Cutting-Edge Technology: Exploring Industrial Laser Cutters

In the world of metal fabrication, precision and efficiency are paramount. Whether you’re working with stainless steel, copper, or aluminium, the tools at your disposal must be up to the task. One tool that has risen to prominence for its precision and efficiency is the industrial laser cutter. Laser cutter machines offer significant advantages in the industrial sheet metal fabrication industry.

The Advantages of Laser Cutting

Laser cutters have earned their reputation as the leading technology in cutting systems for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, they are highly regarded for their energy efficiency, consuming less power, and requiring less maintenance compared to alternative cutting methods, resulting in a cost-effective choice. Their high-speed cutting capabilities contribute to exceptional productivity, enabling more work to be completed in less time. Particularly noteworthy is their ability to deliver optimal cutting results, especially when working with reflective metals like brass, copper, aluminium, or stainless steel, unmatched in precision.

Laser cutting also minimises the chance of material warping, preserving the integrity of your workpieces. It is a clean process that significantly reduces contamination and the need for extensive clean-up.

How does an Industrial Laser Cutter work?

Industrial laser cutters work by focusing high-intensity laser beams, often CO2 or fibre lasers, onto materials. The laser source emits a concentrated beam, which passes through focusing optics to ensure precision. A computer numerical control (CNC) system directs the laser’s path based on a loaded design or pattern. The laser rapidly heats, vaporises, or melts the material at the point of contact, resulting in clean and precise cuts. Assist gases, like nitrogen or oxygen, can be used to aid the cutting process, and an exhaust system removes by-products. Cooling systems dissipate the heat generated during operation, while operators monitor and adjust for quality control. The finished product boasts smooth edges with minimal post-processing. Industrial laser cutters find applications in diverse industries, delivering speed, precision, and versatility in manufacturing and design.

Let’s look at some of the commercially available industrial laser cutters available on the market currently:


Glorystar Laser Group, with over 20 years in the industry, is a global leader in laser equipment manufacturing, specialising in metal laser cutting and welding solutions. Their GS-CE Fibre Laser is a versatile metal cutting solution, known for precision, speed, and reliability. Additionally, Glorystar offers the GS-HG Tube Cutting Fibre Laser, designed for precise and efficient tube and profile cutting.

Durma HD-F Fibre Laser

The Durma HD-F Series IPG Fibre Lasers are renowned for their exceptional cutting speed, precision, and energy efficiency. They feature a rigid body structure ensuring stability and accuracy, a compact design maximising space and efficiency, and different motion system options for high precision. The convenient shuttle table and pallet change system facilitate effortless material loading and unloading, keeping production running smoothly. These fibre lasers are available in various power ranges from 0.5kW to 10kW, catering to a wide range of applications. For those with limited floor space, the Durma HD-FS Series IPG Fibre Lasers offer a compact design with the same precision and efficiency, making them suitable for tight spaces.

Why use an industrial laser cutter?

Industrial laser cutters are the epitome of precision and efficiency in the metal fabrication industry. Whether you’re in need of high-speed cutting, precision cuts, or a clean and efficient process, laser cutters have you covered.

From Durmazlar’s state-of-the-art fibre laser cutters to Glorystar’s versatile options, there’s a laser cutter for every application. The right choice depends on your specific needs, and with guidance from ACRA Machinery’s experienced team, you can make a well-informed decision.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery or a Laser Cutter?

Sheet metal professionals understand that using sheet metal machines safely and efficiently is crucial for workshops in Australia. That’s where ACRA Machinery comes in. With 42 years of industry experience, ACRA Machinery is a trusted partner for manufacturers in the sheet metal industry.  We are your local source for these state-of-the-art fibre laser cutters from Durmazlar and Glorystar. Our team provides high-quality machinery maintenance, repairs and expert advice, ensuring that you can make informed decisions for your business.

When you are in need of sheet metal machinery salesrepair, or maintenance, look no further than ACRA Machinery. Contact us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to get back to you.

