create the final product. Metal cutting is an essential manufacturing technique used in many industries.

Folding

Folding requires shaping a metal surface at a specific angle. It is one of the most challenging methods of fabricating metal components. It is a technique unique from metal bending and limited by geometry and tonnage.

Intricate, acute bends are often not possible as the folding beam has to be able to reach the bend without running into other surfaces on the component. When a folding machine cannot exert enough force, that is when a press brake comes into play.

Metal folding is frequently used in the manufacturing of automotive parts, food packaging, and appliances. It is an efficient and cost-effective way to create strong and durable products.

Welding

Welding is a metal fabrication process that involves joining metal parts together by heating the materials to their melting point, which fuses them when cooled. Several different welding methods include laser welding, TIG welding, MIG welding, and stick welding.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for a particular project will depend on the material selection, the desired strength of the joint, and the budget. 

Machining

Factory Asian male worker

Machining involves removing material from a workpiece to create the desired shape or finish and is performed using various tools, including lathes, mills, and routers. Machining is generally divided into two categories: subtractive and additive.

In subtractive machining, material is removed from the workpiece, while additive machining, on the other hand, involves using 3D printing technology to build up the desired shape layer by layer. 

Punching

This method uses a drill to punch holes in metal placed beneath a die by drilling through it. The circumference of the drill must be small enough to fit appropriately through the die for the punch to be effective.

The scrap slug produced as a result of the operation may be thrown away or recycled. Slugging is another name for stopping short of punching through the metal when making things out of metal.

Shearing

Shearing is when sheet metal is cut into pieces using power-driven blades. It is commonly used to cut metal plates, sheet metal, or metal tubing. Shearing is a quick and efficient way to produce parts with a high degree of accuracy.

However, it can also produce burrs and sharp edges, which you must remove before having a usable piece. Metal shearing is an important process in many industries, including automotive, aerospace, and construction.

Stamping

The metal stamping process is a manufacturing method that uses dies to form complex parts from sheet metal. In contrast to punching, the goal is typically to form a shape in the metal and not punch through it.

The process can produce varied shapes and sizes and is well suited for mass production. The metal stamping process is an efficient way to create parts with complex shapes from sheet metal.

Casting

Casting is a process in which you heat metal until it liquefies and pours it into a mold. The metal takes the shape of the mold as it cools, and once it has cooled completely, you break the mold to reveal the finished product.

Casting is often used to create metal objects with complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to create using other metal manufacturing methods. You can also use casting to produce large metal objects relatively quickly.

What is CNC Milling?

CNC milling technology

CNC (computer numerical control) milling gradually removes material from the workpiece using rotating multi-point cutting tools and digital controls. This technique creates a specific part or product tailored to the customer’s specifications.

This method can machine many materials, including metal, plastic, glass, and wood, and create a vast range of goods and parts with unique designs.

CNC milling, drilling, turning, and others are mechanical processes in which material is removed from the workpiece mechanically, such as by the actions of the milling machine’s cutting blades. CNC milling technology is one of the most dependable ways to make parts from various materials.

Benefits of CNC Milling

The most notable benefits of utilizing CNC milling technology are outlined below.

Precision

Manufacturing parts precisely to specifications is one of the main benefits of using CNC milling machines. The danger of real-time human error, common in manually run machines, is eliminated by CNC mills. 

CNC mills depend on pre-programmed computer instructions, which can be reviewed and checked for accuracy before production. You can form complex pieces accurately with tolerances as tight as 0.004mm.

Efficiency

Conventional milling machines may require an operator to change the cutting tools manually depending on the work required. It is time-consuming and ineffective because it allows for human error during the changeover procedure.

On standard CNC mills, rotating carousels can usually store up to 30 different tools. These instruments are automatically replaced on the spindle during machining operations, allowing you to complete cutting activities more quickly and accurately.

Automated tool changeovers and pre-programmed instructions can reduce fabrication time from days to a few short hours.

