AI

How AI Is Set to Impact the Custom Metal Fabrication Industry

Artificial intelligence has been the new buzzword for many manufacturing industries. And, the custom metal fabrication industry has not been left untouched by this looming revolution. Here’s a look at some ways in which AI might change metal fabrication in the near future:

AI’s Impact on the Custom Metal Fabrication Industry

  • Production

When looking at how AI might change an industry, the largest factor to take into consideration might be production. Machines like robots and computers differ from their human counterparts because they don’t get tired, sick or bored. Also, they don’t need as much time off as we do. This means that they can work longer and more accurately than humans, which increases the output of any given process and drives down production cost and delivery times.

However, machines aren’t coming for all human jobs, just yet. Humans still outperform machines in tasks that require complex thinking processes. Although AI will allow a machine signal when maintenance is required, for the foreseeable future, people will still be performing repairs and maintenance on machines, and we’ll still be designing parts and processes to achieve specific goals. 

As AI technology develops, simple tasks may be taken over by machines, leaving humans to perform complex tasks that require flexibility and cognitive processes,  which is something machines do not yet possess. 

  • Safety

As global awareness and compliance with health and safety regulations increase, manufacturing industries are becoming safer for human workers. Where the handling of dangerous chemicals and tools involved, as well as precision in tasks required, machines can eliminate a lot of the risk from the environment. Machines are more accurate, they can handle hazardous environments, and they can be replaced when a malfunction occurs.

AI will contribute greatly to the increased safety for workers not only by performing simple but hazardous activities, but also by anticipating and warning human controllers when a safety hazard might present itself.  

  • Competition

Safer environments and increased production will be in the grasp of smaller manufacturers, giving them a more level playing field thanks to AI. Instead of massive labour forces needed in mechanical engineering and manufacturing companies, AI can take over the tasks that humans traditionally needed to fulfill, bringing down costs and creating growth opportunities. Smaller businesses will be able to use AI to “teach” machines to perform tasks that will take humans much longer to master. 

By allowing small businesses to expand without the traditional overhead costs, there will be more opportunities for businesses to compete in the manufacturing sector, which will improve the quality and service for the industry at large. 

At Rider Tool and Manufacturing Co., we strive to incorporate the latest technological advances in our processes to the advantage of our clients. For cutting edge custom metal fabrication, contact us today. 

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welding

How to weld aluminium

A lightweight, thin metal, aluminium is commonly used in welding workshops. Welding aluminium needs to be done at low temperatures. A reactive material, this metal forms an oxide layer when exposed which could be tricky as this results in porous welds. 

Welding any material can be a challenging process, especially lightweight materials. This requires the utmost precision to ensure a strong bond. In order to successfully weld aluminium, you need to assemble the right tools, exercise caution and patience and, gain experience. 

Assemble your tools

You will need:

  • A Tungsten Inert Gas welder with AC capability (not only DC). This type of welder uses a tungsten electrode and an inert gas to shield the welding area. 
  • An aluminium filler rod. This tool is needed to bond the two pieces. Make sure that the rod is free of rust or dirt as this may lead to a weaker weld.
  • A canister of argon gas. The gas’s purpose in the welding process is to shield.
  • Protective clothing. Opt for a 100% cotton long sleeve shirt and long pants with no cuffs. 
  • Use safety equipment. You’ll need a heavy welding helmet, a thick pair of gloves and a respirator. 

Get your workspace ready

  • Clean away the aluminium oxide. Aluminium forms a thin coat of aluminium oxide on its exterior over time. This melts at a much higher temperature. You’ll need to do this mechanically by using a wire-brush, a grinder or filing away the oxides.  
  • Clean the filler rod. Use an abrasive cleaning pad with acetone to ensure the rod is free from contaminants. 
  • Clamp your workpieces together as tightly as possible
  • Preheat the aluminium workpiece. You can heat your workpiece by placing it directly into an oven or by using a propane torch. Benchmark a temperature between 300 degrees Fahrenheit and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure that your workspace is ventilated and a cool environment.

  • Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand. 

Get welding!

  • Set your welder’s amperage. Aim for 1 amp per 0.001 inch of your workspace’s thickness. It is recommended to set the welder’s amperage to a higher notch than you expect to need and then to tone the current back down with your foot pedal. 
  • Place your tools and workspace into position. Extend the tungsten electrode by no more than diameter of your torch’s nozzle. Press the button on the torch and use the foot pedal.
  • Create the puddle. Begin melting the workpiece until you create an adequately sized puddle no wider than the diameter of your filler. Add the filler rod to fill in the joint and then move onto the next portion of the weld. Complete this process until the weld is complete. 

