China piping solution supplier: www.epowermetals.com

Customized metal parts solutions

Epower metals is an zhejiang-based, full-service manufacturer and fabricator of custom metal components for original equipment manufacturing applications.
Our focus at epowermetals.com is to be more than a metal fabricating company; we wish to be thought of as partners with our customers, charged with providing innovative, cost effective, products that achieve competitive and strategic market advantages for our customers.

Our unique capabilities allow us to achieve that objective. We utilize state of the art technology and heavy-duty equipment that exceeds the limitations of competitors.

Epower Metals offers press braking services for those who require these metal-fabricating services. We operate a variety of press brakes to assist our OEM customers to produce press braked metal forms needed to meet their custom fabricated metal parts requirements.

Metal Deformation Metal Reduction Welding and Secondary Services
Our metal deformation services include metal stamping, roll forming, press braking and embossing. Our metal reduction servicesinclude punching, notching, shearing, and blanking. Our metal forming secondary services include welding, brazing, assembly, cut to length, tool development and much more!

Customized metal parts solutions

Epower Metals’ customers demand a wide range of metal fabricating and welding services to meet their needs. To meet their custom metal forming needs, we offer the following metal fabrication services:

  • Metal stamping
  • Roll forming
  • Embossing
  • Press braking
  • Punching
  • Notching
  • Metal blanking
  • Shearing
  • Cut to length
  • Assembly
  • Welding
  • Brazing

Epower metals management prides itself upon achieving two major objectives for our customers:

  1. we provide cost savings by assisting in the design and manufacture of new products or alternatives to existing products.

  2. we provide concrete advantages when compared to products or components produced by their competitors.

If you don’t have an immediate need for Epower Metals custom metal fabricating and custom welding services, bookmark this page for future reference.

Metal forming services

We specialize in providing cost effective and innovative metal fabricating solutions to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that desire to obtain a competitive edge.
We offer some of the largest contract roll forming and metal stamping capabilities in the China Our commitment to quality, competitive pricing, innovative inventory programs, custom service and on-time delivery makes us a “one stop source” for your custom metal fabrication needs.
We provide custom, design and build, metal stamping, roll forming, and other metal fabricating services on a contract basis for OEMs. Some of the industries we service include:

  • Aerospace
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Appliance/White goods
  • Commercial construction
  • Construction equipment
  • Medical equipment manufacturing
  • Military
  • Rail car and rail car component manufacturing
  • Specialty animal trailer manufacturing
  • Truck trailer manufacturing

Secondary Fabricating Services
Epower Metals offers a wide range of specialized metal stamping, roll forming, and other metal forming and fabricating services to assist OEMs make the right choice when they need metal components custom stamped, roll formed, punched, embossed, or press braked. Some our secondary fabricating services include:

  • Container loading
  • Curving
  • Custom container development
  • Drop shipping
  • Export and other types of custom packaging
  • Hole punching: in-line & stand-alone
  • Leveling
  • Metallurgical recommendations
  • Toll processing
  • Warehousing

Design and Engineering Services
We also offer our customers special non-machining services such as:

  • Feasibility analysis
  • Design Assistance
  • Engineering
  • Material recommendations
  • Tool Development

Epower Metals offers a wide variety of tooling options, including:

  • Prototyping
  • Tool development
  • Tool repair
  • Tool storage

Inventory Programs
Epower Metals customers can take advantage of a number of inventory programs designed to reduce their inventory dollar commitment including:

  • Ship From Stock Program
  • Quick Ship Program
  • Hold and Ship

We carry the lightest to the heaviest gauge metals, primarily steel and aluminum, in our inventory.
Materials Warehouse
Epower Metals is committed to providing our customers with quick response to their requests, quotes, and orders. To do so, we have initiated a number of programs and commitments to capital improvements at our facility including: dozens of different types and gauges of metal materials, certified as to physical and chemical properties, isolated and secured storage area for special materials, 100,000 square feet of indoor, protected, warehouse capacity serviced by overhead cranes increasing handling efficiencies, and 65-foot long indoor fully depressed docks for secure material transfers.

Metal stamping services

Metal stamping is the forming of metals using pressure into the surface of a metal, usually strip or sheet.
To view details about our metal stamping services below:
Metal Stamping Overview
Epower Metals offers significant metal stamping services for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Our goal is to offer solutions to metal stamping and metal fabrication problems that provide our customers with definite competitive and financial advantages.
Epower Metals customers have no need to outsource their tooling, machining, and finishing functions to multiple vendors. We provide turnkey metal stamping and metal fabricating services whether the tooling already exists or we have to create the tooling.
We will meet your stamping tooling needs whether your project requires temporary or permanent dies, fixtures, or jigs, we will build them for an order, then store and maintain the tooling for future stamping production runs. Epower Metals does not charge our customers for tooling storage!
We pride ourselves on providing our metal stamping customers with practical, cost-saving, and market competitive recommendations from a production perspective on both new and existing parts. We pride ourselves on being innovative solutions providers and problem solvers for our metal stamping customers.
Stamping Tonnage and Gauge
We offer metal stamping presses that range from 150 to 300 tons and we can stamp steel and other metals up to a gauge of 1/4″!
Tolerance
We can hold the most critical tolerances at Epower Metals. We can hold stamping tolerances as close as +/-0.005″.
Bed Size/Part Size
Currently, we can stamp any component that requires a part or bed size of 36″ x 48″.
Stamping Press Speeds
Our stamping press speeds vary between 35 to 70 strokes per minute.
Coil Size
Epower Metals’ stamping presses can handle coils up to 20,000 pounds.
Tooling Options
Epower Metals provides turnkey operations. We’ll take a customer’s existing tooling and run production or we will take on a project from the ground up creating the necessary tooling. We will pay for tooling, since we invest in our customers!

Metal blanking services

Blanking is the operation of punching, cutting, or shearing a piece out of stock to a predetermined shape by die cutting the outside shape of a part. Blanking is cutting up a large sheet of stock into smaller pieces suitable for the next operation in stamping, such as drawing and forming. The blanking process is often combined with a piercing operation.
For details on Epower Metals’ blanking services below:
Blanking Overview
Epower Metals offers metal blanking services to our customers requiring blanking during their metal fabricating requirements. We operate a number of blanking presses to assist our OEM customers to create blanks in the custom fabricated metal parts their company requires.
Gauge
Our blanking presses are capable of creating blanks in metals up 0.25″!
Length
Our blanking presses are capable of shearing metal with up to a 10′ length.
Width
Our blanking presses are capable of shearing metal with up to a 10′ width.
Speed
Our presses have a blanking speed of between 20-25 strokes per minute (SPM).

Roll forming services

Roll forming is a continuous bending operation in the metal forming process during which either metal sheet or strip metal is plastically deformed along a linear axis by being passed through a series of roller dies that progressively shape and contour the metal.
To view details about our roll forming services below:
Roll Forming Overview
Epower Metals offers unparalleled roll forming capabilities.
We specialize in providing unique, cost-saving, solutions to customer roll forming problems. We strive to provide innovative roll forming metal fabricating solutions to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that desire to obtain a competitive edge on their competition through both our specialized metal forming capabilities and our creative problem-solving abilities.
Material Gauge
Epower Metals has some of the largest roll forming equipment in the United States. We can corrugate or roll form metal up to 10-gauge! We can handle all the easy gauges as well.
Width
We provide precision formed, high quality, metal roll forming services and custom roll formed shapes for OEM customers on a contract basis.
We offer the widest roll forming capabilities in the industry – up to 63″! We specialize in roll forming metal with a gauge as thin as 0.017″ up to 0.250″. We can roll form widths as narrow as 18″.
Tolerance
We can hold the most critical tolerances at Epower Metals. We can roll form custom metal components with a tolerance as close as +/-0.005″.
Coil Size
Epower Metals’ stamping presses can handle coils up to 20,000 pounds.
Tooling Options
Epower Metals provides turnkey roll forming operations. We’ll take a customer’s existing tooling and run production or we will take on a project from the ground up creating the necessary tooling. We will pay for tooling that is incorporated into the job based on volume, since we invest in our customers!

Shearing services

Shearing is a cutting force applied perpendicular to material causing the material to yield and break. Shearing is a process for cutting sheet metal to size out of a larger stock such as roll stock. Shears are used as the preliminary step in preparing stock for stamping processes, or smaller blanks for CNC presses.
Epower Metals offers a range of shearing services.
Shearing Overview
Epower Metals offers metal shearing services to our customers requiring these metal-fabricating services. We operate a number of shears to assist our OEM customers to produce the exact sheared-size components they need to meet their custom fabricated metal parts requirements.
Gauge
Our shears are capable of shearing metals up 0.25″!
Length
Our shears are capable of shearing metal with up to a 10′ length.
Width
Our shears are capable of shearing metal with up to a 10′ width.
Speed
Our shears have a speed of between 20-25 strokes per minute (SPM).
Special Shear Cuts
Epower Metals offers special metal shearing cuts including square cutting and miter cutting.

Embossing services

Embossing is a metal forming process for producing raised or sunken designs or relief in sheet material by means of male and female dies, theoretically with no change in metal thickness or by passing sheet or a strip of metal by passing between rolls of desired pattern.
Epower Metals offers a range of metal embossing services.
Embossing Overview
Epower Metals offers unique metal embossing services to our OEM clients. Our embossing services are performed in-house on our equipment. We offer a number of standard and custom patterns and can handle your metal coils up to 66″ wide, one of the widest embossing services offered in the United States.
Speed
We can emboss metal at a speed of 400′ per minute.
Size
Epower Metals can emboss material up to 66″ wide for both the part and the bed size. We believe this is the widest metal embossing dimension in the China!
Coil Size
Our metal embossing equipment can handle a coil size up to 17,000 pounds maximum.
Embossing Patterns
Epower Metals’ embossing equipment can imprint a number of different patterns. These embossed patterns include:

  • Stucco
  • Weather grain
  • Rough sawn cedar
  • Custom patterns (like striated)

Cut to length services

Cut to length is a process to uncoil sections of flat-rolled steel and cut them into a desired length. Product that is cut to length is normally shipped flat-stacked.
Epower Metals offers a range of shearing services.
Cut to Length Overview
Epower Metals offers metal cut to length services to our customers requiring these metal-fabricating services. We shear to assist our OEM customers to create cut to length metal strip required to produce the custom fabricated metal parts their company requires while optimizing material usage.
Gauge
Epower Metals can cut to length with a gauge of up to 0.07″.
Length
We can cut to length up to a 30′ maximum length.
Width
Epower Metals can cut to length materials up to 60″ wide.
Speed
Epower Metals can cut to length at 125 FPM (Feet per Minute).
Coil Weight
Epower Metals can handle coils up to a weight of 17,000 pounds.

