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Author Archives: Alexa Preucil

  1. Cast Parts: Precision Engineering for Complex Components

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    Manufacturing from the initial design to the final product demands meticulous attention to detail to ensure consistency and quality. Whether in automotive or any other industry, the pursuit of precision remains central to achieving excellence and driving innovation. Cast parts embodies precision engineering, where molten materials are intricately molded into flawless components.

    This article explores the process, advantages, and applications of cast parts, delving into the intricacies of creating high-precision components.

    Step-by-Step Guide to Cast Parts

    Here are the steps involved in creating high-precision components:

    1. Patternmaking: At the outset, skilled designers and engineers create patterns replicating the desired part’s shape and dimensions. These patterns serve as templates for the casting process and ensure accuracy in the final product.
    2. Molding: Once the patterns are prepared, molds are formed around them using sand, plaster, or metal materials. These molds act as negative impressions of the desired part and are essential for shaping the molten material during the casting process.
    3. Melting and pouring: The next step involves heating the selected material typically metal alloys until it reaches a molten state. Once molten, the material is carefully poured into the prepared molds and shaped to the desired form.
    4. Shakeout: After the molten material has cooled and solidified within the molds, the resulting castings are removed through a process known as shakeout. This step involves separating the castings from the molds and any excess material.
    5. Heat treatment and inspection: To enhance the castings’ mechanical properties and overall quality, they undergo heat treatment processes such as annealing, quenching, or tempering. A thorough inspection ensures that the castings meet the required specifications and quality standards before being ready for use in various applications.

    Benefits of Cast Machined Parts

    The following are the advantages of cast parts:

    Scrap Reduction

    Castings offer a significant advantage by starting with a near-net shape, meaning less material must be removed during machining. Additionally, any excess material generated during casting can be recycled and reused.

    Lower Part Costs

    Castings typically require fewer manufacturing processes than weldments, leading to savings on labor and equipment expenses. There is also less time spent on production, resulting in lower overall costs. Furthermore, the ability to produce multiple parts simultaneously in a single mold maximizes efficiency and drives down per-part costs.

    Faster Lead Times

    Once the initial setup is complete, casting operations can proceed rapidly with minimal downtime between production runs. Additionally, the ability to produce multiple parts in a single mold significantly accelerates lead times.

    Enhanced Precision and Accuracy

    Cast machined parts excel in precision engineering and deliver accuracy in component production. Manufacturers achieve intricate designs and precise geometries by leveraging advanced casting techniques and ensuring consistency and reliability in every part.

    Versatility

    Another advantage of cast machined parts is versatility, which enables utilizing a diverse selection of materials. Here are the materials commonly used to suit various applications:

    • Stainless steel
    • Carbon steel
    • Aluminum alloy
    • Nickel-based alloy
    • Copper-based alloy
    • White iron
    • Grey iron
    • Ductile iron
    • Graphite molds
    • Titanium

    Industries Leveraging Cast Parts

    Listed below are the key sectors wherein cast parts are integral:

    Automotive Manufacturing

    Cast parts form the backbone of vehicle construction. Engine blocks, transmission housings, and suspension components are a few examples of critical parts produced through precision casting techniques, which ensure durability and road performance.

    Medical Device Production

    Precision is crucial in the medical field, as even tiny components can affect patient care. Cast parts are essential for producing medical devices like pacemakers, patient monitors, and ultrasound machines, driving advancements in healthcare technology.

    Electronics and Semiconductor Industry

    The electronics industry relies on intricately designed components to power devices and systems. Cast parts are vital in producing housings, connectors, and other critical parts that drive innovation in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing.

    Aerospace and Aviation

    The aerospace industry demands components that can withstand extreme conditions while maintaining optimal performance. From turbine blades to structural components, precision-crafted castings ensure aircraft reliability and safety.

    Agriculture

    Components such as tractor engine blocks, gear housings, and irrigation system fittings are commonly produced through casting processes due to their shapes. Leveraging cast parts enables agricultural manufacturers to produce robust and reliable equipment capable of withstanding the rigors of fieldwork.

    TBSI: Your One-Stop Shop for Expert, Reliable, Manufacturing Services

    At TBSI, we are your trusted partner for procuring steel components, fabrications, and castings! Our streamlined approach offers quick solutions for capacity constraints and leverages our supplier network for competitive pricing. With meticulous quality control and advanced manufacturing services, we deliver superior products that exceed industry standards.