For more information on welding, contact us today! 

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custom metal fabrication

5 misconceptions about custom metal fabrication

A new on-demand metalworking project can be intimidating in many ways. From finding a partner who understands your unique project’s requirements to budget, time and quality restraints, it is important to separate the facts from fiction and to be able to identify the following five misconceptions when it comes to custom metal fabrication

  • Mechanical engineering isn’t necessary 

A design-engineering collaboration is the first essential building block for a successful custom metal fabrication project. Before a design heads into fabrication, you need to ensure that the correct pieces are in place to translate the metal design into the various components. Following this, the visualization process can begin. 

A custom steel product project often begins in the design process, moves onto the manufacturing design process, which is followed by product design, engineering, prototyping and lastly, manufacturing. 

Industry leaders often advise using mechanical engineers in the metal fabrication process. 

  • Their products must be as good as their professional presentations

A sophisticated, professional PowerPoint presentation pitch does not represent a quality custom metal fabrication project. Do your research; cross-check with multiple references, meet with the operations team and request a site tour – take note of the condition of the facility’s equipment. 

  • The lowest bid will be the more cost-effective option

The cost of manufacturing the project is one of the major factors you’ll always need to consider. You need to view the cost of the entire value chain in order to avoid unexpected incurring costs when budgeting solely on the supplier’s quote. You need to go through each quote with a fine-tooth comb; some metal fabrication companies may offer a low manufacturing quote but down the line, incorporate unexpected fees and charges. 

  • Galvanization is an expensive option

With recent advances in galvanization, it has become an increasingly popular (and affordable) component of custom metal fabrication. This process ensures that every area of the steel is coated, and the final product requires very little maintenance, saving money in the long run. 

Before commencing with the galvanization, your supplier should inform you of the potential cost issues, the strain-age embrittlement, working parts with undue friction or, an insufficient zinc coating. 

  • Professional metal fabricators do not need to institute regular product inspections 

You need to find a supplier who offers quality control experts. Would they be willing to work with third-party inspectors? It makes more sense to maintain regular quality control over time than to be faced with massive repair job down the line. 

Partner with Rider Tool and Manufacturing Company and allow us to steer you through your custom metal fabrication process to reach your end goal. Contact us today for more information. 

 

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quality control metal fabrication

5 Benefits of Quality Control in Metal Fabrication

Quality control is a non-negotiable element in all manufacturing processes. We can’t speak for other industries, but as a business in the field of metal fabrication, we understand the particular importance of quality control. From our point of view, quality control brings the following five primary benefits, which creates a win-win situation for us and all our clients and their stakeholders.

First and Foremost – Safety!

The main outcome of excellent quality control is increased safety – both in the manufacturing process and the final product itself. If our workmanship is good, and if the materials are impeccable, resulting in a final product that is made to exacting standards, it will translate into many years of safe use for the customer.

Quality control over the fabrication and installation processes also secures the safety of our engineers, technicians and operators, as well as our clients.

Ensuring Strength and Good Functionality

The metal industry has more variables than many may believe. Steel is never just steel; there are many varieties of different alloy compositions, strengths and qualities. Our quality control standards begin at the selection of materials, guiding our acquisition of only the best steel from trusted suppliers. This means high quality and strength in the end product.

Quality control also dictates the process of building a particular piece of equipment commissioned by the client. We need to ensure that it is made to exact specifications and that the finished tool will do exactly what is required both effectively and efficiently. This involves a series of careful checks, inspections and tests throughout the job’s duration.

Consistency

It doesn’t do us or our clients any good to do one excellent job followed by others that are mediocre or poor, or simply of differing quality. Materials and processes must be standardized to ensure that everyone benefits from exactly the same high level of workmanship and materials, regardless of the specifics of the job. A steady quality control protocol ensures this ongoing consistency.

Repeat Business and Good Customer Relationships

It’s simple: satisfied customers will keep coming back and/or they will recommend you to others. The more consistently satisfactory work you deliver, the more likely you are to bring those clients back. The more you work with them, the more familiar you will become with their needs, and the more able you will be to meet them.  

Reduced Maintenance Costs

Quality control leads to the production of well-made products that will operate effectively for years to come, requiring fewer repairs and maintenance. During the fabrication process, it is worth taking the time and care to smooth out any wrinkles, so as to ensure that you won’t have to patch up any faults later.

