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Sheet metal processing

– online at FACTUREE

Why sheet metal working online at FACTUREE?

  • Express delivery within 9-12 working days
  • Constant free capacities thanks to a large production network
  • Quotation within 48 hours
  • Purchase on account

Sheet metal processing services

  • CNC bending
  • Cutting (laser, water jet, plasma cutting)
  • Deep drawing, punching and nibbling
  • Weitere Fertigungstechniken (CNC-Fräsen, CNC-Drehen, 3D-Druck)

FACTUREE – The Online Manufacturer enables you to procure components quickly and cost-effectively using sheet metal processing. As an online manufacturer, we have access to an almost unlimited number of machines thanks to our constantly growing network of manufacturing partners, and therefore always have free capacities.

Even in the case of demanding projects, your order will generally be delivered within 9 to 12 working days from the date it is placed.

The components you specify can be manufactured according to your requirements using various sheet metal working processes such as CNC bending, laser cutting, water jet cutting and plasma cutting as well as deep drawing, punching and nibbling. 

A large number of different metals in sheet metal form are available as materials.

Production range of FACTUREE

Thanks to our large network of versatile manufacturing partners, we can offer you a wide range of different sheet metal parts. In general, the following specifications should be adhered to:

Specifications

  • Min. dimensions: L: 10mm x W: 10mm
  • Max. dimensions: L: 6000mm x W: 2000mm
  • Sheet thickness: from 0.5mm
  • Tolerances: ±0.02mm
  • Quantity: starting from 1 pcs.
Metal angles

What is sheet metal processing?

Sheet metal is not a metal of its own, but rather the generic term for different types of metal that have been brought into a characteristic shape. In addition to the rectangular shape, sheet metal is characterized above all by the thickness of the material, which is significantly less than its length and width. Sheet metal is a so-called semi-finished product, which is usually thin and stable, but at the same time elastic.

In order for the semi-finished product to become a usable component, it must be machined. The term "sheet metal processing (or working)" therefore refers to the utilization of the starting product sheet metal by means of various processing strategies and procedures. Sheet metal processing includes the subcategories of punching, nibbling, cutting, but also forming processes such as bending, folding or deep drawing.

Which materials are used for sheet metal processing?

For metals to be formed into sheet metal, they must have sufficient stiffness and toughness and of course be ductile, i.e. deformable. 

The forming of extremely brittle or extremely stiff metals into sheet metal is not possible, so that sheet metal processing is roughly limited to metals such as steel, aluminum, copper or brass. By adding a wide variety of alloying elements, the properties of the different types of sheet can be adapted to suit any application.

Steel sheets

Various methods of sheet metal processing

Sheet metal processing is one of the oldest forms of metal processing. What began several thousand years ago as forging with the wide tapping of heated metals has developed into one of the most important industrial production techniques since the invention of rolling sheet metal some 200 years ago. The different strategies that have developed over the centuries in the field of sheet metal processing each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Laser cutting

Laser cutting serves the economic, precise and fast "cutting" of workpieces from a sheet metal. For this purpose, a CNC-controlled laser is guided across the sheet metal panel. The laser beam hits the sheet metal and heats it selectively. The strong heat liquefies the metal at the specified points and thus ensures separation at the cutting edges.

 Laserschneiden ist auch bei kleinen Losgrößen wirtschaftlich einsetzbar, ermöglicht eine maximale Materialausnutzung und damit wenig Verschnitt und bietet nachbearbeitungsfreie Schneidkanten. Wenn es gilt, Teile berührungsfrei und damit kräftefrei aus einem Blech zu schneiden, ist das Laserschneiden aus der Fertigung nicht mehr wegzudenken. Ohne auch nur einen einzigen Werkzeugwechsel lässt sich mittels Laser so gut wie jede Form schneiden. Die Schneidkanten sind dabei nachbearbeitungsfrei. Neben Blech lässt sich durch Laser nahezu jeder Werkstoff schneiden – ganz gleich, ob Keramik, Metall, Kunststoff oder organisches Material. Der Nachteil beim Laserschneiden: Die benötigten Lasergeräte sind in der Anschaffung kostenintensiv und die Anwendung eignet sich nur für dünnere Bleche bis ca. 26 mm Dicke.

