Robotic Welding: 12 Pros and 5 Cons You Need to Know

The automotive industry pioneered the use of robotic welders for decades. With the high demand for consistent and precise welds on automobile frames using a variety of different methods of welding as well as materials, robotic welding quickly became the industry standard.

However, as the benefits of robotic welding became more widely recognized, its use has expanded beyond the automotive industry to aerospace, construction, and manufacturing.

Robotic welding machines can now perform complex welding operations, such as welding parts with varying thicknesses or welding in tight spaces that may be difficult for human welders to access. Additionally, using artificial intelligence and computer programming allows for precise adjustments to welding parameters, ensuring consistent quality and reducing the risk of defects.

Beginning with simple two- and three-axis welding robots, they are now capable of entirely new levels of maneuverability, reliability, and meeting specific job requirements. With the integration of artificial intelligence, computer programming, and robotic interfaces, implementing robotic welding and manufacturing is no longer exclusive to multi-billion dollar companies like General Motors.

You can enlist the services of Glenn Metalcraft, a company experienced in handling such welding jobs.

Welding Process

Welding is a concept that has been around since the Bronze Age—two pieces of metal joint by superheating a connection point known as a joint. 

In general, the heat generated by welding can cause the metal to reach a molten state, allowing fusion to occur at the atomic level. Robotic welding utilizes arc welding, which generates heat by creating an arc between the welding electrode and the workpiece via an electric current. The heat melts the materials, forming a bond.

A line of weld known as a bead is drawn along the joint seam to fuse the metals. Gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and argon can be used to control the reactivity of the weld. 

Welding is a process that permanently joins two pieces of metal, creating a strong bond between them. Once welded, the joint cannot be separated without causing damage, which typically involves mechanical cutting or using a cutting torch. 

It is essential to carefully consider the design of the weld and ensure that it meets the necessary strength and durability requirements to prevent the need for future separation. Also, proper welding techniques and equipment should be employed to provide a quality weld, meeting industry standards.

Robotic Welding as a Tool of the Future

Robotic Welding as a Tool of the Future

Robotic welding offers significant advantages over manual arc welding. While skilled welders can achieve precision, robotic welding provides for more consistent precision and accuracy throughout the day.

Robotic welding cells can operate around the clock, increasing efficiency and productivity. Advanced software and controls also allow for customizing the welding process to meet specific requirements, resulting in improved quality and reduced errors.

Robotic welding utilizes a sophisticated robotic armature with multiple points of articulation, which are computer-directed, to weld metal sheets together. The robotic arm is equipped with optics that allow it to “see” the welded material, providing imagery that the program can use to identify pre-coded regions of the welded workpiece.

The robotic arm can move itself and the work platform to align the pieces properly, resulting in efficient and accurate welding.

In robotic welding, a movable platform may hold the item being welded and can change angles, swivel, and move in combination with the robot arm to fit any desired angle. At the end of the robotic arm is the arc welder, which follows the programmed pathway to tack and weld the fitted pieces together. 

Once the program is activated, the robot arm goes to work, welding the materials and moving itself and the work platform to align the piece properly. After welding, the welded piece is allowed to cool, and the next programmed item is clamped to the work platform for the next welding task.

Pros of robotic welding

Robotic welding offers certain advantages over manual welding processes.

Quality of workmanship

  • Robotic welding provides precise and uniform welds that meet strict industry standards.
  • Prescribed amounts of welding wire and gas are used precisely, resulting in less waste and reduced material costs.
  • Expertise is handled by a computer program, improving efficiency and consistency.
  • Robotic welding cells can operate around the clock, improving turnaround time.
  • The use of advanced software and controls allows for the optimization of the welding process, resulting in improved efficiency, quality, and consistency.


Pros of robotic welding

  • Robotic welding offers significant advantages in high-production manufacturing environments, allowing a single robot to perform repetitive tasks precisely and consistently over long hours.
  • Traditional manufacturing methods that rely on skilled human welders may require multiple shifts or risk falling behind when meeting production demands.
  • Robotic welders work faster with zero degrees of variance when it comes to the consistency of their work, ensuring the uniformity of products.
  • The ease of operating a robotic welder after training allows for a more flexible workforce minimizing downtime due to limited resources.

Health and Safety

  • Robotic welding reduces the risk of injury to workers by eliminating the need for direct human involvement in the welding process.
  • By reducing exposure to harmful fumes and radiation, robotic welding can significantly improve the health and safety of workers.
  • The use of robotic welding technology can help companies comply with safety regulations and avoid potential fines and legal issues related to workplace safety.

Cons of robotic welding

Here are some disadvantages of robotic welding you should know:

  • Initial setup: Setup for a job may involve creating a new program or modifying an existing one, selecting the appropriate welding wire and gas, and configuring the welding system’s parameters to ensure optimal performance. This initial setup for a job may require a significant investment of time and resources.
  • Limited flexibility: While robotic welders are great for repetitive tasks and large-scale production runs, they may not be as well-suited to smaller, more specialized welding jobs that require a high degree of flexibility and customization.
  • Lack of adaptability: While robotic welding is excellent at welding consistent products over long periods, it may not be as adaptable as human welders in situations where designs, materials, or welding processes need to be changed quickly.
  • Not portable: Robotic welding devices weigh several hundred pounds and must be installed in a controlled environment to function properly.  
  • Not weather resistant: Some portability limitations apply to weather and environmental conditions. Trained welders can weld in the rain, snow, underwater, and in blowing sand if necessary. Robotic welders are limited to factory or laboratory environments where the elements won’t damage them.

Contact us

Get in touch with us if you want to take advantage of the latest robotic welding technology to create products that meet your specifications. We provide increased efficiency and flexibility for manufacturers and engineers with a variety of robotic welding services.

Reach out for technical know-how experience that will catapult your welding needs into the next century. Our specialists know metal fabrication, welding, and other metalcraft needs.

Laser Cutting

A Guide for Choosing Laser, Water, or Plasma for Your Next Metal Cutting Project

Before you can begin to think about your latest metal project, your primary focus of attention may be on which way to cut the metal parts from the sheets of metal stock you have chosen for this metal cutting project.

