Sheet Metal

Sheet Metal Industry

Sheet Metal Industry

BigRentz understands that sheet metal projects vary widely and usually require many different pieces of equipment to complete a job from start to finish. That’s why we offer an array of equipment that help sheet metal companies complete their tasks efficiently. For instance, we can provide a warehouse forklift if you need to stack sheet metal panels or load them onto a truck during your next project. Or if you need to move architectural sheet metal to the top of a high building for installation, you can rent a carry deck crane.

Not only do we offer an extensive selection of equipment rentals, but we also handle the logistics. When you outsource your rentals to us, all you have to do is place one order to get all the equipment you need, and we communicate with the supplier to ensure timely delivery and pickup.

Sheet Metal Industry
Sheet Metal Industry

Current State of the Sheet Metal Industry

Sheet metal is a thin and flat sheet of metal, such as stainless steel or aluminum, that is produced through metalworking or industrial processing. It can be rolled, bent, or cut into different shapes and sizes to make a wide variety of products, including automobiles, electronic goods, kitchen utensils, metal furniture, air conditioning systems, and robotics.

In 2017, the sheet metal industry was valued at $289.45 billion. Due to the rapidly growing automotive industry, the demand for aluminum sheet metal is estimated to exceed 2,750 kilotons by 2020. Globally, the sheet metal market is projected to record a CAGR of more than 4 percent from 2018 to 2022.

Employment in the sheet metal industry is expected to rise 9 percent between 2016 and 2026. There are many different types of jobs in this industry, but they fall under three categories: sheet metal fabrication, installation, and maintenance. Examples of specialized sheet metal workers include sheet metal programmers, metal fabrication machine operators, roofing technicians, and steamfitters. Besides full-time jobs, workers in the sheet metal industry can also participate in apprentice programs or seek part-time jobs that may make them eligible for under-employment benefits.

In recent years, the production of sheet metal has become increasingly automated. Now, some manufacturers are implementing advanced technologies, including robotics and 3D printing, to increase productivity, waste reduction, and cost savings. However, along with these manufacturing trends come new challenges, such as the lack of skilled labor and new regulations for manufacturers and trade unions.

Commonly Used Equipment in the Sheet Metal Industry

Warehouse Forklifts: A forklift is used in sheet metal fabrication shops, factories, and warehouses to move semi-finished products or finished sheet metal panels from one place to another or to load/unload them onto or from trucks. Sheet metal products are either placed on a pallet or specially designed rack before they are transported with a warehouse forklift. It can also be used to stack sheet metal panels to save storage space.

Crane: A tall and powerful machine, a crane can raise or lower large and heavy sheet metal panels or move them horizontally within a restricted area. It is widely used in sheet metal manufacturing facilities to lift panels for feeding, cutting, and bending machines, as well as shipyards and construction sites.

Forming Press: A forming press is a tool or machine used to create the desired structure of a sheet metal product. Presses are either categorized according to their mechanisms or functions. There are three main types of mechanisms found in forming presses: hydraulic, pneumatic, and mechanical. In terms of function, presses can be used to forge, brake, deep drawing, stretch, stamp, or punch sheet metal work. A forming press can range from a small, portable hydraulic press brake to a large CNC sheet metal forming machine.

Cutting Tool: The process of cutting sheet metal can be accomplished through several methods, including sawing, chiseling, shearing, torching, and CNC cutting. In small-scale sheet metal production facilities, sawing, chiseling, shearing, and torching are commonly done manually, usually with a handheld tool or a heavy cutting device. Large sheet metal manufacturing facilities, on the other hand, use state-of-the-art CNC machines to produce high-speed precision cutting and shaping. These machines may incorporate traditional cutting methods or advanced technologies such as laser cutting and water-jet cutting.

Abrasive Blaster: After bending and cutting raw material or sheet metal parts, an abrasive blaster is used to give them a smooth finish. This tool uses pressurized fluid or air to propel abrasives, like sand, beads, or soda, against the surface of a sheet metal panel.

Trailer: A trailer can be used to transport oversized sheet metal over short or long distances. A standard, 48-foot-long flatbed trailer can accommodate panel lengths of up to 53 feet, while a stretch load trailer can handle a maximum panel length of 100 feet.

Benefits of Renting Sheet Metal Equipment in the Sheet Metal Industry

To maintain a high level of productivity and efficiency, many sheet metal companies choose to rent equipment. Renting offers many benefits over buying, including:

  • Avoid making continual payments – Buying sheet metal equipment means having to pay for it even when it is not in use. Sheet metal fabricators, distributors, and installers can significantly reduce their costs by renting equipment only when they need it, such as fulfilling occasional large or custom sheet metal fabrication orders or installing a large quantity of sheet metal for a construction project.
  • Get the latest technology – Sheet metal technology is rapidly changing. The equipment you buy may feature the latest technologies at the time of purchase, but it will become outdated in just a few years. Renting gives you constant access to the most advanced sheet metal machines, enabling you to produce higher quality products, accept more challenging orders, and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Avoid maintenance costs – Another problem with buying your own sheet metal equipment is the regular expense to keep it in good working condition. A reputable sheet metal equipment rental company offers reliable equipment and attractive contractual terms for maintenance and repairs, giving you greater cost savings and peace of mind.

Conclusion

Producing, transporting, or storing large quantities of sheet metal often require the use of expensive equipment. For many sheet metal manufacturers and installers, renting equipment may be a better option because it provides substantial cost savings over the long run and frees up capital for pursuing, potentially, profitable opportunities.

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