Wide Range of Material Options

CNC mills are compatible with many materials, including plastics, metals, and composites. If you have blocks of the material to mill, CNC mills will have no trouble with it.

High Rate of Production

Because CNC milling is an automated operation, the cutting tool can transition through procedure steps more quickly than humans. The actual cutting rates are limited by the design and materials used. It still creates a higher output rate than most other manufacturing methods.

Affordability

CNC milling is an accuracy- and speed-oriented technique that you can use to produce parts with complex shapes. It is also relatively affordable, making it a popular choice for both prototyping and low-volume production runs.

When choosing a CNC milling service, it is important to consider the accuracy and speed requirements of the project, as well as the cost. By carefully selecting the right CNC milling service provider, it is possible to produce high-quality parts at a reasonable price.

Choose the Right Method for Your Project

Metal fabrication requires sophisticated tools and expertise. Elemet Manufacturing has developed expertise in many metal fabrication techniques for various commercial and industrial applications.

Call us today if you need more information about a specific metal fabrication method or want to know which one is appropriate for your project.

Categories
Waterjet Cutting

Glass Waterjet Cutting is the Crystal Clear Choice

The destructive nature of water has never been in doubt, but who knew if engineers focused on that nature and beefed it up with abrasives, a water jet could cut through anything? Seriously, glass water jet cutting has various benefits over traditional glass cutting methods. Precision waterjet cutting provides a precise cut that needs no finishing. 

Even then, it doesn’t mean you put any glass type through glass water jet cutting and expect superb outcomes when you’re done. In this article, you will discover the most common types of glass you can subject to precision waterjet cutting technology using tools from Elemet Manufacturing.

Float Glass

Glass Waterjet Cutting is the Crystal Clear Choice: Float Glass

If you’re looking for extremely smooth and distortion-free glass for window applications, then float glass can provide you with excellent solutions. The Pilkington process is responsible for the formation of this type of glass. During the process, the glass floats on a tin bed in the shape of its container.

You can devise multiple cut-outs, holes, shapes, and many other designs using precision waterjet cutting. However, you require precise cutting settings ranging from 700-1400 bar for smooth finishes and edges in the final piece.

Laminated Glass

Laminated Glass can be used for store windows.

Cutting through laminated glass can be challenging, especially using traditional methods such as glass cutters, diamond wheels, or sandblasting. When attempting to cut laminated glass, the single biggest risk is delamination, and that’s why it’s always best to let a professional do the cutting. 

Glass waterjet cutting at low pressure would be best in this situation. This reduces the chances of piercing or delamination. Pre-drilled holes can also reduce the chance of the high-pressure water stream separating the glass layers.

Annealed Glass

Annealed glass is often used in tabletops

Annealing is a glass cooling process during fabrication; unlike tempered glass, it isn’t treated with heat. As you can imagine, annealed glass is soft and best handled by highly skilled technicians.

It is ideal for various uses, from cabinets and windows to come up with custom cuts. Still, the annealing process results in a glass that doesn’t have the internal stresses which allow the tempered glass to shatter. It strengthens it more compared to tempered glass. 

The internal strength simplifies the use of glass waterjet cutting techniques to develop a remarkable finished product. Even if the annealed glass is a few degrees softer, you can’t utilize pure waterjet cutting for the final product. 

Note that tempered glass cannot withstand pressure and shatters immediately upon the impact of a high-pressure stream.

Bulletproof Glass

Bulletproof glass is used in windows of military vehicles.

This wonderful glass innovation, capable of stopping bullets from the world’s most syndicated assault rifle, the AK-47, would surely be a tough match for glass waterjet cutting technology. The surprising thing is that it isn’t. Crank the pressure up to 60,000 PSI, and the abrasive water jet cuts through bulletproof glass like a chisel through wood. 

Suppose you’re looking to fashion something out of bulletproof glass. In that case, you can be sure an abrasive water jet can carve through 2 inches of bulletproof glass to get you the desired shapes.

