Blog

Acorn Metal workshop extension

We are delighted to announce that we have recently finished building an extension to our already large workshop. These facilities, based in Malaga in the Perth suburbs, are designed to house state-of-the-art equipment to provide our customers with expert metal services.

The new area has added a whopping 200 square metres which has allowed us to bring in even more machines than we already have, as well as give us extra undercover storage space.

We’re really excited about this development as it allows our team of metal experts to put their talents to even better use and give our customers next level results!

Workshop facilities

The Acorn Metal workshop in Malaga houses some formidable machinery of all shapes and sizes. We’ve spent quite a bit of time and money building up our collection of these mechanical beasts so we can offer all our customers top quality results in a whole range of metal fabrication areas. For example we have turret punchers, fastener inserters, controlled benders, formers, grinders, and de-burring machines.

These machines let us work quickly and with top results, but they take up a lot of room! We decided to extend the workshop 6 meters out on the right hand side, turning what used to be a carpark and storage area into a covered space to house even more large scale machinery.

This extra space means we can work on multiple bigger projects at the same time, letting our experienced team easily tackle all your custom metal fabrication projects. They are familiar working with a broad range of materials, from aluminium and zinc, to galvanised iron, and stainless and mild steel.

Customer return

Customer satisfaction is king to us here at Acorn Metal, which is why it was an obvious choice for us to spend 8 weeks building this extension onto our existing workshop. What it means for our customers is faster return on projects, the ability for us to work smoother and easier on projects with large, repetitive production runs, and really an overall improved quality of service.

We’re truly a team of hard workers who love plugging away on our massive machines, so we were excited to have more space to work on the big projects you send our way.

We’ve been going since 1984, and are proud to be a locally owned and operated family business that is able to create a massive range of custom perforated sheet metal designs. It’s our bread and butter, and by focusing on getting in the highest quality machinery we’re making sure we can put all our tried and tested approaches to best use.

One of the things we are proudest of is how many return customers we have, and that’s honestly down to working with solid machines that provide consistent accurate results.

Acorn Metal Products

The team here at Acorn Metal is highly skilled, and every person contributes to the combined wealth of experience we have to offer. We invest in the latest and greatest technology in order to give our customers innovative metal fabrication services, as well as create all kinds of custom perforated sheet metal designs. Our big machines (safe in our new extension!) can do long lengths, and we have the modern solution for you be it folding, bending, grinding or punching.

Read more about what Acorn Metal products and services are available for you, or speak to an expert team member today on 08 9248 888 to discuss your requirements and arrange a free quote.

Trends in the sheet metal & Fabrication industry

Thanks to the constant technological advances the tools of the industry have become more advanced and effortless than ever, meaning it has never been easier to satisfy each customer’s demand. Gone are the days of solely manual processes, and welcome to the world of 3D design. But in order to keep on top of what the future actually holds for metal fabrication processes, and the customers involved, it’s important to keep up-to-date with current trends within the industry.

The ever-decreasing circle of steel recycling

Almost all metal products produced today contain recycled metals, given that metal is one of earths’ unique materials that can be reused again and again without losing strength or quality. However because the current demand for metal, in particular steel, is so high the amount of recycled materials cannot keep up. This means that even though steel is made from around 50-60% of recycled metal when it could be made from 100% recycled material. Given the demand does not appear to be slowing this circle of recycling is closing, but probably only for the time being.

Improvement for Greater Efficiency

A big hurdle for many within the sheet metal binding industry is the lack of skilled workers. Without a solid education system available, many companies are taking training in-house to help guarantee that they will have the qualified hiring pool necessary to keep expanding their businesses. While this does not seem to be a cost effective measure from the outside, it results in greater efficiency and a higher standard of workmanship. This now includes technology training, as workers skilled in computers are essential to the current manufacturing processes.

Trends That Will Transform Sheet Metal Industry

While 3D printing is already an important part of many sheet metal fabricators business operations, this trend is likely to continue to become integral as the technology involved continues to grow. An offshoot will be the need to train and hire 3D experts to work with clients, and operate the newest 3D technology as it continues to evolve.

