Hydroforming And Metal Fabrication Guide for Manufacturing Starters

When it comes to opening a machining shop, there are a lot of things you have to consider, but the most important one is understanding what services your shop can provide when it comes to metal fabrication.

Metal Fabrication

If you are new to the world of machining, this article is for you, since I will try to explain the basics of machining, the types of machines you can purchase to provide high-quality service, and what are the advantages of each one.

There’s also what we know as hydroforming, a type of metal fabrication that is more present in the automotive industry but has many uses outside of it. Although it might sound complicated, it can be explained in simple words.

Hydroforming, a Metal Fabrication Process

Hydroforming is all about creating solid metal pieces that are capable of handling a lot of strain and stress because of the way they are shaped. Most metals worked with hydroforming include stainless and low alloy steel, aluminum, and brass. The work of hydroforming is turning these pieces of metal into structurally strong and stiff pieces, that are also lightweight.

These pieces of crafted metals are incredibly useful in the automotive world because it allows the creation of incredible pieces of engineering that are sturdy and capable of moving thanks to their weight.

All of this is possible because of the pressure created with the machine thanks to hydraulic fluid and shaped dies. Although a hydroforming company and manufacturer might work entirely on automotive pieces, there are many other uses to it, and creating metal ducts is a good example of this.

This form of metal fabrication is well known for being a cost-effective method, because of the low amount of resources required to create complex pieces of metal. The process is also capable of achieving geometries and forms that would otherwise be impossible, and although other machines can recreate these, they do at the cost of consuming more resources, like electricity.

One of the drawbacks of hydroforming, though, is that it can be considered a rather slow process in comparison to other simple forms of metal fabrication, and in this way, it can be quite similar to other nonconventional machining tools.

The main trait of hydroforming is its capability for achieving very complex, delicate designs that can, at the same time, be very sturdy, depending of course, on the type of material used for it.

Other Conventional Forms of Machining

Conventional machines

Now, let’s talk about conventional machining. Conventional machines enter this category because of one simple thing: the machine always enters in contact with the material they are working on.

In comparison to hydroforming (a form of nonconventional machining) which deals with the materials being worked on through high-pressure fluid and a die, a conventional machine would instead use brute force to shape the material, through a specific tool. A good example of this is how a saw can cut simple metal shapes.

Of course, these machines have many advantages, and they are still very relevant in the world of manufacturing and metal bending. For instance:

  • They are much cheaper than nonconventional machines
  • Depending on the type of machine, they might consume much fewer resources
  • They can deal with simple jobs at a much faster pace than other nonconventional machines

With that said, some of these machines are not capable of achieving delicate and complex jobs because of their nature. Their precision and delicacy are lacking in comparison to nonconventional machines, making them better for simple jobs.

Some of these machines are automatized, but most of them require the supervision and leading of a human mind to work properly. If you are interested in more details about this type of machine, you can visit this article.

Of course, there are some types of conventional machines that can, to some extend, be automatized, through the use of a computer. These tend to be simpler enough, but some can get complicated thanks to the number of tasks they can achieve, some of them even achieving complex designs to an extend.

Other Nonconventional Machines

In the current society, as we know it, there are a huge amount of nonconventional machines we can discuss. For the sake of keeping this guide short, I will mention the most popular, with them being:

  • Lased-based machines
  • Water jet cutters

Of course, there are many other options to pick from, each one as capable as the other, but with some differences regarding resource consumption and performance. Still, they tend to be much more expensive than conventional machines, but they are also more capable when it comes to dealing with very complex pieces of metal crafting.

Depending on the type of nonconventional machine, they might also consume a lot more resources, but thanks to them being capable of much more complex tasks, they can be used to provide more expensive services.

They can be fully automatized on most occasions, but for them to be used correctly, they might require the help of a professional who understands their functioning, since they need to be programmed and directed through complex software.

Final Words

When it comes to opening a machining company, knowing what your goal is and what you expect to achieve in a specific timeframe is very important, but as some people mentioned in this article , the most important thing is to start somewhere.

A lot of people prefer to start their business with conventional machines just because they are more affordable and still capable of providing profit to the shop owner. This will then become the opportunity for achieving profit that can be used for investing in other machines, thus, creating an even bigger machining shop.

This is also my advice since it is always better to start small and go big as time goes on. This way, you learn more about the industry, and prepare yourself and your staff for more complex tasks, to provide a bigger variety of services.

Ideally, you should aim to purchase more complex and capable equipment once your company has grown capable of affording them since more complex pieces of machinery will not only require more resources but also, more capable staff.

Afterward, it’s a matter of understanding what services can be provided.

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Article Author Details

Andy Robert