Press braking services

Press braking is a metal forming process that uses an open-frame single-action press used to bend, blank, corrugate, curl, notch, perforate, pierce, or punch sheet metal or plate.
To view details about our press braking services below:
Press Braking Overview
Epower Metals offers press braking services to our customers requiring these metal-fabricating services. We operate a variety of press brakes to assist our OEM customers to produce press braked metal forms needed to meet their custom fabricated metal parts requirements.
Tonnage
Epower Metals’ press brakes have tonnage capacities up to 350 tons.
Gauge
Our press brakes are capable of forming metals up to 0.25″ (air formed).
Size
We are capable of press braking parts with a part and bed size of up to a 12′ length (no bed point form).

Assembly services

Epower Metals is one of the heaviest duty custom metal fabricators in the United States. But our services do not stop at contract metal fabrication. We can form multiple parts on a single invoice and include assembly of those parts to a finished product.
Our highly trained staff of custom component assemblers possesses the ability to provide turnkey products ready for fit-up to your application’s requirements.
Epower Metals will dedicate a portion of our assembly area to an on-going customers specific assembly needs. We fabricate and install permanent jigs and fixtures to ensure final product quality and repeatability, depending on the assembly requirements and volume.

Punching services

Punching is the process of forming metal components using a punch. The punch is usually the upper member of the complete die assembly and is mounted on the slide or in a die set for alignment (except in the inverted die).
To view details about our punching services below:
Punching Overview
Epower Metals offers punching services to our customers requiring this type of metal fabricating service. We operate a variety of punches to assist our OEM customers to produce the custom fabricated metal parts their company requires. We use some of the most technologically advanced and efficient punches available and Epower Metals is very competitive.
Press Tonnage
Epower Metals’ punch presses range in capacity from 150 -300 tons.
Speed
Our punch speeds range between 1 and 90 hits per minute.
Size
Epower Metals’ punch presses can accommodate metal fabricating customers’ needs for a bed size up to 36″ x 48″ as well as a part size up to 36″ x 48″.
Maximum Sheet Thickness/Gauge
We can punch metals up to 0.25″.
Punching Accuracy
Our presses can achieve a punching accuracy with very tight tolerances.
Dimensional Tolerance
Inquire – Epower Metals can meet your needs.
Run Size/Volume
Please inquire! Our run size is only limited by our customers’ requirements!

Welding services

Welding is the process of permanently joining two or more metal parts, by melting both materials. The molten materials quickly cool, and the two metals are permanently bonded. Spot welding and seam welding are two very popular methods used for sheet metal parts.
Epower Metals’ welding staff has decades of complex welding experience. Our skilled welding staff provides a full range of welding services. We can provide welding services ranging from structural and plate welding to light gauge tubular steels, stainless, and aluminum.
We jig and fixture components to be welded to ensure parts are correctly aligned before being joined providing quality and repeatability.
We provide:

  • TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas)
  • MIG (Metal Inert Gas)
  • Stick, and
  • Oxy-Acetylene

Services plus weld & cut services.
Every welding job’s requirements are different, but Epower Metals’ welders often:

  • Grind the welds
  • Polish the welds
  • Fill in voids
  • Descale the welds
  • Prepare the welded surfaces for painting
  • Prime the prepared surface

After the welding process is completed.
We will complete your custom metal fabricating component welding project in our 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility. Epower Metals has the equipment to do the job right!
We carry the latest equipment and have a welding staff with high levels of welding training that is backed by decades of industrial welding experience.

Notching services

Notching is a metalworking operation in which the punch removes material from the edge or corner of a strip or blank or part.
To view details about our notching services below:
Notching Overview
Epower Metals offers metal notching services to our customers requiring these metal-fabricating services. We operate a variety of presses to assist our OEM customer in producing the notching services they require to produce their custom fabricated metal parts.
Press Tonnage
Epower Metals’ presses range in capacity from 150-300 tons.
Speed
Our punch presses range between 1 to 90 hits per minute.
Size
Epower Metals’ punch presses can accommodate metal fabricating customers’ needs for a bed size up to 36″ x 48″ as well as a part size up to 36″ x 48″.
Maximum Sheet Thickness/Gauge
We can notch metals up to 0.25″!
Notching Accuracy
Our presses can achieve a very tight notching accuracy.
Dimensional Tolerance
Inquire – Epower Metals can meet your needs.

Brazing services

Brazing is a metal-joining process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint, with the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal.
To view details about our brazing services below:
Brazing Overview
In another similar usage, brazing is the use of a bronze or brass filler rod coated with flux together with an oxyacetylene torch to join pieces of steel. The American Welding Society prefers to use the term braze welding for this process, as capillary attraction is not involved, unlike the prior silver brazing example. Braze welding takes place at the melting temperature of the filler (e.g., 870 °C to 980 °C or 1600 °F to 1800 °F for bronze alloys) which is often considerably lower than the melting point of the base material (e.g., 1600 °C (2900 °F) for mild steel).
In Braze Welding, or Fillet Brazing, a bead of filler material reinforces the joint. Braze welding has many advantages over fusion welding. It allows you to join dissimilar metals, to minimize heat distortion, and to reduce extensive pre- heating. Another side effect of braze welding is the elimination of stored-up stresses that are often present in fusion welding. This is extremely important in the repair of large castings. The disadvantages are the loss of strength when subjected to high temperatures and the inability to withstand high stresses.
The equipment needed for braze welding is basically identical to the equipment used in brazing. Since braze welding usually requires more heat than brazing, an oxyacetylene or oxy-mapp torch is recommended.
‘Braze welding’ is also used to mean the joining of plated parts to another material. Carbide, cermet and ceramic tips are plated and then joined to steel to make tipped band saws. The plating acts as a braze alloy.
Press Tonnage
Epower Metals’ presses range in capacity from 150-300 tons.
Speed
Our punch presses range between 1 to 90 hits per minute.
Size
Epower Metals’ punch presses can accommodate metal fabricating customers’ needs for a bed size up to 36″ x 48″ as well as a part size up to 36″ x 48″.
Maximum Sheet Thickness/Gauge
We can notch metals up to 0.25″!
Notching Accuracy

  • Pinbrazing
  • Block Brazing
  • Diffusion Brazing
  • Dip Brazing
  • Exothermic Brazing
  • Flow Brazing
  • Furnace Brazing
  • Induction Brazing
  • Infrared Brazing
  • Resistance Brazing
  • Torch Brazing
  • Twin Carbon Arc Brazing
  • Vacuum Brazing

Dimensional Tolerance

Inquire – Epower Metals can meet your needs.

Materials

Epower Metals provides custom and contract metal fabricating and welding services to OEMs in most industrial sectors.

We are capable of providing stamping, corrugating and roll forming, shearing, embossing, and many other necessary custom metal fabricating services for a variety of materials. Steel and aluminum are the most common metals we custom fabricate, but Epower Metals is capable of working with the most common and many not-so-common metals.

The tables that follow matches the metals most commonly fabricated to the metal fabricating services we offer.

Materials/Process

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Aluminum (All Alloys) X X X X X X X X X X
Aluminum (T1/T2) X X X X X X X X X X
Brass X   X X X X X X X  
Cold Rolled Steel X X X X X X X X X X
Copper X   X X X X X X X  
COR-TEN™ Steel   X               X
Galvannealed   X               X
Galvanized Steel X   X X X X X X X X
High Strength, Low Alloy Steel X   X X X X X X X X
Hot-dipped galvanized G-90 through G-285   X               X
Hot Rolled Steel X X X X X X X X X X
Pre-Painted Metals   X                
Stainless Steel X X               X
Steel (All Alloys)   X X X X X X X X X
Titanium X       X X X   X X
Zinc X   X X X X X X X  

In addition to the more common materials listed above, Epower Metals’ welders have years of experience working with the more exotic materials listed below.

  • Air Hardening Alloys
  • Chrome Moly
  • High Speed Steel
  • High Carbon
  • Hot Work Alloys
  • Inconnel
  • Low Carbon Steel
  • Monel
  • Oil Hardening Alloys
  • Powdered Metals
  • Shock Resisting Alloys
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten Alloys and
  • Water Hardening Alloys

Applications

Applications for contract metal fabricated components or custom metal products have included a broad brushstroke of industries. The list below provides a quick overview of some of the industries Epower Metals has served and the applications that our specialized products or custom components have been used in:

Industry

Application

Aerospace

  • Hangar doors
  • Hangar roofs
  • Hush houses

Agricultural equipment

  • Conveyor covers
  • Cranberry sluices / sluice way
  • Forage wagons
  • Storage buildings

Appliance

  • Embossed galvanized large refrigeration panels

Commercial construction

  • Bridge decking
  • Channel siding
  • Culverts
  • Decking
  • Framing
  • Roofing

Construction equipment

  • Conveyor components
  • Equipment sheds
  • Light duty sheet piling
  • Structural channels

Medical equipment manufacturing

  • Stocking channels

Military

  • Hush houses
  • Revetment kits
  • Temporary shelters

Transportation – rail

  • Flooring
  • Rail car and rail car components
  • Roofing

Transportation – truck

  • Cab fairings
  • Kick panels
  • Specialty animal trailer manufacturing

Truck trailer manufacturing

  • Fairings
  • Flooring
  • Trailer walls

To view a similar table for our welding services – Welding Services Applications.

Applications – welding

Applications for contract welding services have included a broad brushstroke of industries.