In this post, let’s examine laser, waterjet, or plasma arc cutting as your choices at hand. Then let’s further enhance your metal-cutting project by putting you in touch with a metal-cutting project leader at Glenn Metalcraft, your one-stop metal-cutting project service provider.

Laser Cutting for Your Metal Cutting Project

Let’s take a look at what laser cutting consists of to gain a better understanding. First, LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. When you laser cut the pieces for your metal cutting project, you use a thermal-based fabrication method to cut, etch, and otherwise prepare the needed components for your metal cutting project.

That might be a bit of a mouth full, but in short, the produced laser beam in our shop is guided through CNC equipment, focused through various optics, and then used to slice through the sheets of metal stock, producing your needed metal parts and pieces.

Ideal Metals to Cut With Laser Cutting

Some metals have characteristics such as being light-reflective or extremely heat conductive. Copper and aluminum are examples of such metals and require cutting from sources other than lasers. Brass, steel, nickel, and tungsten are ideal for laser-cutting technology.

Pros of Laser Cutting

  • High precision: Laser cutting machines can cut metal parts with a high degree of precision, resulting in clean edges and minimal distortion.
  • Fast cutting speeds: Lasers can cut metal quickly, making them an efficient choice for high-volume production runs.
  • Versatility: Laser cutting can be used on a wide range of metal materials, including steel, aluminum, and titanium.

Cons of Laser Cutting

As with any thermal process, laser cutting can come with its own set of drawbacks, such as;

  • Limited thickness capacity: Laser cutting is not effective for cutting metal thicker than about 1 inch.
  • Heat-affected zone: Laser cutting generates heat which can affect the properties of the metal, such as changing the hardness or temper.
  • Warping or deformation: Laser cutting can cause warping or deformation of the metal, especially in thicker or more heat-sensitive materials. 

Waterjet Cutting for Your Metal Cutting Project

Waterjet Cutting Machine for metal cutting project

Waterjet cutting technology is a bit easier to explain than laser-cutting technology. In waterjet cutting, water is directed at a very high velocity through specialized jets to produce an effective and clean cut of your metal sheet stock. Sometimes, an abrasive substance is added to the water for use on types of harder alloys to enhance its cutting ability.

Similar to how water eroded and created the Grand Canyon over centuries, waterjet cutting employs the same technique but on a smaller and much more accelerated scale. Utilizing a high-pressure pump, waterjet cutting creates a fluid stream of up to 94,000 PSI. In perspective, a waterjet cutter is 80 times more powerful than a fire hose!

Ideal Metals to Cut With Waterjet Cutting

Without any added abrasive, waterjet cutting alone is ideal for softer materials like plastics, cement boards, and foam. To get the desired results from waterjet cutting for your metal cutting project, a special jeweled orifice is used in conjunction with garnet abrasives that exit the nozzle up to four times faster than the speed of sound. This allows metal materials up to one foot in thickness to be cut.

Pros of Waterjet Cutting

  • This is a cold-cutting method that produces ZERO heat-affected zones.
  • Omni-directional flexibility. You can cut in any direction, not just straight down.
  • Cutting so precisely with water is possible that no secondary finishing is required.
  • This process is safe and environmentally friendly.

Waterjet cutting is ideal for cutting, shaping, and reaming metal parts for aerospace and mining applications.

Cons of Waterjet Cutting

  • It may not be suitable for cutting materials thicker than about 6 inches.
  • Although extremely precise, waterjet cutting does not match the tight tolerances that some other cutting methods, such as laser cutting, can achieve.
  • Some materials, such as tempered or heat-treated steels, can be difficult or impossible to cut with a waterjet due to their hardness or the heat-affected zone created by previously employed cutting processes on the same piece.

Plasma Cutting for Your Metal Cutting Project

Plasmacutting at Work

So far, we have used amplified light sources and high-pressure water to cut the pieces of your metal cutting project. Now it’s going to get a bit more scientifically advanced. We all know the three states of matter, solid, liquid, and gas. Basic middle school science, right?

Plasma is sometimes referred to as the fourth state of matter. When certain gasses are superheated, they become ionized. This makes the gas electrically conductive by turning the gas into plasma. 

Plasma cutters can use oxygen, nitrogen, argon, or even compressed air as their gas to heat via an arc produced by the cutting machine. As the gas and arc combine at the orifice point, all is converted to plasma. 

Ideal Metals to Cut With Plasma Cutting

Any metal that is a good conductor of electricity is ideal for a plasma cutter.

Those metals are;

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Carbon steel
  • Copper
  • Mild Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Expanded Steel

Sheet metal 1-2 mm and up to 1-2 inches thick are also ideal.

Now the Pros and Cons of plasma cutting.

Pros of Plasma Cutting

  • Plasma cutting is a fast cutting method that can be used to quickly and efficiently cut a wide range of materials.
  • It can provide high cutting accuracy from metal to non-metals.
  • It is a versatile cutting method and can be applied to a wide range of industries.

Cons of Plasma Cutting

  • Plasma cutting is less precise than other cutting methods, such as laser cutting or waterjet cutting, and may not be suitable for projects that require tight tolerances.
  • The intense heat generated by plasma cutting can cause warping or distortion in some materials, particularly thin or delicate materials.
  • Plasma cutting is typically limited to cutting materials no thicker than 1-2 inches, depending on the specific equipment and settings used.

The Next Level in Your Metal Cutting Project

Now that you have seen the differences between laser, waterjet, and plasma cutting and the pros and cons of each, let’s take your metal cutting project to the next level!

That being said, contact your one-stop shop for all your metal cutting project needs – Glenn Metalcraft.

Laser Cutting

Materials Suitable for Laser Cutting – A Comprehensive Guide

Laser cutting is an incredibly versatile technology that produces intricate and precise pieces of work from various materials. It’s an extremely convenient tool with many applications, as lasers can easily be used on many kinds of materials. This comprehensive guide will discuss the different types of laser cutting, which materials you should avoid, and which materials are suitable for laser cutting and engraving.

We will also provide some application ideas for each. So, if you’re looking for a deeper dive into materials suitable for laser cutting, you’ve come to the right place.


