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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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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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

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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custom metal fabrication

Tolerance: A Critical Factor in Custom Metal Fabrication

There are industry standards for the maximum allowable distortion, which is known as tolerance, for each type of alloy used in standard and custom aluminum extrusion. Tolerances are crucial to the mechanical engineering manufacturing process as they will not only determine how well a part will fit in final production, but also as how stable the final product will be. Tolerances can refer to mechanical fit, fit up (i.e. proper alignment of holes for assembly), deviations from straightness or accuracy of assembly. It is the most important consideration for decision makers in their custom metal fabrication. Below, we take a look at the importance of tolerance in custom metal fabrication.

Why Is Tolerance Important in Custom Metal Fabrication?

  • Risk Management

Checking the correct tolerances is some of risk management’s most important duties. A well-trained risk management team will not only mitigate the risk associated with poor tolerances but will also dramatically reduce the number of faulty parts in a production cycle. Risk management gives metal fabricators the ability to reflect on their processes and assess the way in which improvements can be made. Risk management can run through parts faster and be more effective if tolerances are optimized.

  • Choosing the Right Fit for Optimization

We work with nominal thicknesses in custom fabrication, so it is important to know the thickness tolerance on the material you choose in order to know if the final product will be suitable for your application. It is important when working with sheet metal that you factor in finish tolerances. If you add a finish such as powder-coat, you add more thickness, and this should be factored into your design at the beginning.

  • Precision

The accuracy of the machinery that processes raw materials contributes to what is practical in terms of precision in sheet metal. Manufacturing tolerances are limited by the physics of rolling hot metal to create sheet stock. Tolerances for precision work such as laser cutting, machining and forming will have little room for error. More precision requires greater consistency in the tooling setup for blanking and bending of the sheet metal parts. It is important to use a correct guideline with regard to tolerances to ensure the correct precision is determined.

Rider Tool and Manufacturing Co. for Your Custom Metal Fabrication

We started out in the steel industry, so it should come as no surprise to learn that our expertise and experience enable us to fabricate alloy steel, carbon steel and even aluminum structures based on our clients’ specifications. Furthermore, while we are not interested in providing our services as a metal fabricator when it comes to brass and bronze, we are more than capable of machining said materials into the desired size and shape so as to make the metal fabrication process that much simpler for interested individuals.

For more information on tolerance for custom metal fabrication, contact us today.

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steel fabrication

Steel Fabrication and Steel Products: Why Buy American Made?

Steel is the way to go if you’re looking for products that will provide strength and resilience in the long term. Whether it is tanks, silos, duct work, water pipes or any other steel products you require, you’re probably looking for the best source of steel products. While steel fabrication is performed by numerous companies around the world, there are many benefits to choosing a local fabricator.  Here are some of the advantages of buying from a domestic manufacturer:

It’s Cheaper

Buying from a locally based manufacturer means lower shipping costs. Shipping from a manufacturer in another country can be very costly. You will also not be subject to customs duties and other taxes charged on products that are imported.

You’re Creating Employment

Many steel contract manufacturing companies have closed down over the years as a result of losing business to international companies. This has put many mechanical engineering professionals, machinists, and welders out of work. Other related industries such as truckers and tool making have also suffered the consequences of this closure.

Buying local products is good for the economy. You will be putting Americans back to work and creating job opportunities.

It’s Easier Logistically

You can avoid many logistic challenges by sticking to a local supplier. You won’t have to worry about finding an overseas warehouse or paying demurrage. You can also get your products delivered much sooner.

Buy Local

Rider Tool and Manufacturing Co. is a local machinist with over 45 years of experience in the industry. We’re the best source for quality steel products. For more information contact us today.

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large diameter pipes

Corrosion In Large Diameter Pipes – What You Need To Know

One of the most prominent problems relating to large diameter pipes? Corrosion! Not only does corrosion limit the functionality of these types of pipes, but it can also result in safety concerns, especially if left unchecked for long periods of time. Here is everything that you need to know about metal fabrication, large diameter pipes and corrosion, as well as how to prevent it and ensure improved longevity going forward.

