Sheet Metal Assembly: A Complete Product Solution

April 30, 2020

Sheet metal assembly is a common manufacturing process that supports a wide range of industries. As a popular fabrication method, it offers a complete and economical production solution to meet the manufacturing needs of a wide array of industries. Countless, everyday objects are fabricated utilizing components and parts manufactured with sheet metal—from kitchen utensils to washing machines and refrigerators to vehicles, electronic parts, computers, automotive panels, and medical devices.

Sheet metal is one of the basic materials used in metalworking. It is a metal formed by an industrial process into thin, flat pieces no thicker than 6 mm (0.25 inches). Any sheet metal material that is thicker is considered structural or plate steel and too heavy for everyday applications. Up to a quarter-inch of sheet metal can be easily cut, formed, and bent into many shapes and sizes for assembly and production.

Sheet metal assembly is a value-added process that transforms flat sheet material like aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper or brass into a finished product. Beginning with a customer’s drawing or blueprint, designers, engineers, and skilled craftsmen first transform the design into computer modeling, then cut, shear, form, punch, weld, and/or laser the selected sheet metal material into parts readied for assembly.

Joining the individual components is accomplished by utilizing a wide selection of state-of-the-art pneumatic and electric power tools in combination with mechanical and various manual tools. Assembling the various parts into a finished product is achieved through a number of assembly service options.

Sheet Metal Assembly Services

Some of the more common assembly services used for product solutions include:

PEM Setting Services

PEM fasteners are a self-clinching application that provides durable, reusable, and/or permanent threads in sheet metal assembly, P.C. board materials, and other ductile or non-ductile thin metal material. When pressed into the metal, the PEM fastener can set complex sheet metal parts made of a number of alloys—stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum. In addition to self-clinching, PEM-setting machines can also perform surface mount, flaring, broaching, or weld technology applications where needed.

Weld Nut Services

Weld nuts are manufactured in stainless steel or low carbon steel for use in commercial assembly applications. They are specifically designed for welding one metal object to another via spot welding. Weld nuts provide a permanent threaded feature on assembled finished parts and can be incorporated onto such surfaces as stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and like metal alloys as standard fasteners.

Stud Welding

Another common assembly service is stud welding. The technique joins a metal stud or fastener to a metal workpiece, base metal or substrate through arc welding. Reduced into a molten pool, once the stud weld solidifies it produces a uniform and complete fusion across the flange with the resulting welded surface area stronger than the stud or material part. Because the material is joined, no holes are punched and finished products are leak proof and essentially corrosion-free. The technique is widely employed for its decorative joining of stainless steel components ranging from kitchen appliances to vehicles.

Riveting Services

Riveting is an automated assembly process done with a pneumatic hammer. Efficient and relatively simple, the service provides a permanent mechanical fastener that joins two workpieces together. Because riveted joints are permanent in nature, they are durable, offer exceptional strength, long-lasting, and can bear shear loads even perpendicular to the axis of the shaft. Rivets can hold up in harsh, damp environments and adverse conditions like high vibrations, heavy loads, and much more.

Why Choose a Full-Service Sheet Metal Shop

Sheet metal assembly processes provide finished products for numerous industries. Assembly services are vital to aviation, electronics, automotive and transportation, aerospace, energy, construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, food and beverage, household products, and so on. The value-added processes offered by in-house sheet metal assembly and fabrication offers complete production solutions for companies large and small.