Sheet metal fabrication has come a long way over time, and the reason is innovation. Innovations in sheet metal fabrication techniques have relied on the production of metal, the expertise of workers, and the equipment used. At IMH Products our processes such as laser cutting, welding, and CNC machining keep us at the forefront of this innovation. It is why our customers trust us as a leading supplier of custom made metal products.   

The industry as a whole is always advancing through leaps in technology and skills. Here are some of the latest innovations and their practical applications help improve efficiency, accuracy, and versatility.

Automation Innovations in Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques

No matter how good an associate is on the floor, human error is always going to be a factor. The human element is still important in manufacturing, but the addition of automation has improved accuracy and efficiency.

Laser Cutters are able to deliver fast and accurate cuts every time, and since they run on a program, they can produce multiple identical components in a fraction of the time as manual cutting. These clean and precise cuts need minimal finishing, and they are then ready go on to other areas of production such as press brakes.

Press brakes can still be operated manually, IMH recently added robotic press brake capabilities to its repertoire. As demonstrated in the video above, with robotics we are complete multiple folds of a single piece within a two-minute frame. Each fold is exactly the same, allowing for consistency across all parts made.

CNC machines also employ computer controlled movements to produce complex parts with high accuracy. This reduces the need for manual labor and improves production speeds, resulting in faster lead times and increased productivity.

More Than Automation

Automation is just one innovation that improves the metal fabrication process. Improvements in the training and planning of personnel is also critical. As stated above, there will always be a human element to the process. Through online training, classic textbooks, and on-the-job training production associates can hone their skills.

The growth of 3D printing has also been a major innovation in sheet metal fabrication techniques. 3D printing is now a common practice in developing prototypes during the design phase of production. This groundbreaking technology produces mock-ups and prototypes that can then be tested before they go into formal production. This helps to reduce material waste, and increase design flexibility. It also leads to the ability to create one-off parts without the need to do expensive tooling.

Finally, many fabricators, including IMH Products, are expanding their capabilities in regards to sustainability. This is done to reduce waste and improve efficiency. Using recycled materials also lessens the environment impact of the process, thus lowering the cost of production. Techniques such as laser cutting and water jet cutting generate less waste material than traditional methods. Moreover, robotics and automation can optimize energy usage and minimize the need for hazardous chemicals in certain fabrication processes.

IMH Products is proud to employ many of these new techniques and technologies in its production process as we supply components for original equipment manufacturers. For information on how we can serve your needs contact us at