The list below provides a quick overview of some of the industries Epower Metals has served and the applications that our welding services helped to or can create. These include:

Industry

Application

Chemical

  • Tank fabrication
  • Supply line piping
  • Mixer, slurry blade manufacture
  • Mixer, slurry blade repair

Equipment Repair

  • Build up and resurfacing wear areas
  • Precision fabricated frames
  • Remove and replace carbide inserts

Food & Beverage

  • Slurry and mixer blade manufacture and repair
  • Precision fabricated frames
  • Custom stainless steel fabrication
  • Pipe weldments
  • Tube & plate fabrications

Forging & Heading

  • Cobalt base overlays
  • Tool steel build up and repair
  • Punch, knife holder manufacture
  • Punch, knife and holder repair

Machine Shop

  • Tool & die welding
  • Machining errors build up
  • Shaft and journal overlays
  • Prototype welding and assembly
  • Production welding

Medical equipment manufacturing

  • Stainless and aluminum custom weldments
  • Precision fabricated frames

Military

  • Reinforced modular structures inner I-beam caps

Benefits

Epower Metals services directly benefit Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, by providing them access to the extensive contract metal fabricating services we offer. These custom metal fabricating services include metal stamping, roll forming, punching, press braking, notching, embossing, corrugating, roll forming, shearing, cut to length, welding, assembly and design services coupled with our unique solutions orientation.
Competitive and strategic advantages
Epower Metals works very hard to provide our contract metal fabricating customers a measurable advantage over their competition. We accomplish this by: investing in our customers’ success, designing products that our customers’ competitors can’t get, or copy, because they can’t match the services through another single contract manufacturing vendor, entering into long-term, exclusive, contracts, providing turn key design, heavy duty metal fabrication, and assembly services, providing improved products, or custom metal fabricated components, that are aesthetically superior and very cost effective, being located in the heart of United States providing unparalleled air, rail, water and highway access.
Cost savings
Epower Metals is able to fabricate wider, larger, and heavier custom components than virtually any custom metal fabricator in the China Many times, this allows our customers to save both labor and material costs. We provide engineering solutions and can provide our customers with designs of multi-purpose parts, again lowering costs.
Epower Metals will design, tool, and develop your custom metal fabricated component or product, removing the engineering and R&D burden saving our customers time and expenses.
We reduce your custom metal fabricating costs by providing completed components or products, eliminating the double markups when a metal providing metal fabrication services cannot supply all of the required services or capabilities.
Epower Metals reduces add-on customer transportation costs by eliminating the need to ship partially finished components or products to other, or even multiple, vendors to provide all the needs fabrication services.
Reduced tooling costs
We pay for tooling! Save the time and aggravation hassling with vendors about who is going to pay for tooling costs.
Value-added fabricating
Epower Metals can provide the additional fabricating required, in-house, to produce a more complete component solution.
Design assistance
Projects that seem impossible, or unusually difficult, excite our design and engineering staff. We communicate electronically via e-mail to make it easier to share ideas. We will take a rudimentary design and provided finished shop drawings for our customers or use the drawings they can provide, offering suggestions to make the production more cost-effective.
Stocking and inventory programs
Epower Metals works with our customers to ensure their inventory requirements are met. Some customers:
require us to keep many truckloads of raw materials, need finished product on the floor ready to ship at all times, and need special run and hold programs.
When you have a special stocking or inventory program need, call Epower Metals! We invest in our customer’s success!
Metal buying power
Epower Metals custom fabricates about 30 million pounds of carbon steel, galvanized, aluminum, and stainless steel each year! This buying power enables us to negotiate with our vendors with more leverage and, in turn, offer our customers great pricing on high quality material. Our extensive inventory of raw material also means that we can more quickly react to your needs, reducing customer production times and inventory carrying costs.
Family ownership
Epower Metals is a private, family-owned, business. The ownership, decision makers are on site daily and are involved with every aspect of customer projects. This involvement results in better communications and service to our customers. This on-site daily project management also provides our customers with the ability t get answers from ownership immediately, improving our customers ability to react quickly when they need to.
Quality materials access
Epower Metals maintains strategic quality standards, among these are:

  • Prime Materials Only: Epower Metals sells only prime stainless steel, alloy steel, titanium alloy and aluminum products. Every product or custom component we fabricate is accompanied by mill certification reports, documenting the quality of the metal.
  • Process Control: Every product is checked for gauge, length, width, coverage, surface quality, squareness, and correct count.

Metal fabricating tips and facts

The sections that follow contain a wide variety of information that may be useful to OEMs and other companies working with, fabricating, or welding metals. We have first provided an overview of each one of the major metal reduction processes including punching, notching, slitting, shearing, and blanking, some of the major metal deformation processes including roll forming, stamping, press braking, and embossing, and some of the major thermal joining processes such as MIG, TIG, oxy-acetylene, and stick welding.
Most of these process overviews correspond to the major services Epower Metals offers and we want visitors to our site to get at least a rudimentary understanding of each fabricating process.
Next, we have included many conversion tables and other tables containing information that are helpful to anyone working with raw metals, metal stocks, are fabricating metals or working with fabricated metals.
Finally, we have included a dozen considerations buyers should consider when they are evaluating a vendor that offers metal stamping services. These considerations are included to ensure buyers of stamping services understand all the ramifications that can occur when a new stamping vendor is selected.
Epower Metals hopes you find these metal fabricating tips and facts useful for your operation.

Metal forming process overviews

Mechanical reduction processes

  • Punching
  • Notching
  • Slitting
  • Shearing
  • Blanking

What is Punching?

Punching is a metal fabricating process that removes a scrap slug from the metal workpiece each time a punch enters the punching die. This process leaves a hole in the metal workpiece.

Characteristics of the punching process include:

  • Its ability to produce economical holes in both strip and sheet metal during medium or high production processes.

  • The ability to produce holes of varying shapes – quickly.

The punching process forces a steel punch, made of hardened steel, into and through a workpiece. The punch diameter determines the size of the hole created in the workpiece.

The illustration that follows provides a two-dimensional look at a typical punching process. Note how the workpiece remains and the punched part falls out as scrap as the punch enters the die. The scrap drops through the die and is normally collected for recycling.

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Punched material is most normally in sheets. Roll material can also be punched.

The illustration that follows shows a few common punch and die configurations and the workpieces that would be formed by this combination. Multiple punches can be used together to produce a complete part with just one stroke of the press.

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What is Notching?

Notching is a shearing process during which a metal scrap piece is removed from the outside edge of a metal workpiece. Notching is typically a manually operated, low-production process.

During a notching operation, the metal workpiece has an outside edge removed by the use of multiple shear blades that are set at right angles to each other.

Characteristics of the notching process include:

  • Only removes metal from the outside of a workpiece
  • Is capable of making different angle notches (accomplished by adjusting the location of the workpiece)
  • Produces cuts not possible when using the shearing process
  • Can be used as a process to facilitate later roll forming or stamping processes

The illustration that follows provides a two-dimensional look at a typical notching process. Note how the tool removes the notched part.

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As mentioned above, the notching process removes materials from the outside edge only of the workpiece.

The illustration that follows shows how a metal workpiece may look after the notching process is employed and has removed material from the outside edges.

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The tooling used in the notching process normally has only two blades, set at 90° angles to each other. The illustration that follows shows what a common notching tool might look like.

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What is Slitting?

Slitting is also a shearing process, but rather than making cuts at the end of a workpiece like shearing, slitting us used to cut a wide coil of metal into a number of narrower coils as the main coil is moved through the slitter. During the slitting process, the metal coil passes lengthwise through the slitter’s circular blades.

The slitting process characteristics include:

  • being restricted to cutting relatively thin materials (0.001 to 0.125 in.),
  • leaving left-over burrs on slit edges of the narrower coals,
  • its ability to be used on both ferrous and nonferrous metals,
  • its categorization as a high production designed to control metal coil width.

The illustration that follows provides a two-dimensional look at a typical coil slitting process. Note how the metal workpiece is drawn past the upper and lower slitting blades, leaving two coils the same length as the original wide coil.

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Slitting can be used equally well for both sheet or coil rolls.

Slitting blades are designed depending on the job required. The three critical determinants of the blade configuration include:

  • The workpiece material thickness
  • The type of material to be slit
  • The tolerances that must be held while slitting.

What is Shearing?

Shearing is a metal fabricating process used to cut straight lines on flat metal stock. During the shearing process, an upper blade and a lower blade are forced past each other with the space between them determined by a required offset. Normally, one of the blades remains stationary.

The shearing process characteristics include:

  • Its ability to make straight-line cuts on flat sheet stock
  • Metal placement between an upper and lower shear blades
  • Its trademark production of burred and slightly deformed metal edges
  • Its ability to cut relatively small lengths of material at any time since the shearing blades can be mounted at an angle to reduce the necessary shearing force required.

The illustration that follows provides a two-dimensional look at a typical metal shearing process. Note how the upper shear blade fractures the metal workpiece held in place by the workholding devices. The sheared piece drops away.

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Typically, the upper shear blade is mounted at an angle to the lower blade that is normally mounted horizontally. The shearing process performs only fundamental straight-line cutting but any geometrical shape with a straight line cut can usually be produced on a shear.

Metal shearing can be performed on sheet, strip, bar, plate, and even angle stock. Bar and angle materials can only be cut to length. However, many shapes can be produced by shearing sheet and plate.

Materials that are commonly sheared include:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Mild steel
  • Stainless steel

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The shearing process uses three types of tool systems. They are used for shearing:

  1. Sheet metal and plate using a squaring or bow tie shear
  2. Angle materials using and angle shear, and
  3. Bar stock using a bar shear.

What is Blanking?

Blanking is a metal fabricating process, during which a metal workpiece is removed from the primary metal strip or sheet when it is punched. The material that is removed is the new metal workpiece or blank.

Characteristics of the blanking process include:

  • Its ability to produce economical metal workpieces in both strip and sheet metal during medium or high production processes,
  • The removal of the workpiece from the primary metal stock as a punch enters a die,
  • The production of a burnished and sheared section on the cut edge,
  • The production of burred edges,
  • The control of the quality by the punch and die clearance,
  • The ability to produce holes of varying shapes – quickly.

The blanking process forces a metal punch into a die that shears the part from the larger primary metal strip or sheet. A die cut edge normally has four attributes. These include:

  • burnish
  • burr
  • fracture
  • roll-over

The illustration that follows provides a two-dimensional look at a typical blanking process. Note how the primary metal workpiece remains and the punched part falls out as scrap as the punch enters the die. The scrap drops through the die and is normally collected for recycling.

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Like many other metal fabricating processes, especially stamping, the waste can be minimized if the tools are designed to nest parts as closely together as possible.

The illustration that follows shows the workpieces that could be created through the blanking process using either sheet or roll as the parent material.

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The blanking process has some downside effects. These include:

  • Generating residual cracks along the blanked edges,
  • Hardening along the edge of the blanked part or workpiece, and
  • Creating excess roll-over and burr if the clearance is excessive.

Metal deformation processes

  • Roll forming
  • Stamping / progressive die drawing
  • Press braking / brake forming
  • Embossing

What is Roll Forming?

Roll forming is a progressive process that passes a metal strip through a series of specially shaped roller dies to form, ultimately, a desired roll formed profile. Strip stock is fed through successive pairs of contoured rolls that progressively form the workpiece to meet the desired specifications.

The roll forming process characteristics include:

  • Its common usage to mass produce mass long metal pieces with relatively close tolerances,
  • The utilization of ductile workpiece materials, softer metals,
  • Working with materials that are usually less than 1/8″ thick and 20″ wide,
  • The capability to produce desired workpieces at a forming speed of 100 feet per minute (fpm),
  • Its strong suitability to produce decorative and structural metal products often for roofing and siding.

The illustration that follows provides a look at a typical progressive roll forming die process showing a strip of metal being progressively shaped by the pairs of mated rolls of roll. It is normal to find roll forming stations with 10 to 12 stages before the material achieves the final desired roll formed shape or profile.

As the metal strip is moved through the drawing process, it is exposed to a series of progressive die stations, each one changing the metal configuration left on the metal by the previous station. Therefore, the metal workpiece is created in a series of stamping stages.

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To achieve the desired roll formed profile, sets of mated dies are constructed. The size of the rolls is dependant upon the material to be formed, the material thickness, and the formability of the material required.

The most common materials used in the progressive roll forming process include aluminum and steel, including many alloys of each.

What is Stamping?