Technology Growth

With computers already an integral part of most of the modern world, the sheet metal industry has had to react in kind. With computers (and smartphones) vital to most operations, the increased demand for metal fabrication to keep making, building, and designing more advanced products for technology, scientific equipment, and even robot production will continue to grow.

Acorn Metal Products

The expert team here at Acorn Metal are skilled at creating custom, high quality metal products for a wide range of projects and requirements. Our combined knowledge and access to modern manufacturing equipment makes us confident that we can create each product to your exact specifications with a top quality finish, and complete it in record time.

If you have a project that requires metal fabrication, or a design that needs to be brought to life, speak to a friendly member of our team today. To read more about what Acorn Metal products and services are available for you, read about it here!

Metal Bending and Turret Punching

CNC Precision

Here at Acorn Metals, we’re experts at CNC bending. We produce high-quality fabricated metal components that are equipped for the production of numerous metal manufacturing products, and CNC bending is one of our biggest services. It’s used for cabinets, control boxes, enclosures, vending machines, tool drawers, lockers, door panels, doors, shelves, furniture, floor, ceiling systems and much more, but what exactly is it?

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) bending is a process during manufacturing that uses CNC press brakes. A computer program is customized for an object and machines are programmed with CNC machining language that has the ability to control features including the feed rate, coordination, location and speeds. These machines have the ability to bend sheet metal from smaller works of a few millimetres to metal work of large sizes. 

The CNC machines are incredibly precise and can bend metal of all kinds of lengths and widths. The machinery can control the exact positioning and velocity to shape metal. The press brakes have a fixed bottom bed with a block tool clamp in place and a top beam that is forced down with a V blade. This is known as down forming. The other process of CNC is an up forming machine where the bottom bend moves and the top beam is fixed. These processes produce the sheet metal components.

The CNC process is suitable for processing malleable metals and great for sheet metal designs that consist of one or more bends. It is often used for brackets, enclosures, cams, chassis and more. The CNC bending affectively shapes sheet metal using a bending tool during a linear or rotating movement. Our machines are developed for high flexibility and low setup times, making the process economical and convenient. Bending tools on CNC machines can be constructed to adjust the bending ankle by stroke measurement or angle measurement. They produce a high accuracy result from the first piece.

Our CNC machines allow precise and fast angle measuring throughout the bending process, producing accuracy in your product. The design of our machines ensures the highest level of accuracy. CNC panel bending maintains tight forming tolerances and achieves strength.

Turret punching via CNC is a used for metal forming and punching. Manufacturing with a turret punch allows you to form your sheet metal by punching, nibbling, embossing, piercing, slotting, recessing, louvring, extruding or coining. A variety of sheet metal components can be processed using turret punching with a thickness ranging from .5mm up to 5mm. It allows a variation of metals to be punched in 2D shapes.

The precision of the CNC machine makes it an incredibly valuable tool and an important one for metal workers. The CNC process provides a short and inexpensive way of forming products that require a change in their shape with precise accuracy. Contact Acorn Metals today for accurately bent metal!

Sheet Metal Forming – A Guide

The Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

Sheet metal fabrication is the act of forming, shaping, and joining metal together to build and/or repair a tangible part. It’s a process that has been performed for thousands of years, sometimes with just the simplest tools.

Shaping the metal can be done in four ways: bending, cutting, shrinking, or stretching. Sheet metal forming is the process by which sheet metal is welded, burned, cut, or worked into a product that can be used. There are many ways the metal can be formed into a usable object; the most popular include spinning, bending and roll forming. Aside from making the metal usable, the aim of sheet metal forming is also to maintain the quality of the metal throughout the process. Whichever method is chosen, the process (which is also sometimes referred to metal fabrication), as is an essential part of our modern world.

Spinning, or spin forming, forms cylindrical pieces of metal by rotating a piece of sheet metal while forces are applied to one side. The process usually relies on the use of a manual lathe, where the metal is rotated at high speeds while rollers press the sheet against a tool. This forms the desired shape with great precision, and most importantly doesn’t harm the quality of the metal. Spinning is also popular due to its low-cost to operate. The rollers come in a variety of diameters and thicknesses and are usually made from steel or brass. They are very inexpensive and take a long time to wear down, so most manufacturers would have a low turn over the parts.