What is Profile Bending – A Comprehensive Guide

Profile bending is a metal fabrication technique that plays a pivotal role in various industries, including modern construction. It allows for the transformation of flat metal profiles into curved or circular forms, enabling the creation of architectural marvels, structural components, and decorative elements.

Sheet metal profile bending machine with control panel


Understanding Profile Bending

At its core, profile bending is the process of shaping metal profiles or sections into curved or circular shapes using specialised machinery. It’s a versatile and precise method that can work with various materials, including steel, aluminium, and stainless steel. The process involves several key steps:

1. Material Preparation

Before profile bending can take place, the metal profiles need to be prepared. This includes cutting the profiles to the required length and width. The initial profiles can take the form of beams, channels, angles, or other shapes, depending on the desired outcome.

2. Bending Setup

The heart of the profile bending process lies in the bending machine. Typically, these machines consist of three rollers: two positioned below the workpiece and one above it. The angles and positions of these rollers are meticulously adjusted to achieve the desired bend radius and curvature.

3. Rolling

With the material securely placed in the bending machine, the rollers are set into motion. As the profile passes through the rollers, it undergoes gradual deformation, taking on the desired curved shape. The number of passes and adjustments made during the rolling process determines the final curvature achieved.

4. Quality Control

Throughout the bending process, the machine operators watch to ensure that the roll conforms to the specified dimensions and curvature tolerances. Any necessary adjustments are made to achieve the desired result.

Applications of Profile Bending in Modern Construction

One of the most notable applications of profile bending is in the realm of modern construction. Here, it plays a pivotal role in shaping architectural designs and structural elements.

Profile bending allows architects and builders to create archways and curved facades that add a touch of elegance and uniqueness to buildings with metal elements. In large-scale construction projects, profile bending is often used to shape structural beams and columns. These curved components provide both strength and visual appeal to the structure. Whether it’s a curved roof support or an arched entrance, profile bending ensures structural integrity while adding architectural flair.

Interior and exterior staircases are often designed with curved or spiral shapes to increase space efficiency and create visual interest. Profile bending may be used for crafting metal handrails, balustrades, and support structures needed for these intricate staircases.

Profile Bending Materials and Techniques

The materials used in profile bending are as diverse as the applications themselves. Depending on the project’s requirements, metals like steel, aluminium, and stainless steel can be employed. The choice of material often depends on factors such as strength, corrosion resistance, and cost.

Cold Bending vs. Hot Bending

Profile bending can be performed using either cold bending or hot bending techniques. Cold bending is the more common method, where the metal is bent at room temperature. Hot bending, on the other hand, involves heating the metal to a specific temperature before bending it. Hot bending is often used for larger sections or when tight radii are required.

Roll Forming vs. Press Braking

Roll forming and press braking are two primary techniques used in profile bending. The former involves passing the metal profile through a series of rollers that gradually shape it into the desired curve. Three-roll and four-roll bending machines are the most common types of equipment used in this process. Three-roll machines are well-suited for simpler bends, while four-roll machines offer greater control and are capable of handling more complex profiles. Press braking, on the other hand, uses hydraulic presses to bend the profile. The choice between these techniques depends on the complexity of the bend and the material being used.


Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery?

Sheet metal professionals understand that using sheet metal machines safely and efficiently is crucial for workshops in Australia. That’s where ACRA Machinery comes in. With 42 years of industry experience, we’re here to provide top-notch customer service and machinery maintenance and repairs for all your sheet metal machinery needs. Trust us to keep your machines running smoothly.

When you are in need of sheet metal machinery salesrepair, or maintenance, look no further than ACRA Machinery. Contact us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to get back to you.