Progressive die drawing, or stamping, is a forming process that utilizes a series of stamping stations to perform simultaneous operations on sheet metal. The final metal workpiece is developed as the strip of metal is processed through the stamping die.

The progressive die stamping process characteristics include:

  • The utilization of multiple cutting and/or forming operations simultaneously,
  • Excellent suitability to produce small workpieces at a rapid rate,
  • The necessity to invest in expensive die sets,
  • The ability to save time and money by combining forming operations,
  • The capability to maintain close tolerances, depending on the tools.

The illustration that follows provides a two-dimensional look at a typical progressive die metal drawing process in two steps – one open die and one closed die.

As the metal strip is moved through the drawing process, it is exposed to a series of progressive die stations, each one changing the metal configuration left on the metal by the previous station. Therefore, the metal workpiece is created in a series of stamping stages.

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The illustration above depicts the metal strip moving to the next workstation before the die closes.

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The second illustration shows a closed die with the finished component workpiece falling out of the die on the lower right hand side.

The overview on the top of the second illustration shows a “birds eye” view of the metal strip as it is going through the dies.

During the drawing operation, punches in the die can perform cutting, forming, and drawing operations to produce the needed component.

Normally, this process is limited to shallow draw stamping. A related process, deep draw stamping, allows the metal to be drawn more deeply, often to a ratio of 7 or 8 to 1.

Tooling in progressive die drawing is complex and relatively expensive.

Common materials progressively drawn include:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Cold rolled steel commercial steel
  • Cold rolled draw steel
  • Cold rolled stainless steel

What is Brake Forming?

Brake forming is one of the oldest mechanical metal deformation process. During the process, a piece of sheet metal is formed along a straight axis. This may be accomplished by a “V”- shaped, “U”-shaped, or channel-shaped punch and die set.

Although press braking appears a simple concept, maintaining accuracy can often be quite difficult. Precision bending is a function of both the press, the tooling, and the work-piece material. Material properties such as yield strength, ductility, hardness, and the condition of the material, all affect the amount of spring back of the material.

The most common industrial press braking process is called air bending. Air bending relies upon three point bending. The angle of the bend is dictated by how far the punch tip penetrates the “V” cavity. The greater the penetration of the punch tip the greater the angle achieved.

The main benefit of air bending is that it uses much less force than other methods to achieve a 90° bend due to the leverage effect.

Characteristic of the metal brake forming process include:

  • Its ability to form ductile materials,
  • Its use in both low and medium production run applications,
  • The need for minimal tooling,
  • Its suitability to produce smaller parts,
  • Its output of long workpieces using a “V”, “U”, channel, or other special punch and dies.

The illustrations that follow provides a two-dimensional look at a typical press brake setup. Note how the tool removes the notched part. The left side of the illustration shows the press brake in the open position and the right side shows it in a closed position, press braking the metal workpiece.

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Brake forming can commonly form metals up to 10″ thick and some machinery will form pieces as long as 20 feet.

The press braking process can produce a variety of shapes. Some of the most common shapes appear, two-dimensionally, in the table below.

Shape Type of Bend
90 rib form - Customized metal parts solutions 90° Rib Form
v bottom - Customized metal parts solutions 90° Bottom / V Bottom
channel - Customized metal parts solutions Channel
closing - Customized metal parts solutions Closing
double form - Customized metal parts solutions Double Form
hat channel - Customized metal parts solutions Hat Channel
mt offset - Customized metal parts solutions M.T. Offset
offset - Customized metal parts solutions Offset
open hat channel - Customized metal parts solutions Open Hat Channel
radius - Customized metal parts solutions Radius
single form - Customized metal parts solutions Single Form
wipe die - Customized metal parts solutions Wipe Die

Materials commonly used in the brake forming process include:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Cold rolled carbon steel
  • Hot rolled carbon steel
  • Stainless steel

Tool materials for brake forming include low-carbon steel, tool steel, carbide, and hardwood.

Low-carbon steel is used for low production runs, die and punch base material, and soft to medium hardness materials. Tool steel is used for medium to high production, for medium to server bending, and for medium to strong materials. Carbide tools are used for high production runs on materials that required severe bending, and are usually designed as tool inserts. Hardwood tools are used for very low production runs, for very simple bending applications, and are normally used on very soft materials.

What is Embossing?

Embossing is a metal forming process for producing raised or sunken designs or relief in sheet material by means of matched male and female roller dies, theoretically with no change in metal thickness, or by passing sheet or a strip of metal between rolls of the desired pattern.

Metal sheet is drawn through the male and female roller dies producing a pattern or design on the metal sheet. Depending on the roller dies used, different patterns can be produced on the metal sheet.

Characteristics of the metal embossing process include:

  • Its ability to form ductile metals,
  • Its use in medium to high production runs,
  • The ability to maintain the same metal thickness before and after embossing,
  • The ability to produce unlimited patterns, depending on the roll dies, and
  • The ability to reproduce product with no variation.

Located within the embossing stand itself are two engraved and mated hardened steel rolls, geared together to maintain top-to-bottom pattern registration. The width and diameter of these rolls depends on the strip width, material thickness, pattern depth, and material tensile strength and hardness.

In most machines, the upper roll blocks are stationary, while the bottom roll blocks are movable. The pressure with which the bottom roll is raised is referred to as the tonnage capacity. This figure also depends on the aforementioned parameters.

Embossing machines are generally sized to give 2″ of strip clearance on each side of an engraved embossing roll. Many embossing machines are custom-manufactured, so there are no industry-standard widths. It is not uncommon to find embossing machines in operation producing patterns less than 6′ wide all the way up to machines producing patterns 70″+ wide.

The illustration that follows provides a two-dimensional look at a typical embossing line setup with an embossing roller in the middle. The illustration shows the metal sheet entering the roller, and then the embossed sheet leaving toward the drawing rollers.

embossingline - Customized metal parts solutions

Embossed metals are used in industry for two reasons: (1) aesthetic, and (2) functional. Aesthetic applications also include appliance panels, building products, elevator panels, garage door panels, automotive trim, metal office furniture, and others.

Functional applications are those in which a performance characteristic is enhanced. This can include a metal products ability to disperse liquid more effectively, reduction friction and static, increase a metal panel’s stiffness and rigidity, increase a metal surface area for acoustic or heat transfer applications, and improve traction.

The embossing process can produce a variety of patterns. Some of the most common patterns include stucco, leather grain, wood grain, weather grain, and rough sawn cedar. Most embossers will tool to form any needed pattern, depending on the cost parameters involved.

Materials commonly used in the metal embossing process include:

  • Aluminum (All Alloys)
  • Aluminum (T1/T2)
  • Brass
  • Cold rolled steel
  • Copper
  • Galvanized steel
  • High strength, low alloy, steel
  • Hot rolled steel
  • Steel (All Alloys)
  • Zinc

Thermal joining processes

  • TIG welding
  • MIG welding
  • Oxy-Acetylene welding
  • Stick or MSAW welding

What is TIG Welding?

Epower Metals performs a number of welding processes. The two most common welding processes we use include TIG, an acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas welding and MIG, an acronym for Metal Inert Gas welding. TIG is also referred to as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) and Heliarc®. MIG also is referred to as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding).

TIG welding is also called Heliarc® welding. Heliarc® was the trade name given to the process by Linde’s when it was introduced decades ago. The arc is started with a tungsten electrode shielded by inert gas and filler rod is fed into the weld puddle separately. The gas shielding that is required to protect the molten metal from contamination and amperage are supplied during the TIG welding operation.

TIG welding is a slower process than MIG, but it produces a more precise weld and can be used at lower amperages for thinner metal and can even be used on exotic metals. TIG welding is a commonly used high quality welding process. TIG welding has become a popular choice of welding processes when high quality, precision welding is required. The TIG welding process requires more time to learn than MIG.

Characteristics of the TIG welding process

TIG:

  • Uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode during the welding process,
  • Uses a number of shielding gases including helium (He) and argon (Ar),
  • Is easily applied to thin materials,
  • Produces very high-quality, superior welds,
  • Welds can be made with or without filler metal,
  • Provides precise control of welding variables (i.e. heat),
  • Welding yields low distortion,
  • Leaves no slag or splatter.

In TIG welding, an arc is formed between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the metal being welded. Gas is fed through the torch to shield the electrode and molten weld pool. If filler wire is used, it is added to the weld pool separately.

The illustration that follow provide a schematic showing how the TIG welding process works.

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The most common TIG welds are illustrated below. They include the:

  • butt joint,
  • lap joint,
  • T-joint, and
  • Fillet weld.

The following illustration shows these TIG-welded joints:

tig welding joints2 - Customized metal parts solutions

The TIG welding process utilizes a number of shielding gases including:

  • argon
  • argon/helium, and
  • helium

Argon is superior for welding metals. It operates at a higher arc voltage, makes the arc start more easily, and is commonly used to weld mild steel, aluminum and titanium.

Helium is generally added to increase heat input (increase welding speed or weld penetration) and is used for high speed welding of mild steel and titanium. Helium offers a smaller heat affected zone and therefore, penetrates metals deeply. It also can increase the welding speed up to 40%. Helium is also commonly used to weld stainless steel and copper.

The argon/helium combination gas is used for a hotter arc in welding aluminum and aluminum alloys. It is also used in automatic welding applications.

Even though TIG is a commonly used welding process, there are a number of limitations. These include:

  • TIG requires greater welder dexterity than MIG or stick welding,
  • TIG yields lower deposition rates,
  • TIG is more costly for welding thick metal sections.

What is MIG Welding?

Epower Metals performs a number of welding processes. The two most common welding processes we use include TIG, an acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas welding and MIG, an acronym for Metal Inert Gas welding. TIG is also referred to as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) and Heliarc®. MIG also is referred to as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding). We also provide oxy-acetylene welding.

The “Metal” in Gas Metal Arc Welding refers to the wire that is used to start the arc. It is shielded by inert gas and the feeding wire also acts as the filler rod. MIG is fairly easy to learn and use as it is a semi-automatic welding process.

Characteristics of the MIG welding process

MIG:

  • Uses a consumable wire electrode during the welding process that is fed from a spool,
  • Provides a uniform weld bead,
  • Produces a slag-free weld bead,
  • Uses a shielding gas, usually – argon, argon – 1 to 5% oxygen, argon – 3 to 25% CO2 and a combination argon/helium gas,
  • Is considered a semi-automatic welding process,
  • Allows welding in all positions,
  • Requires less operator skill than TIG welding,
  • Allows long welds to be made without starts or stops,
  • Needs little cleanup.

The illustration that follows provides a look at a typical MIG welding process showing an arc that is formed between the wire electrode and the workpiece. During the MIG welding process, the electrode melts within the arc and becomes deposited as filler material. The shielding gas that is used prevents atmospheric contamination from atmospheric contamination and protects the weld during solidification. The shielding gas also assists with stabilizing the arc which provides a smooth transfer of metal from the weld wire to the molten weld pool.

migweldingprocess - Customized metal parts solutions

Versatility is the major benefit of the MIG welding process. It is capable of joining most types of metals and it can be performed in most positions, even though flat horizontal is most optimum.