An Overview of Laser Cutting

Laser Cutting Machine

Laser cutting is an advanced technology for precision cutting or engraving materials. It uses a laser beam to cut or etch the desired shape into a material. Laser cutters use a concentrated beam of light created by a high-powered laser and focus on the material with extreme precision. Some common applications for laser cutting include industrial fabrication projects such as robotics components, furniture manufacturing, molds and dies fabrication, vehicle components, and tooling production.

There are four main types of laser cutting; fusion, vaporization, fracture-controlled, and laser flame. Fusion cutting involves melting the material so a fine beam can cut it, while vaporization cuts by quickly evaporating sections of the material before the beam melts the rest away. Fracture-controlled cutting works by creating high-stress points in the material and breaking it with minimal debris or heat produced. Lastly, laser flame works similarly to oxyfuel but produces no chemicals during the process.

The advantages of laser cutting are numerous. It is a highly accurate and cost-effective way of producing shapes from many materials. It is faster than traditional cutting methods and has clean edges with little to no waste. Laser cutting creates the smallest heat-affected zone (HAZ) of all the thermal cutting methods because of its fine beam. 

Laser cutting is an efficient and environmentally friendly process for cutting metal. The laser beam used in laser cutting is extremely precise, resulting in minimal material waste as opposed to other processes. This also reduces the amount of hazardous materials released into the environment, making laser cutting a much greener choice. 


Materials Suitable for Laser Cutting or Engraving by Laser

Materials Suitable for Laser Cutting

This technology enables materials such as metal, stone, glass, and even materials that are difficult to cut or engrave, like titanium, to be accurately cut with a high degree of efficiency.

In addition, laser cutting is suitable for synthetic materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, and some other non-metallic materials such as paper, cardstock and cork.

Some materials may need pre-treatment prior to cutting due to their reflective properties; for example, magnesium or aluminum should be avoided because they reflect laser beams rather than absorb them. Such materials require additional material coatings in order to ensure an effective cutting process. Alternatively, fiber laser cutting, using fiber optic cable to transmit the laser beam to the reflective surface, is another way around this issue.

When looking for materials suitable for laser cutting or engraving with a laser cutter, it is essential to know the material specifications of your finished piece. Metallic materials such as stainless steel and aluminum are excellent for laser cutting, as they have a high melting point and can withstand the high temperatures of the laser beam. Other metals like brass and copper can also be used for laser cutting but are more likely to warp or deform. 


Application Ideas

Laser cutting is an innovative precision technology used in a wide variety of industries and applications. This precision process can create intricate shapes with accuracy down to 0.002 inches, making it ideal for use in aerospace, tooling, manufacturing, medical device, and electronics production. This process can provide precision not possible with traditional methods like sawing or punching as well as reducing material waste and cost compared to other processes. 

Etching is another application for laser cutting. Etching can create intricate designs on a wide range of materials, from stainless steel to glass and plastic. Laser cutters allow you to precisely etch designs onto various materials for decorative and practical purposes.

You can use laser cutters for welding if the beam power is strong enough to melt the materials during the cut. This process allows for flexible production and greater versatility in completing a job. An even better option is combining a laser cutter with a welding head, which can further maximize precision to perform welding tasks successfully. This combination also enables industry professionals to complete welding objectives quickly, cost-effectively, and efficiently.

Laser marking is another application of laser cutters. It allows you to permanently mark text or symbols onto many materials, such as metals and plastics. Laser marking is often used in industrial settings to tag products or components with branding or logos.

Finally, drilling is possible with certain types of laser cutters. They can cut tiny holes into metal and other materials quickly and accurately, making them ideal for tasks where precision is essential such as in the manufacturing of electronic components.


How Can We Assist?

We can help you with all your metallic laser cutting needs at Glenn Metalcraft. We offer heavy metal spinning, machining, cutting, and welding services and have access to additional fabrication and finishing resources through the Elemet Group. Whether you need laser cutters for stainless steel, or other materials suitable for laser cutting, we can assist you with all your laser-cutting projects.

Our nationwide customers trust us for our quality craftsmanship and reliable delivery services. Contact us today, and let us help you with your laser-cutting needs!

CNC Machining

Metal Prototype Machining and Other Options

Simply put, prototype machining produces a small number of parts before generating a bigger batch. Most businesses opt for prototype machining for appearance and testing purposes.

The former checks how the part will look after production, while the latter is more concerned about the performance of the part and whether it will perform its intended purpose.

To get a reliable turnaround, you need precision capabilities. Getting a dedicated business to handle such precision is no walk in the park because talk is cheap. At Glenn Metalcraft Inc., we provide unmatched prototype designs that give you a high ROI.

What is a prototype? 

A prototype is an early version of a product that is created to test its concept and performance. Ideally, you can’t produce a part in large quantities before testing it, and the best way to do it is through prototyping.

A prototype allows you to evaluate a product and improve its accuracy, quality, and design. Prototypes often fail during testing, and it’s usually a good gesture because designers can detect defects early, correct them, and produce a reliable final product.

When are prototypes used? 

Prototypes come in handy during the design process. Industrial engineers can test products through prototypes before they can begin mass production. Additionally, prototyping can be used to evaluate an existing design or product and improve its precision.

Most of the time, theoretical tests don’t provide real-life solutions. As a business, the only way to stand out and serve your clients beyond expectations is to ensure your product is well-tested in the design stage. 

Through prototyping, errors in the final product are not passed directly to consumers. The process is also cost-effective for businesses.

The prototyping process

The prototype machining process provides quick feedback to the engineers on the performance of the design. Through feedback, the engineers can go back to the drawing table, improve the prototype, and have an effective final product.

However, the prototyping process has some crucial steps to obtaining optimum performance. They include:

Design review

The first step engineers undertake is to review the design using a 3D CAD system in molding. At this stage, engineers can get an insight into the most efficient design features and make adjustments before the model is produced.

Engineers can plan and ensure that every prototype can be produced efficiently on a large scale because some prototypes are difficult for mass production.

Creating a 3d model

Creative company professional digital engineer modeling 3D mesh while improving geometry. Asset creator optimising polygon count while using CAD

After engineers have correctly mapped the design review process, the next step is to create a 3D model. The molded prototype is then sent to a machine shop for production using a CAM program.