Exploring Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques

Sheet metal fabrication is a dynamic and versatile process carried out by trained professionals, and as such, there is a lot to learn and know about it as a beginner. This industry is one that requires a precise balance of artistry and engineering skills that blend to allow the crafting and creation of metal products from architectural components to simple objects that we use every day. There are four main areas of fabrication, and we will discuss each of them in this article designed to help beginners familiarise themselves with sheet metal, and the various fabrication techniques. From cutting and forming techniques to joining and finishing techniques, these processes are integral to many industries. Keep reading to find out the ways that sheet metal can be transformed in order to use it for many different applications and functions. Then, you discover who to contact when you need professional sheet metal machinery.

sheet metal machinery fabrication

Cutting Techniques:

  • Shearing: This is a cutting technique that utilises shears to cut straight lines into sheet metal. It is best used to create basic shapes or outlines.
  • Laser Cutting: Laser Cutting involves using a high-powered laser to burn or melt the metal along a predetermined path. Because this method is highly precise and efficient, laser cutting can create intricate designs, and the bonus is that there is likely to be minimal waste.
  • Plasma Cutting: This cutting technique uses a high-velocity jet of ionised gas, also known as plasma, to cut through sheet metal by melting it. Plasma cutting is an efficient and quick method of cutting through thicker sheet metal in particular.
  • Waterjet Cutting: Waterjet Cutting involves using a high-pressure stream of water that is mixed with abrasive particles to cut through sheet metal. This technique is known for its precise ability to make intricate cuts.

Bending and Forming Techniques:

  • Press Brake Bending: A press brake is a versatile piece of machinery which uses a punch and die to bend sheet metal along a predetermined angle. This type of forming technique can create boxes, enclosures, and even complex shapes.
  • Roll Forming: roll forming involves passing a piece of sheet metal through a series of rollers. Gradually, this shapes the metal into the desired shape. This is often used to create long pieces of metal with cross sections such as is seen in metal roofing.
  • Stretch Forming: This technique applies tension to a piece of sheet metal so that it is stretched over a particular form or mould. This can be used to create curves in sheet metal, which is a complex task.
  • Hydroforming: This involves utilising hydraulic pressure to shape complex contours into metal using a fluid filled chamber.

Joining and Assembly Techniques

  • Welding: This is a very widely used technique to join pieces of sheet metal by fusing them together.
  • Riveting: Riveting is the technique of joining two pieces of sheet metal together by placing a rivet through holes that are pre-drilled. The rivet is then secured on both ends. This method is exceptionally durable and is also aesthetically pleasing.
  • Adhesive bonds: This uses specialised adhesives that are designed to join sheet metal pieces. These adhesives provide a clean and lightweight method of securing components together.

Finishing and Surface Treatment Techniques

  • Deburring and Grinding: Once sheet metal has been cut and formed, the sheet metal can be left sharp and uneven. That’s where deburring and grinding techniques come in – to clean and smooth the edges for both safety purposes and for a clean aesthetic.
  • Powder Coating: This is the process of changing the colour or texture of a finished sheet metal product. Powder coating involves the application of a dry powder to the metal surface. This is then baked, and the result is a durable and appealing coating.
  • Polishing and Brushing: When a smooth or reflective surface is the desired effect after cutting and forming then polishing and brushing techniques are used. They are often employed to create an aesthetic and smooth finish on pieces that are designed to be decorative.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery?

Sheet metal professionals know that the key to these fabrication processes is the safe and efficient operation of sheet metal machinery. Keeping your machinery running smoothly and effectively is critical to sheet metal workshops around Australia, and all workshops need an expert they can rely on. That’s where ACRA Machinery steps in. When you need sheet metal machines, we are here to provide you with the very best in customer service as well as machinery maintenance and repair. Backed by 42 years of continuous industry experience, we are ready to assist with all your sheet metal machinery needs.

When you are in need of sheet metal machinery sales, repair, or maintenance, look no further than ACRA Machinery. Contact us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to get back to you.

4 Sheet Metal Questions Answered: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

The sheet metal industry is a critically important one for many reasons, one of which is that it is an industry that supplies and sustains many other industries. When it comes to sheet metal and its related machinery, there is lots of specific terminology, along with related tools and techniques. This makes it a complex industry to understand for those who may be starting their training in sheet metal machinery, or for those in related industries. That’s where our beginner’s guide to sheet metal comes in. Below you will find a comprehensive guide that answers the most important questions about sheet metal, from what it actually is, to some of the most important sheet metal safety guidelines. Make sure to keep reading to learn all about sheet metal, and then discover where to go if you need sheet metal machinery repair in Melbourne.

sheet metal machinery

What is Sheet Metal?