Similar to spinning, sheet metal bending requires the application of force to the sheet metal in order to bend it at a certain angle and form a specific shape. Rather than a rotation though, the bending is done over a single axis. Alternatively, for more complex parts the bender may choose to perform multiple bends on one piece. This versatile process can be used for smaller elements, for example the brackets in your car or doors in your house, as well as bigger pieces up to twenty feet.

What makes metal bending particularly unique is what is referred to as the “spring back” factor. When any piece of metal is bent, the stresses will cause the inside of the material to shorten and the outside to slightly lengthen once the tension is released. Therefore, in order to get the most accurate shape, the operator will over bend the sheet, so that when the metal contracts, it does so to the perfect size. The ratio of the initial bend to the final bend makes up the “spring back factor” and is an essential calculation in the metal bending process.

There are many ways to fabricate metal, passed down from a long history of refining the process. With metals such a sustainable and tried and true fabric, it makes sense that most businesses will need metal forming services at some point. No matter which process is perfect for your projects, Acorn Metals are the experts in them all!

The Perforated Sheet Metal Process

How Perforated Sheet Metal Is Made

The modern world is filled with perforated sheet metal. From noise reduction to climate control, it has seemingly endless uses. However, there’s more to this versatile metal than meets the eye. Perforated sheet metal is a material which has been punched or stamped with a machine to create a pattern of holes. Most commonly made from stainless steel, cold rolled steel, aluminium and a variety of other metals – it is a popular material around the world.

Perforated sheet metal was first developed around 150 years ago for the mining industry as a means of filtering coal. In its most primitive form the process was very inefficient, requiring labourers to manually punch the holes into the metal sheet. Understandably, this time consuming and labour intensive methodology meant that perforated metal was not being used to its full potential – there was simply not enough to go around.

Today, the most common method of perforating metal uses a rotary roller. This is essentially a large cylinder with sharp pointed needles to punch the holes. The needles come in a variety of sizes in order to customise the perforated metal, and sometimes the needles are heated in order to melt the metal during the process. This then forms a reinforced ring around the perforation.

Alternatively, some manufacturers choose the so called “punch and die” method. Although it may sound archaic, the punch and die method is in fact very efficient. After being thinned and flattened, the sheet metal is repeatedly passed under a sheet of needles, which punches holes into the sheet. Any remaining pieces are then sheared off and the surface is smoothed. The speed with which the metal is perforated makes it the method of choice for many manufacturers.

Now that perforated sheet metal can be created with such efficiency, most people and many organisations come in contact with it every day. Buildings designed with environmental sustainability in mind often utilise perforated metal for climate control. The small holes allow the free movement of air, giving a natural ventilation and negating the need for air conditioning. Perforated sheet metal can also be found on the inside of walls and roofs to bring the volume down in noisy environments, making them a common choice for large offices.

The food and beverage industry is perhaps one of the biggest users of perforated metal, using it in drain dryers, sorting machines and fruit and vegetable presses to name a few. Given that perforated metal is so versatile and easy to sterilise, kitchens around the world have made it a staple in their food preparation processes. Perhaps a more obvious industry to benefit from perforated sheet metal is automotive manufacturers. Not only is it used to support the huge amount of other metal elements in a car, but also as an oil filter and a silencer on motorbikes.

From aesthetics to usability, perforated sheet metal offers many benefits. This versatile metal has a valuable place in homes, businesses and manufacturing. For more information about perforated metal, contact the experts as Acorn Metal.

A Brief History on Custom Metal Fabrication

Metal working is a very old art form. It’s an interesting process that has changed a lot over time, and this blog goes into some details about the biggest changes thus far, as well as what is still to come.