Rider Tool and Manufacturing Co. takes quality control very seriously. Are you looking for quality, custom-made, fabricated metal products? Contact us and see what we can do for you.

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fabricated industrial equipment

How to Achieve a Successful Fabrication Field Installation

The onsite installation of fabricated industrial equipment is a service that is in considerable demand among our clients. It has tremendous benefits for the client because it enables the building and installation of their equipment by a single service provider, cutting out any need for a long chain of contractors that could potentially break down at the weakest link.

Because field installation is such a complex process, it requires a few key elements to work in tandem to make it successful.

Expertise

First off, not to put too fine a point on it, you need people who know what they’re doing. From the very beginning, even as the various components are being planned, you need an expert team that understands the materials involved, the client’s needs, the processes required to fill the brief, the logistics necessary to move the components to site and what is needed to assemble and install the end product, as efficiently as possible.

Quality Control

As important as expertise is an absolutely rock solid quality control protocol. The entire value chain, including labour, planning, parts, materials, transport and installation, must be monitored under a unifying, end-to-end quality control procedure. This ensures that each and every stage of the process is up to standard in its own right, and it also maintains consistent quality throughout the job as a whole. This is vital when working on a project with any number of variables, becoming all the more important as complexity increases.

Clear Communication

As with any value chain, field installation requires clear and unmistakable communications between all role players, both internally and between the client and service provider.

Logistical Planning

The way a job is carried out depends not only on the specifics of the job itself, but also on the distances between the fabricator’s premises and the installation site, the number, size and weight of the components involved as well as the type of transport needed. The fabricator may have to set a limit on the distances they are willing to travel to do the installation. It may be necessary, for example, to serve clients only within a 500-mile radius. Anything beyond the designated limit could make the costs in outlay, transport and manpower unfeasible.

Keeping it Simple

Simplicity is the key to handling complexity. Whatever steps can be eliminated without adversely affecting the outcome should be bridged or dispensed with. This is why Rider Tool and Manufacturing Co. provides an end-to-end fabrication and field installation service that cuts out any intermediate steps and players. By cutting down on the variables, we provide a more streamlined service that makes the client’s life easier.

Contact us to discuss your equipment manufacture and installation requirements.

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Custom Metal Fabrication and Welding for the Food Service.

Custom metal fabrication and welding for the food service industry are about more than just boosting convenience, it is also about ensuring maximum food safety and quality. Here at Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co., we specialize in creating products for the food service industry, including industrial ovens, food preparation surfaces and more. Basically, our expertise and experience enable us to fabricate alloy steel, carbon steel and even aluminum structures based on our clients’ specifications.

We Understand Food Service Industry Regulations

There are a number of regulations that contract manufacturing companies need to be well aware of when it comes to mechanical engineering, steel fabrication and custom metal fabrication for the food service industry. Here at Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co., we understand that, for example, all food preparation surfaces need to be completely smooth and resistant to corrosion. If the former is not ensured, and the surface is full of grooves or craters, there is a much higher risk of bacteria growth and food contamination. 

Luckily, Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co. is one of the contract manufacturing companies in Canada best known for its sanitary welding and ability to tailor all metal and steel fabrication to each clients’ requirements and expectations. Our welders go the extra mile to ensure that any unevenness of food preparation surfaces is minimized or completely eliminated. Our smooth, sanitary welding helps to facilitate easier, more efficient cleaning, as well as to prevent food particles from getting trapped and leading to a decrease in food safety.

For more information about custom metal fabrication and welding for the food service industry at Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co. be sure to contact us today.

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Metal Fabrication: Safety Protocols Boost ROI

The act of custom metal fabrication involves a number of safety concerns, especially if the right safety precautions are not taken. Did you know that not only will elaborate safety protocols help to protect your employees, but that they are also known to boost ROI? It is true! And, here is why.

It Improves Productivity

Ultimately, when an employee feels safe, he or she is likely to be in a better mood and, as a result, work more efficiently. This leads to an improvement in productivity which, in turn, boosts metal fabrication return on investment. Furthermore, most safety protocols call for better ‘housekeeping’ and cleanliness. This means that employees are less likely to have to spend time cleaning up before performing a task which, once again, improves productivity.

It Bolsters Your Metal and Steel Fabrication Company’s Reputation

Your stringent safety protocols are likely to get people talking and this will definitely give your company’s reputation a boost in the eyes of both your employees, potential employees and your customers. The end result is an improved ROI.

What to Include in Custom Metal Fabrication Safety Protocols? 