Mirrors

Dressing room mirror.

Mirrors present quite a challenge to cutting machines, particularly those that rely on lasers. The reflection of that mirror can spell disaster for anyone trying to cut it with lasers. Even though mirrors only reflect light, the energy carried with that light can translate to heat damage on a surface unfortunate enough to be anywhere in the laser’s path.

The advantage of using glass water jet cutting is you never have to worry about flying glass particles, unseemly cracks, and unwanted reflections.

Stained Glass

Stained Glass Window

The piece of history that can turn any dwelling into a hallowed work of art is notoriously difficult to deal with, especially when using hand-held tools. Rather than waste time trying to maintain the sanctity of the art of cutting stained glass, why not do quick work using precision waterjet cutting technology?

Why Should You Use Glass Precision Waterjet Cutting?

The various benefits to glass cutting using abrasive water jets include:

  • Smooth cuts: A water jet’s high-pressure stream provides a smooth and highly controllable tool. By managing stream speed means you can cut through glass of varying thicknesses.
  • Precise cuts: The high-pressure stream makes for a precise tool, allowing you to cut several shapes down to a thickness of 0.1 mm. The stream precision allows you to come up with distortion-free designs. 
  • Intricate cuts: With a high-pressure stream being a precise tool, you can cut glass into various shapes, angles, and any other complex shape you can think of. A glass precision waterjet cutting tool can make it happen whether it bevels sharp corners, pierces holes, or cuts curves with the smallest inner radii. Moreover, you can save time by stacking the glass to be cut.

Would you like to get started with glass waterjet cutting? Look no further than Elemet Manufacturing. Our company is based on a joint venture between Precision Waterjet Concepts and Aitkin Iron Works. This collectively gives us nearly 90 years of experience providing precision waterjet cutting and other metal fabrication services. We have industry-leading precision waterjet cutting and advanced metal fabrication services. Get in touch with us now.

Categories
Waterjet Cutting

Precision Waterjet Cut Metal Panels Keep Their Cool

The Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) of a metal panel that has been mechanically or thermally cut is a threat to the purity of the material being cut and a primary cause of premature cutting equipment failure.

Precision waterjet cutting – the simple yet forceful act of using a high-powered stream (jet) of water to precisely cut through some of the most exotic metals on the planet. And doing so without distorting any fundamental characteristics of the material being cut. Sometimes a solution can be simplistic in its application.

Are you looking for waterjet cut metal panels for a particular metal fabrication where HAZ must not alter the purity of the material? Perhaps you would like to learn more about this metal cutting solution from a manufacturing industry leader like Elemet Manufacturing?

Let’s look at waterjet cut metal panels and how HAZ can be avoided. Let’s expand the discussion to include the difference between pure and abrasive waterjet cutting.

Precision Waterjet Cut Metal Panels

Waterjet cutting gears from a steel plate

To better understand why a waterjet cut can produce metal panels free of HAZ, let’s look at the medium used as the cutting agent.

Water is the most widely used substance to absorb and transfer heat. The cooling effects of water are even used more than the artificial refrigerants of ammonia, chlorofluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons that were marketed well under the ‘Freon’ names as ordinary CO2 or carbon dioxide.

The high-pressure stream of water against the cut material is heated by naturally occurring friction. It means that when you use Waterjet Cutting to create your metal panels and cut steel, it makes the purest grade possible because this process keeps cool enough for optimal performance.

The Flexibility Provided by Precision Waterjet Cutting Technology

The technology of the water jet cutting machine gives you a degree of flexibility that you cannot find in traditional cutting methods like plasma, laser, or CNC machining technology. You depend on the process’s heat to cut through the material with plasma, laser-cut, and CNC plasma. That same heat is what causes the HAZ. With those technologies, the thicker the material being cut, the higher the degree of heat is needed.