The most common welds are illustrated below. They include the:

  • lap joint
  • butt joint
  • T-joint, and the
  • edge joint

migweldjoints - Customized metal parts solutions

MIG is used to weld many materials, and different gases are used to form the arc depending on the materials to be welded together. An argon CO2 blend is normally used to weld mild steel, aluminum, titanium, and alloy metals. Helium is used to weld mild steel and titanium in high speed process and also copper and stainless steel. Carbon dioxide is most often used to weld carbon and low alloy steels. Magnesium and cast iron are other metals commonly welded used the MIG process.

What is Oxy-acetylene Welding?

Epower Metals performs a number of welding processes. The two most common welding processes we use include TIG, an acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas welding and MIG, an acronym for Metal Inert Gas welding. TIG is also referred to as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) and Heliarc®. MIG also is referred to as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding). We also provide oxy-acetylene welding.

Oxy-acetylene welding is a very common welding process. The use of oxygen and acetylene as welding gases dates back to the 1890’s. The combination of oxygen and acetylene produces a flame temperature over 6000 degrees Fahrenheit making it ideal for welding and cutting.

Characteristics of the oxy-acetylene welding process

Characteristics of the oxy-acetylene welding process include:

  • The use dual oxygen and acetylene gases stored under pressure in steel cylinders,
  • Its ability to switch quickly to a cutting process, by changing the welding tip to a cutting tip,
  • The high temperature the gas mixture attains,
  • The use of regulators to control gas flow and reduce pressure on both the oxygen and acetylene tanks,
  • The use of double line rubber hoses to conduct the gas from the tanks to the torch,
  • Melting the materials to be welded together,
  • The ability to regulate temperature by adjusting gas flow.

The illustration that follows provides a look at a typical oxy-acetylene welding process. The welding tip is mounted on the end of the torch handle and fuel and gas mixture pass through it to feed the flame. Welding tips have only one hole while cutting tips have a centrally located hole with a number of smaller holes located around it in a circular pattern. During cutting, the oxygen comes from the center hole and the preheat flames come from the holes around the center hole.

In oxy-acetylene welding, the flame produced by the combination of the gases melts the metal faces of the workpieces to be joined, causing them to flow together. A filler metal alloy is normally added and sometimes be used to prevent oxidation and to facilitate the metal union.

The molten metal has a tendency to pop and splatter as heat is applied and oxygen reacts with the superheated metal. It is critical that operators using the oxy-acetylene welding or cutting process wear proper gloves and use approved safety goggles or face shield. The goggles and/or face shield protect the eyes from sparks and flying hot metal particles. The goggles or face shield use special lenses to protect the eyes form light damage. A variety of lenses are used depending on the type of welding or cutting that needs to be done, the type of material, and the thickness of the material. If protective eye shielding is not used, painful burns can occur on the surface of the eye, and could result in permanent damage.

What is Stick or MSAW Welding?

Epower Metals performs a number of welding processes. The two most common welding processes we use include TIG, an acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas welding and MIG, an acronym for Metal Inert Gas welding. TIG is also referred to as GTAW (Gas T ungsten Arc Welding) and Heliarc®. MIG also is referred to as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding). We also provide stick or MSAW welding.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is frequently referred to as “stick” or “covered electrode” welding. Stick welding is among the most widely used welding processes.

The flux covering on the electrode melts during welding. This forms the gas and slag to shield the arc and molten weld pool. The slag must be chipped off the weld bead after welding. The flux also provides a method of adding scavengers, deoxidizers, and alloying elements to the weld metal.
When an arc is struck between the metal rod (electrode) and the workpiece, both the rod and workpiece surface melt to form a weld pool. Simultaneous melting of the flux coating on the rod will form gas and slag which protects the weld pool from the surrounding atmosphere. The slag will solidify and cool and must be chipped off the weld bead once the weld run is complete (or before the next weld pass is deposited).

The process allows only short lengths of weld to be produced before a new electrode needs to be inserted in the holder. Weld penetration is low and the quality of the weld deposit is highly dependent on the skill of the welder.

Process characteristics of Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW/Stick)

SMAW welding:

  • Uses a electrode rod that is quickly consumed,
  • Uses equipment that is simple, inexpensive, and highly portable,
  • Uses an electrode that provides and regulates its own flux,
  • Provides all position flexibility,
  • Is less sensitive to wind or drafts,
  • Yields a weld with a variable quality and appearance based on operator skill,

smaw - Customized metal parts solutions

During the SMAW welding process the arc is established, the flux coating on the rod disintegrates and then forms a gas that shields the weld from the atmosphere. The slag that is produced by the flux coating prevents the weld metal from oxidizing.

Equipment required to perform the SMAW welding process includes a constant current power source that supplies the power to the consumable rod electrode.
The SMAW welding process typically is capable of producing three types of welded joints. They are:

  • Butt joint
  • Lap joint,
  • T-joint, and
  • Fillet weld.

The illustration below shows these four common welded joints.

smaw stick welds2 - Customized metal parts solutions

Flux-coated electrodes are available in many core wire diameters and lengths. Matching the electrode properties to the base materials as a general rule for choosing the type of electrode. Available electrodes types include aluminum bronze, bronze, mild steel, nickel, and stainless steel.

Materials commonly welded using the SMAW process include mild steel, cast iron, and stainless steel.

Metal stamping vendor selection and evaluation

Choosing a metal stamper to provide custom stamping or contract stamping services should not be undertaken lightly. A variety of issues should be considered and discussed with potential metal stamping vendors prior to having custom metal components produced using their metal stamping services.

Optimum process
Is conventional metal stamping the optimum method for producing the required part or is there another, cost effective, process that is better suited?
Processes that may be cost effective alternatives, dependent on run size and part requirements, include laser cutting, water jet cutting, or the use of a turret press to achieve similar part results.
If process comparisons are not made and carefully evaluated by the OEM, a number of negative impacts can occur. These include:

  • Incurring unnecessary expenses for developing hard or soft tooling;
  • Extending critical lead times for developing hard or soft tooling;
  • Delaying production while tools are being developed;
  • Incurring excessive per part cost in comparison to other potential processes;
  • Bypassing processes that could yield a final better-finished part.

Materials
What material options are best suited for the application?
It is advisable to examine the various materials options available and compare their respective costs and end-user benefits. Different materials with similar performance characteristics often vary widely in cost and ease of formability and the users of metal stamping services can save themselves significant costs by examining all the available material options.
View a list of materials Epower Metals commonly works with.
Production volumes
At what volumes do price breaks occur, and is it worth committing to larger volumes of stamped components to reduce the per part cost?
The economics achieved by a longer stamping run must be weighed against the forecasted need and cost of holding a finished goods inventory. If inventory carrying costs are less than what would have been paid through smaller production runs with higher costs, then it is probably a wise decision.
Soft vs. hard tooling
At what volume level does soft tooling lose its cost advantage over hard tooling?
When a tool is used for high volume stamping, on an on-going basis, it is typically more advantageous to develop a hard tool. End-users should conduct a cost comparison based on various volumes to determine the best tooling option for a specific application. If cost comparisons are not made for tooling a number of negative impacts will occur to the OEM. These include:

  • Building, and paying for, soft tooling several times to accommodate the end-users volume needs;
  • Incurring a high part defect rate due to soft tool deformation or failure if soft tooling is overused;
  • Investing in hard tooling that is not required to produce the needed part wasting valuable dollar resources;
  • Finding a lower-cost part production alternative due to high hard tooling costs;
  • Paying high hard tooling routine maintenance costs that exceed the costs of producing redundant soft tooling.

Special coating needs
Are the potential custom metal stampers being evaluated set up to apply any special finished part coatings that may be required?
Many parts require special coatings that need to be applied before, during, or after the metal stamping process. End-users can incur significant extra costs if the selected stamper is not set-up to efficiently handle needed coating requirements.
Tooling maintenance
Do potential stamping vendors have the ability to provide maintenance for existing or to-be-created tooling?
Metal stampers that have the ability to provide tool maintenance will have less downtime when tool problems occur and understand the modifications or repairs that must be made as result of having run the tool in their presses. The inability of the metal stamper to maintain a customer’s tooling can cause a number of negative impacts. These include:

  • Not making required minor tool modifications;
  • Incurring downtime and extended customer deliveries due to toll damage that cannot be easily or quickly repaired;
  • Losing current customers due to cancelled or delayed orders;
  • Causing current customers to evaluate other vendors due to poor deliveries or delayed shipments;
  • Causing the end-users’ customers to cancel orders or business;
  • Forcing existing customers to evaluate alternatives to their existing production to eliminate their problems.

Availability of secondary metal processing services
Can the metal stampers under consideration provide needed key secondary services such as heat treating or painting as part of the quote package?
Stampers that can include secondary services in their quote package save end-users time, money, and vendor management effort.
Design assistance
Can the potential stampers provide part and tool design assistance?
Stampers that provide part and tool design services ensure that the desired part is correctly engineered so that it can be economically produced and the tool will function as planned in the press saving material costs and increasing production efficiency.
Lead times
What are the lead times from order to ship date?
It is critical to understand the average lead times of the metal stamping vendor being considered so end-users can safely manage inventory and production planning without needing to make an investment in a large safety stock reducing inventory carrying costs.
Multi-press tooling
Can current or planned tools be run in more than one of the potential metal stamper’s presses?
Metal stampers that can run current tools in more than one of their stamping presses provide customers with increased manufacturing versatility and stamping production redundancy minimizing, or eliminating, delivery problems that result from equipment failure. If a metal stamper is not easily able to run a customer’s tolling in multiple presses, problems will occur. These include:

  • Incurring production and end-user customer delivery problems due to the stampers’ inability to alter their scheduling to meet production needs due to a failed press;
  • Delaying normal internal production creating backlogs and customer problems until the press or tolling is repaired;
  • Losing customer orders if the press continues to fail;
  • Losing the ability to increase production, even if redundant tooling exists, if a tool set can only be run in one press.

Redundant tooling
Do the metal stampers being evaluated build redundant tooling so customer parts can always be run – even when a tool is being serviced?
Metal stampers that make the investment to build redundant tooling provide their customers with the extra assurance that even if a tool is out of service for maintenance or repair custom stamped component parts will still be produced on schedule eliminating production downtime and the need for the end-user to build up extra stock during tooling maintenance.
Finished inventory
Does the potential stamper have ability to store, manage, and ship finished goods inventory as required?

Metal stampers that have the ability, and provide the extra service, to hold finished goods customer inventory allow their customers to take advantage of the “economies of scale” by running high volumes of parts, inventorying them, and then shipping them as required.