The term sheet metal refers to metal that has been formed into thin and flat pieces. These pieces usually range from 0.5mm in thickness to around 6mm, which makes these metals perfect for the fabrication processes they are needed for. While sheet metal is generally steel, it is also available in copper, aluminium, brass, as well as stainless steel, depending on the particular application. Sheet metal is critical for many metalworking processes, and can be precisely shaped or formed into a huge array of different products.

What are the Common Sheet Metal Tools?

There are a wide variety of different tools and machines which are used in the sheet metal industry.

  • Snips or Shears: Snips are cutting tools, (similar to scissors), that are used to cut straight lines, curves, or even circles in sheet metal. They are available in different varieties, such as straight-cut, left-cut, and right-cut.
  • Turret Punch or Press: The turret punch, (also known as a turret press), is a type of machine that is capable of manufacturing metal parts by punching shapes out of large pieces of sheet metal. Before developments in turret punch technology, turret punches were manually operated. However, thanks to technological breakthroughs, we now also have the CNC turret press. This piece of machinery allows for increased productivity, as well as a range of different functions including punching, embossing, nibbling, and piercing.
  • Hammers and Mallets: Hammers and mallets are essential tools for shaping sheet metal, as they are able to create smooth bends and curves in workpieces.

What are the Basic Sheet Metal Techniques?

There are a variety of sheet metal fabrication processes and techniques, and you can read about a selection of them below:

  • Cutting: When it comes to sheet metal, the cutting process separates a larger piece of sheet metal into smaller shapes. This can be done with snips or shears, or if more precise or intricate shapes are required, plasma or laser cutters can be used.
  • Forming: Forming is a unique process that shapes sheet metal into three-dimensional shapes. This outcome is achieved through forming techniques like rolling and hammering.
  • Bending: This process involves creating angles and bends in sheet metal, which creates desired shapes. To create consistent and precise bends, a press brake is generally required for accuracy and efficiency.
  • Joining: Joining techniques connect, (or join!), two or more pieces of metal together through the use of riveting or welding techniques. Other adhesives or fastening methods may also be employed.

What are the Essential Sheet Metal Safety Considerations?

When it comes to the sheet metal industry, there are certainly a number of hazards. Those who work in this industry are highly qualified and experienced individuals, who are trained in the safety risks of their job. Below are some of the safety measures that must be put in place in any sheet metal workshop.

  • Personal Protective Equipment: Wearing the appropriate PPE is essential when working with sheet metal in any capacity. This includes safety goggles, hearing protection, gloves, safety shoes, and a dust mask.
  • Ventilation: Adequate ventilation must be ensured during sheet metal processes such as welding and cutting, as these techniques can create harmful fumes and gases.
  • Secure Workpieces: When working with sheet metal, it is essential to ensure that the workpiece is properly clamped during shaping, cutting, or other processes. When this is ensured, it prevents the piece from moving, and this helps to reduce the risk of an accident.
  • Tool and Machinery Maintenance: Regular inspection, maintenance, and repair of all sheet metal tools and machinery is absolutely essential for safety. When it comes to keeping everybody safe around sheet metal, maintaining machinery is one of the most important things you can do.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery Repair?

When you are in need of sheet metal machinery repair, you don’t have to look any further than ACRA Machinery. As experts in the sheet metal industry, we are able to provide you with the very best expertise in machinery repair and maintenance, alongside terrific customer service. Backed by 42 continuous years of industry experience, we are here and ready to help with all your sheet metal machinery needs.

Whether you need of sheet metal machinery sales, repair, or maintenance, we are ready to assist. Contact us at 03 9794 6675 or fill out our online contact form, and we will happily get back to you.