 

  • What Are Large Diameter Pipes Used For? 

 

Large diameter pipes have many different uses and can be found in a variety of different industries. Water treatment plants are the most common places in which you’ll find large diameter pipes, although they are also regularly seen in the energy industry and other utilities. Generally, this type of piping is expensive to purchase and install, so any problems that present themselves can lead to massive financial hardship. This is particularly true when it comes to corrosion as it is usually impossible to repair, leaving experts with only the option of replacing the piping in its entirety.

 

  • Protecting Large Diameter Pipes

 

While corrosion is a big concern when it comes to metal fabrication and large diameter pipes, it can be effectively prevented with the help of experienced mechanical engineering teams. Metal fabrication specialists and contract manufacturing companies know all too well that the secret to protecting large diameter pipes from corrosion and rust lies in using the right treatments, coatings and alloys to prevent any reaction between water, oxygen and the pipe’s metal components. Luckily, the Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co. can assist with this.

For more information about custom metal fabrication and large diameter pipes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

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metal fabrication

What Is Intumescent Coating?

Intumescent coatings (also known as intumescent paint, fireproofing and fire stopping) is the next big fire safety technology in the world of custom metal fabrication. This coating gets applied directly to the metal in the steel fabrication process, and acts as an extremely effective insulator in the event of a fire.

While it is definitely a feat of mechanical engineering, what exactly is an intumescent coating, how does it work and why should it be used by contract manufacturing companies?

Intumescent Coating 

The intumescent coating is essentially a slew of chemicals held together in a binder. This slew gets applied to the outside of the workspace in the final stages of the custom metal fabrication process. These chemicals do not affect the strength of the workpiece in any way and lie dormant until a fire breaks out.

In the event of a fire, the heat will melt away the binder and expose the chemicals. These chemicals will react with the heat of the fire and expand to form thick, fireproof foam to protect the metal piece. Some intumescent products can expand to more than 100 times the original thickness. As the product expands it becomes much less dense, which makes it act as in insulator that keeps the high temperatures away from structural members or protected openings.

Rider Tool And Manufacturing Co.

With over 45 years of experience in custom metal fabrication, the Szakasci family is passionate about delivering the best quality products to Oshawa. Whether it is mechanical engineering, steel fabrication or the application of new technologies like intumescent coatings, the Szakasci Family is determined to be the industry leaders. For more information, contact us today.

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Metal fabrication

Quality Custom Metal Fabrication Is About Craftsmanship

When it comes to custom metal fabrication, most contract manufacturing companies are eager to tout their new and latest technology, which will give you a better, cheaper product. The advancement of technology has undoubtedly made custom metal fabrication a lot faster and more accurate, but this is only when the technology is properly applied and checked by the trained eye of a professional craftsman. Companies that hope to cut costs in their steel fabrication process by replacing experienced craftsmen with technology will find that their final produced work is sub-par.

 

The Role of Craftsmen in Metal Fabrication and Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering and metal fabrication go hand in hand. Mechanical engineering supplies the theory, simulation and mathematics to ensure that the final product fabricated by the custom metal fabrication process will be able to support the load intended for it.

While the physical fabrication process can be largely automated, it is up to the experience of the mechanical engineers and craftsman to ensure that the final product is of acceptable quality. The engineers will design the process and do the math to make sure the fabricated steel will be to spec, and the craftsman will check every produced item, streamline the system and ensure that the quality of the final product is up to standard. Without experienced craftsmen overseeing the process, there is a possibility for defects and errors to go unnoticed. Having a trained eye on a lot ensures that catastrophic failures do not happen later on.

 

Rider Tool and Manufacturing Co.

With over 45 years’ experience in custom metal fabrication and machining, Rider Tool And Manufacturing Co. has the advantage of having some of the most experienced craftsmen aided by cutting edge technology to ensure that your order is delivered to spec. For more information, contact us today.

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