You would have to switch to another cutting method if you were going from thin sheet metal or stainless steel to an exotic metal like a thick piece of titanium. With the latest water jet cutting nozzles, you can switch from something as delicate as foam rubber to that unknown piece of titanium with the flip of a switch.

An abrasive precision waterjet cutting machine

Pure Vs. Abrasive Waterjet Cut Metal Panels

Those newer waterjet cutting nozzles allow you to change your cutting jet from a pure stream of water only to an abrasive stream of water with different sizes of abrasive garnet mixed at the nozzle simply by switching the components of the stream.

Pure waterjet cutting can handle those delicate items like gaskets cut from foam rubber. The abrasive waterjet cutting can also make precise and delicate cuts through that big piece of titanium we were just talking about.

The main components of the waterjet cutting table are:

  • The table where the nozzle mechanism cuts on the X and Y axis and the garnet hopper and water catching tank are attached below.
  • A high-pressure pump that supplies the intensifier.
  • The water supply runs through an intensifier that produces a cutting force of up to 90,000 PSI.
  • The system controller operates on specific software for the system.

With this set-up, you can successfully cut delicate decorative screens or heavy-duty titanium brackets and anything in between by controlling the amount of abrasive garnet at the cutting nozzle.

Reducing the HAZ and Hazardous Fumes of Traditional Cutting Methods

Waterjet cutting is effective in eliminating HAZ, as we have seen. But also consider eliminating those hazardous fumes when certain metals are heated to those high damage-causing degrees. Waterjet cutting is almost free of any dangerous waste or fumes.

The chemicals and oils used to treat some metals are hazardous when those substances are heated by cutting methods discussed earlier like plasma, laser, and CNC machining. The only damage-causing waste produced by waterjet cutting is the wastewater from cutting contaminated materials, such as lead. In those instances, you will want to provide a safe means to dispose of the wastewater produced from the waterjet cutting process.

Let Elemet Manufacturing Provide Your Precision Waterjet Cut Metal Panels

When your project needs quality waterjet cut metal panels, Elemet Manufacturing is your waterjet cutting service provider. Located in Aitkin, Minnesota, EMI can supply you with waterjet cutting services wherever needed. 

Choosing an experienced waterjet cutting service provider ensures you have high-quality products. Contact Elemet Manufacturing for the best waterjet cutting services today.

Categories
Metal Fabrication

What Is a Standard Machining Surface Finish?

With all the technology currently available, you can take a machined part from concept to prototype to a finished piece and are now able to pinpoint and perfect specific areas of those parts that would have seemed inconceivable just a few short years ago. Whether the component in question was CNC machined, cut by a waterjet, or fabricated with any of the other popular machining processes, great detail can, and is now included, in the surface condition of these parts.

Surface finish is a broad term, with many different meanings, now being used when processing machined parts. As with any process that can deliver this number of alternative solutions, a surface finish has a beginning, or a baseline if you will, that serves as a starting point for the various surface finishes, which you can add to the machining of your particular part.

This post will answer some of the more baseline questions concerning surface finish for those looking to gain a more fundamental understanding of surface finish. Once these definitions and the science behind surface finish become clearer, look into how a company like Elemet Manufacturing can provide cutting and machining services with the desired surface finish for your next prototype or production job.

hybrid surface texture measuring system for surface roughness and contour measurement

What Is the Definition of Surface Finish?

Engineering Choice is an informational website that is a good starting point for understanding the basics of surface finish. The following definition is from EngineeringChoice.com:

“Surface finish, also known as surface texture or surface topography, is the nature of a surface as defined by the three characteristics of lay, surface roughness, and waviness. It comprises the small, local deviations of a surface from the perfectly flat ideal (a true plane).”

Surface finish can be as simple as the finish left behind after machining. In applications where the surface finish does not interfere with the part’s function, to save money on production of the part, no further action is needed for it to be complete and ready to ship to the customer. This type of surface finish can also be labeled as a Standard Machining Surface Finish.