Conversion tables

Gauge reference chart for uncoated steel

Use the chart below to determine the thickness in inches and the weight for various gauges of uncoated steel.

Gauge
Number

Thickness (Inches)

Pounds Per Sq. Ft.

Nominal

Tolerance Range

10 .1345 .1405 to .1285 5.48695
11 .1196 .1256 to .1136 4.87911
12 .1046 .1106 to .0986 4.26718
13 .0897 .0947 to .0847 3.65933
14 .0747 .0797 to .0697 3.04740
15 .0673 .0723 to .0623 2.74552
16 .0598 .0648 to .0548 2.43955
17 .0538 .0578 to .0498 2.19478
18 .0478 .0518 to .0438 1.95001
19 .0418 .0458 to .0378 1.70524
20 .0359 .0389 to .0329 1.46455
21 .0329 .0359 to .0299 1.34216
22 .0299 .0329 to .0269 1.21978
23 .0269 .0299 to .0239 1.09739
24 .0239 .0269 to .0209 .97501
25 .0209 .0239 to .0179 .85262
26 .0179 .0199 to .0159 .73023
27 .0164 .0184 to .0144 .66094

Gauge in decimals of an inch

Use the chart provided below to convert standard gauge numbers in decimals of an inch for sheet steel, strip and tubing, aluminum and stainless steel.

Gauge # Sheet Steel Strip & Tubing Aluminum Stainless Steel
6/0
5/0
4/0
3/0
2/0
—-
—-
—-
—-
—-
—-
.500
.454
.425
.380
.5800
.5165
.4600
.4096
.3648
.4687
.4375
.4062
.3750
.3437
0
1
2
3
4
5
—-
—-
—-
.2391
.2242
.2092
.340
.300
.284
.259
.238
.220
.3249
.2893
.2576
.2294
.2043
.1819
.3125
.2812
.2656
.2500
.2344
.2187
6
7
8
9
10
11
.1943
.1793
.1644
.1495
.1345
.1196
.203
.180
.165
.148
.134
.120
.1620
.1443
.1285
.1144
.1019
.0907
.2031
.1875
.1719
.1562
.1406
.1250
12
13
14
15
16
17
.1046
.0897
.0747
.0673
.0598
.0538
.109
.095
.083
.072
.065
.058
.0808
.0720
.0641
.0571
.0508
.0453
.1094
.0937
.0781
.0703
.0625
.0562
18
19
20
21
22
23
.0478
.0418
.0359
.0329
.0299
.0269
.049
.042
.035
.032
.028
.025
.0403
.0359
.0320
.0285
.0253
.0226
.0500
.0437
.0375
.0344
.0312
.0281
24
25
26
27
28
29
.0239
.0209
.0179
.0164
.0149
.0135
.022
.020
.018
.016
.014
.013
.0201
.0179
.0159
.0142
.0126
.0113
.0250
.0219
.0187
.0172
.0156
.0141
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
.0120
.0105
.0097
.0090
.0082
.0075
.0067
.0064
.0060
.012
.010
.009
.008
.007
.005
.004
—-
—-
.0100
.0089
.0080
.0071
.0063
.0056
.0050
.0045
.0040
.0125
.0109
.0102
.0094
.0086
.0078
.0070
.0066
.0062

Fractions to decimals to millimeters conversion chart

Use the chart provided to convert fractions of an inch, by 1/64s, to decimals and millimeters.

Fraction Decimals Millimeters Fraction Decimal Millimeters
1/64 .0156 .3969 33/64 .5156 13.0969
1/32 .0313 .7938 17/32 .5313 13.4938
3/64 .0469 1.1906 35/64 .5499 13.8906
1/16 .0625 1.5875 9/16 .5625 14.2875
5/64 .0781 1.9844 37/64 .5781 14.6844
3/32 .0938 2.3813 19/32 .5938 15.0813
7/64 .1094 2.7781 39/64 .6094 15.4781
1/8 .125 3.1750 5/8 .625 15.8750
9/64 .1406 3.5719 41/64 .6406 16.2719
5/32 .1563 3.9688 21/32 .6563 16.6688
11/64 .1719 4.3656 43/64 .6719 17.0656
3/16 .1875 4.7625 11/16 .6875 17.4625
13/64 .2031 5.1594 45/64 .7031 17.8594
7/32 .2188 5.5563 23/32 .7188 18.2563
15/64 .2344 5.9531 47/64 .7344 18.6531
1/4 .250 6.3500 3/4 .750 19.0500
17/64 .2656 6.7469 49/64 .7656 19.4469
9/32 .2813 7.1438 25/32 .7813 19.8438
19/64 .2969 7.5406 51/64 .7969 20.2406
5/16 .3125 7.9375 13/16 .8125 20.6375
21/64 .3281 8.3344 53/64 .8281 21.0344
11/32 .3438 8.7313 27/32 .8438 21.4313
23/64 .3594 9.1281 55/64 .8594 21.8281
3/8 .375 9.5250 7/8 .875 22.2250
25/64 .3906 9.9219 57/64 .8906 22.6219
13/32 .4063 10.3188 29/32 .9063 23.0188
27/64 .4219 10.7156 59/64 .9219 23.4156
7/16 .4375 11.1125 15/16 .9375 23.8125
29/64 .4531 11.5094 61/64 .9531 24.2094
15/32 .4688 11.9063 31/32 .9688 24.6063
31/64 .4844 12.3031 63/64 .9844 25.0031
1/2 .500 12.7000 1 1.00 25.400

Metric conversion charts

Use the various charts provided below to convert standard US length, area, volume, and weight measurements to their metric equivalents, using the formulas provided.

Length conversion constants

Length conversion constants
Millimeters x .039370 = inches Inches x 25.4001 = millimeters
Meters x 39.370 = inches Inches x .0254 = meters
Meters x 3.2808 = feet Feet x .30480 = meters
Meters x 1.09361 = yards Yards x .91440 = meters
Kilometers x 3,280.8 = feet Feet x .0003048 = kilometers
Kilometers x .62137 = statute miles Statute Miles x 1.60935 = kilometers
Kilometers x .53959 = nautical miles Nautical Miles x 1.85325 = kilometers

Area conversion constants

Area conversion constants
Sq millimeters x .00155 = sq inches Sq inches x 645.163 = sq millimeters
Sq centimeters x .155 = sq inches Sq inches x 6.45163 = sq centimeters
Sq meters x 10. x 10.76387 = sq feet Sq feet x .0929 = sq meters
Sq meters x 1.19599 = sq yards Sq yards x .83613 = sq meters
Hectares x 2.47104 = acres Acres x .40469 = hectares
Sq kilometers x 247.104 = acres Acres x .0040469 = sq kilometers
Sq kilometers x .3861 = Sq miles Sq miles x 2.5899 = sq kilometers

Volume conversion constants

Volume Conversion Constants
Cu centimeters x .033818 = fluid ounces Fluid ounces x 29.57 = cu centimeters
Cu centimeters x .061023 = cu inches Cu inches x 16.387 = cu centimeters
Cu centimeters x .271 = fluid drams Fluid drams x 3.69 = cu centimeters
Liters x 61.023 = cu inches Cu inches x .016387 = liters
Liters x 1.05668 = quarts Quarts x .04636 = liters
Liters x .26517 = gallons Gallons x 3.78543 = liters
Liters x 035317 = cu feet Cu feet x 28.316 = liters
Hectoliters x 26.417 = gallons Gallons x .0378543 = hectoliters
Hectoliters x 3.5317 = cu feet Cu feet x .28316 = hectoliters
Hectoliters x 2.83794 = bushel Bushel x .352379 = hectoliters
Hectoliters x .1308 = cu yards Cu yards x 7.645 = hectoliters
Cu meters x 264.17 = gallons Gallons x .03378543 = cu meters
Cu meters x 35.317 = cu feet Cu feet x .28316 = cu meters
Cu meters x 1.308 = cu yards Cu yards x .7645 = cu meters

Weight conversion constants

Weight Conversion Constants
Grams x 981 = dynes Dynes x .0010193 = grams
Grams x 15.432 = grams Grams x .0648 = grams
Grams x .03527 = ounces Ounces x 28.35 = grams
Grams x .033818 = fluid ounces Fluid ounces x 29.57 = grams
Kilograms x 35.27 = ounces Ounces x .2835 = kilograms
Kilograms x 2.20462 = pounds Pounds x .45359 = kilograms
Metric ton x 1.10231 = net ton Net ton x .90719 = metric tons
Metric tons x .984221 = gross ton Gross ton x 1.01605 = metric tons

Standard metric measurements

Standard Metric Measurements

Length Measures
 
Area Measures
10 millimeters = 1 centimeter   100 sq millimeters = 1 sq centimeter
10 centimeters = 1 decimeter   100 sq centimeters = 1 sq decimeter
10 decimeters = 1 meter   100 sq decimeters = 1 sq meter
1000 meters = 1 kilometer      

Volume Measure (Dry)
 
Volume Measure (Liquid)
1000 cu millimeters = 1 cu centimeter   10 milliliters = 1 centiliter
1000 cu centimeters = 1 cu decimeter   10 centiliters = 1 deciliter
1000 cu decimeters = 1 cu meter   10 deciliters = 1 liter
      100 liters = 1 hectoliter

Weight Measure
 
10 milligrams = 1 centigram
10 centigrams = 1 decigram
10 decigrams = 1 gram
10 grams = 1 decagram
10 decagrams = 1 hectogram
10 hectograms = 1 kilogram
1000 kilograms = 1 metric ton

Steel thickness charts

The charts that follow illustrates the +/- tolerance variation for galvanized, hot-rolled, and cold-rolled steel. The tolerance variation is directly related to and dependent on the specified width and thickness of the material to be roll formed.

Galvanized steel

Specified Width,
Inches
Thickness tolerance, inch over only.
No tolerance under specified minimum thickness
over .101
thru .177
over .075
thru .101
over .061
thru .075
over .043
thru .061
over .023
thru .043
.023 and
thinner
thru 32 .016 .014 .012 .010 .008 .006
over 32 thru 40 .016 .016 .012 .010 .008 .006
over 40 thru 60 .018 .016 .012 .010 .008 .006
over 60 thru 72 .018 .018 .012 .010 .008

Hot rolled steel

Specified Width,
Inches
Thickness tolerance, inch over only.
No tolerance under specified minimum thickness
over .179
thru .230
over .097
thru .179
over .082
thru .097
over .071
thru .082
thru 20 .016 .016 .014 .014
over 20 thru 32 .018 .016 .014 .014
over 32 thru 40 .018 .018 .016 .014
over 40 thru 48 .020 .020 .016 .014
over 48 thru 60 .020 .016 .014
over 60 thru 72 .022 .018 .016
over 72 .024 .018 .016

Cold rolled steel

Specified Width,
Inches
Thickness tolerance, inch over only.
No tolerance under specified minimum thickness
over .098
thru .142
over .071
thru .098
over .057
thru .071
over .039
thru .057
over .019
thru .039
.over .014
thru .019
24 thru 72 .012 .010 .010 .008 .006 .004
over 72 .014 .012 .010 .008 .006

Press brake bend allowance chart for mild steel

Epower Metals offers press braking services for those who require these metal-fabricating services. We operate a variety of press brakes to assist our OEM customers to produce press braked metal forms needed to meet their custom fabricated metal parts requirements.