Water jet cutting

During water jet cutting in sheet metal processing, the sheet metal to be processed is separated by a high-pressure water jet and the admixture of cutting sand. The sheets are processed with up to 6000 bar working pressure, at the same time the sheet hardly heats up.

During water jet cutting, there is no thermal stress on the workpiece, so that almost any sheet metal can be cut with this process. The advantages of this process lie in the narrow cutting kerf width, excellent material utilization with high nesting density and correspondingly low waste as well as low environmental impact. In addition, water jet cutting is characterized by a high cutting edge quality, for which manual reworking is only necessary in rare cases. The comparatively low cutting speed and the direct contact with water - which makes water jet cutting of moisture-sensitive or rust-prone materials more difficult - can be considered disadvantageous.

Plasma cutting

Plasma cutting

During plasma cutting of sheet metal, an electrically conductive gas - plasma - is generated by means of an electric arc. The extremely high energy of the arc melts the metal at the desired location, and at the same time the molten metal is blown away by a gas jet, creating a kerf. 

The advantages of this process lie in the high cutting speeds and low heat distortion. In addition to sheet metal processing, plasma cutting of all known metals is also possible, which significantly expands the areas of application. The acquisition costs for plasma torches are lower than for a laser machine, but lasers with a material thickness of 15 mm or more work faster.

Punching

During punching, components are manufactured from a sheet metal using a press and a corresponding cutting tool. This tool consists of a die and a punch, which produces the internal shape of the components. 

The sheet metal is placed between the die and the punch for punching; the press presses the two parts together and thus punches the workpiece out of the sheet metal. Punching is considered to be an extremely fast, inexpensive process, but primarily for series production. For each punched component, a separate tool must be produced, which significantly increases the price for single parts or small series. Short throughput times and high precision of the stamped parts are also among the advantages of the process. In addition to the high tool costs, the burr caused by the punching process and uneven cutting surfaces, which make post-processing necessary, can also be considered disadvantageous.

Nibbling

Nibbling is another process for sheet metal processing and is closely related to punching. In nibbling, the workpiece is punched out of the sheet metal piece by piece through a repeated up and down movement of the tool open on one side and with uniform feed. Cut-outs from the sheet metal can be produced without distortion by nibbling, but the cutting track punched out of the sheet metal results in greater waste compared to other processes. Nibbling makes it possible to produce even yet complexly shaped workpieces. Nibbling also produces a burr on the parts, which must be removed after production.

CNC bending

CNC bending is one of the forming processing options for sheet metal. 

For CNC bending, the sheets are guided around a roll to generate radii. If sharp edges at a precisely predefined angle are required, the sheets are bent. With the combination of CNC bending and folding, high-precision volume bodies can be produced from sheet metal. CNC-supported production minimizes the error rate of the bent parts, making CNC bending a convincingly efficient and cost-effective manufacturing process.

Deep drawing

According to DIN 8584, deep drawing is the "tensile compression forming of a sheet metal blank". For this purpose, the sheet metal is clamped on a press between the punch and die of the tool. When deep drawing, it is important that the edges of the punch and die are rounded to allow the sheet to flow. Deep drawing is one of the tensile compression forming processes in which a sheet is formed without changing the sheet thickness. Deep drawing is a cost-effective, fast process - even for single parts, prototypes or small series. Depending on the tool required, the cost of parts produced by deep drawing can be up to 60% lower than that of other manufacturing processes.

Applications of sheet metal working

Sheet metal is used in a wide variety of industries. Sheets are used in plant construction or apparatus engineering as housings, encase electronics in the form of a switch cabinet or serve as cladding for facades. Sheet metal in a wide variety of shapes and forms is also used in vehicle construction, agricultural machinery construction and mechanical engineering. Deep-drawn sheet metal, for example, can serve as a sample or prototype for car components. Bent sheet metal can be formed into rings or tubes, and lasered sheet metal parts can be found in industrial applications across all industries. 

The modern possibility of offering sheet metal processing online will open up even more business fields and applications in the future.

Sheet metal parts in automotive production