    Contact us today for a quote and streamline your sourcing process!

  2. Supply Chain Management for Steel Fabrications

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    The steel industry’s reliance on intricate supply chains demands precision management beyond routine oversight. It is a strategic prerequisite that balances efficiency and resilience while relying on data and analytics proficiency. Every stage requires a synchronization that eliminates bottlenecks and minimizes disruptions, from raw material procurement to manufacturing processes and distribution.Delays or discrepancies at any point in the chain can cause production slowdowns and missed deadlines.

    This article delves into the critical role of resilient supply chains in the steel industry. It also discusses how supply chain management ensures operational efficiency and adaptability, drawing insights from various disruptions and uncertainties.

    The Importance of Resilient Steel Supply Chains

    Given the array of potential disruptions it can face, resilient supply chains are indispensable for the steel industry. One significant threat comes from natural disasters, including fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and severe weather events. These calamities can wreak havoc on transportation infrastructure and damage manufacturing facilities, causing significant disruptions in the steel supply chain.

    Geopolitical tensions pose another challenge. Trade disputes and policy shifts can impact the availability of raw materials required for steel production. Sudden restrictions or tariffs can lead to supply shortages, affecting the industry’s production capacity and cost structure. To mitigate these risks, the steel sector must diversify its sources of raw materials and stay informed about geopolitical developments.

    Furthermore, market fluctuations are a constant challenge for steel manufacturers. Rapid shifts in market demand can necessitate quick adjustments in production volume and product mix. Resilient supply chain management involves having the agility to respond to these fluctuations efficiently through flexible production processes and demand forecasting capabilities.

    In addition to the mentioned challenges, factory or supplier closures and failures can disrupt the supply chain. This can delay production and affect product quality. Machine downtimes or line down situations can also halt operations, emphasizing the need for contingency plans. Lastly, the steel industry often operates with complex and specialized supply chains. This complexity can introduce vulnerabilities.

    The lockdown-induced economic recession further challenged the steel industry, especially concerning supply routes. COVID-19-related policies that disrupted regular business operations heavily affected resource availability and demand patterns. This shifting landscape, marked by halting re-openings and closures, has ushered in an unusual ‘new normal.’ As the country dealt with a fluctuating trajectory, steel supply chain management dynamics showed the adaptability required to thrive in uncertain times.

    Key Roles of Supply Chain Management in Steel Fabrication

    Supply chain management is critical in the steel fabrication industry. The following are the primary roles that supply chain management fulfills in this sector:

    Material Sourcing and Procurement

    Material sourcing and procurement involve identifying reliable suppliers, negotiating terms, and maintaining a steady flow of high-quality raw materials. Effective procurement strategies directly influence cost management and the quality of the end product. This makes them pivotal for a successful and efficient steel fabrication process.

    Supplier Relationship Management

    Building trusting relationships with suppliers is critical for a smooth and efficient steel fabrication supply chain. Businesses may ensure competitive pricing, timely deliveries, and enhanced dependability from their suppliers by prioritizing clear communication and regular improvement initiatives.

    Steel Demand Forecasting and Planning

    Businesses can anticipate future steel requirements by analyzing market trends, customer needs, and production capacities. This proactive approach allows for optimized scheduling, efficient resource allocation, and effective inventory management. It also ensures that the right amount of steel is available to meet customer demands while minimizing costs and avoiding overstocking.

    Inventory Control and Management

    Striking the balance between inventory levels helps avoid costly issues like overstocking or stockouts. Supply chain managers closely monitor inventory levels, employ refilling strategies based on demand patterns, and implement efficient storage and distribution methods.

    Quality Assurance and Compliance

    Supply chain professionals often collaborate with quality control teams to oversee whether or not their fabricated steel components adhere to industry standards. Thorough quality checks, testing procedures, and continuous compliance monitoring are key to maintaining the integrity and reliability of the final products.

    Logistics and Transportation

    Efficient management of the transfer of raw materials, semi-finished products, and final goods requires well-planned coordination. Strategic choices regarding transportation methods, optimal routes, and precise scheduling influence cost-effectiveness and ensure timely deliveries. These approaches help to improve supply chain efficiency and consumer satisfaction.

    Risk Management and Resilience

    Supply chain managers proactively identify and address potential disruptions, ranging from supplier challenges to market volatility or unforeseen incidents. By creating and implementing contingency plans and risk mitigation strategies, businesses enhance their ability to navigate uncertainties. This helps maintain operational continuity while minimizing negative effects on fabricating steel supply chains.