Since ancient civilisations roamed the earth, metal working has played a key role in society with metals being used for both industrial applications and luxury goods such as jewellery. Custom metal fabrication began to take shape in what we now know as the “Bonze Age”, the period beginning in 3,300 BC in India where metals were first combined with the aim of gaining new and advanced properties. Metals were melted down in a furnace and bronze became the first hard metal. This enabled the production of swords, armour and many weapons of war. It therefore follows that those civilisations with the most metals and the best crafting abilities rose to supremacy – bronze was a source of true power and as war raged on across the continents it cemented its naming rights to the age.

Custom metal fabrication continued to revolve around the malleable yet tough nature of bronze until 1485 when Leonardo da Vinci drew a preliminary sketch of a rolling mill. This simple idea slowly but surely revolutionised the way we use metals today. In 1501, the mill was used to roll gold to a uniform thickness to create coins as well as to cut already formed sheets into strips.

This pressing process continued to advance in the 1600s when the mill was produced on an industrial scale to create tin and lead plates and eventually the cold rolling of steel. The first steel fabrication services are attributed to a mill in Newcastle, England where water wheels drove the rolling process. The 1700s saw more complex steel fabrication in demand, with rounds, squares and rails needed to help the world continue to industrialise.

For sheet metal to be cut into this variety of shapes and sizes, the long-standing method was to use shears. Over the 1800s there was a shift from a manual method (shears being used in a similar way to scissors), to the “bench method” where one blade is fixed and the other is manually lowered. Today, there are many other cutting methods from lasers to waterjets. As each custom metal fabrication is different, they can suit different cutting methods.

The same can be said for punching and forming sheet metal. While these practices were relatively common in centuries past, today’s technology and more highly trained metal smiths, make the precision and accuracy in metal fabrication better than ever.

The advancements in metal fabrication show no sign of slowing down. Currently, the demand for steel is exceeding supply. This means more resources will need to be put towards recycling steel in the future. While currently steel is made up of between 50-60% recycled materials, this will need to reach 100% in order for supply and demand to come close to equilibrium. Future trends and tastes will also dictate much of the direction for custom metal fabrication. While today, steel is hugely fashionable for those seeking a modern, industrial look, with every new generation comes a new favoured look.

Finally, as with every industry, technology will play a huge role in dictating the future of custom metal fabrication. As metal demand increases it is likely mining of iron ore will follow suit in order to create more of the computerised technology which plays such a pivotal role in raising the efficiency of metal fabrication.

For more information about metal fabrication, contact Acorn Metal Products today!

Think You Know Metal? Think Again

From Metal Quarries to Steel Fabrication 

steel fabrication

Metal fabrication is an in-depth and sometimes complicated process, and metals in general aren’t as straightforward as they seem. Here are some of the most interesting facts about metals and fabrication for you to sink your teeth into:

1.      The word metal comes from the Greek word “metallon”, which means quarry or to mine or excavate.

2.      The earliest metal fabrication practices are attributed to the Egyptians who bent and shaped gold into jewellery. This jewellery was such an integral part of society that everyone from poor farmers to royalty wore it. Some original pieces can still be seen in museums around the world.

3.      The Ancient Spartans used large iron sticks as currency. They were used in a similar way to how we use coins today, however their large and inconvenient nature discouraged the pursuit of wealth within society.  

4.      The most abundant metal in the universe is iron, making up 34% of Earth’s mass. Second to iron in the universe’s make-up is magnesium.

5.      The composition of the Earth is not entirely known, but the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust is aluminium. However, the earth’s core likely consists mainly of iron.

6.      The arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is made entirely of steel, meaning that on a hot day it can expand up to 18cm vertically.

7.      In the 1920s when the Sydney Harbour Bridge was being built, industrial welding had not yet been developed to a level where it could be used on such a large scale; so six million steel rivets hold the bridge together.

8.      The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, contains 18,038 large pieces of iron, which had to be fabricated and are now held in place with over two million rivets.

9.      In 2013, the world manufactured enough crude steel to build 160,000 Eiffel Towers.

10.  The first attempt at welding in space was performed by Russia in 1969. Early experiments such as these paved the way for the technological advancements, which are now used in constructing space stations.