Sheet Metal Machinery Maintenance: 6 Tips for Promoting Longevity

When it comes to sheet metal workshops, it is true that a workshop is dependent on the quality of its machinery. Along with the calibre and training of your employees, the performance of machinery is one of the most important factors that contributes to the overall success of your workshop. It is also important to note that regular machinery maintenance is critical for safety in any workplace that deals with sheet metal. To ensure that each piece of sheet metal machinery has longevity, it is important to have a particular focus on maintenance and repair. Keep reading to find out our tips for maintenance and then discover where to go when you need professional machinery maintenance and repair in Melbourne.sheet metal machinery

Keep Machinery Clean

An essential component of machinery maintenance is keeping machinery clean at all times. If machines get a build-up of rust, debris, dust, or metal shavings, this affects the proper performance of your machines, which in turn can affect the performance of your workshop. When thinking about cleaning machinery, it is essential that you consider all the necessary safety precautions that must be adhered to before cleaning can occur. When these have been taken into account, you can utilise appropriate methods for cleaning these machines, such as the use of compressed air, vacuuming, and soft brushes.

Create a Maintenance Schedule

Implementing a thorough maintenance schedule is an important part of ensuring the longevity of your machinery. It is critical that you adhere to the manufacturers guidelines for maintenance, as this will tell you the intervals at which to schedule maintenance. Create a calendar that will indicate when to conduct routine maintenance, inspections, and cleaning procedures. Having a schedule for these important tasks creates a solid foundation and sets the right tone for the workshop when it comes to proper maintenance.

Document All Maintenance Activities

This is another important component of maintenance for longevity – it is essential to keep proper records of all maintenance activities. This detailed documentation is essential for keeping and recording the history of your sheet metal machines. It is critical to record maintenance tasks that have been carried out, inspections, parts that have been repaired, and cleanings, along with any concerns and observations about the machinery. This is important documentation to have when it comes to getting assistance from manufacturers, as well as maintenance and repair experts.

Training and Involving Machinery Operators

When employees such as machinery operators are involved in the tasks related to machinery maintenance, they can create help promote machinery longevity. The whole workshop team should be involved in machinery maintenance efforts, and that’s why it is necessary that every member of your team has the relevant training. When you make an investment in training, this means that you can rest assured that all operators have the knowledge they need to report any issues with machinery immediately, so that they may be addressed. Properly trained employees should be able to identify machinery performance issues, as well as any unusual vibrations or noises. This, in turn, should help to keep the machinery running smoothly and prolong operation time without major breakdown issues.

Make Sure to Replace Parts When Necessary

It is normal for machinery to experience wear and tear. Parts that may need replacing over time include components such as dies, blades, punches, and filters. It is critical that these parts are replaced promptly when they need to be to ensure the optimum performance and efficiency of the machine. It is also important to keep a record of all replaced components in the documentation mentioned above. This will ensure that you are keeping an accurate history of the machine that can assist maintenance or repair professionals in the future.

Partner With Experts

When it comes to machinery maintenance, there is no better measure for longevity that you can take than engaging maintenance experts. It is important for proper machinery maintenance that you get in touch with qualified professionals that have the expertise and training to carry out the maintenance tasks safely and efficiently. Maintenance experts will be able to take care of complicated repairs, as well as carry out diagnostic tasks too. When you have a good professional relationship with experts in the field of machinery maintenance, you can rest assured that your machinery will always be well taken care of.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery Maintenance?

Look no further than ACRA Machinery. We are experts in sheet metal machinery maintenance and repair, and pride ourselves on offering you professional expertise alongside exceptional customer service. Backed by 42 years of continuous experience in the sheet metal industry, we know how essential maintenance is to promoting safety and longevity in your machinery. As sheet metal industry experts, whether you need machinery repair, maintenance, or machinery sales, we are here to help.

When you need help with sheet metal machines, call us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will happily assist you.

