Categories
Welding

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 Processes AdobeStock 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.

Categories
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. 

Pros 

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. 

Cons 

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

Pros 

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. 

Cons 

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.

Categories
Laser Cutting

Fixes for Common Problems With Stainless Steel Laser Cutting

Laser cutting machines have come a long way since they first became available for commercial use. The current ones can easily adjust their operating parameters and cut through medium and thick plates of steel alloys like carbon steel. Even then, it’s not a guarantee that the laser will do a good job. 

Let’s take a look at some of these problems and their solutions. When you need help with your laser cutting or other metal fabrication projects, contact the experienced team, ready to help, at Glenn Metalcraft

stainless steel laser cutting control station buttons

Unfamiliarity With Cutting Parameters

Laser cutting is markedly different from plasma cutting. Five factors determine how the machine will cut the stainless steel for sheet metal fabrication. They include:

  • Beam focus
  • Beam power
  • Gas feed rate
  • Gas pressure
  • Nozzle alignment

Modern machines are advanced enough to control the laser beam characteristics. The beam focus and power are crucial for cutting different types of steel alloys with diverse strengths, thicknesses, and grades.

The operating technicians will need to check on the other parameters, depending on the laser used. These include the centering of the nozzle, beam delivery system, and alignment. 

Getting a good cut implies taking into context all the factors and adjusting them according to the material you are attempting to cut. While imperfections during steel fabrication are normal, it doesn’t mean you should tolerate them. Instead, familiarize yourself with the cutting parameters. 

Being oblivious of these cutting parameters produces sheet metal with imperfections that could become costly. 

Problems Brought About by Mixed Characteristics

While getting the right mix to these parameters is not exactly a science, they have to be in the right proportions; otherwise, various issues will arise. Stainless steel laser cutting is all about striking the right balance between the material heated by the laser beam and the gas flowing through the cut. 

If not done right, the following common issues may appear.

stainless steel laser cutting closeup

Large Heat Affected Zones

Cutting metal requires energy, which converts to heat during the cutting process. By using a laser beam, heat is the medium for cutting steel. Since steel is a good heat conductor, the heat transmits away from the point of contact between the laser and the metal. 

A zone forms between the melted metal and the unaffected one during the process. In this area, the microstructure and metal strength are compromised. A large heat-affected zone (HAZ) signifies having a large area of potential weakness. 

While laser cutting has the smallest heat-affected zone of all methods used to cut steel, it doesn’t eliminate the problem. The adequate gas flow between the cut and additional cooling can help reduce the formation of an HAZ.

Striation

Striations are periodic lines that pop up on the surface of a cut in waves. They are undesirable as they affect the final products‘ appearance, surface roughness, and precision. The formation of striations results from the melting and cooling process when the type of gas can influence the cutting method in use. 

It’s impossible to get rid of striations, but decreasing them to a minimal size is possible. You can reduce striations by having a moderately adequate cutting speed. The minor temperature variation provides an almost even heating and melting phase.

Burr Formation

Burrs are created as a laser cuts through the metal by melting the portion it is going over. The gas then pushes the molten metal from between the kerf, solidifying it under the sheet metal. 

Burr formation is impacted by several things, including the sheet metal’s thickness and the type of gas employed. If using nitrogen, the beam is solely responsible for all the energy to melt the metal. Instead of utilizing oxygen, the gas interacts with the heated metal, resulting in an exothermic reaction. This brings about more heat, adding to burr formation.

Though melting the metal is the mechanism for cutting it, regulating the gas pressure is vital to ensuring a high-quality cut. Excess gas pressure is responsible for burr formation and the reason why when using oxygen, gas pressure is lower. 

oxygen pressure gauge regulator monitor for laser cutting machine

Considerations When Using Oxygen 

You have to consider several things if you decide to cut carbon steel using oxygen. This is because oxygen results in an exothermic reaction, and the purity level becomes an influencing factor. Purity above 99.95% indicates that you can significantly increase cutting speed and improve production statistics.

The problem comes in when the purity drops, mostly when changing cylinders or switching to one with impurities such as Argon. When you introduce the new gas to the process, you have to change the controlled exothermic process, and the outcome is a reduction in cutting performance. 

Looking For Innovative Solutions To Your Manufacturing Problems?

Then you’ve come to the right place. At Glenn Metalcraft, we specialize in precision metal works such as heavy gauge metal spinning, laser cutting, and plasma cutting. Request an estimate and see how we can partner to solve your metal fabrication problems. 

Categories
CNC Machining

How to Overcome Precision CNC Machining Challenges

At Glenn Metalcraft Inc, we take pride in serving the OEM industry under the direction of our parent company, Elemet Group. We have the privilege of working alongside other companies in the Group that specialize in a variety of manufacturing processes, including precision CNC machining.