Engineering the prototype

The last step is to engineer the prototype. CNC prototyping can be used in this process; however, it’s not cost-effective compared to 3D printing, especially if you need to cut expenses in the prototyping stage.

The design roars to life after the prototype is finally produced. After that, the prototype can be put into mass production.

Benefits of prototyping

Different prototype parts play different roles, all in harmony to have an efficient final product. A lot goes on during the product development stages, and we can’t truly appreciate prototyping without listing its benefits. They include:

  1. You get to receive feedback from end users, such as customers
  2. You get to discover design problems early and correct them.
  3. You get a precise estimate of the production cost
  4. You’re able to test and determine if the product is durable
  5. You can improve the product
  6. You can raise funds and find investors because you have a working prototype to demonstrate.

What are the advantages of metal prototypes? 

Metal Prototype Machining

Metal prototypes are made using metal manufacturing techniques such as CNC machining, sheet metal forming, and casting. Although you can use plastics for prototypes, metal is preferred because it closely mimics the final products.

Some of the advantages of using metal prototypes include the following:

  • You get better functional and mechanical performance
  • You get precise, accurate testing
  • You get better aesthetics
  • You get a higher chance of convincing an investor
  • It’s easier to move to the next phase, which is the production

What methods are available for making metal prototypes?

The available methods for making metal prototypes differ in mechanical results achieved, costs incurred, and the time taken in production. To get a better glimpse, we will take a look at some of the methods.

Metal machining

CNC machining uses instructions from a computer to cut a metal block. The method is relatively affordable because you can make duplicates easily or share the design with other parties. However, the subtractive nature of the prototype machining process leads to material wastage.

3D printing

3D printing, just like CNC machining, uses design input from a computer. The 3D-printed prototypes stand out from the rest because of their complex features, especially in the internal sections. In addition, you also get the design at a low cost, although the surface finish may not be impressive.

Metal casting

During metal casting, you pour hot liquid metal inside a mold. When the mold cools down, it becomes a part. Metal casting parts are solid and high quality, but quality comes at a price. You require specialist equipment, which is quite expensive.

Get the best metal prototyping services.

Getting the right shop for prototype machining can be a daunting challenge. At Glenn Metalcraft Inc., the expertise gained since 1947 will provide you with prototype designs forged on quality. Contact us today.

In addition, we have extended services offered by our parent company, Elemet Group, at your disposal.

CNC Machining

High Precision Machining Methods Ensure High Quality Parts

At its bare bones, machining removes excess raw material from a bar stock, typically metal. High-precision machining uses high-performance cutting tools combined with sophisticated software and engineering talent to achieve highly accurate levels of machining.

Modern tools with incredibly tight tolerances reach mind-blowing limits of design feature creation. The materials used in these precise machining processes allow engineers to produce parts that meet specifications and tolerances. These high tolerance levels make high-precision machining stand out from every other machining process.

Learn more about high-precision machining methods from Glenn Metalcraft. The company is a leader in the precision machining industry.

Their collection of modern tools uses the latest software, and the manufacturing atmosphere is regulated to enable the production of precise prototypes and production parts. Some high-tech machining methods include robotic welding, metal spinning, cutting, and other machining tools in their extreme heavy metal spinning processes.

High precision manufacturing process

Defining High Precision in Machining

High-precision machining is critical in developing most machines, equipment, and parts today. In principle and execution, the process must ensure machined parts meet specifications and fit precisely. The quality of the machined parts forms the core parts of the process – perhaps even more important than the speed and volume of production and costs.

Modern CNC technology in high-precision machining has significantly evolved over the past decade. The industrial engineering tools required to produce high-precision parts use advanced software and are produced using ultra-precise tools. These machines follow particular engineering blueprints made using computer-aided design or manufacturing (CAD or CAM) programs such as TurboCAD and AutoCAD.

The sophistication of modern-day CNC and other high-precision machining tools makes it easy to produce parts by feeding the machine with a ready-design blueprint. The blueprints are typically 3-dimensional diagrams or outlines of the tools, parts, or objects to be machined. In some cases, engineers can feed hand-drawn sketches and rough designs of precision parts directly into the machine and still produce exact details.

Tools Used in High Precision Machining

Tools Used in High-Precision Machining

There are various types of milling and cutting tools used in precision machining. These tools are designed and made to meet strict tolerance stress resistance requirements.

The most common tools used in precision machining today are:

Modern precision machining is done using a heavy CNC machine. CNC stands for computerized numerical control. As the name hints, this is a computerized manufacturing process that uses programmable software and code to control the movement of machining tools. It is because of the computerization of the process that modern precision machining can produce high-precision results.

Common Applications of High-Precision Machining?

The subtractive process of precision machining is used to create a wide range of items, products, and parts from different materials. Since the parts require strict tolerance ranges, there is no room for error. The components of small and large objects we rely on in our day-to-day lives are prototyped and produced through precise processes.

Products, parts, and components that need incredibly tight tolerances are the driving forces for precision machining. The process of precision engineering and machining ensures that only parts that meet the set manufacturing tolerances are produced.

CNC high-precision engineering is also used to repair tools and components that wear out over time. For instance, machine components with moveable parts may wear out and get loose over time. Engineers may use re-calibration, welding, and grooving processes to restore the parts to their original state.

Another common application of high-precision engineering is producing automated production lines and test fixtures. This application is more prevalent in the electronics, medical machine production, and automotive assembly industries.

Quality Inspections on High Precision Machining Methods

Quality Inspections on High-Precision Machining Methods

The primary reason to choose CNC high-precision machining is that it ensures high productivity and fewer errors than traditional machining. However, despite the system’s reliability and processes, quality inspection is still a necessary part of the process. Engineers must carry out inspection and quality control at all stages of the machining process.

There are three quality inspection levels in the production process:

  1. Checking machine tool accuracy – This includes optimizing the accuracy and centering of the machining tool. It also covers testing other tool parameters, such as the orientation of the axis and spindle.
  2. Testing part or product size and position – This test also includes checking geometric and dimensional tolerances and may vary based on the requirements of the tool or application.
  3. Monitoring and controlling the machining process to avoid errors – Many factors can influence the precision and accuracy of the machining process. Process monitoring must be carried out at every stage of the product lifecycle, from ideation and design to prototyping and mass production.

