Sheet Metal Fabrication: A Concise Guide to the Design Process

Sheet Metal Fabrication: A Concise Guide to the Design Process

Sheet metal formation or fabrication refers to the turning of a flat sheet of metal into any desired shape for making a metal product. Typically, sheet metal processing techniques and methodologies are adopted for converting different metals into high-utility parts and components. In simple words, sheet metal forming cannot be considered a single process or method but is a group of so many forming processes and techniques. These techniques often work in tandem with one another to form or make a particular part or component. As for the basics in the field of sheet metal formation, they include the following:

  • Cutting
  • Bending
  • Punching
  • Stamping
  • Welding, and
  • Finishing.

The sheet metal works performed by India’s leading sheet metal components manufacturers play a crucial role across industries but the automotive segment forms the core of the business. This blog dives into the details associated with the sheet metal design process.

The Idea

Each and every quick prototyping process starts with a thought, and sheet metal design is no special case. It starts with fundamental ideas of what you need as a designer. You can put these thoughts down generally to give practical prerequisites to your venture. It might likewise include the planning of a 3D model of the ideal sheet metal part. The model often incorporates necessities for wall thickness, twist radii, opening direction, bend remittance, and much more.

Creating Engineering Drawings

Once the 3D model of a particular design gets completed, drawings for manufacturing are created as the basic need. Before any further process starts taking place, the personnel involved need to create the blueprints. The blueprints thus created by the team deployed at the designing center by the top sheet metal components manufacturers in India will determine the specifications of the sheet metal required to create the initial drawings. The drawings are what need to be handed over to the machining shop. The drawing phase holds very crucial importance as it often contains all types of information related to the manufacturing like material selection, surface finishing, and more.

Manufacturability Analysis

Alongside other related calculations, the drawings are re-verified to make sure they follow all prerequisites and determinations. Following a DFM procedure assists with zeroing in on working on the designs and possible decrease of part counts. Such examination proposes normalizing parts for different applications. Moreover, the engineers involved get insights into creating designs that can be effectively produced. When the manufacturability examination is finished, there will be the last shop drawing with top to bottom estimations of stress/strain levels and burden/load limits. The data accessible in that will decide the sheet metal forming process.

Prototype Development

When a specific sheet metal design is achieved, the concerned engineers do a few procedures to keep up with the part's geometry. These techniques incorporate cutting, bending, punching, stamping, and welding. Surface finishes likewise help to work on the feel/aesthetics of the made model. It means quite a bit to complete these processes in a steady progression. Hurrying through the cycle or avoiding one stage might spoil the quality and uprightness of the eventual outcome.

Prototype Testing

Once the prototype is developed by the team working for the top sheet metal components parts manufacturer, it is sent to the concerned client and the client will make sure that the prototype is meeting all the exacting parameters. The testing phase might also include using the created prototype/components in real-life conditions. And, finally, the evaluation is made according to the feedback received from the client.  

Full-Scale Production

Full-scale production begins when the concerned prototype successfully passes all the tests in line with the customer’s specific requirements. 

Material Selection for Sheet Metal Fabrication

As far as the material selection for sheet metal fabrication is concerned, it depends to a large extent upon the expectation of the client from the end product. Another important factor that plays a crucial role in the choice of materials is the nature of the application where the components will be installed or used. Most sheet metal component manufacturers in India have a predefined set of rules, norms and standards when it comes to materials selection. Stated below are some of the most common materials, broadly utilized in sheet metal fabrication works:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Hot Rolled Steel
  • Cold Rolled Steel
  • Pre-Plated Steel
  • Aluminium
  • Brass/copper.

Sheet metal fabrication vs. the capabilities of India’s top companies

Be it sheet metal forming or any other segment in industrial manufacturing, Indian manufacturers and suppliers like SAN Automotive have carved a niche within the industry. Today, the club of elite companies is meeting the needs of OEMs located not only in India but also across the globe. They have capabilities right from men and machines to the latest soft power. 

As the design forms the core of the end product in the field of sheet metal forming, top Indian manufacturers deploy experienced and qualified design engineers to carry out the job flawlessly exactly as per the customer needs. While carrying out the job, they not only identify the cost-saving opportunities but also go the extra mile in optimizing the geometry of the components to be made. SAN Automotive is equipped with a special set of tools and equipment that a high-quality sheet metal formation process calls for. To take on the processes, right from cutting, forming, to joining, the company has in place CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines aptly and duly programmed to perform specific tasks as required.

Concluding Remarks

With a world-class infrastructural strength to produce 40,000,000+ parts per annum, SAN Automotive is one of the leading sheet metal components manufacturers in India. The company has 3 state-of-the-art strategically located manufacturing units - across locations in Faridabad (NCR-National Capital Region). Collectively, the company owns a sprawling 150,000 sq. ft. manufacturing area, and 800 plus manpower. Managed by a distinguished leader of the first generation, and an entrepreneur of the year awardee, Mr. Dinesh Gumber (MD), SAN Automotive has always been meeting the high precision product needs of the Automobile, Construction, Agri, and Telecom industries.