If you’re anything like me, you’ll have seen all these advertisements for Engineers, Metal workers, fabrication companies and often wondered exactly what it is these guys do, right? So I’ve decided to look into, write up a quick guide to metal pressing and hopefully it will help you understand more about the business – and the companies that do it….
What exactly is metal pressing and who does it?
Metal pressing is simply mechanical pressing of metal material, undertaken by specialist machines and metalwork, engineering or fabrication companies.
If you take a typical engineering company such as Regent Engineers, they will typically operate several presses, varying in size from 10 to 40 tonnes.
Different size of presses are used to provide capacity for small (e.g. a hand tool strip), medium (‘pick and place’) through to heavy/high volume production, which would typically be multi stage fed.
A variety of materials can be pressed with these machines, including brass, copper, phos bronze, aluminium and of course steels.
As a quick guide to metal pressing, here are four types :-
Deep drawing of ferrous and non-ferrous materials up to a depth of 100mm can be manufactured also.
Automated Coil Fed Production
Large batch production can be achieved quickly using automated coil fed machines running over multiple shifts, which can produce high volume quickly.
Strip Fed Production
For greater efficiency, strip fed production is implemented to balance volume production along with quality.
Single Stage Pick and Place Presswork
Sometimes, immediate inspection and quality control is preferable, and in this case single stage secondary operations are undertaken by machine operators for large components.
What other forms of metal work are undertaken by engineering/fabrication/metalwork companies?
Of course, metal pressing is only one aspect of metalwork, and whilst this guide to metal pressing has covered the four main types, it’s worth noting how varied a typical engineering company’s workload could be.
Most medium to large engineering companies would also carry out tasks such as :-
- Fibre Optic Laser Cutting
- CNC Machining and Turning
- Component Finishing
- Quality Control – testing and inspections of own and third party materials/works
- Thread Rolling
- CAD/CAM Design – Computer Aided Design/Modelling
Some, or all, of the above processes can be implemented for metal pressing, forming, fabrication, CNC machining and press tool manufacture.
Added capabilities also include prototyping, fabrications, robotic welding and laser/assembly capacity.
Conclusion: It’s not just about metal pressing
Whilst this guide to metal pressing delves into the subject a little deeper, it’s clear to see the scope of engineering and fabrication companies encompasses many more specialist processes and works.
So, in one way, whilst it could be seen that engineering companies are both a ‘jack of all trades’ (see list above) they are also actually a master of one (or more) – metal pressing for a start!