To determine the bend allowance for your steel, determine the gauge of the metal and then use the chart that follows:

Part
Radius

Metal Thickness In Gauge or Inches
24
GA
22
GA
20
GA
18
GA
16
GA
14
GA
12
GA
11
GA
10
GA
7
GA
1/4″
0.024 0.030 0.036 0.048 0.060 0.075 0.105 0.120 0.134 0.179 0.250
1/64″ 0.021 0.026 0.030 0.039 0.049 0.059 0.081 0.092 0.103 0.143 0.189
1/32″ 0.025 0.029 0.033 0.042 0.053 0.062 0.084 0.096 0.107 0.146 0.192
1/16″ 0.031 0.036 0.040 0.049 0.058 0.069 0.091 0.102 0.113 0.153 0.198
3/32″ 0.038 0.043 0.047 0.056 0.065 0.076 0.098 0.109 0.120 0.160 0.205
1/8″ 0.045 0.049 0.054 0.062 0.071 0.082 0.105 0.116 0.127 0.166 0.212
3/16″ 0.056 0.061 0.065 0.073 0.081 0.091 0.111 0.121 0.131 0.167 0.225
1/4″ 0.068 0.072 0.076 0.083 0.090 0.099 0.117 0.127 0.136 0.168 0.239
5/16″ 0.082 0.085 0.089 0.096 0.104 0.113 0.131 0.140 0.149 0.181 0.253
3/8″ 0.095 0.990 0.102 0.110 0.117 0.126 0.144 0.153 0.162 0.195 0.267
1/2″ 0.122 0.126 0.129 0.136 0.144 0.153 0.171 0.180 0.189 0.221 0.295

The bend allowance figures are approximate guides to establish dimensions for bending and to develop the flat blank size of the component part.

Metal stamping formulas

Metal Stamping Factor Formula
Inch Tons Blanking BE = T x Mt x 0.5
Inch Tons Drawing DE = T x Dl x 0.63
Stripping Tonnage P = 1.7 x L x Mt
Blanking Formula T = L x Mt x Ss/2000
Blanking Diameter for Drawing BD = square root of √ d+ (4 x d x h)
Minimum Draw Diameter MD = BD * 0.6
Press Slide Velocity V = 0.5233 x SPM x √ (Ps x Ws) – Ws
Inch Tons Energy Capacity ITC = T x PRP
Blank Holder Pressure BHP = 0.20 x T
Tonnage Round Hole T = 3.14 x d x Mt x Ms

Formula abbreviations

BD = Blank Diameter
BE = Blanking Energy (Inch Tons)
BHP = Blank Holder Pressure
d = diameter
DE = Draw Energy (Inch Tons)
Dl = Draw length
h = height
ITC = Inch Tons Capacity
L = Length of Cut
MD = Minimum Diameter
Mt = Material Thickness
PRP = Press Stroke Length
Ps = Press Stroke Length
SPM = Strokes Per Minute
Ss = Material Shear Strength
St = Stripping Tonnage
T = Tonnage
V = Press Slide Velocity
Ws = Work Stroke Length

Frequently asked questions

Epower Metals’ metal stamped, roll formed product, contract manufacturing, and custom metal fabricating customers frequently ask similar questions concerning their needs for metal fabricating services to meet their requirements for custom fabricated metal components or products for their OEM projects.
The following metal stamping, metal corrugated, and metal forming/metal fabricating services, turnkey capability, and OEM project design FAQs cover many of the typical questions we are asked by original equipment manufacturers’ purchasing agents, buyers, contractors, designers, builders, architects, specifiers, and other customers.

General FAQs

How long are your quotes valid?
In most cases, Epower Metals’ quotes are good for 30 days. If longer time frames are needed, these can usually be accommodated.
How accurate are Epower Metals’ lead-time estimates?
We understand our customers’ projects often must be coordinated with other production or construction activities and poor delivery estimates can create major issues for our customers. Our quotes include very accurate lead-time estimates.
If we don’t stock the steel, aluminum, or COR-TEN™ a customer needs, we contact our metal suppliers, before we provide the quote response, to ensure our quotes are as accurate as possible so our customers can meet their production or construction time tables.
What is COR-TEN™ steel?
COR-TEN™ is a high strength, low-alloy steel produced by United States Steel. It provides excellent strength and COR-TEN™ provides wonderful resistance to atmospheric corrosion. COR-TEN™ develops its corrosion resistant coating quickly that also provides a characteristic color desired by many architects. COR-TEN™ is frequently roll formed by Epower Metals.
What are Epower Metals’ specialties?
We offer progressive stampings, roll forming, blanking, embossing, punching, notching, press braking, cut to length, shearing, welding and assembly services.
Does Epower Metals offer any unique secondary services?
We offer a variety of secondary services. Besides our primary stamping, roll forming, and other precision metal fabricating services, we offer a wide selection of secondary services to our contract manufacturing customers including toll processing their materials, embossing, cut to length, press braking, slitting, warehousing, curving, and providing containerized shipping.
Do you offer any kind of customer assistance?
We can provide the assistance of a direct Epower Metals sales department, design and manufacturing engineers, and a customer service department.
What is the proper way to order material?
We need specific information to ensure that the metal needed for customer projects is ordered correctly. The best way to get the material ordered correctly is for our customers to place a purchase order that contains as much of the following information as they have available:

  • Specifications desired
  • Gauge of material
  • Paint or surface finish required
  • Part length needed
  • Width of the part needed
  • Desired delivery date

Does Epower Metals have a price list?
No. We normally provide metal fabricating services for projects requiring custom designed components or products. We will gladly quote on any OEM custom metal fabrication requirements, especially those for companies interested in obtaining a competitive, aesthetic, and strategic advantage in the marketplace.
What are the benefits of contract manufacturing?
The OEM does not have to invest in the needed or extra capital equipment to produce the needed components or products.
The OEM does not have to invest in the cost of labor and benefits to meet the production needs.
The OEM does not incur the facility and power costs needed to produce the needed item.
OEMs can find a contract manufacturing vendor that has the exact equipment, capacity, and expertise to complete their specific job requirements rather than investing themselves.
OEMs can benefit from the experience and capabilities Epower Metals has gained from similar and previous contract manufacturing assignments.
Do you own your own trucks?
No, but we have excellent freight rates with most of the major carriers.
When are products you put in finished inventory invoiced for?
Epower Metals invoices our customers when their products are produced.
If you purchase special material for our product, when are we invoiced for the material?
Regardless of the purchase timeframe, Epower Metals invoices our customers for specially purchased metals only when we use the material in production.
Who owns the finished goods inventory?
Once we invoice our customers, the title to the finished goods is transferred to them.
Do you have product liability insurance?
Yes, Epower Metals carries product liability insurance.
Will my account be assigned to a specific person?
Yes, we assign one of our customer service personnel or an account manager to each customer to ensure our communications between customer and manufacturer are excellent.
If secondary services are required to complete a contract manufacturing or custom metal fabricating job that Epower Metals cannot provide, will you source and contract for these services?
Yes. Epower Metals will source and contract for required secondary services if agreed to with the OEM customer prior to undertaking the custom metal fabricating assignment.

Metal stamping FAQs

To get answers to frequent questions about our metal stamping services below:

Stamping is a term used to refer to various press forming operations including coining, embossing, blanking, and pressing. Forming metals using pressure into the surface of a metal, usually a strip or sheet.
The operations most commonly associated with stamping are blanking, piercing, forming, and drawing.
These operations are done with dedicated tooling also known as hard tooling. Hard tooling is used to make high volume parts of one configuration of part design.
Soft tooling, on the other hand, is used in processes such as CNC turret presses, laser profilers, and press brakes. Soft tooling, on the other hand, can be easily modified or adjusted.
How large are your press bed sizes?
Our bed size is 36″ x 38″. This is also the same size as our maximum part size.
What is the capacity of your presses?
Our press capacities run from 150 tons to 300 tons.
What tolerances can you hold for your metal stampings?
We can hold tolerances as close as 0.005″ during our metal stamping operations. This tolerance will vary depending on the part, design, material and other factors.
How fast do your presses run?
Our presses run 35 to 75 strokes per minute (SPM).
What gauge metal can you stamp?
Epower Metals can stamp up to 1/4″ metal.
What materials do you use in the manufacturing of your stamped parts?
We will stamp most metals and alloys specified by the customer. We most often process steel products including cold rolled, hot rolled, galvanized, stainless steel, high strength, low alloy, steel, and most alloys. We also stamp aluminum (all alloys) and aluminum T1/T2, plus brass, copper, zinc, and even titanium.
What are your specialties?
Epower Metals’ metal fabricating specialty is manufacturing large metal parts requiring multiple metal fabricating operations and that are made from heavy gauge metals and that are oversized, especially large width custom components.
Do you design your own tooling?
Yes, Epower Metals will work with the customer to define the appropriate production parameters and will develop a draft tool design for our customer’s approval.
Do you make your own tooling?
No, we contract for our tooling with a long-term vendor that specializes in producing custom tooling.
How long does it typically take to produce hard tooling?
We can get hard tooling completed within 4 – 6 weeks after receipt of order.
Do I need to pay for tooling?
One of the major advantages of contracting with Epower Metals to perform custom metal fabricating services is we invest in our customers! Tooling is a cost we are willing to absorb to get the business.
Do you make prototypes or soft tooling?
Our production of soft tooling or prototypes is dependant on the type of application.
How long does it take to produce soft tooling and produce sample parts?
It normally takes us two weeks to produce soft tooling and sample parts if the existing tooling can be modified.
Can you stamp more than one part in your metal stamping operations?
Yes, the process is called nesting and using it effectively allows Epower Metals to keep production costs competitive while lowering material costs.
What is the smallest size part you will stamp?
The smallest part we will stamp is 12” wide.
What types of quality assurance programs are followed?
We provide excellent quality for our customers. We primarily use random sampling and testing based on statistical sampling need to ensure quality based on the size of the metal stamping production run. Part accuracy is examined at the beginning and end of each shift or product run.
What is the thinnest gauge material you will fabricate?
We will fabricate a part down to 0.019”.
What are the best volumes for you to run on your equipment?
40,000 pounds is an ideal run for Epower Metals.
Who is responsible for the cost of tool maintenance?
We are! Epower Metals bears the cost of routine tool maintenance!
Can Epower Metals produce export-shipping documents and arrange for overseas shipments?
Yes, we prepare required export shipping documents and arrange for overseas shipments. We provide turnkey custom metal fabricating services from tooling to final shipment.