11.  Because there is no oxidised material in space, when two pieces of metal touch they will become fused together immediately.

12.  Steel is a very sustainable material. It can be recycled over and over without losing the strength and durability that make it such a valuable construction resource. For this reason, many of the sustainable developments you see being erected today are steel based.

13.  Up to 150 years after steel is originally used it will still have its original strength and be fit for recycling.  

14.  The amount of steel currently in use across the world today averages out to 270kg per person. It is most commonly used in construction. Most large modern buildings such as bridges, airports and stadiums are supported by a steel skeleton, even those with a concrete structure use steel for reinforcement.  

15.  Before a NASCAR vehicle takes to the road, over 950 hours of fabrication and welding are spent bringing the car up to scratch.

If you knew half of those then that’s impressive. Metal is something that we take for granted, but in fact, without it the world wouldn’t be what it is today. For more information about metal work, contact Acorn Metals today!

Metal as Art

In our last blog we talked about all the different ways custom fabricated metal can liven up your home. Metal pieces are a functional and aesthetic addition to indoor and outdoor spaces alike, providing a durable solution that perfectly matches the rest of your house. In this blog we will delve a bit deeper in to creating art with fabricated metal to give you a little inspiration for your own home.

Sculptures

Fabricated metal sculptures are very common around Perth. If you have ever taken a drive to the South West you would have seen the conical installations on the side of the freeway, or if you go for a walk through Kings Park you will find a whole bunch of examples in all shapes and sizes.

The beauty of metal sculptures is they can blend in to vibrant gardens, or stand out as a centrepiece in their own right. The mix of materials and finishes means you aren’t restricted to the classic oxidised look, although the earthy tones taken on by the metal do work very well with Australia’s native plants and other greenery.

There is also the option to use stainless, polished, or powder coated finishes for a sleeker modern look. This style is becoming very popular in office and retail spaces due to its weather resistant characteristics and the endless range of functional artistic designs.

Hanging art

Bring a bare wall back to life by mounting a piece of metal art. With Acorn Metal’s precision techniques and an eye for quality you can achieve almost any look to tie a room together. Whether you are looking for an industrial style with mixed metals, or a delicate design in any size, we can make it happen.

Modern trends in metal wall art use coloured coatings and gold leaf as accents to bring out different elements in an image. Trees, feathers, and silhouette scenes are popular favourites with our customers because metal CNC cutting allows for surprisingly intricate design possibilities. Unlike wood or canvas which are generally rectangular with painted designs, metal can be manipulated and made very thin to make your design a reality.

Perforated sheet metal (Image2Punch)

One of the most exciting recent developments in metal wall art is Image2Punch technology. Using precise perforating machines, Acorn Metal can turn your favourite image in to a piece of metal art. The finished product is understated and incredibly impactful, so it has a huge range of applications such as:

·        Decorative pieces on walls, screens, and partitions

·        Metal cladding imagery on the outside of a building

·        Descriptive imagery on the walls of offices and businesses

·        Signage and advertising

A technique we love is using different sized perforations to create the effect of shading on detailed images. Acorn Metal are excited to share Image2Punch technology with our Perth customers so don’t hesitate to contact us with your idea. Or if you are looking for any other type of decorative metal addition to your home, we encourage you to get in touch with any questions. Acorn Metal are Perth’s leaders in perforated metal in all styles, sizes, and designs – the only limit is your creativity.

All About CNC Machining with Acorn Metal

CNC machining is an innovative process that has revolutionised modern manufacturing and productivity. Referring to computer numerical control machining, the process utilises pre-programmed computer software that controls the precise and deliberate movement of different tools, equipment and machinery. CNC machining is able to be used to control a wide range of complex equipment, making high volume manufacturing safer and more consistent.

CNC machining and the results of CNC processes are evident across virtually all industries. Transforming the way we build, produce and distribute, CNC machining allows us to operate with greater efficiency and predictability. Learn more about the CNC machining with Acorn Metal and how we utilise CNC processes.

CNC Turret Punching

CNC turret punching involves a type of punch press used for forming metal. Ideal for high volume production, this process utilises specialised machinery and software for precise results.