Glenn Metalcraft is unique. We are one of the only companies well-versed in precision CNC spinning. The acronym CNC stands for computer numerical control, a method for automating control of machine tools through microcomputer software located in the tool. 

Precision CNC spinning is an extremely effective and accurate way to approach metal fabrication projects. As with any approach, CNC spinning presents challenges. However, these challenges are also solvable. We have composed a list of possible challenges and remedies that you may face when utilizing CNC machining. 

If you have a project in mind and want to take advantage of our efficient and accurate technique, fill out an estimate request now for a free consultation.

5 Common Challenges of Precision CNC Machining 

The most common issues with machined parts arise with improper maintenance and usage. Below are 5 of the most common errors you may encounter when using CNC machinery. 

1. Applying Wrong Settings and Tools 

Using an inappropriate cutting tool or setting will present challenges and errors. If the cutting tool is not sharp and there is not an appropriate cutting coolant used, a poor surface finish will result. Additionally, this causes a cutter mark on your material and unnecessary wear on your tool. 

Damages occur when the machine settings are wrong. When the feed rate is too high, rough edges and marks appear on your piece. Setting the feed rate too low will burn your workpiece. Wrong settings may even burn your tools. 

2. Machine Vibrating and Chattering 

CNC Machine vibration and chatter are related to tools and settings. If your CNC machine is vibrating or chattering, something needs changing. When the issue goes unfixed, tools will lose durability, the accuracy of dimensions will be affected, and the quality of the workpiece will diminish. 

rack of different metal tube profiles

3. Choosing Inappropriate Raw Material 

The material chosen for your project is an important factor. Some machinists will have an easier time working with certain metals. Moreover, some materials require certain strengths when used for specific functions. 

Each metal responds differently to CNC machining. Some metals need extra steps to produce high-quality products, such as deburring. Note how CNC machining affects different metals and parts. 

If you do not take time to consider what metals are best for your project, you may face avoidable issues had you used a different type of material. 

4. Processing and Programming Data 

CNC machining relies on software. This software can easily affect a machine’s performance. Sometimes, issues may arise when the computer software is not productively communicating with the device. For example, the software may dictate machine instructions too slowly. 

CNC machines are programmed and have a programming language. Lack of knowledge of coding and programming data will lead to errors in production and problems with the machines. 

5. Purchasing and Repairing CNC Machines 

CNC machines are expensive and require a hefty investment. CNC machine repairs are also costly. The machines are notoriously complex and require specific mechanical and programming knowledge to repair. The knowledge required takes years to develop and does not come easily.

metal part being fabricated using precision CNC machining

Remedies for Common Precision CNC Machining Challenges

Fortunately, each challenge has a corresponding remedy. Most of the solutions require educating yourself on how CNC machinery works. Knowledge will allow you to take preventive measures to avoid precision CNC spinning errors. 

Deal with Setting and Tools 

Setting and Tool issues are relatively easy to fix. Consider the following solutions: 

  • Examine the material and decide what tool and setting is appropriate 
  • If a tool is blunt, replace the tool with a sharpened tool 
  • Examine the tool type and adjust the settings accordingly 

Listen for Chatter and Vibration 

When these noises appear, something is wrong. Check these areas if you notice chattering or vibrating: 

  • Adjust the RPM 
  • Use tool holders that are balanced 
  • Check if there is enough lubricant 
  •  Look at CNC machine part positioning
  • Check hydraulic pump and pressure 

Know the Correct Material to Use 

Knowing your metals will help you avoid issues linked to the material. To avoid issues: 

  • Know what material you and your staff can machine well 
  • Know the project 
  • Consider what material will be most efficient based on part function 

technician programming precision CNC machine

Address Process and Program Issues 

Processing and programming pitfalls are not easy for new operators to address. An experienced operator that knows coding is best at fixing data issues. However, there are some steps you can take yourself: 

  • Make sure the machine is aligned mechanically 
  • Try turning off the machine and reboot 
  • Technical upgrades
  • Invest in programming training 

The most beneficial fix for an ineffective CNC machine is to upgrade hardware and computer software. 

Take Preventive Measures to Reduce Repairs 

Upfront, CNC machinery is expensive. Small companies may struggle to adjust to the costs of CNC machinery. In the long run, investing in CNC machining will yield profit. 

Repairs are costly and require expertise. To reduce the cost of repairs, make sure you are proactive. Follow these suggestions: 

  • Invest in preventive machine maintenance programs 
  • Make sure technicians know how to operate CNC equipment correctly
  • Regularly check hardware and software 
  • Clean and perform regular maintenance on the machine, often 
  • Check airflow and lube levels 

Calipers, pen, and other tools laying on a precision CNC machining drawing

CNC Machining Solutions 

There are many challenges presented when operating CNC machinery. However, understanding possible difficulties will help you fix them.

It is feasible to operate precision CNC spinning smoothly. The right information and materials are needed. If you are interested in an in-depth review of the benefits of CNC machines, check out this article. 