Note that quality control and inspection differ from quality assurance in machining. The latter refers to the efficiency of the quality inspection set by the company carrying out the machining process. Quality assurance often includes external non-machining factors such as related documents and product delivery.


What to do to Ensure Quality Precision Machining

Here are five critical things every engineer, designer, or company must do to ensure quality high-precision machining:

  1. Choose the best precision machining tools for the job at hand
  2. Use the right high-precision machining methods for the part
  3. Set and maintain a quality assurance system at every stage of production
  4. Establish tight tolerances in all operations from design to machining
  5. Check the raw materials before beginning the machining process

Get the Highest Quality Parts

The rapid evolution of CNC high-precision machining technologies has empowered manufacturers to put higher precision requirements for their prototypes and products in place. In recent years, the machining industry has been developing faster, making it possible for anyone with design software to access high-precision machining wherever they are.

Are you interested in high-precision machining? Need a prototype or a full production run that would benefit from high-precision machining methods? If so, go to to get the right answers from the experts.

Plasma Arc Machining

What are the Typical Applications of Plasma Arc Machining?

Plasma Arc Machining (PAM) can sound so alien and sophisticated to those who do not know what it means. However, it is a simple process that began in the 1960s to use less energy for arc welding. 

PAM has revolutionized the material used in arc welding over time. It also has a host of other advantages that other processes lack. For instance, it can be used with almost all types of metals and requires less energy and maintenance, among other benefits. This article discusses the benefits and limitations of PAM and its applications.

What is Plasma Arc Machining?

Plasma Arc Machining (PAM) refers to a process that uses a high-velocity jet of high-temperature gas to melt and displace material on its path. It involves metal cutting with a plasma arc or tungsten inert gas arc torch. This torch produces a high-velocity jet of high-temperature ionized gas that cuts metal and removes material from the workpiece. The material you work on with the PAM is called the workpiece.

The temperature in the plasma zone range from 11000 to 28000℃ (20000 to 50000 F). PAM is occasionally used as an alternative oxyfuel gas cutting process that melts and vaporizes metals using high temperature electric arcing. 

Depending on the material you are using, various gases can be used. The most common gases used are Nitrogen and Hydrogen. However, other types of gases can be used in Plasma Arc Machining. For superior machining and metal cutting services, you can contact Glenn Metalcraft Inc today.

Construction of PAM


Plasma Arc Machining consists of a plasma gun. This gun has an electrode made up of tungsten situated in the chamber. This tungsten electrode is then connected to a negative terminal of the DC power supply. 

Hence, the tungsten acts as a cathode while the positive terminal of the DC power supply is connected to the nozzle. The nozzle of the plasma gun then acts as an anode.

Advantages of PAM

There are various reasons why Plasma Arc Machining stands out among its peers, and here are some of the reasons.

  1. Its ability to cut different types of metal materials makes it unique. While steel and aluminum are the commonly used metals, other tough and delicate metals are perfect for PAM.
  2. Using high-velocity gas allows the machine to eat away the material that should be cut and is not as hard on the machine as it would be on others. Importantly, since it uses gas, there is no actual contact between the actual plasma gun and the workpiece itself.
  3. The use of PAM results in more experienced and skilled workers who will find that their productivity and accuracy have increased due to the use of this tool.
  4. PAM has a cleaner operating style and uses almost no chemicals to operate. This makes it much safer to handle by the workers since there are no harsh chemicals that can jeopardize a worker’s well-being.
  5. Plasma arc machining requires less maintenance compared to similar tools that need regular and costly maintenance. This is because it does not create a ton of extra debris or get damaged by the chemicals used.
  6. Although expensive, plasma arc machining requires less energy to conduct operations, which means it is cost-effective in the long run. Its high-temperature gas allows it to work on more materials without extra effort.

Disadvantages of PAM

For everything that has advantages, it must have its disadvantages. Here are some of the limitations that bound plasma arc machining.

1) It is complicated to use thereby limiting the number of workers trained. The fact that it is expensive to acquire PAM limits the number of persons who can use it and get an acceptable return on investment. Additionally, the need for extra training limits the number of workers able to use these machines.

2) Plasma Arc Machining is not ideal for larger jobs. This is because it has high gas consumption rates despite increasing workers’ productivity. As such, it requires the purchase of additional gas.

3) The bulkiness of the machine often gets in the way of the worker, making it hard for them to see where the plasma arc is cutting. This greatly impairs the resulting products leading to losses in some instances.

4) The gas fumes and the high temperature used in the process can damage the workpiece, leading to losses in some instances, as well.

The Industrial Applications of PAM

PAM Industrial Uses - Plasma Arc Machining

  1. a) It is used for profile cutting.
  2. b) It is used for turning and milling hard to machines materials.
  3. c) It is used for cutting alloy steels, stainless steel, titanium, copper, cast iron, nickel, aluminum, and alloys of copper and nickel.
  4. d) It is also used in uniform thin film spraying of refractory materials on different metals, plastics, and ceramics.

Call on PAM

Plasma Arc Machining is an ideal metal cutting process that uses less energy to do more. It is also characterized by increasing the efficiency of workers. 

So are you in search of machining or metal cutting services? Look no more; Glenn Metalcraft Inc. has got you covered. Contact us today to inquire about the services we are offering.

CNC Machining Welding


Machining is the art of processing metal, wood, ceramic, or plastic into products of the desired shape, weight, density, and length. However, most industries limit the use of this term to mean producing metal products of different shapes and sizes to suit various industrial needs. In this blog, we’ll be introducing to you the types of machining equipment as well as their processes.

Numerous products can be produced through machining, including automotive parts, bolts, screws, nails, rails, metal rods, and frames. These products are essential in various industries, such as the automotive and construction industries.

