Metal manufacturing encompasses a wide range of methods that are used to alter the condition of metallic materials. Metal processing is most often performed for two main purposes: to shape the metal, such as in metal spinning and metal stamping, or to alter the state of the metals surface, such as in galvanization or coating. Of these two purposes, metal forming is more common, and it includes processes like metal injection molding, metal casting, metal extrusion and more. In addition, there are many processes that are more unique and specialized. For instance, there are material specific processes like aluminum extrusion or processes that specifically form sheet metal. Although there is a wide variety of metal manufacturing processes, some of the most common methods of metal processing for industrial applications include electroless nickel plating, metal etching, roll forming, water jet cutting, die casting, forging and metal stamping.
Aluminum anodizing is a surface hardening process in which electrolytic passivation is used to thicken the layer of oxide that naturally occurs on aluminum alloys.
Used to increase corrosion and wear resistance, anodizing can be performed on a variety of metals, such as titanium anodizing; however, amongst anodizers, aluminum is typically the metal of choice since it is naturally prone to corrosion due to alloying elements such as copper and iron. Learn More
Contract manufacturing is a service performed by a company that is hired to provide manufacturing services on behalf of another company, known as the original equipment manufacturer, or OEM.
Typically, contract manufacturing involves both producing goods on behalf of an OEM and applying that company's brand to the finished product. Many businesses across many industries take part in contract manufacturing to reduce production costs and maximize use of resources. Companies on both sides of the contract often benefit from this kind of agreement.
Multiple terms are sometimes used, interchangeably, to reference contract manufacturing. Some these terms include private label manufacturing and outsource manufacturing. Technically speaking, each term refers to a specific type of contract manufacturing. While private label manufacturers create products for another company like regular contract manufacturers, they often apply their own designs or branding to the finished product. Furthermore, although outsource manufacturing is technically the same as contract manufacturing, it colloquially refers to international contract manufacturing operations and not simply any form of contract manufacturing. Learn More
Coating services refer to various processes that are used to apply a thin layer of material onto another material, which is often referred to as the substrate.
There are many different purposes that coatings can serve, but the primary two reasons to coat a substrate are to protect the substrate from environmental conditions, corrosion and wear-and-tear. Coating can also give any desired aesthetic characteristics such as color, tint, scent and texture to the substrate that it does not already possess. Learn More
EDM, an abbreviation of electrical discharge machining, is a specialized tooling method that uses electrical energy to cut, drill, etch and machine metal parts.
Electrical discharge machining is one of the most accurate types of machining processes as it is able to achieve complex geometries and details especially when using CNC EDM machines to control the process. EDM cutting and drilling is also suitable to be used for both hard materials and extremely delicate materials which are difficult to machine with conventional cutting methods. Learn More
Electroless nickel (EN) plating is an auto-catalytic chemical reaction that results in a layer of nickel alloy, typically nickel-phosphorus or nickel-boron, to be deposited onto a solid substrate like a metal or plastic workpiece.
A reducing agent, such as hydrated sodium hypophosphite, is crucial to the electroless nickel plating process because it reacts with the metal ions and allows for the nickel to be deposited. Learn More
Tape is an adhesive product used to bind and fasten. In general, tape consists of a backing material and an adhesive material that is coated on it. To create tape, tape suppliers use a process that reflects this; during the process called coating, manufacturers apply adhesive to the backing, or carrier, material. Typically, the backing material is a fairly thin and flexible one, like cloth, paper tissue, film or even metal foil.
To apply the coating, manufacturers use one of three common methods: hot-melt coating, water-based coating and solvent coating. During hot-melt coating, adhesive is heated to its melting point, then applied onto the backing material while it is still liquid. Once it has cooled, the coating process is done. Next, water-based coating uses solutions that are made when adhesive is mixed with water, forming small, suspended globs of one liquid inside the other (emulsions). To finish, the emulsion is coated on. During solvent coating, tape suppliers use a solvent to dissolve the adhesive and leave behind a relatively non-viscous liquid. Once they have done this, they coat the liquid onto the backing material. Then, to finish, they remove the solvent residue by sending the tape through a heated oven. Learn More
Heat treating is any of several methods for altering the atomic structure of a metal or other crystalline structure in order to instill beneficial physical, chemical and mechanical properties, such as strength or ductility.
These production and manufacturing techniques utilize systematic heating and chilling to modify the behavioral properties of industrial materials. Learn More