To keep away from CNC machinery complications altogether, hire Glenn Metalcraft Inc for your precision CNC spinning needs. Our staff are adept at addressing issues that arise while operating CNC machines. Our highly skilled team is dedicated to fulfilling project needs and providing excellent customer service. Reach out to Glenn Metalcraft today!

Categories
CNC Machining

High-speed Machining Formulas and Definitions

Have you ever wondered what high-speed machining is? Are you curious about high-speed machining formulas and definitions?

HSM, also known as trochoidal milling, is all about efficiency. It’s become popular over the last few years, with more and more shops adopting the practice. There have even been some advances in Machine Learning that deal directly with HSM and optimizing your tooling.

This article will explore some of the backgrounds of high-speed machining, how it compares to conventional machining, and touch on some high-speed machining techniques.

Keep reading if you’re curious about the process and how you can apply it to your next project. Then contact Glenn Metalcraft for your heavy metal spinning and other fabrication needs. 

What is High-speed Machining (HSM)?

At its heart, high-speed machining (HSM) is all about increasing material removal rates while decreasing cycle time and improving tool lifetime.

Companies tend to argue about the correct definition of HSM. Some say that the process requires quick milling passes. You may also find the very technical definition — machining at the resonant frequency of the machine. When you break it down, all this means is using spindle speeds that help to minimize chatter.

Even the “High-Speed” part of HSM is disputed. Although generally, HSM is understood to start at 18,000 rpm, various shops have shown that the process can work with slower spindles as well.

Other machinists argue that HSM should deal with high material removal rates only. The argument here is that the true aim of HSM is to give a surface finish that’s good enough after one pass. 

Remarkably, the initial reason HSM became a consideration was the discovery that increasing spindle speed reduces the heat in the cut once you reach a particular point. At the same time, there’s also a change in cutting forces which likely contributes to the lower heat of the cutting edge.

Let’s look at an example using aluminum. At around 300 SFM (surface feet per minute), the surface temperature is approximately 650c or ~1200f. The research shows that at 1000 SFM, you start seeing the same temperatures! Even more interesting, research also shows that there’s a possibility to run faster and get even lower temperatures.

close-up of dictionary entries for machinery, machine tool, machinist

A Few Definitions

You’ll commonly hear a couple of definitions when talking about HSM and you can find a few of them below.

Feeds and Speeds

This phrase will also sometimes show up as “Speeds and Feeds.” In the simplest definition, it refers to the cutting speed and the feed rate. These two terms are often paired up when we talk about CNC cycles, but you can also use them separately.

You’ll usually see this term used alongside calculations for high feed rates and high RPM operations. Feeds and Speeds calculators can help achieve excellent finishes on both sides of the tool’s cutting edge.

Check out the full section on Speeds and Feeds further down.

SFM

SFM stands for surface feet per minute. It’s a reference to how quickly cutting tools move across the surface of a piece in a CNC cycle. Obviously, the speed at which your tool head moves impacts the whole process.

Chip Load

The chip load, otherwise known as “feed per tooth,” is the thickness of the material that gets cut away by each tooth. The chip tends to take away some of the heat with it during the milling process.

We care about this, particularly because with the wrong calculations, you may end up clogging your tool teeth and increasing temperature.

Radial Depths

When talking about the radial depth of a cut (RDOC), machine shops mean the distance a tool steps over into the workpiece. This is also sometimes called Stepover and cut width.

Chip Thinning

Chip thinning generally happens when the RDOC varies. When we talk about chip thinning, we’re talking about the thickness of the chip. Chip thinning occurs when the Chip Load and RDOC are not equal.

An easy way to think of this is to remember that if each tooth is working on the surface at a ninety-degree angle, our cut is most efficient. At that point, the RDOC is at 50% of the cutter diameter.

Below 50% RDOC, the chip thickness changes, and the cut becomes less efficient. This decrease in efficiency can lead to tools wearing down faster than expected and poor quality finishes.

industrial professional inputting high-speed machining variables into a CNC machining panel

Milling Variables

Beyond the definitions we’ve looked at above, there are some variables used in calculations for CNC machines that you should be aware of. We’ll discuss the formulas themselves a little further down.

  • Speed – Surface Feet per Minute (SFM)
  • Feed – Inches per Minute (IPM)
  • Feed per Tooth (FPT)
  • Adjusted Feed per Tooth – Chip Thinning (AFPT)
  • Feed per Revolution (FPR)
  • Depth of Cut (DOC)
  • Width of Cut (WOC)
  • Tool Diameter (D)
  • # of Teeth in Cutter (Z)
  • Metal Removal Rate – Cubic Inches per Minute (MRR)

High-speed Machining Formulas and Definitions

So how do you calculate optimal speeds and feeds? There are two main equations to use. Read on for more information on each part of the equation and how you can get the information that goes into it.

