Solar is booming.
The cost to install solar energy systems dropped more than 70% in the last eight years. Falling prices and increases in consumer demand put pressure on engineers, as well as manufacturers, to take solar to the next level. In 2017, we saw more residential installations, utility photovoltaics (PV) and innovative panel designs. But, that was last year. Here’s what’s in store for 2018.
This post was originally published on December 7, 2016.
High volume production, in-line processing and lighter, quality outputs make roll forming an ideal solution for many metal fabrication projects. In fact, roll forming is all around us. The grocery store shelf your gallon of milk came off of, the tracks that open and close your garage door, and the channels that slide your car seat forward and back are all, more than likely, products of roll forming.
As one of the largest moving structural parts of a home or business, overhead doors must be built with the appropriate components to reduce the risk of accidents. Overhead door suppliers are held to high safety standards, as well as high cost-saving standards—a dynamic that can be difficult to manage. Fortunately, roll forming provides a fast and affordable way for manufacturers to improve product longevity and safety in one cost-effective solution.
In solar, saving money from start to finish is crucial. While headlines like, “2016 was the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels,” can be exciting for the industry, it’s also a pain point for many manufacturers and solar panel mounters.
When it comes time to reducing production costs or increasing profit margins in metal product manufacturing, the responsibility may fall to the manufacturer’s engineering team to determine how best to cut product costs without sacrificing quality and structural integrity.
Roll forming is often viewed as a cost-prohibitive process for metal fabricators. Typically, metal fabricators turn to stamping, press braking and extrusions for their needs, and roll forming is cast aside without consideration.
Yet roll forming can be the most cost-effective method to achieving a quality product. Roll forming has the ability to reduce your product’s weight, simplify design and cut secondary fabrication needs that can be handled inline.
Even if you’ve never designed for roll forming, it may be time to consider what its capabilities can do for your bottom line. This roll forming guide has everything you need to determine whether roll forming is your best option, manage costs and take the next steps in designing a roll formed product.
Struggling to stretch the budget for your next metal fabrication project? We get it. It’s expensive, between the cost of tooling, labor and sheet metal. There’s a lot of pressure to keep costs down and ROI high.
Your choice of a metal fabricator could be the solution to decreasing your metal fabrication costs while retaining a high-quality product. Below are four ways your metal fabricator can lower your costs, contribute to sales growth, improve profit margins and optimize your cash flow. If you choose the right partner, that is.
Between 2000 and 2009, close to 6 million jobs in manufacturing were lost due to offshoring. Now, we’re hearing that Chinese industries are catching up with, and sometimes already exceeding, the west.
However, there’s hope for U.S. manufacturers still. The industry is seeing a slow but steady uptick in jobs, with about 250,000 created from 2009 to 2016. This increase came in part from climbing overseas labor and freight costs, government initiatives like the Reshoring Initiative and a slew of benefits for reshoring companies, such as tax breaks, improved brand image and better quality control.
But what is the importance of made in America? Why should we be looking to domestic manufacturers for our products and services?
Metal extrusion is a production process that has stood the test of time. Manufacturers have used the popular process as a common fallback method to create a variety of metal parts and products.
Low tooling costs and its success forming lightweight parts has made aluminum extrusion a trusted method for many engineers—especially engineers unfamiliar with an alternative process such as roll forming.
Maybe you don’t have experience designing parts and products for roll forming, or you’re not sure what products are appropriate for roll forming. Whatever the reason, roll forming’s ability to cut costs and increase efficiencies is worth taking the time to evaluate.
Managing metal fabrication costs can pose many challenges, such as fluctuating raw material prices, rising energy and transportation costs, and product design scope creep. Among these, avoiding scope creep can prove to be one of the toughest. However, by applying the Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) approach, a project has a much better chance of being completed on time with minimal waste.