Sheet metal is metal formed into thin, flat pieces usually through a rolling process. It is one of the fundamental materials used in metalwork and can be cut and bent into a variety of shapes.
Sheet metal has applications in car bodies, aircraft, and medical or industrial furniture and there are endless applications in modern electronics and telecommunications. Sheet metal is also seen in many architectural applications often in the form of panels, screens or frames.
Thicknesses vary significantly and the thickness of the sheet metal is called its gauge. The gauge of sheet metal typically ranges from 30 gauge to about 8 gauge. The higher the gauge, the thinner the metal. Extremely thin thicknesses are considered foil or leaf, and pieces thicker than 6 mm (0.25 in) usually fall into the category of plate metal.
There are many different metals that can be made into sheet metal including aluminum, brass, and copper, steel, tin, nickel and titanium. Humble inventories a wide range of popular materials in aluminum, steel and stainless steel to minimize lead time for our customers. To learn more about our materials, please Click Here
Shearing sheet metal is an operation performed at Humble with a power shear (also known as a straight shear)
In this process, a sheet of metal is clamped on the work table and the material is cut between a fixed blade and a moving blade requiring no heating or burning. This results in a clean, straight edge free of chips.
Shearing tolerances are typically -0.010 to +0.010 inches and are affected by:
Material is often sheared or "blanked" to yield an optimum sheet size for the punching operation.
At Humble, we can shear sheet metal up to 12 feet in length. Our shear is equipped with front CNC square gauge and back gauge to insure speed and accuracy. To learn more about our metal shearing services, please Click Here
At Humble most sheet metal cutting operations are performed using high speed, multi-tool CNC punch presses. Punching is performed by moving a sheet of metal using X and Y drives between the top and bottom tools of a punch. The punch or top tool mates with the die or bottom tool, cutting simple shapes such as (but not limited to) squares, circles, and rectangles from the sheet. The shape of the part is made by cutting many holes at high speed. A typical sheet metal part such as an electrical box can be cut in a matter of seconds.
Modern CNC turret punches can hold over 40 different tools in the turret reducing set up and tool change time. Special indexed tool holders can rotate tools incrementally allowing for cutting complex angles and curves. Our use of state of the art CNC punching equipment allows for the manufacture of parts in complicated shapes from a variety of material types and gauges. Our largest punch, an Amada EMZ 3610 offers industry leading high speed combined with the highest levels of accuracy and is ideal for volume production. The EMZ 3610 can accommodate sheets up to 60" width and 192" length.
Humble has a broad selection of punches and dies in inventory and a tool list is available upon request. To learn more about our metal punching services, please Click Here
Brake forming is the process of forming sheet metal along a straight axis using punch and die sets. Typical punch and die combinations include "V" shapes, "U" shapes and in some cases channel shapes.
CNC brake forming is a good fit for small to medium production lots as it eliminates the need for expensive hard tooling.
All Humble press brakes can perform "multi-bending" allowing the operator to "step" through complex bend sequences quickly and accurately.
Here are two dimensional views of common brake formed shapes that may be formed on a press brake. M.T. Offsets will require custom tooling. To learn more about our brake forming services, please Click Here
In precision sheet metal fabrication, grinding is performed to yield a very fine finish of accurate dimensions. In essence, grinding is a cutting process utilizing abrasives as the cutting tool. Typical grinding tools include: files, handheld power tools, such as angle grinders and die grinders, as well as fixed belt and bench grinders.Closely related to grinding is sanding, a process performed to either smooth the surface or to prepare the surface for a finishing process.
Both sanding and grinding demand a high level of skill to produce accurate dimensions and finish and like deburring, are given careful consideration to deliver the best value and lowest costs to our customers.
Burrs are generally unwanted material remaining after a machining operation such as punching, grinding, drilling, milling, or turning and are usually in the form of a raised portion on the surface of the component.
When these burrs are removed it is called deburring. The cost impact of deburring should not be underestimated if it is essential to the design.
Effective deburring begins with the correct selection of die clearances used in the perforation process to minimize the formation of burrs. To provide the best value, Humble utilizes automated processes wherever possible including surface deburring with our specialized Amada finishers or tumble deburring with our barrel tumbler. To learn more about our metal grinding & sanding services, please Click Here
At Humble we understand the complexities of welding sheet metal assemblies where heat and distortion are critical factors. Using fixtures and heat sinks, Humble insures design tolerances are met and the finished product is cosmetically appealing.
If your design includes welded assemblies, Humble offers MIG, TIG and Oxy-Acetylene welding of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Humble is also equipped to spot weld ferrous metal assemblies providing a very cost effective means of bonding metal components.
Welding is often incorporated into a design to provide a robust, watertight seam. Humble's experienced welders can insure your enclosure meets demanding environmental conditions. To learn more about our welding services, please Click Here
Humble Manufacturing has developed relationships with the leading metal finishing sub-contractors in the Vancouver area. From plating or anodizing to powder coating and silk screening, we can cost-effectively manage finishing processes for you. Our finishing suppliers provide finishes that meet current environmental requirements such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive or RoHS.To learn more about our finishing services, please Click Here
Over the course of 60 years, Humble has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in the art of sheet metal fabrication. With capability to work from technical drawings, auto CAD files or Solidworks designs, the Humble team can quickly turn your designs into finished products. Our fully trained engineering group understands DFMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) and advanced supply chain methods and often works with our customers providing design feedback or recommending supply chain strategies to provide the best possible value to our customers.
Humble dedicates resources to support timely, cost effective prototyping. With our long time association with companies engaged in product development, we understand "time to market". We are set up to respond quickly to your request for quotation and in many cases have turned around small prototype orders in one or two days. We maintain an inventory of popular sheet metals to assist in "fast-tracking" prototype jobs. (Finishing such as powder coating, anodizing or silk screen will increase the lead time depending on the process or combination of processes required.)
Whether you need a quick turn prototype or you are developing a "cradle to grave" supply strategy for your production line the experts at Humble can help.To learn more about our design & prototyping services, please Click Here
To complement our line-up of CNC turret punches and CNC forming brakes, Humble Manufacturing of Burnaby has recently installed a 2000 Watt Amada Quattro laser. Ideal for cutting complex profiles in aluminum, stainless steel and carbon steel, the Fanuc powered Quattro is well suited to the market demands in BC's lower mainland. Low operating costs, small footprint and ease of use make it a cost effective laser solution especially for small to medium lot sizes. Don't let the compact size fool you though, with 2000 watts the Quattro can handle all gauges of sheet metal including 0.250 inch steel, 0.125 inch stainless steel and aluminum.
To learn more about our laser cutting services, please Click Here