    TBSI: Your Trusted Supply Chain Partner for Steel Components and Fabrication Services

    At TBSI, we deliver steel components and fabrications of unparalleled quality, consistently exceeding customer expectations.Our products undergo meticulous quality control measures to meet the most stringent industry standards and exacting specifications. We also offer advanced coating services, including powder coating, liquid painting, and plating.

    Contact us today for more information! You can also request a quote now.

  3. A656 Grade 50 Steel Grade

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    Click to ExpandA656-GRADE-50-STEEL-GRADE

    Steel grades are crucial in the construction and manufacturing industries as they determine the quality and properties of the steel used. For instance, they can significantly impact the final product’s strength, durability, and overall performance. Therefore, when choosing a steel grade like A656 Grade 50, it is essential to understand its distinct differences and characteristics.

    This article will explore the key aspects of A656 Grade 50 steel grade.

    What Is A656 Grade 50 Steel Grade?

    A656 Grade 50 is a high-strength, low-alloy (HSLA) steel grade commonly used in structural applications, such as bridges and buildings. It has good weldability, formability, and toughness, making it suitable for various forming operations. This steel grade also has a minimum yield strength of 50 ksi (345 MPa), which makes it stronger than many other HSLA steel grades.

    Characteristics of A656 Grade 50

    Here are a few notable characteristics of this popular steel grade:

    Chemical Composition

    Compared to other grades, A656 Grade 50 exhibits a higher carbon, manganese, and silicon content. This increased carbon content gives it higher strength and toughness, making it suitable for structural applications requiring enhanced load-bearing capacity.

    Its manganese content contributes to its overall strength and improves its hardenability. It enhances the steel’s ability to withstand deformation under stress and increases its resistance to wear and abrasion. Lastly, its silicon content improves its weldability and facilitates the formation of a strong weld. It also enhances the steel’s corrosion resistance, providing better performance in structural applications.

    Mechanical Properties

    A656 Grade 50 possesses excellent tensile strength and yield strength. It has a minimum yield strength of 50 ksi (345 MPa), which indicates the amount of stress it can withstand before permanent deformation occurs. Furthermore, it exhibits good tensile strength, with a minimum requirement of 65 ksi (450 MPa). Tensile strength measures the steel’s ability to resist pulling forces and is an important parameter in structural design.

    Applications

    This steel grade is often preferred for bridge construction projects. Bridges require high-strength steel that can withstand heavy loads and provide long-term durability. It is also extensively employed in building construction projects. From commercial buildings to residential structures, this steel grade offers the necessary strength and toughness to support the weight of the building.

    Weldability

    A656 Grade 50 exhibits moderate weldability, but it may require special considerations during the welding process due to its chemical composition. To ensure successful welds, welders may need to implement preheat treatments, post-weld heat treatments, or both, depending on the process and the specific application.

    Cost

    Generally, A656 Grade 50 is slightly more expensive than other steel grades due to its higher yield and tensile strength. Its availability and demand in the market can also impact its cost. If the supply is limited or the demand is high, it can lead to higher prices. On the other hand, factors such as bulk ordering or long-term contracts with suppliers can help negotiate more favorable pricing.

    TBSI: Your One-Stop-Shop for Premium Steel Fabrication

    Are you looking for high-quality steel components and fabrications for your project? Let TBSI help you select the right steel grade for maximum performance and durability! We’re confident that our high-quality steel components and fabrications will exceed your expectations and help you achieve your project goals.

    Contact us to speak with our experts or request a quote to get started.

  4. Key Considerations in Metallurgical Testing

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    Metallurgical testing is a set of techniques and procedures that evaluate and analyze metallic materials’ properties, composition, and behavior. It is an essential part of the materials engineering field for assessing the quality and suitability of metals and alloys for specific applications. It is also often conducted to investigate the root causes of component failures or material defects.

    This assessment provides valuable data and insights that enable engineers and materials scientists to make informed decisions about material selection and failure prevention. The following are some of the most significant considerations in metallurgical testing:

    1. Sample Preparation

    Proper sample preparation is crucial for obtaining representative and consistent results. It involves careful selection and prearrangement of specimens, including cutting, grinding, polishing, and etching. The sample size, shape, orientation, and location should be chosen to ensure that the test accurately reflects the material’s properties and microstructure.