Types of machining processes

There are many types of machined components produced from different machining processes. However, modern engineers have adopted five main types of machining to summarize the entire lot. These are:


Drilling refers to making holes into metallic products. This is common on products such as rails that have to be fitted together using a screw. Drilling is also performed on bolts and nuts. Modern machining companies utilize automated systems to drill accurately and effectively according to the client’s demands.

The automotive industry requires a lot of drilling as the manufacturer must fit different car parts together. Heavy-duty construction companies also need a host of drilled materials for construction purposes. You can also think of railway construction companies relying on this technology to create screw gaps in the thick rail system.


Turning is a machining process that rubs and presses a raw material against a sharp surface, shaving it off. The raw material is spun by an automated tool against a harder material which shaves or cuts it off into the desired shape.


Milling tools work in almost a similar fashion to drilling tools, only that it works by rotating around the object and shaving it into the desired shape. The object is clamped into a fixed position, and a computer-controlled miller is rotated around it, cutting off the upper layer into the desired pattern.


Industrial Welder With Torch

In most cases, machining may involve joining two or more pieces of metal together through welding. Welding allows you to craft artifacts of different patterns and shapes and reinforce metal piece connections that bolts and screws cannot.


Metals, being super hard, require professional metal cutting tools available at top machining operations centers. This process is essential in trimming down metal sizes into desired lengths and shapes that can fit into different spheres of construction.

Automated machining tools are often programmed with special parts that perform several machining processes simultaneously. This equipment is made up of different machining tools pooled together. Here are common machining tools;

Common machining equipment

Several machining tools are designed to perform various processes. They include:

Turning tools

These tools are designed to grasp the raw material and rotate it against a fixed milling or cutting blade.

Milling tools

Technicians use millers in ingraining patterns against metal surfaces. These are a connection of sharp and hard blades that scrape off the layers of the raw material to a desired shape or pattern. Milling tools are mostly fixed onto the machining robot, but you can get small portable ones for domestic use.

Drilling tools

Drilling tools are essential when making holes on metal surfaces for screws and fittings. A drill should be made up of hard material that can withstand the pressure against the raw material being processed. Drills come with chisels of various diameters allowing you to customize the holes to fit the size of screws at hand.

Cutting tools

Cutting tools are mainly used in construction to finely and accurately cut metals. Automated cutting machines use integrated lasers for precise accuracy in high-tech metal products.

Boring tools

Boring is the process of enlarging already drilled holes. This is often done whenever there is a need to use larger and more robust screws to secure the joints. Sometimes, drilled holes may be of small size and may require enlargement.

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining

types of machining equipment: Technician works on large CNC computer numerical control cutting machine

Most machining processes are repeatable and can be cumbersome if done manually. Computer numerical control (CNC) incorporates computer hardware and programs that perform repeated commands several times. CNC also enhances the accuracy and efficiency of machining processes while reducing waste in raw materials and the workforce.

Hybrid CNC machines can be manually or automatically operated, ensuring continuous processing even if the system is down. Additionally, these machines are fitted with all machining tools and can perform multiple tasks simultaneously, significantly saving time and workforce.

Machining applications

Machining products form the core of industries such as engineering, manufacturing, automobile, and construction, among other sectors. For instance, the petroleum industry requires fine measurements of pipe sizes, hammerheads, drill bits, and structural elements such as beams and rebar. This is why machining has a versatile application accommodating needs from limitless fields. 

Key Takeaway

Machining tools are essential in running the operation of businesses in various sectors. Your business can thrive better if you partner with a reliable machined products supplier in the US. One machined product dealer is Glenn Metalcraft, which supplies various machined components across the United States.

Glenn Metalcraft is part of the Elemet Group and offers various machining services, including drilling, spinning, cutting, and welding. We also offer fabrication and finishing services under our parent group, Elemet Group. Contact us through our website or visit our offices in Princeton, Minnesota, and Fort Worth, Texas.



Are Your Precision Metal Cutting Needs Ready to be Re-shored?

Precision metal cutting is a challenging process that requires skilled workers, specialized equipment, and cutting-edge technology. In today’s global economy, it’s not uncommon for companies to outsource their precision metal cutting needs to foreign suppliers to save money or meet other business requirements.

However, you might consider re-shoring your precision metal cutting operations back into the United States for several reasons. These may be a desire for better quality control, concerns over rising costs, and mainly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global supply chain.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Global Shipping

Precision Metal Cutting Needs Ready to be Re-shored: The Impact of Covid-19 on Global Shipping

The impact of Covid-19 has taken a significant hit on the global shipping industry leading to a direct effect on the precision metal cutting industry.

The availability of new ships has reduced drastically due to COVID-19 outbreaks around the world. As a result, vessel capacity has become more limited than ever before – which means that there are fewer available ships for shippers looking to transport their products across oceans.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it considerably impacted container shipping flows and global supply chains.

For example, it reduced the available capacity due to port closures or slowdowns, pressure on equipment availability, possible congestion in specific ports, and extra related costs (such as bunker surcharge).

This can further delay shipments moving through these ports – whether overseas or domestic destinations – making it hard for companies like yours who rely on timely deliveries from overseas partners.

Given that Covid-19 exceptionally hard hit some industries, companies that can source and make their products locally might be in a better position to recover and grow than those in favor of sourcing overseas.

Complexity and Tolerances of Precision Metal Cutting

Many companies choose to re-shore their precision metal cutting needs to keep their costs low and avoid the hassle of managing overseas suppliers. But it’s more than just that.

Knowing the factors determining whether that’s the right decision for you is also essential.

Two main factors determine whether a project is a good fit for re-shoring. The first is complexity, which refers to the number of parts and their interrelationships. If you have a simple task with few unique or interacting parts, it may be possible to find an overseas provider that can do it quickly and cheaply.

On the other hand, if your project has many unique components and tight tolerances, it will take longer and be more difficult for an overseas company to complete without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

The second factor determining whether re-shoring makes sense for your precision metal cutting project is tolerance requirements: how precisely each part needs to perform its function within a given range of acceptable performance (or “tolerance”).

For example, suppose all parts have specifications that are 0.1 mm off from perfect alignment. In that case, any error in manufacturing will translate into errors in assembly, which could lead to a product that won’t work correctly when you install them on-site—and that’s not something you want.

