Manufacturing as a whole faces new issues each and every day. In the last few years, Metaltech Products, Inc. has seen an increase in demand for higher quality. In the past, our customers have been willing to pay for higher quality and have even sacrificed lead time in order to get higher quality parts. However, quality is now becoming an expected trait and most customers are not willing to sacrifice price, or lead time, or delivery.
Our industry has had to find a way to make higher quality parts – faster and cheaper than ever; even though wages and the cost of business is continually increasing.
One way Metaltech has accomplished this is by adding new technologies to our plant. One of the largest increases in productivity and quality has been the addition of our robotic welders.
Metaltech has been robot welding since 2007 (with a Genesis robotic welding cell):
In 2015, Metaltech increased our robot welding capacity by adding an ABB Flex Arc welding cell:
By adding robotic welding capabilities, Metaltech has cut our weld time down by 50% or more on multiple jobs! In addition, the robot is capable of producing high quality parts on a very consistent basis.
Metaltech has built these particular parts since 2004, and since then we have built thousands of them without many issues. Over the course of time, however, our customer has increased their quality expectation.
Since this part is a “high visibility part,” the customer has tightened-up their expectation of appearance. This was one of the first parts Metaltech placed on our ABB robot earlier this year.
Metaltech has been welding these parts since 2011. We have had several parts that had to be re-worked due to welds being placed where welds should not belong. Robotic welding has resolved this issue and we have had zero issues since.
The aforementioned examples of parts are just two of many products Metaltech has robot welded over the past eight years. We believe that staying up to date with the most current technologies gives us a clear advantage over other competitors. In fact, our Mission Statement states: “Our mission is to support our customers in their goals, utilizing the best people, processes, and technology, focused on continuous improvement in everything we do.” We truly stand strong with our mission statement and it drives everything we do.
Thank you for taking time to read this article. If there is anything Metaltech can do to help support your company’s goals, we would be happy to have the opportunity to speak with you.
Matt Stief Product Development Manager Metaltech Products, Inc.
Blueprints are the most important means of communicating the design of metal fabrication parts between customers, engineers, and shop floor personnel.
The ability to read blueprints is an important skill for everyone involved in the manufacturing process.
Blueprints can be broken down into 4 areas:
1) Bill of Materials (BOM);
2) Title Block;
3) Revision Table;
4) Body of the Drawing.
The Bill of Materials (BOM) is used to identify the materials required to make the part. It also usually gives the number of parts required. A part made from the wrong material is often a scrapped part. Verify the materials given to the Bill of Materials every time.
The Title Block contains the drawing / project title, the drawing number, the revision level, part tolerances, and the initials of the designer. The drawing number and current revision level should always be verified with the job. This will make sure the parts will include any changes.
The tolerance block gives the acceptable deviation from the nominal dimensions given on the drawing.
Note that tolerances placed at the dimensions override Title Block tolerances. Finally, the designer’s initials identify the person responsible for the drawing.
The Revision Table is used to identify the changes made from the previous version of the drawing. The changes are usually described in this table and will give the history of the changes to the part. Each revision should have a unique symbol, such as a triangle, octagon, etc., which further identifies the area affected by the revision.
The Body of the Drawing will show the outline of the part and the final dimensions required. Several views may be required to completely describe the part. The front view is usually placed in the drawing first, then side and top views are placed as needed.
Here at Metaltech Products, Inc., we use third-angle projection to show the relation between views. The best way to describe this is to imagine the first view is in the bottom of a bowl. To get the right side view, the part is moved to the right from the bottom of the bowl until the right side is visible. To get the left side view, the part is moved to the left from the bottom of the bowl until the left side is visible. Use the same method to get the top and bottom views.
Section, detail, and auxiliary views will be discussed in future articles.
Mastering blueprint reading is a valuable skill in the metal fabrication industry. Being able to read blueprints correctly will greatly affect the quality of the parts produced, and will make sure the parts meet customers’ requirements.
Rob Briscoe, BS Mechanical Engineering Metaltech Products, Inc.