    2. Test Selection

    Different metallurgical tests are available to evaluate specific properties and characteristics of metallic materials. Choosing the appropriate test method depends on the desired information and the material’s nature. Consider factors such as the mechanical properties of interest, the material’s form, and the specific industry standards or regulations to be followed.

    Examples of test methods and services are as follows:

    • Metallography evaluation refers to the broader process of assessing and understanding a material’s microstructure, composition, and properties. It involves both the examination of the microstructure and the interpretation of the observed features.
    • Metallographic examination specifically focuses on the microscopic examination and observation of a material’s microstructure. It uses microscopic techniques, such as optical, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), or transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
    • Metallurgical analysis comprehensively investigates and assesses metallic materials, including their composition, structure, properties, and behavior. It is a broad term encompassing techniques and methodologies used in testing and research.

    3. Equipment Calibration

    Calibration involves comparing measurement values obtained from the testing equipment to a known standard or reference. It is critical to verify that the equipment is functioning correctly, providing accurate measurements, and maintaining its performance over time. Proper calibration activity documentation helps establish the test results’ traceability and reliability.

    Here are examples of equipment and tools for calibration:

    • Calibration weights
    • Micrometer
    • Vernier caliper
    • Dial indicator
    • Pressure gauge
    • Temperature probe
    • Torque wrench
    • Tensile testing machine

    4. Standardization and Quality Control

    Standardized methods provide clear guidelines for conducting specific tests and analyses in metallurgical testing. They define the test procedures, sample preparation methods, equipment requirements, and data analysis techniques. Notable organizations that developed these standards include the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

    On the other hand, quality control measures encompass practices implemented throughout the testing process to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and traceability of results. These include equipment calibration, proficiency testing, inter-laboratory comparisons, documentation and record-keeping, personnel training, and adherence to standard operating procedures.

    5. Data Interpretation

    Metallurgical testing generates substantial data, including numerical measurements, microstructural images, and other observations. Proper data interpretation requires metallurgy and materials science expertise to analyze and draw meaningful conclusions. It also involves understanding the relationship between test results and the specific application requirements.

    6. Reporting and Documentation

    Transparent reporting and documentation help stakeholders including clients, customers, and regulatory authorities understand the testing process and the basis of the reported results. The reports should contain detailed information about the sample, test methods employed, equipment specifications, and relevant environmental conditions.

    Documentation of test results also allows for long-term archiving and future reference. Test reports and associated documentation must be securely stored, ensuring the results are preserved and accessible for future analysis, comparisons, or investigations. Archiving these records facilitates the traceability of historical data, which enables the identification of trends or patterns over time.

    Partner With TBSI for High-Quality Steel Components and Fabrication Services

    At TBSI, we strive to provide high-quality steel components and fabrications that meet or exceed your expectations! Our products undergo rigorous quality control measures, ensuring they meet the highest industry standards and specifications. Our dedicated team is also here to provide personalized support and guidance throughout the process.

    Contact us to learn more about our service, or request a quote to get started!

  5. How To Get the Right Metal Finishing Services

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    Metal finishing services are processes to modify or enhance the surface of metal objects to achieve specific functional or aesthetic properties. They are often applied to improve the metal’s corrosion resistance, appearance, adhesion, durability, or conductivity. These services are commonly employed in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, jewelry, and manufacturing industries.

    Various finishing techniques are available, and the choice of method depends on the desired outcome and the metal type being treated. This article delves into the essential factors to consider when selecting the optimal post-processing technique for a specific application.

    Factors To Consider When Choosing a Metal Finishing Technique

    The right method can enhance the functionality, appearance, and longevity of metal components, ensuring optimal performance. However, with several options available, it is crucial to consider the following factors before making a decision:

    Material Composition

    Different metals and alloys have unique properties and behaviors, which can significantly impact the effectiveness and compatibility of specific finishing methods. Understanding the material composition ensures that the chosen technique will achieve the desired results without causing any adverse effects. Additionally, the surface preparation requirements may vary based on the metal composition.

    For instance, electroplating is commonly used for metals like copper, nickel, and chrome, whereas anodizing is primarily applied to aluminum surfaces. Similarly, galvanizing is an effective technique for steel and iron, while black oxide coating is ideal for ferrous metals.