For those parts that need to work in tandem with another part to create a seal, you must specify certain surface finish attributes as part of the manufacturing process. To machine the surface finish to a particular set of specs, you need to know how the surface finish is measured.

What Is Measured for Surface Finish?

The definition above of surface finish mentions three characteristics. These characteristics are lay, surface roughness, and waviness, and it is the measurement of these three characteristics that classify the surface finish. 

Another term used when defining or measuring the surface finish is Surface Topology. Think of surface topology exactly like you would the topology of a geographical map, taking into consideration all the peaks, valleys, and other surface attributes when referring to “the lay of the land.”

Let’s look at the three characteristics and how they contribute to surface topology.

Lay

Think of the surface finish lay just like you would think of the direction of the grain in a piece of plywood or lumber. Manufacturing processes produce the lay, and it can be parallel, perpendicular, circular, cross-hatched, radial, multi-directional, or isotropic (non-directional). Later, in this post, when we address the surface finish chart and how to use it, the Lay measurement will be further explored.

Waviness

Waviness is the broadest spaced variation in the surface finish. These periodic surface imperfections are small enough, short enough, and regular enough that they are not considered defects in the surface finish’s flatness.

Common causes of waviness are warping from extreme temperature changes and machining defects such as deflection from machined pieces of material, inadvertently creating minor surface imperfections.

Waviness requirements are not as common as other surface finish components, but they are integral in machining parts used as bearing races and sealed parts.

Roughness

These are minor irregularities in the geometry of the surface. Roughness is the most widely used measurement in the surface finish, and many times the actual term “surface finish” of a given part refers to its roughness.

 

inspecting standard machining surface finish with a roughness tester

Key Takeaway of Surface Finish Measuring

In the machining process of any given part, you can measure the dimensional tolerances and surface finish requirements with these three characteristics. Your component may call for a Standard Machining Surface Finish, or it may require some added texture and, therefore, additional machining steps to produce the correct lay, waviness, and roughness. You will need to specify the final desired measurements for manufacturing these parts and ensuring continuity from piece to piece.

This measurable information also determines if the surface finish is correct for the material type used. That is where the use of a Surface Finish Chart comes into play.

Surface Finish Charts: What Are They and How Are They Used?

The instrument used to make quick work of surface finish measurements is a measurement stylus that you can drag across the surface and take readings. If you cannot touch the part, for whatever reason, you can use a 3D metrology method.

Without going into extensive algebraic computations and equations, you can refer to this excellent reference manual for a Surface Finish 3D Metrology Tutorial from the US Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This 162-page PDF is the go-to document for surface finish terminology, processes, and charts.

By obtaining the correct surface finish measurements, you can compare your findings with the Surface Finish Charts to see if your part has the desired surface finish or if you need to take additional manufacturing steps to get your component to within spec.

Think of the surface finish chart as a way of giving the part a letter grade, and then compare it to the information on the chart to see how close to the CLA (Center Line Average) you are for the particular material you are using.

high precision grinding machine creating a standard machining surface finish

How To Obtain a Standard Machining Surface Finish and More

Hopefully, you now have an idea about surface finishing and the different degrees of surface finishing, from Standard Machining Surface Finish to Textured Surface Finish and beyond. Learn more about surface finishing technology and address your metal fabrication needs by contacting Elemet Manufacturing. See how your particular component specifications stand up to the latest in surface finishing methodologies.

Categories
Waterjet Cutting

Pure Waterjet Cutting – Where It All Began

Precision waterjet cutting appears to be one of the newest fascinations in town, but many people don’t realize it has been around for quite some time. When this technology appeared on the scene in the 1850s, it was used to excavate coal. At that time, few people would have believed it would grow to cut through almost any material. 

The last 40 years have seen many improvements in modern waterjet cutting technology, making it more efficient, versatile, and precise. One of the latest improvements is the development of an abrasive waterjet nozzle suitable for commercial use because it can cut through tougher materials compared to pure waterjet cutting.