You want to find a company that can handle your project with precision and accuracy—which means having experience working with tight tolerances on parts manufactured overseas.

Supply Chain Issues

Precision Metal Cutting Operation: Supply Chain Issues

If you’ve ever shipped a large order or re-shored your operation, you know how much of a hassle it is dealing with supply chain issues.

These issues can arise from natural disasters, factory closures, and even poor weather conditions. While these things are sometimes unavoidable, they can significantly impact your business if not handled properly.

With offshore manufacturing, there can be longer lead times for parts based on increased shipping time and customs clearance issues. There is also a greater risk for errors due to quality control issues and communication barriers between you and the manufacturer.

Current supply chain issues make it more challenging to find suppliers who can handle overseas large volume orders or smaller domestic ones. Now may be the perfect time to re-shore your precision metal cutting operation. As a result, you will get to serve your customers quickly and more efficiently than ever before.

Quantity Minimums

By re-shoring your precision metal cutting needs, you can avoid the larger quantity minimums often required when dealing with offshore manufacturers to make it worth their time. This is especially beneficial to a small-scale business that is just starting, as it gives them more freedom in terms of budget and capacity.

In addition, by using the services from an onshore manufacturer, you can be sure that they will do your work on time and follow the specifications you set forth.

What Can a Domestic Manufacturer Offer Over a Foreign Manufacturer?

Domestic manufacturers can offer several advantages over foreign manufacturers, including:

  • Faster turnaround time – As a domestic manufacturer, you are closer to your customers and often have shorter delivery times. You also have easy access to the manufacturing facility in case any questions or problems arise during the process.
  • No language barriers – If you need to communicate with your supplier on an ongoing basis, it’s essential that you can speak a common language fluently to prevent misunderstandings between parties. For example, if you call with a question about your product and they can’t understand what you are saying due to their language barrier (or vice versa), this could lead to delays which can negatively impact your bottom line.
  • No shipping delays for metal cutting services- When working with overseas suppliers who aren’t close by, there is usually some delay when shipping products back and forth between countries due mainly to customs issues or exchange rate fluctuations between currencies. This will increase costs significantly as well as affect delivery times which may result in missed deadlines for orders placed by clients who expect quick turnarounds from their suppliers/vendors.

Do You Need a Partner Who Can Deliver a Turnkey Solution?

We are your best option if you need a partner who can deliver a turnkey solution. Glenn Metalcraft provides a one-stop shop for precision metal cutting. We are one of the largest precision metal cutting services providers in the United States, offering our clients speedy turnaround times with high-quality workmanship at competitive prices. Our service includes everything from repair and refurbishing to new production lines for your business needs.

Our highly trained technicians and engineers can easily handle even the most demanding of precise cuts. We offer fully supported rapid turnaround on prototypes and small parts requiring tight tolerances with our in-house precision metal cutting services.

If you need any help with your cutting projects or have questions about what we can do for you, don’t hesitate to call us.


What Is a Weldment Fabrication?

Have you ever sought a one-stop metal fabrication shop that offers machining, heavy metal spinning, cutting, welding, fabrication, and finishing services but didn’t know where to look? You’re in the right place. 

Among the wide-ranging metal manufacturing techniques and disciplines is a service referred to as weldment fabrication. Keep reading to find out:

  • What weldment fabrication is
  • Different metal fabrication processes
  • Various types of welding in metal manufacturing
  • List of industries that commonly use welding in their fabrication process

Contact Glenn Metalcraft if you need weldment fabrication services.

What Is Weldment Fabrication?


In metal production, welding is the process that applies heat to metal parts and then uses a filler to form a joint. Weldment fabrication is joining two or more metal pieces into one cohesive piece. Having an adequately tested design prototype helps determine the kind of weldment required.

The performance of a welded structure is tested by checking and correcting common faults, such as:

  • Improper metal fusion
  • Porosity in the weld metal
  • Undercutting on the base metal

Typical Metal Fabrication ProcessesAdobeStock 83134625

Raw metal passes through a few operations before the final product is client-ready. For example, before an automobile frame reaches the assembly plant, it typically goes through some, if not all, of the following metal fabrication processes:

  • Cutting freshly-made pieces of metal or pre-shaped bars into desired sections using such items as high-tech laser cutting machinery or plasma torches.
  • Folding sheet metal using a press brake or an auto-robotic bending machine that manipulates it into specific angles for the desired shape.
  • Welding is a process that uses heat application to join metals and separate pieces of sheets or panels.
  • Punching involves sandwiching sheet metal between a die and punch-through to create customized contour shapes or holes, sometimes using a process referred to as nibbling.
  • Shearing utilizes a blade controlled by a squaring arm to create precision cuts on metal materials like iron, steel, aluminum, copper, and bronze.
  • Stamping fabrication uses a die to form intricate shapes, images, or letters on a metal panel, as seen in coins.
  • Casting is where molten metal such as gold, silver, steel, or iron is poured into a pre-formed mold and allowed to solidify into a specified form.

Some fabrication facilities may offer specialized metal finishing services, including blackening, cladding, grinding, plating, and powder coating. They are often the last machining operations based on aesthetics.

Commonly Used Welding Methods in Metal Manufacturing

Welding involves a few moving parts to ensure the longevity, integrity, and aesthetics of a weldment centered on industry codes and standards. Depending on the project, some welding facilities apply high-tech lasers, electromagnets, and microwaves. They may also use a simple torch or forge method.

