Fabricators are often invited by companies to bid on jobs to manufacture components. While you’d like to think that the fact that your company produces high quality parts would be reason enough to select your firm for the job, competitive pricing remains a key selection criterion. So let’s say that you do everything correct: you design for manufacture, eliminate secondary operations and more, but the price is still too high. One of the few remaining variables is the material, and using the minimum material thickness is a way to reduce the cost of a component. This is acceptable if the component doesn’t require much structural strength, but what if it is required?
The Mate Solution:
A common way to add strength to a sheet metal part is to add strengthening ribs. As the material is deformed, the effective material thickness increases, strengthening the material. Two ways to add strengthening ribs are with Mate’s Rollerball™ tool and a beaded emboss tool.
Mate’s Rollerball tool allows fabricators to reduce sheet metal thickness without compromising the strength and rigidity of the product. Designed to take advantage of extended programming capabilities of punch presses capable of operating in the X and Y axis with the ram down, Rollerball forms the sheet metal by “pinching” the material between two ball bearings in the upper assembly and a single ball bearing in the lower assembly. Doing so creates the stiffening rib that can be used to strengthen the sheet metal. The shape of the form is the result of programs created in the punch press programming system.
Embossing operations are commonly used in sheet metal and vary in purpose and function; one such function is to add strengthening ribs. A common way to add strength to a sheet metal part is to introduce a bend or beaded emboss. As the material is deformed, the effective material thickness increases and the material becomes stronger.