Batch Manufacture of Light Fittings
In 2014 Hydram first year engineering apprentice James Rhymer produced a case study detailing problem solving and production process for a large contract for manufacturing lighting fittings. His work looking into cost reduction and quality assurance is reproduced below.
The contract: 660 parts per week, for 10 weeks
CNC laser cutting – flexibility, quick turnaround, high precision
The lighting part is 0.7mm thick and dimensions of 1382mm by 480mm so the lasers will cut through with ease at a high speed. When laser cutting this part you can fit 5 parts on the sheet and it takes around 8 minutes per sheet in total. This is saving costs because of how quick it is to get through this stage of the parts process. Sheets have been purchased in special sizes to minimise offcuts and waste.
Salvagnini panel bending and pressbrakes
The Salvagnini machine can panel bend parts up to a maximum length of 2180mm and 165mm high and is extremely efficient in large batch jobs. This is an ideal machine for us to use and it can change jobs in seconds meaning it saves a lot of time resulting in lower costs.
Despite the Salvagnini being used extensively in the lighting sector unfortunately the tooling is too wide to achieve part of the profile on these parts. Working with Salvagnini a solution was achieved which allows 10 of the 14 bends to be made by the panel bender. The remaining 4 bends are put on using a manual pressbrake.
To fold one part on the salvagnini (10 bends) takes around 50 seconds. It takes around 30 seconds to add the 4 manual folds, completing the whole forming process in less than a minute and a half.
Cost saving sheet metal design
As soon as the part comes off the pressbrake it is passed into a temporary pop rivet station next to the machine. Pop rivets are used in numerous applications to secure two or more components together and remove the need for additional welding. It would cost a lot more to fully weld the part but by pop riveting it reduces the amount.
These parts require MIG welding on each corner of the part. After the part is welded it will then move onto dressing to give the part a nice finish. Most of our welders are coded so they meet our customer’s quality standards. In the welding section it takes around an hour to weld about 50 parts. This is just over a minute to do one part so yet again it isn’t a long process which is saving more costs because of a speedy process.
ISO 9001:2015 Quality Standard Accreditation
At each stage of the procedure a check is carried out of the first and last parts alongside in process checks. This is to meet the quality standards and to make sure that the parts we ship out are up to standard and meet the customer’s standards which they set us. A quality team is in place which will randomly select parts and check them.
James Rhymer, 2014
Leading sheet metal fabrication supplier
Hydram Sheet Metalwork is a leading supplier of sheet metal and tubular components, assemblies and light fabrications to customers throughout the UK employing over 200 people. The leading fabrication company provides the full range of subcontract engineering services, including tube and sheet laser cutting, tube and sheet bending, fabrication, powder coating and assembly from its 115,000 sq ft factory in County Durham. Hydram supplies components and sheet metal fabrications to market leading companies in industries such as shop-fitting and point of display, lighting, earth-moving machinery and white goods.
Hydram – your complete manufacturing partner.