Although there are numerous welding methods, the four most common include:

  • MIG Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) – utilizes an electric arc to heat metals such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper to their melting point to form a permanent bond. MIG welding is employed in automobiles’ manufacture, repair, and maintenance.
  • TIG Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) – uses a consumable tungsten electrode, a rigid metal material that doesn’t burn off or dissolve. Because welding TIG also utilizes helium or argon as an external gas supply, it’s primarily applied in the aerospace and automobile industries.
  • Stick Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) – uses a protected welding electrode covered with a thick coating of flux that burns while creating a protective cover between metal pieces. Stick welding is ideal for creating hard surfaces on farm equipment.
  • Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) – combines a base metal power supply and a continuous hollow flux-filled electrode fed through a welding gun into a weld pool. Given that this type of welding provides exceptional penetration, it’s applied in industrial machining to thick weld steel.welding iron spark fire hot steel with power GMAW welder

Industries That Commonly Use Welding in Their Fabrication Process

Below is a list of industries that rely on welding for their fabrication process:

  • The automotive industry turns to MIG welding to manufacture, assemble, and repair all types of vehicles.
  • Aerospace depends on laser MIG, plasma arc, or electronic welding for manufacturing aircraft and performing precision work during the repair and maintenance of all flying crafts.
  • Infrastructure and construction use plasma arc, shielded, and flux-cored welding for building roads and bridges, including commercial and residential properties.
  • The shipping and railroad industry employs electric arc, gas pressure, and thermite welding processes in constructing, repairing, and maintaining cruise liners, ships, railroad tracks, etc.
  • Manufacturing is another industry that utilizes MIG as a standard welding process to produce computer components, furniture, mining machinery, and agricultural tools.

Final Thoughts

With raw material versatility and the assurance of strength and permanence, welding provides numerous benefits that outweigh other methods for joining or fastening disparate elements.

As you search for metal services minus the inflated costs of doing business with several establishments, consider a one-stop shop like Glenn Metalcraft. We are a full-service shop where you can leverage multiple metal manufacturing solutions under one roof to ensure precision, high quality, and value at competitive rates.

Contact our expert team to ensure your fabrication and welding project is completed according to your standards and specifications.

CNC Machining

Is It Done Yet – Ceramic Coating vs Powder Coating

The metal production process is incomplete without coating and finishing. The coating serves various important purposes in metals, including improving their functionality and increasing their durability. However, some coating materials perform better than others, and it is important to pick one that satisfies all of your needs and preferences. 

Powder and ceramic are the most popular metal coating materials. Here is an overview of ceramic coating vs powder coating, their pros, cons, and recommended applications. 

As part of the Elemet Group, we at Glenn Metalcraft specialize in extreme heavy metal spinning and other services, including cutting and welding. We partner with the other companies in our group to provide a complete range of metal fabrication services, including powder and e-coating through Minnesota Industrial Coatings. Request an estimate and put our excellent customer service and industry knowledge to work on your next project.

ceramic coated flexographic printing roller

Ceramic Coating 

A ceramic coating uses a clear liquid polymer. Its clear appearance characterizes it – essentially, you can see the metal through the clear coating. Ceramic coating is also characterized by its glossy, shiny appearance, excellent for aesthetic appeal. 

The ceramic coating process utilizes two methods: 

Spray Application 

Large metal parts typically call for the use of the spray application. It entails spraying liquid ceramic onto the metal’s surface. The process involves exposure to temperatures as high as 750 degrees Fahrenheit, and the parts are required to have high heat resistance. 

Dip-Spin Application 

Smaller metal parts are more suited to the dip-spin method. It entails immersing the entire metal part into ceramic liquid, effectively coating its whole surface. The process uses a specially designed bin perforated on the sides and bottom. It also involves exposure to high temperatures. 


Some of the most notable benefits of ceramic coating include: 

  • Resistance – Ceramic coating exhibits high resistance against heat and scratching. 
  • Aesthetic Appeal – You can see the metal’s original paint through the clear coating, and its glossy appearance adds a shiny and smooth finish to its overall aesthetic appeal. 
  • Easy Maintenance – Parts coated in ceramic are easier and quicker to repair than parts coated in powder. 
  • Affordable – Ceramic coating is also slightly cheaper than powder coating. 

The most notable benefit of ceramic coating is its high resistance against heat, scratching, corrosion, chipping, and other destructive elements. Ceramic coating can withstand temperatures as high as 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit. 


One notable disadvantage of ceramic coating is its limited durability compared to powder coating. Ceramic coating can last for up to five years with the proper care and maintenance. In contrast, powder coating can last for up to 20 years.

When to Use Ceramic Coating 

Ceramic coating is recommended for use under varying circumstances. Most notably, it is an ideal option if you are on a restricted budget and your part has a short lifespan, as it is cheaper than powder coating. 

Ceramic coating is also recommended if the metal being coated will be frequently exposed to harsh elements such as heat and corrosion, thanks to the ceramic’s high resistance against such elements. Ultimately, your choice of whether to use ceramic coating will depend on your needs and preferences. 

powder coating line conveyer with parts hanging

Powder Coating 

Powder coating uses polymer resins and various pigments. The materials are heated, melted, cooled, and then crushed into the final coating powder. Electrically charging the powder makes it ready to stick to the metal’s surface. The powder is then sprayed onto the metal using compressed air and cured. 

Powder coatings are cured under temperatures between 350 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also worth noting that the surface preparation process entails cleaning the metal using chemicals to make it compatible with the electrostatic painting


Some of the most notable benefits of powder coating include: 

  • Durability Powder coating can last for up to 20 years with the proper care and maintenance. 
  • Resistance – Powder coating is also resistant to destructive elements such as heat, water, humidity, UV rays, and chemicals. 
  • Aesthetical Appeal – Powder coating also comes in many textures, colors, and styles, making for a vibrant, luxurious aesthetic appeal. 

The most notable benefit of powder coating is its durability. The coating is resistant to heat, chemicals, and physical impacts, and it can maintain its glossy appearance for up to 20 years. The coating also helps protect the metal from these and other destructive elements, increasing their durability exponentially. 


Powder coating can be slightly more expensive than ceramic coating, and it may pose more challenges during repairs. However, its high durability offsets the extra cost. 

When to Use Powder Coating 

Powder coating is an excellent option and is especially recommendable for its durability, as it can last for up to 15 years longer than ceramic coating. It is also perfect for aesthetic appeal as it comes in many colors and textures – you can also paint over the coating. It is also worth noting that powder coating is popular for use with used metals. 

a pile of blue powder coated metal ring components

Ceramic Coating vs Powder Coating Done Right 

Now that you understand the differences between ceramic and powder coating, you are ready to start your next project. Glenn Metalcraft Inc. provides the best manufacturing solutions from the first cut through finishing and the final coating via Minnesota Industrial Coatings. Get in touch today to learn more about our services.