The first formula looks like this:

Feed Rate = Spindle RPM x Number of Teeth x Chip Load

You’ll need to know the RPMs (revolutions per minute) of your spindle and if you’re unsure, check with your manufacturer. They will have spec sheets that deal with your particular model.

Once you have found all your variables, plug them into the formula to calculate your feed rate.

The second formula for calculating SFM looks like this:

SFM = RPM x Diameter x pi/12

Now that you’ve got your RPM, you can plug the values to this formula to find the SFM.

Finally, if you have your SFM, you can also work back to get your Spindle Speed:

RPM = 12 x SFM / 3.14 x Diameter

Or, if you prefer a more simplified version:

RPM = 3.8 x SFM / Diameter

CNC high-speed machining center cutting mold

Expert Machining Done Right

The benefits of high-speed machine tools are quite clear. Now, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice. With a little patience and experience, you’ll find that HSM improves milling efficiency substantially.

Although the high-speed machining formulas and definitions we’ve talked about are fairly standard, they can feel complex and overwhelming. Contact Glenn Metalcraft to discuss full-service metal manufacturing when you’re ready to explore HSM further.

Categories
Subtractive Manufacturing

How Long Does Powder Coating Last?

Is your business in route for an upgrade? It’s not uncommon for successful businesses to upgrade components to serve their customers better and bolster their brand. Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that your business is ready to level up and lead the competition.

One of the most important things you can do is add a fresh coat of paint to preserve your equipment and maintain a professional look. One of the best ways to do that is with powder coating. However, you may be wondering, “how long does powder coating last?” You would want your coating to be worth the investment.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for answers. This article will show you what you need to know about powder coatings so you’ll know if you should make the right move. Read on to find out more, then reach out to Glenn Metalcraft to discuss your full-service metal manufacturing needs.

So, How Long Does Powder Coating Last?

Powder coating is a powerful substance, but not all coatings are created equal or for the same tasks. Powder coatings vary in strength, application, and usage, all of which will affect the longevity of the coating overall. Here are just a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself that will help determine how long your coating will last.

powder blends in green, rust, yellow color on a white surface

What Are the Different Types of Powder Coatings?

The most obvious thing to look into is the type of powder coating you plan to use. There are several different types of coatings, but the most common ones are:

  • Polyester coating: a popular coating material used in many interior and exterior applications;
  • Epoxy coating: a super strong and durable material that’s great for indoor usage;
  • Fluoropolymer coating: A highly weather-resistant coating that makes it great for exterior use, and;
  • Urethane coating: A coating similar to polyester but is harder and more resistant to chemicals.

Each type of powder coating offers its own strengths, and by choosing the best one for your needs, you can get the most years out of it.

Also, by applying a pre-treatment solution before you add the coating, you will maximize the lifespan of the coating and keep your equipment looking new for a long time to come!

how long does powder coating last on a green powder coated structure in a outdoor winter environment

What Factors Affect the Life of a Coating, and How?

Of course, the lifespan of your powder coating can also be affected by the numerous factors surrounding your business and your application. The first thing to determine is whether you’ll be adding the coating for interior or exterior use. If the item you’re applying the coating to is for outdoor applications, but the powder coating itself is for interior application, you will drastically reduce the lifespan of the coating.

The presence of certain chemicals in the environment could also affect the coating’s lifespan. Although some powder coatings have more resistance to chemicals and corrosion than others, a chemical-laden setting is sure to wear all coatings down at a faster rate.

You’ll also want to factor in the function of the actual machine or part that’s being coated. A stationary machine or component is less likely to wear down the powder coating, while one that’s constantly moving and creating friction and heat will wear the coating down faster.

Hanging conveyors in an industrial powder coating line.

Get the Right Coating for Your Needs

Hopefully, this article gave you some insights into what determines how long powder coatings will last, as well as the type of coating you need for your part or application. That said, you’ll want to make sure you get the right people to add the correct powder coating for the task.

Glenn Metalcraft is the heavy gauge metal spinning leader and provides a full-service machining and finishing options menu. Our mission is to provide innovative, single-source solutions to the OEM industry. Make sure to check out our site to see what we have to offer, or give us a call and start working with us today!

Categories
CNC Machining

CNC Machining vs 3D Printing

Choosing between CNC machining and 3D printing is a common question for anyone looking to create metal products. Both machines produce a wide range of metal parts and offer unique perks. However, not every business will benefit from using both, and the wrong choice could cost you in terms of quality and money. How do you know which manufacturing process your company should invest in? 

This guide will take a look at everything you need to know when comparing CNC vs 3D printing. It will help you make an informed decision and choose a process that’s better suited for your needs. In the end, if you decide you need a reliable expert for your metal parts production, call Glenn Metalcraft to have your parts shipped directly to you.