    Desired Outcome

    The desired outcome can vary based on the specific application and requirements, and it often determines the choice of finishing method. For example, techniques such as galvanizing or electroplating can be suitable if the goal is to enhance the metal’s corrosion resistance. Meanwhile, methods like polishing, buffing, or powder coating can be applied if the objective is to improve the component’s aesthetics.

    Cost-Effectiveness

    Evaluating the cost-effectiveness helps ensure that the chosen technique aligns with budgetary constraints while delivering the desired results. This involves assessing the overall expenses associated with the method and weighing them against the benefits gained. For example, some finishing techniques may require expensive chemicals, specialized equipment, or skilled labor, which can significantly impact the cost.

    Production Volume

    The volume of metal components to be treated can affect the feasibility and efficiency of finishing methods. For high-volume production, techniques that offer faster processing times and higher throughput may be preferred. These processes could include electroplating or powder coating, which can quickly treat large numbers of parts and components through automation.

    Conversely, more specialized or intricate processes may be ideal for small-scale or custom applications. These tasks necessitate meticulous attention to detail and may include hard labor. For example, hand polishing, chemical etching, and custom patination may be more suited for generating unique finishes.

    Lead Time

    Lead time is the duration required to complete the finishing process. It is an important factor to consider, especially when there are time constraints or specific project timelines.

    Techniques like chemical etching or mechanical polishing may have shorter processing times, making them appropriate for projects with tight deadlines. On the other hand, anodizing and multi-step plating involve longer treatment durations, requiring more time to achieve the results.

    Maintenance Requirements

    Some techniques may require regular maintenance to preserve the desired finish and functional properties. For instance, certain plating methods may need periodic cleaning or inspection to maintain their appearance and protective properties. Anodized surfaces may also require occasional sealing or touch-ups to ensure continued corrosion resistance.

    Trust TBSI for Top-Notch Metal Finishing Services!

    At TBSI, we understand the importance of delivering high-quality coating solutions that meet our customers’ requirements! Our objective is to provide excellent and cost-effective solutions that offer the exact finish required for the product to come to life. You can choose from our range of advanced coating techniques, including powder coating, liquid painting, and plating.

    Contact us today for more information! You can also request a quote now.

  6. Master Guide to Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel

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    Click to ExpandMaster Guide to Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel

    Steel is one of the world’s most versatile and essential materials, used in everything from construction to manufacturing to transportation. Countless types of steel are available, each with unique properties and characteristics that make it suitable for specific applications. Two of the most commonly used types are carbon steel and stainless steel.

    This guide will discuss the differences between carbon steel and stainless steel and how to choose the right one for your needs.

    Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel

    Here is a comprehensive comparison between these two steel types:

    Corrosion Resistance

    While carbon steel is more susceptible to corrosion, it can be protected with special coatings to prevent rust and ensure long-lasting performance. On the other hand, stainless steel boasts exceptional corrosion resistance, which makes it a top choice for applications that require high durability and longevity.

    Heat Resistance

    While carbon steel is a strong and durable material, it has a lower heat resistance than stainless steel. Therefore, it is not recommended for applications that involve high temperatures, as it may become brittle easily.

    Strength

    Carbon steel is renowned for its outstanding strength and durability, which makes it a top pick for heavy-duty applications. In addition, it can handle high-stress levels without any deformation or breakage. This is highly useful in construction and manufacturing. In contrast, stainless steel is ideal for applications that require moderate strength.

    Cost

    Carbon steel is a cost-effective option for projects requiring high-strength materials, such as automotive manufacturing.

    Appearance

    Stainless steel’s distinctive shine and smooth finish make it popular for decorative purposes. On the other hand, carbon steel’s uniform look is often preferred for applications where durability and practicality are prioritized over aesthetics.

    Weldability

    Carbon steel is known for its ease of use and versatility in welding. It can be welded using various techniques, making it a convenient choice for many welding applications. On the other hand, welding stainless steel requires specialized equipment and techniques to prevent damage to the material.

