Sheetmetal Fabrication: Considerations When Adding New Technology

If a sheetmetal fabrication shop wants to remain viable in a highly competitive market, it is important to operate a highly functional concern. Only by committing itself to innovative and practical production methods will it be able to continue to be an effective partner in manufacturing the right parts for their current and future customers. This means embracing not just the latest technology but also the right technology for the shop.

Selecting the Right Technology

Selecting the right technology for your sheet metal fabrication shop means understanding how the entire process chain works. As it moves from administration into the design portion of the chain, it is essential to consider how best to avoid engineering change orders (ECOs) at the earliest design phase. Choosing the right technology, e.g., CAD models meeting the design-for-manufacturability (DFM) guidelines, can help prevent this from happening.

In choosing technology for your sheetmetal shop floor, always consider:

  • Compatibility: Does the new technology mesh easily with current equipment?
  • Waste: Does the new tech reduce waste or add to the problem?
  • Efficiency: Can the tech improve the efficiency of the shop and its workers?
  • Impact: How does adding the new technology affect the entire process chain?
  • Training: How much will this new equipment require? Is it specialized training or can most employees utilize it without difficulty?

Always look at how the addition of a new type of equipment will influence the entire operation. Whether it is the latest 3D printing (Additive manufacturing) or updated laser technology, fabrication shops must look at the production process in its entirety.

Sheetmetal Fabrication: When Adding New Technology

Innovation and technology often go hand-in-hand in manufacturing. Such devices as 3D printing are altering forever how sheetmetal fabrication shops perform their tasks. By being innovative, fabricators can remain abreast of the competition. However, in choosing the latest technology, always be sure to consider how it will affect the entire process chain.

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