CNC Machining Basics

A CNC milling machine. CNC Machining VS 3D printing

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. An engineer designs software to guide the CNC machine to build parts. Because the part is built by software and machines, the entire process is very precise. 

CNC machines are capable of producing parts through a process of subtractive manufacturing. With subtractive manufacturing, machines take a block of material and remove (subtract) pieces to form the final metal component. 

CNC machining has been around since the 1950s, which makes it a traditional manufacturing process. However, the original technology has been improving ever since. For example, companies like Glenn Metalcraft now operate on 6-axis machines, making the process quick, efficient, and highly accurate. 

With machines like the HAAS R2000IB 165R, Glenn Metalcraft can handle large payloads and functions such as: 

  • Material handling
  • Drilling
  • Tooling
  • Press tending
  • Spot welding
  • Assembly

3D Printing Basics

A 3d printing machine creating a product. CNC Machining VS 3D printing

One of the biggest differences in CNC vs 3D printing is simply how it works. As mentioned before, CNC machining is subtractive. However, a 3D printer functions as an additive machining process without support structures. 

With the additive machining of a 3D printer, metals are added layer by layer to build parts. First introduced in the 1980s, it has become more prominent and common in recent years. 

3D printing also uses software to build metal parts, but its capabilities in terms of size and handling are limited compared to those of CNC machines.

CNC Machining vs 3D Printing: How To Choose

Metal automotive parts created with CNC machining, not 3D printing.

As you learn how the two manufacturing processes work, you may already start to realize which is right for you. Here are some key differences between the two options to take into account when considering CNC vs 3D printing.

Speed

When it comes to large orders, nothing beats computer numerical control. These machines reduce the need for operators as they can handle much of the process from beginning to end. They can also handle large pieces on their own and work quickly from one part to the next. 

While a 3D printer can be fast, it can’t produce large bulk orders as quickly and only takes on what fits on the printer bed. So when you need a large order done accurately and speedily, CNC machining may be the better option for you. 

Price

You may not see any difference in price per unit between the two manufacturing processes for some smaller orders. However, for large orders, CNC machining’s speed makes it more cost-effective. Because large quantities are so well handled by the CNC process, you won’t see a significant increase for a large-scale project.

If you’re truly on the fence between 3D printing and CNC, get some quotes from various experts to better understand how your specific order may affect the prices. As a rule of thumb, medium to large-sized orders will get lower prices from CNC machining engineers. 

Size

You can get it all taken care of, from the smallest to the biggest metal parts, by CNC machines. This is because the equipment is made to handle any large block of material and turn it into the final product. These machines are even used to make metal parts for automobiles. 

If you want a large metal part fabricated, it will be far easier to find engineers with the right CNC machines. 

On the other hand, a 3D printed part is limited to the equipment’s size, which is currently significantly smaller than today’s standard CNC machines. While you might find large 3D printing equipment, you will have to shop around. And, it’s not by any means a guarantee that you’ll find what you need. 

Precision

When you send out to have parts created, you want the most professional final product. It won’t do to have jagged surfaces where filaments were laid imperfectly. So when considering whether to choose 3D printing vs CNC manufacturing, know that the 3D printer will work best for less precise components. 

Computer numerical control metal 3D spinning is the way to go for the smoothest surfaces and cleanest lines — it gives you the best results. Any parts needing a tightly toleranced surface, such as key components or tools, require a ready-to-use finish best provided by CNC manufacturing. 

Get CNC Machining Services for Your Products

A CNC machine creating a metal product

Both CNC machining and 3D printing have their own merits. However, one will be better for your project and company’s manufacturing needs than the other.

CNC machining offers a cost-effective, precise, and quick manufacturing process if you’re producing on a large scale. If you’re only looking for a small batch of parts that don’t require the highest quality finish, a 3D printer may give you exactly what you’re looking for at the lowest price. 

If you’re still unsure which is right for you, call Glenn Metalcraft. Our years of experience in providing the highest quality parts and service to our customers make our commitment to growing in the right direction clear. We are happy to answer all your questions about CNC vs 3D printing, so contact us today.

Categories
CNC Machining

Take Advantage of the Flexibility of CNC Machine Capabilities

If you’re looking for the best machined part services, then computer numerical controlled machining (CNC) is the best process for you. Manufacturing any product you need has never been easier with modern CNC machine capabilities. Today’s latest models make it possible to produce more quickly and affordably while providing a highly accurate product. 

CNC machining also offers a wide range of potential features to customers. At Glenn Metalcraft Inc., we specialize in the best CNC machining equipment, operators, tools, and standards to provide high-quality services to our customers. Here are some reasons we love CNC machining and why you should take advantage of these revolutionary products. And if you want to learn more about our manufacturing processes and what we can do for your machining needs, you can reach out to us today. 

CNC Machine Capabilities

A CNC machine lathe

The CNC in CNC machining refers to “computer numerical control.” This phrase means that, rather than a human directly handling the cutting tools and operations, a computer or CNC program controls the machining. As a result, the computer can control every aspect of the machining process, from replacing cutting tools to welding. 