    Applications of Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel

    The following are the most common applications of carbon steel:

    • Construction (bridges, buildings, beams, columns, reinforcement bars)
    • Automotive (car bodies, chassis, engine components)
    • Kitchenware (knives, cutlery, other kitchenware)
    • Tools and machinery (drills, saw blades, cutting tools)
    • Energy (pipelines, drilling equipment, valves)
    • Shipbuilding (hulls, decks, superstructures)
    • Aerospace (landing gear, engine components, structural parts)
    • Mining (drill bits, excavation equipment, conveyor systems)
    • Sports equipment (golf clubs, tennis rackets, bicycle frames)

    The following are the most popular applications of stainless steel:

    • Medical equipment (surgical instruments, implants, medical devices)
    • Food and beverage (tanks, conveyor belts, storage containers)
    • Chemical (reactors, piping, tanks)
    • Architecture (columns, beams, cladding, facades)
    • Automotive (exhaust systems, trim components, fuel tanks)
    • Marine (propellers, shafts, rudders)
    • Watchmaking (watch cases, bracelets, clasps)
    • Jewelry (rings, bracelets, necklaces)
    • Electronics (computer hardware, mobile phones, appliances)

    TBSI: Delivering Excellence in Steel Fabrication

    Maximize the performance and durability of your products with high-quality steel components and fabrications from TBSI! Whether you need carbon steel or stainless steel solutions, our expert team can help you navigate the differences between the two materials. We will also guide you in selecting the right one for your needs.

    Contact us or request a quote now to get started.

  7. Machining

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    Click to ExpandMachining” data-lazy-src=

    Machining is no longer considered new technology, with its history dating back to the 1940s. However, its relevance is still undeniable. This process remains crucial to several industries since it creates materials that can be used to manufacture tools and devices or create buildings and formations. Moreover, machining is not limited to metal products but extends to woods, plastics, ceramics, and composite materials.

    Due to continuous improvements in the field of machining, computer numerical control (CNC) automation rose in the 1970s. CNC automation allows manufacturers to improve on existing technologies and set a higher standard in the manufacturing process. This innovation also enabled the integration of computer precision and design into workshops, eventually resulting in higher-quality goods at lower costs.

    Advantages of Machining

    Before diving into the different machining services, let’s first look at some reasons manufacturers continue to use the machining process.

    Precision

    CNC machining is often the best option when parts or products must be made to high-precision specifications. For example, precision machining is widely used in the aerospace and medical device industries, where fabrication errors must be avoided at all costs.

    Reliability

    Machined parts and products are highly reliable because human error and alteration are eliminated during production. This advantage is most relevant in the construction and automotive industries.

    Safety

    Machining automation is also a breakthrough in workplace safety since these processes are computer-controlled and do not require hands-on operation. As a result, accidents are less likely to occur. Not only does this protect the people involved, but it also decreases financial damages from accident liabilities.

    Cost-Effectiveness

    This automated technique allows manufacturers to speed up production while keeping overhead and labor costs affordable. Thus, CNC machining increases efficiency and lowers costs through automation, lesser waste, and improved production.

    Versatility

    Machining remains relevant as it can be used to produce various parts and products in diverse sizes and materials. In addition, it is a core process in manufacturing, so its importance spans several fields and industries.

    TBSI Machining Services

    TBSI offers manufacturing capabilities and solutions to help engineers and purchasers overcome production constraints. Its extensive manufacturing network of highly skilled machine shops provides clients with complex CNC machining solutions.

    In particular, TBSI provides a wide range of machining capabilities, such as CNC turning, CNC milling, surface grinding, and EDM.

    CNC Turning

    CNC turning is most suitable for machining cylindrical parts. The workpieces are held in rotating chucks, moving at high speeds. Adjacent to the chucks, a tool follows a linear path to remove a portion of the workpiece. This process is also known as subtraction machining, as the process involves material removal.

    Facilities that offer CNC turning typically have three, four, or five axes capable of working on various materials. These also follow pre-programmed instructions that control tooling and movement, producing a high-precision CNC machining process.

    CNC Milling

    CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer-based controls and rotating multi-point cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. This process would then create a custom-designed component or product.

    CNC milling is suitable for machining various materials, including metal, plastic, glass, and wood. Its versatility and precision make it an excellent option for adding extra features or more intricate definitions on machined products.

    Surface Grinding

    Surface grinding is a CNC machining technique that precisely and efficiently processes and grinds surfaces. A rotating wheel with a coarse surface coating of various materials propels it. It also removes metallic or nonmetallic particles from the workpiece’s surface, making it smooth or flat.

    Additionally, surface grinding refines the appearance of the machined surface by removing the oxide layer and other residues. Vertical swivel, horizontal spindle single disk, vertical spindle rotary, vertical spindle, and flat spindle grinding are all surface grinding methods.