6 Ways For Sheet Metal Fabricators to Save on Costs

There are many industries that need to consider cost-saving measures, and the sheet metal fabrication industry is no exception. It’s a difficult economy at the moment, so identifying ways to save on costs in the workshop is essential for many industries and businesses right now. At the same time, maintaining quality is essential for any business, even while finding ways to save money. That’s why we have put together this article with tips that sheet metal fabricators can utilise to implement cost-saving measures, while preserving high-quality output as well as safety in the workshop. From reducing scrap metal waste, to sheet metal machinery repair, keep reading to find out what you can implement into your workshop to help to reduce costs.

sheet metal machinery

Efficient Management of Materials

One of the major expenses for sheet metal fabricators is raw material – the sheet metal itself. By implementing effective material management processes, you can potentially impact cost savings. One of the first steps is to evaluate your current inventory management system, and in doing so, you can attempt to minimise material wastage, and hopefully reduce excess stock. Also take into consideration forecasting and strategic ordering when it comes to material management.

In addition, programs such as nesting software allow you to optimise your usage of material. Nesting is the process of laying out patterns which are to be cut, in order to minimise material wastage. This means that your workshop can potentially save on costs through the efficient use of resources and reduction of sheet metal waste.

Streamline Production Processes

Ensuring that your workshop processes are streamlined is essential to saving on costs. When you review these processes, look out for inefficiencies that could be causing delays or wasting resources. These factors could be costing you money but flying under the radar.

In addition, you can also look for areas that may require automation in your workshop. This can save on labour, improve accuracy, and even improve efficiency and productivity.

Another way to streamline processes is by cross-training employees to perform multiple tasks across the workshop. This provides greater flexibility due to more of your employees having specialised skills that can be applied across the business. In turn, this can reduce downtime, and improve the overall efficiency of the workshop.

Implement Lean Manufacturing Principles

By adopting lean manufacturing principles, you can have a significant impact on cost reduction in the workshop. Consider the 5S methodology, which focuses on sorting, setting in order, systematic cleaning, standardising, and sustaining. This methodology can help to improve organisation and reduce wasted time searching for tools or materials.

Another option to further enhance productivity and reduce errors is the implementation of visual management techniques. These can include colour-coding storage systems, and clearly labelled workstations.

Energy Efficiency and Waste Management

The sheet metal workshop can often consume significant amounts of energy. When you reassess the energy efficiency of your business as a whole, you may find potential savings on energy costs. Conducting an energy audit will help you to identify places where your energy consumption could be reduced. Examples of areas of possible improvement can include: switching to more energy efficient machinery and equipment, optimising machinery usage, and even improving insulation in the workshop.

In addition, when you have efficient waste management practices, this can help to reduce the costs that are associated with the disposal of waste. For instance, recycling programs for scrap sheet metal could generate additional revenue. The same may even be true for packaging materials and paper.

Continuous Improvement and Training

When you promote and invest in continuous training for your employees, you help to foster a culture of quality and excellence in your workshop. This both ensures that your employees have all the skills and training they need to do their work safely and efficiently, but continual training also means that they can work most efficiently.

This workplace culture can lead to higher-quality work and greater productivity from employees who feel that you value their skills and efforts.

Machinery Maintenance and Repair

A further way to save on costs in the sheet metal fabrication workshop is to ensure that all machinery is maintained on a regular schedule, and repaired or replaced when necessary. This not only helps to ensure safety in the sheet metal workshop, but also ensures that your machinery is working efficiently – which is an important way to keep costs down. It is critical that all machinery is maintained and repaired regularly by professionals who are trained to do so.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery Repair?

Look no further than ACRA Machinery. We are experts in the sheet metal industry, and know how important maintenance and repair of machinery is for the smooth and safe operation of a workshop. We are proud to offer you the very best in machinery repair and maintenance, alongside excellent customer service. Backed by 42 years of continuous industry experience, we can help with all your sheet metal machinery needs.

When you’re in need of sheet metal machinery repair, maintenance, or sales, we are here to help. Call us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form, and we will happily assist you.

5 Ways to Ensure Your Sheet Metal Workshop is Safe

Workplaces of all different kinds pose safety risks, but when it comes to sheet metal and metalworking, these safety risks are large, and very serious. That’s why safety should be the number one consideration in sheet metal workshops. Many of these safety hazards are unique, or particular to the sheet metal industry, so that’s why we have put together this list of important safety considerations for sheet metal workshops. From safe handling and PPE to machinery repair and maintenance, keep reading for more tips on workshop safety. It is critical to continually update your knowledge and understanding of safety in the workshop in order to keep every valuable member of your team safe and healthy at all times.

