Laser Cutting

Metal Fabrication A36 Bracket Case Study

Metal Fabrication Case Study

Customer:  Automotive Aftermarket

Product: Metal Brackets

Type of Fabrication:  Laser cutting, CNC Punching, Press Brake Forming,  Powder Coating

Problem:  Fast production of metal brackets caused cracks in the A36 material while forming the part.

Solution:  Noble Industries understands the chemistry of A36 material and how to form it without stress cracks.  We have been forming metal brackets in A36 HRPO since 1978 so it is typical that we can solve a customer’s problems with A36 metal brackets.

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Growth in Metal Fabrication in Uncertain Times

Weakness in the automotive industry, the natural disaster in Japan, the mortgage crisis and rising fuel costs have all played a large part in the instability of metal fabrication companies around the United States.  For the past 4 years, auctions were held daily for large machine shops, sheet metal fabrication companies and metal stamping companies.  Large corporations like General Motors, Dana Corporation, Caterpillar, Navistar, John Deere, Kubota and others have lost their suppliers because that metal fabricator was focused on a single customer or industry.  When that industry took a major hit the fabricator could not survive the downturn.  Many other corporations are looking at their supply chain and assessing the health and stability of their vendors to ensure that they can deliver quality parts on time and within budgets.  They are also looking to see if their suppliers have the ability to ramp up if the economy picks up and additional demand for their product occurs quickly.

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Laser Cutting

A process that is growing in metal fabrication is laser cutting.  Laser cutting services are being used much more often instead of sending parts across turret presses or other punching devices.  Why?  Laser cutting provides some advantages in material utilization, precise tolerances and quality of the part.   If there are variable shapes and round edges a laser machine is more economical for shorter runs because tooling is not needed to cut the part. 

The process of laser cutting is similar to what many of us learned as a boy scout or girl scout.  On a sun shining day, we can take a magnifying glass outside and use the sun’s ray to burn a whole in a leaf or piece of paper.  The same process applies to laser cutting.   A laser cutting machine uses a resonator to produce a beam that gets focused on the metal material to melt a hole through it.   This works with the light bouncing off mirrors and then through a lens to deliver a bright beam.  The laser machine bed moves as the beam cuts making shapes based on a computer generated program.   Assist gas or nitrogen is normally used to help in cutting.  Laser cutting with nitrogen provides the best edge.   There is much more information a laser operator has to learn in order to produce quality parts.  Today’s laser machines are connected to computers and the network for loading programs design to cut specific parts.

Noble Industries has 6 Mazak Lasers that can cut light gauge material up to 1” plate.  We have the equipment and knowledgable staff to program and handle all your laser cutting needs!  Give us a call at 317-773-1926 for small or large laser cutting jobs.

Noble Industries & The Fabricator Fab 40 List

Hello metal fabricating enthusiasts,

Noble Industries is honored to be listed in Fab 40 List – Leading Metal Fabrication businesses.

With 42 years of metal fabrication experience, Noble Industries is honored to make the list and also proud to announce that July 2012 was our largest revenue month in our history and we are on target to have 2012 be our best year ever.  We have had steady, continued growth over the past 15 years and project the positive growth to continue for years to come.

The key to our success is loyal customers, a dedicated work force, and a management team that strives to provide world class quality metal fabrication.    The outcome is growth in the number of jobs requiring laser cutting, panel bending, tube fabrication, wire fabrication and other metal fabrication services.  Our 70,000 square foot facility is conveniently located on the north side of Indianapolis,Indiana in the suburb of Noblesville.   We have added a second location in Orland, IN with an entire 40,000 sq ft building dedicated to wire fabrication & wire forming.

At Noble Industries, the range of our capabilities allow us to produce prototypes and large production runs of custom metal fabricated parts.  Our ISO 9001:2008 certification is important to a large array of customers. We service everything from retail point of purchase, HVAC & other enclosure companies, OEM companies, automotive aftermarket customers and many other industries.

Call Brenda Snyder at 317-773-1926 for more information about our metal fabrication services.


Comparison of CNC Punching to Laser Cutting

Are you designing a part and not sure if your sheet metal fabrication company will punch it or laser cut the part?  As the leader in sheet metal fabrication in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and throughout the Midwest, Noble Industries processes approximately 40 tons of sheet metal parts a week.   Here are a few tips on how we decide which method is best.   

The fastest method for creating a part with holes is CNC punching or metal stamping.   Stamping is by far the fastest and most economical way to produce a part in high production quantities (such as a 500,000 piece run or higher).  When high production is not required, it is hard to justify the cost of tooling and stamping set up.  CNC punching or laser cutting can then be considered as the most economical process.

CNC punching is designed for 10,000 piece or less production runs with holes, louvers and dimples.  If your part has louvers or dimples, then punching is the way to go.  Punching holes in a turret or punch press is much faster than laser cutting a multitude of holes.  Cluster tools can be purchased to punch a series of holes at one time.  Part numbers can also be stamped into the part faster on a punch press.  Typically a CNC punch machine can punch a hole or cluster of holes in less than a second.

The edge condition, scaling, curves in the part and roundness of the holes are also things to consider when deciding on the manufacturing method of a metal fabricated part.   When you have a thin gauge part (such as 16 -22 gauge) with curves or long straight lines, laser cutting will be faster.   Laser cutting parts with oxygen assist gas will produce a carbon scale on the laser edge which can cause problems in welding or powder coating.  If this is a concern then the edge needs to be deburred after laser cutting or nitrogen gas can be used when laser cutting the part.  

These along with nipple marks, scratching and overall finish are just a few of the things to consider when manufacturing sheet metal parts. 

Noble Industries has been in business since 1968 and can be your first choice in fabricated metal parts.  Contact us at 800-466-1926 for a quote, meeting at your location or a tour of our facility.  We would love to help you with all your metal fabrication needs!