CNC lathes can cut far more precisely than humans can. As a result, they can also handle more dangerous tasks without concern for team member safety. CNC manufacturing processes are only becoming more efficient as the software continues to improve each year and enhance the quality of manufactured parts.

There are many benefits to using CNC machine capabilities for your manufacturing. Here are just a few:

Tasks are accomplished at high speed. 

Computers remain focused on the task at hand, need fewer breaks, and make fewer mistakes. All these factors mean that the machinery will perform tasks more quickly. So, you can expect faster completion times and increased productivity.

Accuracy. 

With humans, there is often room left for human error. After all, people make mistakes. 

But computer-aided design (CAD) means that accuracy is far higher. In fact, it can almost perfectly replicate a template to the accuracy of 1/1,000th of a unit. So you can trust you’re getting what you want from the software and its robotic tools. 

Lower maintenance. 

When you hire companies like Glenn Metalcraft Inc., you may not notice that CNC devices need less maintenance compared to other manufacturing processes. But you will see the difference reflected in fast turnaround times and an affordable rate. 

Large projects accomplished safely. 

Computer-aided design (CAD) software is not only accurate and fast, but the tools themselves can handle large pieces of metal and complex tasks. Fabrication of a large part or specific tasks may pose a danger to staff, but a powerful machine can accomplish the task at hand safely with great accuracy. 

Not sure if CNC machining is right for the part you need to be created? Talk with the engineers at Glenn Metalcraft Inc. and ask what we recommend for this process. 

Multi-Axis Power

A CNC machine at work

There are various types of CNC machines. Each machine can accomplish tasks differently. For example, CNC turning vs. milling is two ways of handling materials to produce a part. The difference is that turning requires the material to move, whereas milling means that the machine’s parts move around the material. 

But in addition to techniques used, you also have options for how many axes a machine has. With more axes come greater CNC machine capabilities. That’s because each axis allows for more movements, allowing the robotic mechanisms to move precisely to accomplish the function required. 

People who are familiar with CNC machine capabilities are most familiar with 3 and 5-axis units. After the 3-axis and 4-axis designs, the 5-axis showcased a significant improvement in machine competency. But people didn’t stop at the 5-axis, and units continue to improve to this day. 

The Benefits of 6-Axis CNC Machining Tools

A CNC machine working

As technology improves, 5-axis units have become the standard. But the 6-axis design improved upon the 5-axis device’s configuration and pushed the limit of CNC machine capabilities. The 6-axis tool allows for much faster cutting times and greater efficiency.

With the release of 6-axis tools, Glenn Metalcraft Inc. chose to invest in this technology. The 6-axis shows time and time again that it produces the best results for our customers. With faster turnaround times and reliable accuracy, we confidently ship our products to our customers, knowing that they will love the results.

If you’re considering what CNC machine capabilities can do for you, check out the axes available from a provider. The more axes, the greater the efficiency and functionality applied to your product. 

Robots in Machining Services

CNC machine capabilities

To be clear, robotics and computer numerical control services are not the same. While there is much overlap in the benefits, there are differences between the two that one is better for certain customers than the other.

However, within the CNC process, a robotic material handler carries out the actions that the computer dictates. For example, Glenn Metalcraft Inc. uses the R-200IB. This machine has a high capacity load with the latest software on the market to guarantee a great product. 

Although our R-200IB is located at our Glenn Metalcraft Inc. Fort Worth, Dallas, Princeton, Minnesota locations, we can ship products throughout the country. You won’t believe what these robotic tools can do until you see the results with your own eyes!

Conclusion — Get Professional CNC Machining

Two workers using a CNC machine

With great accuracy, efficiency, and affordability, there are countless benefits to using CNC machining processes. The power behind these tools and software delivers high-quality materials to industries around the world. 

If you’re looking for professional CNC machining, Glenn Metalcraft Inc. is here to help. Our relationships with customers are as solid as the metals we work with, forged on quality service for the highest quality parts. We ensure that our services are a perfect fit for each product. 

Contact us today to speak with our skilled engineers about your manufacturing needs, and we’ll get started on shipping the perfect CNC machining for your business.

Categories
Welding

6 Benefits of Robotic Welding

Automated welding offers several advantages to businesses, including reduced costs and higher return on investment. This article discusses the many benefits of robotic welding and how it can help your business. 

What are the Benefits of Robotic Welding?

1. Increased Productivity

A welding robot welding in an automotive space

Compared to manual welding, robotic welding systems can achieve faster results. 

It can improve productivity as the robotic systems get the job done quickly. You don’t have to wait hours when you have robots working—the cycle time is lesser, which means you can get more things done. 