Sheet metal machinery repair

Appropriate PPE

Personal protective equipment is a critical component of safety in any workshop, indeed, in any workplace. There are many different types of PPE for the sheet metal workshop, and the kinds that need to be supplied can differ depending on the particular application or process being carried out. However, gloves, safety glasses or another form of eye protection, full length pants and long-sleeved shirts, steel-toed boots, a respirator mask, and head protection in the form of a hard hat are a minimum safety requirement.

As mentioned, there are other types of PPE that may be required for different processes – for example, a full face-shield for welding, or grinding. If you are an employer, then you are responsible for the provision of all PPE that is required for your employees to carry out their job safely. You are also required to ensure that all employees are compliant with wearing the PPE appropriately and at all necessary times.

Maintain Order and Cleanliness

Another critical safety measure for any sheet metal workshop is keeping a clean and orderly work environment. A cluttered or disorganised work environment is an unsafe work environment for everyone involved. Spills, or discarded material on the floor such as offcuts can cause falls which can result in injury. It is essential that employers, as well as employees are responsible for maintaining a clean and tidy workplace, to help to ensure the safety of everyone in the workshop.

Safe Handling of Sheet Metal

Safe handling of sheet metal does include using and wearing personal protective equipment like gloves when handling sheet metal. It also refers to utilising safe lifting and moving techniques in order to prevent different types of neck and back injuries. Working with sheet metal often requires utilising heavy parts, which means that all workers need to be informed of and trained in proper lifting and moving techniques.

Manual handling tasks include pushing, pulling, lifting, or moving. It is the responsibility of employers to not only identify potential manual handling hazards, but also take action to eliminate these risks. According to Safe Work Australia, a way to do this involves ‘good work design’. This means finding a way to accomplish the particular task without the need for hazardous manual handling – for example, through the use of automation.

When manual tasks are carried out in a safer way, this can help to prevent the incidence of health conditions or injuries known as musculoskeletal disorders, or MSD. Safe Work Australia notes that these injuries can occur in one of two ways:

  • ‘Suddenly, through strenuous activity or unexpected movements’ or
  • ‘Slowly, through gradual wear and tear from repetitive or continuous movements’.

Musculoskeletal disorders include, but are not limited to: muscle sprains and strains, back injuries, nerve injuries, and chronic pain.

Your Workshop is Compliant with OHS Regulations

It is important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list, and that your workplace has obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2017. It is essential that as an employer, you are aware of your responsibilities and obligations under the OHS Act 2017, and that you communicate these to your staff, which includes providing proper training for all employees.

Proper Machinery Repair and Maintenance

One of the most important things that you can do to ensure safety in a sheet metal workshop is to keep on top of regular machinery maintenance and repair. It is critical for safety that all machinery is maintained regularly by trained professionals, including servicing, inspections, and prompt repair or replacement, when appropriate. When you maintain your machinery, you help to ensure that the equipment that your employees use not only operates efficiently and correctly, but safely, too.

Do You Need Machinery Maintenance or Repair?

Look no further than ACRA Machinery. We are proud to bring you and your workshop the best in machinery repair, alongside machinery maintenance and sales too. Backed by 42 years of continuous experience, we are experts in the sheet metal industry and in providing exceptional customer service to all our customers.

Whether you need machinery maintenance, sales, or repair, ACRA Machinery is here to help. Call us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to get back to you.

Sheet Metal and the Rise of AI: 5 Questions Answered

Have you heard talk of AI in the news, or on social media lately? Artificial intelligence is certainly a term that is cropping up in articles and posts with more frequency these days, as the technology continues to develop, sometimes at a seemingly rapid pace. Maybe you’ve even heard about ChatGPT, the AI chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in late 2022. ChatGPT is capable of writing essays, creating poems, and having a conversation, which has many people concerned about the future of artificial intelligence, and indeed, the future of many occupations. That’s why this month, we have decided to take a deep dive into AI technology, and what it could mean for sheet metal machinery and the wider industry. Keep reading to find out more, plus where to go for machinery repair experts.

sheet metal machinery robotics

What is the Definition of AI?