Elemet Manufacturing excels at precision waterjet cutting and takes full advantage of all the benefits it has to offer. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between pure and abrasive waterjet cutting methods, and then contact us for all your metal fabrication needs.

closeup of pure waterjet cutting machine with NC code data background

Pure Waterjet Cutting

Pure waterjet cutting is a water-only process that doesn’t require any abrasive particles, hence no need for a mixing chamber. Pure water streams through the cutting head directly after going through the orifice. The result is a thin, focused stream of water producing an extremely fine and precise cut. Since it produces a cleaner cut compared to other cutting methods, pure waterjet is suitable for softer materials.

Suitable Materials for Pure Waterjet Cutting

Since pure waterjet cutting does not contain abrasives, its cutting process does not interfere with the edges of the materials being cut. That quality makes it more suitable for these softer materials:

  • Foam: Since it generates little or no heat, it does not distort foam.
  • Felt: Pure waterjet cutters produce clean cuts in felt, enabling the production of different sizes and shapes.
  • Rubber: Pure waterjet cutting doesn’t interfere with rubber quality and produces clean cuts for various applications.
  • Paper: A contaminant-sensitive material that works best with pure water.
  • Thin plastics: Another heat-sensitive material requiring cutting methods that produce minimal or no heat to protect them from possible damage.

Benefits of Pure Waterjet Cutting

Here are some essential benefits of pure waterjet cutting:

  • Produces minimal or no heat at all, keeping materials intact.
  • Makes high-precision cuts, including creating 3-D shapes.
  • Leaves behind minimal damage.
  • Suitable for light materials.
  • Works on cavities inaccessible by other cutting methods.

high-pressure waterjet CNC cutting machine

Abrasive Waterjet Cutting

When it comes to abrasive cutting, an abrasive material, often garnet, is introduced to the water stream via a mixing chamber in the cutting head. A special pump pressurizes the mixture up to 94,000 psi, creating a supersonic stream of water capable of cutting through considerably thicker materials than pure waterjet cutting.

Industrial Applications of Abrasive Waterjet Cutting

Abrasive waterjet cutting has found many industrial applications because of its ability to cut through hard materials, including stone, ceramics, glass, and steel. Some industries using abrasive waterjet cutting include:

  • Automotive: Cutting composite and non-metal materials such as exterior body panels, gas boxes, and door frames.
  • Aerospace: Cutting novel materials, including carbon fiber composite and plastic glass. It also cuts alloy materials for making external body panels of airplanes and other parts.
  • Military: Used to cut combustible and explosive materials, destroy weaponry, and cut through bullet-proof glass.
  • Manufacturing: For cutting various materials needed to manufacture machines and tools. Such materials include metals, brittle plastics, marble, concrete, ceramics, and other difficult materials.

Benefits of Abrasive Waterjet Cutting

  • Can cut through almost any material; suitable for a wide range of industrial applications
  • Considered a green technology as it does not leave behind hazardous materials
  • Generates little or no heat
  • Makes high-precision cuts
  • Creates 3-D shapes
  • Leaves minimal damage
  • Allows for recycling of scrap metal
  • Works on cavities inaccessible to other cutting methods
  • Drills holes through almost any material, forming intricate shapes

waterjet metal cutting of thin detailed metal design

Which One Is Right for You?

Both processes use the same principle – employing an extremely fine stream of water to cut through materials. They also share many of the same benefits, including low heat generation, being eco-friendly, and running high and accurate cutting speeds. 

Material type is a true differentiator between these two cutting methods. Pure waterjet cutting works well with softer materials. Thicker, harder materials will most likely require the addition of an abrasive.

We have the equipment and experience to handle all of your metal fabrication needs, including precision waterjet cutting. Contact Elemet Manufacturing to learn which of our industry leading services is right for you.