Roll forming FAQs

To get answers to frequent questions about our roll forming services below:

Roll forming is a process that takes metal sheet, usually coils, and passes it through a series of roller dies that progressively form the metal into the required profile or shape. The roll forming process can save end-users money since some operations, typically considered as secondary, can be combined in the roll forming operation.
Roll forming is a continuous bending operation in the metal forming process, which sheet or strip metal is plastically deformed along a linear axis by being passed through a series of roller dies and progressively shaped to the desired contour.
What metals do you most frequently roll form?
We have expertise in handling most common metals required by customer roll forming or metal corrugating projects. Materials we typically work with include:

  • steel
  • aluminum
  • hot-dipped galvanized G-90 through G-285
  • cold-rolled CQ (Commercial Quality)
  • hot-rolled P&O (pickled and oiled) COR-TEN™
  • stainless steel
  • aluminized types 1 & 2
  • pre-painted sheet metal
  • galvannealed.

Recently, we have worked with titanium.
Can I get my pre-finished metal corrugated?
Yes. Epower Metals has the capability to corrugate pre-finished metals including painted, coated, and plasticized metals.
Can you corrugate “wide” metal strips?
Yes, we can, depending on one’s definition of “wide”. We are unique among providers of metal corrugating services in that we can roll strip as narrow as 18″ and as wide as 63″. We specialize in corrugating metal with a gauge as thin as 0.017″ up to 0.250″.
What is the thickest gauge you can roll form?
We can roll form up to 10-gauge metal.
What are your roll formed products primarily used for?
Epower Metals roll formed services are used primarily in industrial roofing and siding applications plus panels for the transportation industry.
Applications for our products include industrial and commercial buildings, agricultural storage facilities, chemical plants, manufacturing plants, airplane hangars, steel mills, food processing plants and many others.
Why should I consider roll forming my parts?
Roll forming offers many benefits including its strict consistent adherence to close tolerances. Roll formed products are lighter and stronger than non-rolled counterparts and that is especially beneficial for components used in transportation. Roll forming usually provides thinner walls reducing OEM material costs.

Metal forming and metal fabricating FAQs

To get answers to frequent questions about our metal forming, metal fabricating, and welding services below:

What patterns of embossing does Epower Metals offer?
We offer stucco, weather grain, rough sawn cedar, and custom patterns, like striated.
How wide can Epower Metals emboss?
We can emboss material up to 66″ and that is the widest in the US.
What is stucco embossing?
Stucco embossing applies a pebble-like finish etched into the formed metal. This process helps to reduce the amount of light reflecting off the metal, adds strength to the material, and makes the product more esthetically pleasing.
What is shearing?
Shearing is a cutting force applied perpendicular to material causing the material to yield and break. Shearing is a process for cutting sheet metal to size out of a larger stock such as roll stock. Shears are used as the preliminary step in preparing stock for stamping processes, or smaller blanks for CNC presses.
What does cut to length mean?
Cut to length typically refers to a cut off shear that is placed in production lines which shears the part to a specific predetermined length.
What is blanking?
Blanking is the operation of punching, cutting, or shearing a piece out of stock to a predetermined shape by die cutting the outside shape of a part. Blanking is cutting up a large sheet of stock into smaller pieces suitable for the next operation in stamping, such as drawing and forming. Often this is combined with piercing.
What kind of welding services do you offer?
Epower Metals offers MIG, TIG, and oxy acetylene welding services.
What is MIG welding and what is it used for?
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas Welding. This is often referred to as wire-feed welding. MIG welding is a commonly used high deposition rate welding process. During the welding process, wire is continuously fed from a spool. MIG welding is sometimes referred to as a semi-automatic welding process.
What is TIG welding and how is it used?
TIG is short for Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). In the TIG welding process, an arc is formed between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the metal being welded. Gas is fed through the torch to shield the electrode and molten weld pool. TIG is most commonly used in high quality, high precision, welding applications.
What is curving?
Curving is the process of adding a constant radius to a flat piece of metal material.

Turnkey capability FAQs

For answers to frequent questions about Epower Metals’ turnkey capabilities below.
If we provide a concept can you provide a finished product?
Yes, Epower Metals will work with a customer’s concept to then design, develop tooling for, and produce finished custom metal fabricated products or components.
If you make the tooling, who owns the tooling?
We offer two options, one Epower Metals owns the tooling or the customer can own the tooling.
Do you charge for engineering changes?
No, we don’t believe in charging for engineering changes, unless a major change is required and then we will discuss the situation.
Can you modify existing tooling to run in your presses?
It really depends on the situation, the condition of the tooling, and the volume of fabricated metal components to be produced.
Will you contract for, or tool to supply the secondary services that are required for a project?
Absolutely! Epower Metals will definitely contract outside for metal fabricating services we don’t provide.
Do you prefer to act as a general contractor or as a subcontractor?
We will work as either – whatever works best for our customers.
What types of projects have you provided turnkey metal fabricating services in the past?
We have done turnkey projects for construction equipment, defense industry, airport construction, railcar, truck and trailer, and agricultural equipment manufacturers to name some recent ones.
Will you assemble a complete product?
Yes, Epower Metals will provide complete product assembly! We have a dedicated assembly area in the plant.

Welding services FAQs

To get answers to frequent questions about our standard and robotic welding services below:

Welding is the art of heating metal to the melting point and then allowing parts of the metal and filler metal to flow together. Welding is a diverse technology, and there are 94 different welding and allied processes.
What types of welding services do you offer?
Epower Metals’ welding staff has decades of complex welding experience. Our skilled welding staff provides a full range of welding services. We can provide welding services ranging from structural and plate welding to light gauge tubular steels, stainless, and aluminum.
Specifically we offer the following welding types:

  • TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas);
  • Cold Wire TIG;
  • MIG (Metal Inert Gas);
  • Fluxcore and Stick.

Additionally, we provide robotic welding services.
Do you offer certified welding services?
No. However, our weld procedures are all qualified through over thirty years of practical application and testing. If your particular project does require a welder certification our Welders have the expertise and knowledge to obtain the certification required.
How do you finish the welds?
Every welding job’s requirements are different, but Epower Metals’ welders often grind the welds, polish the welds, descale the welds, prepare the welded surfaces for painting, and prime the prepared surface after the welding process is completed all based on individual customer requirements.
What is robotic welding?
Robotic welding is the use of mechanized programmable robots which completely automates a welding process by both performing the weld and handling of the component. Robotic welding is commonly used for resistance spot welding and arc welding in high production applications, such as the automotive industry and high volume manufacturing.
Does Epower Metals offer robotic welding?
Yes we do. Epower Metals provides robotic MIG welding using a machine with a 55-inch reach. Our management and welding staff understand the special requirements of robot cells in welding environments such as parts design, part and gap tolerances, fixture design, weld process expertise, and the quality of the operating programs. Our cell is equipped to execute most MIG, TIG, Cold Wire TIG, and Fluxcore welding applications and has an integrated rotary positioning station.
What materials do you weld?
We provide welding services for both common and more exotic metals. Our welders have years of experience working with the materials listed below.

  • Air Hardening Alloys
  • Aluminum
  • Chrome Moly
  • High Speed Steel
  • High Carbon
  • Hot Work Alloys
  • Inconnel
  • Low Carbon Steel
  • Monel
  • Oil Hardening Alloys
  • Powdered Metals
  • Shock Resisting Alloys
  • Stainless
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten Alloys and Water Hardening Alloys

If your project requires a different material that is not listed above, please give us a call and we will work with you towards a welding solution.
What other welding-related services do you provide?
Epower Metals offers a number of welding-related services including:

  • Tool and die repair;
  • Hardfacing;
  • Cobalt overlays;
  • Brazing;
  • Silver soldering and soft soldering.

What is hardfacing?
Hardfacing, which is also known as hardsurfacing, is the application of buildup, or wear-resistant, weld metals to a part’s or component’s surface by means of welding or joining. Hardfacing provides a continuous nonporous wear and or impact resistant surface.
How do you inspect your welds?
We visually inspect all of our welded components for size and quality of the weld deposit. When required, we can additionally provide Dye Penetrant, Magnaflux, and Radiograph inspection to meet a customer’s requirements.
What is the maximum size work piece you can work on?
That’s a hard question to provide a direct answer for. It depends on what exactly needs to be done to the piece and if the piece needs to be preheated. However, we do have 20-ton overhead cranes to move pieces around our facility.
What is your policy for prototypes and samples?
We offer the ability to produce prototypes and samples depending on the individual situation. It helps if drawings are available. However, we are capable of performing some R&D and developing a needed prototype.
What types of CAD files an you accept and use?
We can work with the most common CAD file types including DXF, DFX, and DWG files.
How thick a work piece can you weld?
That really depends on a number of factors. The thickness we can weld is dependant on the type of joint, the configuration of the base material and the actual welding process we need to use.

OEM project design FAQs

To get answers to frequent questions about Epower Metals’ OEM project design capabilities below:

What type of engineering support can you provide?
Epower Metals will help design and develop parts for our customers.
Do you have a P.E. or a design engineer on staff or under contract?
We do not have a P.E. or design engineer on staff, but we do have a P.E. under contract plus professionals on our staff with significant design expertise.
Can the cost of tooling be amortized over the life of the part?
Yes, we will certainly amortize the cost of tooling or we can add the tooling cost into the finished part price. Our customers do not have to pay for tooling as an upfront cost.
If you assist with the design, do we still own the design?
Design ownership is negotiated on a job-by-job basis, and is dependent on the investment Epower Metals must make.
What types of quality programs are followed?
First, Epower Metals customers approve all initial parts before production. Then, our personnel inspect production parts using random sampling. Every operator is responsible for inspecting product, or component, quality at the beginning and end of their shift or a production run.
Do I need drawings?
We work most quickly when customers can supply electronic or disk files. However, our engineering department is capable of producing the required production drawings from complete concept design to a sketch made on a napkin, to using customer-supplied CAD drawings.
What is the typical process customers go through when developing a new part?
The following list provides the normal sequence Epower Metals uses with our customers to develop a new part. The steps are:

  • Initial meeting
  • Concept evaluation
  • Concept prototype
  • Quote development submission acceptance
  • Tool development
  • First Part production and approval
  • Production

If usable tooling already exists, how long does it take Epower Metals to begin production?

We can initiate production within one to two weeks if existing tooling fits our presses with little or no modification.

Conclusion

Contact Epower Metals to provide expert assistance for your custom metal fabricating needs including metal stamping, roll forming, and most of common custom metal fabricating and welding processes. Epowermetals.com is an industry leader providing custom metal stamping, metal roll forming, and other metal fabricating and welding services for original equipment manufactures (OEMs).

We are more than just a metal fabricating company. We partner with our customers, providing innovative and cost effective products that achieve competitive and strategic market advantages for our customers.

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