Whether you have acquired new or used robots, the output is still the same as long as the purchased robotic welding systems are functional and in good working order or when you hire the right company to help you with fulfillment. Most importantly, robot arms don’t get tired. There’s no need for breaks.

You can have welding robots work as many hours as possible if you have several projects that need to get done. No one has to take vacations or sick leaves. If you’re flexible or have some people who can supervise, your robotic welding systems can work 24/7. 

2. Reduced Mistakes

A blue welding robot welding a large metal piece

With manual welding, it’s possible to make mistakes. 

Robotic systems, on the other hand, are designed to work effectively and efficiently. So long as the machines are well maintained and in good working condition, they make fewer to no mistakes. 

The weld quality will be exceptional with industrial robots. You don’t have to worry about manual welders’ common mistakes, such as choosing the wrong wires or the size gun or using the incorrect voltage. These mistakes are reduced significantly, which in return benefits your company. 

3. Consistency

A yellow welding robot working on an assembly line

Welding processes are used in several industries such as construction and automotive. 

Before the process can begin, a welding method is chosen. The base metals and equipment are prepped, measured, and positioned. Also, the welder has to be certified, prepared, and trained. They need to adhere to the standard procedures to ensure consistency and also avoid contamination. 

When the worker fails to do proper shielding, the result could be weak or porous. You can significantly reduce or completely avoid the problems associated with manual welding when you automate the process. 

With robotic arms helping, you know that the output is always consistent. You won’t have to worry about other issues or contamination. Robotic automation ensures high-quality output and consistency all of the time. 

4. Safety and Cost Savings

A technician programming a robotic welding machine

When it comes to welding, safety is the topmost priority. 

Welding injuries can occur when the workers don’t take the proper precautions, such as wearing safety glasses, safety boots, welding helmets, and hearing protection. When the welder isn’t careful, they could lose their hearing or eyesight and suffer general burns. 

It’s essential to keep all the laborers safe, or the company may pay for the medical bills or other damages if the laborer isn’t insured. You can avoid all these when with the robotic welding process. Robot arms don’t get hurt, and you won’t have to pay for insurance when you have people working for you. Over time, it can add to massive savings on your part. 

Keep in mind that running a business means reducing all the expenses wherever possible to maximize your profit. A higher return of investment is entirely possible with automated welding.

The cost to acquire robots may be higher, but it’s cost-effective in the long run. So long as you know how to maintain your robots properly, they should work efficiently for many years, helping you generate more revenue for your business. 

5. Robots Can Start Immediately

Robotic enigineers working on programming a welding robot

Whether you’re a startup or an established business, it’s essential to have a good hiring process in place to ensure that you have the right people in your team. 

Welding requires the right skill and concentration — you can’t hire anyone for this. They need to have the training and experience for them to work efficiently and effectively. Also, you will, of course, need to pay for labor. 

You can save time when you have robots working for you. There’s no need to spend weeks or months looking for more people to help you finish projects if you’re an established company. 

No more labor costs too, which is one of the benefits of robotic welding. Most importantly, you don’t have to wait for them to get started. Robots can begin working on your project at any time—no need for training or hiring process. Robots are already designed to do their job the best way possible. 

6. High-Quality Output

CNC robotic mig welding steel parts

 

When the workers are not highly trained or experienced, they may make mistakes or even injure themselves. Major defects can include hot and cold cracking, blowholes, penetration defects, or iron contamination. 

Before starting the process, welders need to do some preparation, take extra precautions, store and handle metal the right way, choose the right gun and electrodes, etc. If they fail, the output may not be that exceptional. 

With automated welding, the output will be of top-notch quality if you have the best robots in the market. In return, you get repeat clients.

Invest in Robotic Welding

robotic welding machine

Because of increased productivity and improved quality, you can complete more projects in less time. In return, your business can generate more revenue. 

If you want to drive more revenue, we suggest investing in robotic welding. And that’s where Glenn Metalcraft comes in. 

We can provide both manual and robotic welding services to our clients. Our team can handle small to large volumes of projects. We have been helping businesses for several years and still counting. 

One of our top priorities is to provide the best welding solutions to businesses. Get in touch with us today to request an estimate for your next robotic welding project.

Categories
Metal Spinning

GMI Delivers Superior Metal Spinning

Founded in 1947, Glenn Metalcraft Inc. (GMI) provides high-quality expertise and services to countless businesses. GMI became one of the first U.S. companies to invest in innovative CNC spin technology to present clients with superior metal spinning services. It remains committed to a high standard of excellence and customer satisfaction.

By prioritizing the relationship between Glenn Metalcraft’s employees and customers, GMI delivers quality customer service and skilled craftsmanship to ensure it meets every customer’s needs. In addition to superior metal spinning services, GMI’s roster of metal industry experts allows the firm to recommend the best materials for new products, review engineering designs, and create cost-reduction solutions.

Your success is Glenn Metalcraft Inc.’s success. But don’t just take our word for it ‒ contact us today and learn more about what makes GMI a superior metal spinning company.