At Acorn Metal, we utilise CNC turret punching for a variety of manufactured products. Producing precise and high quality pieces, our CNC turret punching software punches and forms to your specific requirements. Chat with our steel fabricators to find out more about how CNC turret punching could work for your next project.

CNC Bending

Used to manufacture a variety of items, from large parts and pieces through to intricate components, CNC bending allows you to achieve precise and quality results. Working with sheet metal and raw materials, we pride ourselves on delivering high quality pieces that match specifications down to every detail.

We’ve invested in high quality equipment, including segmented tooling and gooseneck tooling, to allow us to complete deep, narrow and more complex bends, With exacting standards and highly trained CNC bending operators, we’re able to operate with enhanced flexibility and efficiency.

CNC Controlled De-Coiler

At Acorn Metal, we utilise a CNC controlled de-coiler to maximise both in-house and further down the line. We produce many pieces as flat sheets or wound rolls to allow for easy and economical transport and storage. Minimising trip frequency and allowing you to move more product with minimal hassle, we help you reduce your bottom line and streamline productivity.

Continuing our commitment to state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, our CNC de-coiler can accommodate materials up to 1220mm in width and 1.2mm in thickness.

Perth’s CNC Machining Professionals

At Acorn Metal, our Perth professionals specialise in sheet metal bending and fabrication. Using CNC machining and technology, we transform raw materials into functional, precise and sturdy pieces ready for utilisation. Working with clients from across industries, our steel fabricators produce quality results in line with designs, drawings and specifications.

From one-off prototypes to high volume production, we can make it happen. Find out more about complex sheet metal bending by an experienced team. Get in touch with the CNC machining professionals at Acorn Metal in Perth for specialised fabrication services. Contact us today on (08) 9248 8888 or via email at sales@acornmetal.com.au.

How to Choose the Best Metal Fabrication Team for Your Project

When it comes to metal fabrication, expertise and technical skill makes all the difference. Whether you need to create a single one-off prototype or a series of mass produced components, a good metal fabrication team sets apart a poor or high quality product. Save time, money, stress and frustration by working with a specialised team who understand your requirements, vision and preferences.

Learn more about what to look for when it comes to choosing steel fabricators and professionals for your next project.

Qualities to Look For

If you’re on the hunt for a good metal fabrication team, it’s important to know what you’re looking out for from the get-go. From qualifications and certifications through to practical experience and results, find out what you need to know before you commit to one fabricator.

Qualifications

You should feel confident that your metal fabricator knows their stuff. Start by gaining a good understanding and awareness of the qualifications of different metal fabricators. Is the team you’re considering suitably certified, accredited and knowledgeable of up-to-date techniques and practices?

If your project is specialised or conceptual, you need to be on the lookout for more specific and applicable certifications or qualifications that meet your project requirements. Most often, you’ll be able to find bios and profiles on company websites and will be able to discern the calibre of fabricator quite quickly.

Skills

Every metal fabricator should have a general set of skills applicable to a wide range of projects. What sets a good fabricator apart is their suitability and extra capabilities when it comes to more specialised or intricate work.

Does your metal fabricator have the skills required to complete your project? Take a look at the equipment and inventory of the team. Gain an understanding of their processes and how they plan and complete work. Find out more about their techniques, tools and methods and evaluate the final result of their previous work.

Past Experience

A team’s past experience and results are a great indicator of what they may produce for you. If a steel fabricator has completed similar work to what you require in the past, it’s likely that they’ll be able to perform well again.To learn more about what to expect by reading through case studies and testimonials and chat to current and previous clients about their experiences.

Find Quality Steel Fabricators in Perth

At Acorn Metal, we specialise in providing personalised, reliable and high quality metal fabrication in Perth. Working with a wide range of clients across industries, we transform designs and concepts into feasible components and creations to suit a variety of applications.

Utilising advanced machinery, specialised techniques and comprehensive know-how, our professionals bring your vision to life. Find out more about metal fabrication in Perth with the experts at Acorn Metal. Contact us today on (08) 9248 8888 to chat with our team.