Along with regulation safety rules and training, it is also of the utmost importance to educate your workforce to ensure and enforce maximum workplace safety. For example, your employees must know when and how to report potentially dangerous situations, as well as to make absolutely certain that all of their protective gear is in good condition before performing a task. It is always worthwhile to host regular workplace safety training sessions and workshops to re-familiarize employees with these many life-saving details and processes. 

Here at Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co., we take our custom metal fabrication and steel fabrication safety protocols very seriously indeed. For more information about our services, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Custom metal fabrication

3 Methods for Custom metal fabrication

When it comes to custom metal fabrication and welding stainless steel, there are three main methods that promise optimal results. Below, we take a look at each of these methods and highlight their benefits as well as when they should be used.

Resistance Welding 

Resistance welding is one of the most common methods of welding used in custom metal fabrication, steel fabrication and mechanical engineering in general. It uses a low voltage to operate, and is an efficient welding method that can be completed with the simple push of a button. Resistance welding can be entirely automated and is therefore often considered to be the most cost-effective welding method. It is also known to produce fewer harmful fumes, making it the most eco-friendly choice too. 

MIG Welding 

MIG welding is also known as Metal Inert Gas welding. Its main advantage is that it is one of the fastest welding methods out of the three. And, therefore, it is ideal for use when welding thicker stainless steel. It also the welding method that is known for producing the least amount of splatter. 

TIG Welding 

When it comes to accuracy, you cannot go wrong with TIG welding, also known as Tungsten Inert Gas welding. It is the go-to welding method for thinner stainless steel and when minimal clean-up is required.  TIG also ensures minimal electrode wear and provides a concentrated heat source which results in a stable arc and extra precision control. 

As you can see, the three different methods of welding all have their own unique benefits and applications. Because of this, it is usually best to rely on contract manufacturing companies to decide on the best method for your project when it comes to custom metal fabrication. 

For more information about the welding and custom metal fabrication process in general, do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co. 

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steel fabrication

Differences between Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

When it comes to mechanical engineering and steel fabrication, one of the most commonly asked questions from clients are ‘what is the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals?’ The experts at Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co., one of the most trusted contract manufacturing companies in Ontario, provide an explanation below. 

Ferrous Metals 

The main difference between ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals is the fact that ferrous metals contain iron and non-ferrous metals do not. Because of this, each type of metal has a number of specific applications to which they are better suited. Many ferrous metals, for example, provide superior durability and tensile strength, with the most common ferrous metals being alloy steel, carbon steel, cast iron and wrought iron. Ferrous metals are also magnetic. 

They are most commonly used in the construction industry and are also employed in the manufacture of things like cars, railroad tracks and more. The only down-side to ferrous metals is that they are quite vulnerable to corrosion due to their high carbon content (with the exception of stainless steel and wrought iron which are both rust-resistant). 

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals do not contain iron and are usually corrosion resistant and more malleable than ferrous metals. Gold, silver, tin, aluminum, copper, lead and zinc are all non-ferrous metals. 

Non-ferrous metals are not magnetic and are often employed in the manufacture of electronics and wiring because of this. These types of metals are also often used to produce things like gutters, roofing, signage and liquid pipes. 

For more information about the different types of metals used by contract manufacturing companies, do not hesitate to get in touch with Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co. 

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metal coating

A Guide to Powder Coating and Wet Coating in Metal Fabrication

It is important to coat metals in order to make them durable. The coating reduces the chances of rusting and the day-to-day wear-and-tear of the metals. Most metal fabrication companies use either powder or wet coating for metals.

Metal Coating and the Environment

Metal coating practices have now become more-friendly to the environment than before. Today, the chemicals used in wet coating by either contract manufacturing companies or the manufacturing companies are fast drying – hence less pollution. Emissions from powder coating are not as high and can also be recycled and this makes them very friendly to the environment right here in Oshawa, Ontario.

The Difference between Powder and Wet Coating

Coating generally means painting. 

Wet Coating

In wet coating, liquid paint is applied on the metal by the use of a pressurized vessel or a spray gun. This coating is recommended for metals that cannot undergo any form of heating or metals that require a specific colour. 

Powder Coating

Powder coating, on the other hand, refers to the electrostatic application of dry powder on the metal. Unlike wet coating, powder coating does not require a carrier. Once the powder has been applied to the metals, they are baked in an oven at 450 degrees. The heat transforms the powder into a liquid and then a solid form resulting in a thick and solid coating that is much more durable than wet coating.

For more information about metal fabrication and coating in Ontario, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

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