    The surface grinder comprises an abrasive wheel, a chuck, and a reciprocating or rotary table. The chuck holds the material in place while it is being worked on. Non-ferromagnetic and nonmetallic elements are held in place by vacuum or mechanical means, whereas ferromagnetic elements are held in place by a magnetic chuck. If a magnetic chuck is not available, a machine vise (made of ferromagnetic steel or cast iron) can be used to hold nonmagnetic materials.

    Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

    The EDM process removes material from equipment or products using electrical energy. However, it only works with electrically conductive materials, which creates an arc of high-frequency sparks between the electrode and the product. Sparks then erode microscopic particles from a workpiece flushed with dielectric fluid from the substrate.

    The primary advantage of EDM is that you can use it on conductive materials that are difficult to machine using traditional cutting methods. These materials include tungsten carbide and titanium. Another advantage of this CNC machining process is that the equipment is not subjected to mechanical force. The three types of EDM are wire, ram, and hole drilling.

    Start Your Next Project With TBSI For The Best Machining Solutions

    Successful projects require hard work, organization, and good partners. As a strategic sourcing firm specializing in agile project management, we at TBSI provide customers with competitive rates and short lead times by collaborating with an extensive manufacturing network and leveraging volume pricing on raw materials.

    Contact us today to learn more about our machining services or request a quote to start your next manufacturing solution.

     

  8. Understanding Tube Bending Fundamentals

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    Click to ExpandUnderstanding Tube Bending Fundamentals

    Tube bending is the process of bending a tube or a pipe to create the curves and shapes required for a particular application. For many projects, bent tubes are more useful than straight ones: handles and railings, trombones, HVAC equipment, automotive parts, furniture frames, and more. Tube bending can be a cold form or hot form process, depending upon the needs of the application.

    Cold Form Tube Bending
    Cold form tube bending is a quick process that doesn’t require any additional heat and instead relies on physical force to create the curve. While cold bending may have its limitations, it’s an affordable choice that’s used in the construction, shipbuilding, bridge building, automotive, food processing, and petrochemical industries, among others.

    With cold form tube bending, you can create components with large radii and multiple angles. There is no risk of thermal deformation and the original metal properties remain intact.

    There are five commonly used cold bending processes:

    • Press Bending. In press bending, the tube is fixed in place and the bend die is pressed against the tube to create the curve. This long-used technique is quick and reliable for symmetrical parts that don’t require a consistent cross-section.
    • Rotary Draw Bending. Commonly used for pipe fittings, handrails, instrument tubing, and components for automotive and aerospace applications, rotary draw bending is used for precise bends with a constant diameter.
    • Compression Bending. Because the setup is simpler, compression bending is more economical than rotary draw bending. However, it can’t be used for small center-line radii due to the lack of support for the inner diameter of the tube during the bending process.
    • Roll Bending. The tube is worked back and forth on a set of rotating rollers, which gradually create the bend radius. Roll bending is used to make spiral tubes and bends in large tubes.
    • Bending Springs. Used for PVC and soft copper pipes, bending springs are placed into the tube and gently pulled from each side to create the bend. It’s not especially accurate or repeatable, but it’s simple, fast, and useful for household tube bending projects when consistency isn’t required.

    Hot Form Tube Bending

    Though more complex and expensive than cold forming, hot form tube bending processes, including heat induction bending and sand packing hot-slab bending, allow for high-accuracy forming to meet your exact specifications. The resulting component offers excellent strength, and the material retains its thickness. For complex projects with tight tolerances that require exceptional accuracy and repeatability, hot form bending is a popular choice. It’s used for components in the agricultural, mining, automotive, plumbing, and construction industries, among others.

    Freeform Tube Bending

    Freeform bending is an innovative tube bending method that uses a movable die capable of bending complex parts without needing to change the bending tool. The technique is ideal for multi-radius bends with very little distance in between and angles of more than 180 degrees. It’s easy to make modifications to the project as you work, which makes it an excellent method for prototyping. Roll bending is a type of freeform bending.

    Form Bound Tube Bending

    Form bound tube bending is a technique that bends or forms the tubing based on the geometry of the die. It can be manual or performed with machines and includes techniques like rotary draw bending, compression bending, and mandrel bending.

    Tube Bending from TBSI

    At TBSI, we leverage years of experience in tube bending to meet the needs of a variety of applications. With competitive pricing, quick lead times, and personalized service, we’re committed to helping you solve project challenges and deliver effective solutions. Contact us to learn more about tube bending, CNC forming, wire forming, and other forming solutions, or request a quote for your project today.