Sheet metals are commonly used in objects such as building roofs, cars, planes, and many other purposes. This simply means that sheet metal has become an integral part of modern applications. Their demand has significantly increased in the recent past.
As a manufacturer of precision metal, the goal is always to produce metal parts in a cost-effective manner.
Sometimes you may get prints of designed parts that are poorly done. Some of the design mistakes manufacturers experience include:
- A lot of parts in one design
- Custom components that are not different from those in the market
- Parts that need impossible bends
Some of these mistakes increase the cost of manufacturing. Here are five tips to help manufacturers design perfect sheet metal parts:
- Design common parts
One of the best ways to deal with several assemblies in various product lines is to come up with common parts that can be used for different purposes. Doing this will not only save you time but also money. It also creates an opportunity to increase the level of production and allow you to price your parts fairly.
Additionally, the time and cost for designing sheet metal parts can be complex and cumbersome. But using common parts that are versatile will make work easy and simple. You don’t have to finish each part and start all over again when you are given a new print.
- Design using material used in mind
The cost of material is one factor that can drive up the cost of production. This means that the type of material you decide to use to manufacture your sheet metal parts will determine your cost of production. As such, you should always take into account the stock size and standard material together with how much you will generate from each part.
For instance, if you create a part that only generates one part per plate with a good number of scraps, then you will have to pay for all the scrap. However, if you are able to manipulate the design and create space for several parts, then you will end up saving money by not paying for scrap and producing more metal parts.
- Use off-the-shelf-components
There are many companies that design custom parts to be manufactured whereas similar parts can easily be bought off-the-shelf. As long as the functionality or purpose of the part won’t be affected, it is highly recommended to use off-the-shelf products.
Doing so will save you a lot of money and time because there will be no need to start manufacturing parts from scratch. Why should you reinvent the wheel? All you have to do is to select parts that will meet the intended purpose.
- Bending radius
Ensure that the metal sheet is able to withstand stress when the flexure test is done. The test is conducted to determine the bendability of the sheet metal. In case the sheet plate or metal is bent beyond a certain point, it will definitely crack. The point is called a minimum bend radius.
That’s why it is important to always bear in mind the minimum bend radius when designing sheet metal parts. There are two factors that determine the accuracy of a minimum bend radius – the selection tool and the process.
- Design using the least amount of material
Another great way to reduce the cost of production is to design parts using the least amount of material. This will however depend on the functionality of the assembly.
For example, if you are creating an enclosure that has four walls, then you can just use two L-shaped panels instead of four welded parts.