Superior Metal Spinning

Metal Industry lathe machine work

Metal spinning, also called spin forming, spinning, or metal turning is the process of rotating a tube or disc of metal at a high speed and applying localized pressure to shape the metal, which is similar to the method used in clay pottery. The process, which creates an axially symmetrical product, can be done by hand or performed by a machine.

Artisans and commercial companies use metal spinning to produce high-quality metal parts for various industries, including home goods, science and technology, and automobiles.

The metal spinning process is cost-effective and produces very little material waste. 

Any form of ductile metal can be used in metal spinning, such as aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, brass, Hastelloy, Inconel, and titanium. The diameter for metal spun through this process can range between one inch to eight feet.

How Does It Work?

Examples of spinning tools litter history. The Ancient Egyptians used manual spinning techniques to create everyday tools or build architectural masterpieces. The process shifted in the Middle Ages to metalwork and would eventually become the machine-operated precision heavy gauge metal spinning it is today.

To begin the spinning process with a CNC machine, a pre-cut sheet of metal also called a blank, is clamped between the mandrel and tailstock of the spinning machine. A primary drive rotates the mandrel and tailstock as a spinning roller performs a series of passes over the block to change its shape.

A skilled hand spinner can also manually spin and shape a piece of metal by applying a roller by hand.

Advantages of Using GMI

A worker operating a metal spinning machine

By using Glenn Metalcraft Inc., you can expect to receive the highest-quality metal spun parts at great prices. GMI’s employees are focused on forging strong relationships with customers to provide the best service possible. Some advantages to working with Glenn Metalcraft Inc. include: 

  • its efficient work center equipped with a mechanical workhorse and a CNC lathe 
  • access to GMI’s metal spinning experts 
  • cost-effective solutions for the OEM industry
  • incredible customer service from the moment you create an order

GMI’s Work Center and CNC Lathe

GMI has increased capacity by adding the 48 ROBOT – R 2000IB 165F to its workspace, which can handle large, heavy parts throughout the shop. This mechanical workhorse speeds up production time by allowing GMI employees to focus on quickly and efficiently creating your product with the company’s CNC metal spinning machine.

GMI’s CNC metal spinning machine is programmed to inspect parts for quality control to ensure every component created meets the highest standard. The machine is capable of in-cell deburring, has flexible pack-out options, and is equipped with two vacuum circuits and two pressure circuits. 

This machine can perform different processes without needing additional tools so that clients can set up with GMI under one purchase order. The CNC machine creates parts with maximum accuracy, flexibility, and efficiency in a short amount of time, ensuring GMI’s customers receive the best product as quickly as possible.

GMI is always looking for new ways to increase efficiency and introduce innovative technology to continue to meet customer’s evolving needs.

Metal Spinning Experts

Superior metal spinning on a CNC machine

A machine is only as good as the person operating it. At Glenn Metalcraft Inc., our craftsmen work with our equipment within tight tolerances to meet each customer’s specifications and standards. Our craftsmen are also skilled in robotic welding, punching, automated machining, assembly, and waterjet cutting. 

GMI’s employees have mastered the latest innovations and technology in the metal spinning industry to provide customers with the best and most reliable parts. GMI is part of the Elemet Group of metalworking companies, which provides access to GMI’s sister companies, Minnesota Industrial Coatings, and Elemet Manufacturing, to offer additional finishing and fabricating services to interested clients.

Steel-Forged Customer Relationships

Close up of handshake in the office

As a local, family-owned business, GMI understands the importance of the relationship between company and customer. You can count on communicating with staff members who see your success as their personal triumph and who will work hard to ensure they meet every one of your needs.

Because Glenn Metalcraft Inc. wants to grow in the right direction, GMI ensures every type of work accepted fits into the company’s overarching beliefs and goals. GMI knows how critical it is to choose the business that will fit the needs of your company.

GMI has locations in Fort Worth, Texas, and Princeton, Minnesota, with customers located nationwide. GMI is a business-to-business (B2B) company and is excited to work with your company.

Get Started With GMI Today

Sheet metal forming on a CNC machine

Let GMI’s expert craftsmen help you succeed with superior metal spinning services, access to industry-leading metalwork expertise, and innovative technology. GMI prioritizes consistency, excellence, and accuracy for every job.

GMI made providing innovative solutions to customers’ metalwork needs its mission. The company is constantly adding capabilities, automation, and capacity. It is committed to giving customers an environment of respect where they are allowed to grow and develop. The firm strives for success which translates into a desire to see its customers succeed, ensuring beneficial and lasting relationships.

Glenn Metalcraft not only serves as a leader in its industry because of the innovative and cutting-edge technology and equipment used by highly trained professionals. But also because GMI wants to provide the best experience and products for its customers.

Get started with Glenn Metalcraft and get an estimate today.