The acronym AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and refers to intelligence that is displayed by machines. Wikipedia defines this artificial intelligence as the process of ‘perceiving, synthesising and inferring information’. To be considered AI, the type of intelligence must be displayed by a machine, in contrast with that displayed by humans or animals.

What is the AI Effect?

The AI effect is a phenomenon that occurs when artificial intelligence tasks or capabilities become so mainstream that they cease to be considered AI at all. This means that the technology or the intelligence from the artificial machine becomes routine or a part of everyday use. For example, things such as online targeted advertisements on search engines, and automated recommendations on Youtube or Netflix are applications of artificial intelligence that we take for granted each day.

What is AI capable of?

This is a question with many broad and varied answers because, well, the capabilities of artificial intelligence are so broad and varied. There are several broad categories of capabilities of AI, which are also known as goals, or sub-problems. These include reasoning and problem-solving, perception, and social intelligence, among others. We will be focusing on just two of these categories.

Reasoning and Problem-Solving: This is a capability of artificial intelligence that revolves around the algorithms that imitate the reasoning and problem-solving processes of humans.

Knowledge Representation: This is a capability of artificial intelligence that allows AI programs to make deductions, and answer questions intelligently. This is an exceptionally complex concept and involves ontologies, which are the ‘set of objects relations, concepts, and properties’ which have been described so that software programs (AI) are able to interpret them. This is basically the knowledge base that AI programs access in order to answer questions or make deductions.

Where Does Sheet Metal Come In?

Sheet metal fabrication falls under the umbrella of the manufacturing industry, which is one of the areas of increasing interest and possibility in terms of artificial intelligence. It can even be said that AI technology and manufacturing naturally go hand in hand, due to the way that machinery and humans work together closely and collaborate in manufacturing environments as a matter of course.

How Can AI be Used in Sheet Metal Fabrication?

The possibilities for and applications of artificial intelligence in the sheet metal industry are many. There are several general categories that are used to describe the ways that AI can impact and be incorporated into sheet metal fabrication. Two of these categories are explained below.

Robotics: When you hear or read the word robot, no doubt many different things come to mind. But in this context, robotics refers to artificially intelligent industrial or manufacturing robots, which are capable of completing operations in fabrication settings. You may have also heard the term cobot, which refers to a collaborative robot. Cobots are capable of carrying out tasks, such as welding, and they are designed to work in collaboration, and in close proximity with humans. Thus, cobots contribute to the fabrication or manufacturing process, while humans are still involved.

Logistics and Supply Chain: Artificial intelligence can also be used for the logistics side of the sheet metal industry, as well as for managing supply chains. AI programs can assist with logistics by analysing critical data, and automating logistics processes. The result of this is often greater efficiency in tracking and predicting demand, for example. Further, artificial intelligence is capable of managing supply chains, including capacity forecasting and stocktaking. When these processes are automated thanks to AI, this can lead to greater efficiency, and allow human workers to focus their time on other critical aspects of their job.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery?

Look no further than ACRA Machinery. We are experts in sheet metal machinery, and in the sheet metal industry. Backed by 42 years of continuous experience, we are proud to offer you professional expertise and expert machinery repair, alongside fantastic customer service.

So, whether you need machinery maintenance, repair, or sales, we are here to help. Call us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to get back to you.


Sheet Metal Glossary: 10 More Terms You Should Know

The sheet metal industry is a vital one, that not only contributes to the economy but sustains and contributes to countless other industries. Sheet metal manufacturing itself is a complex trade carried out by trained and knowledgeable professionals. There are a great many terms surrounding this industry, and these terms can be complicated and multifaceted. This is why we have decided to further expand our sheet metal glossary. The following terms are all connected to the sheet metal industry as well as the manufacturing processes that relate to it. Read on to discover something new about sheet metal or brush up on your existing knowledge and learn where to go for sheet metal machinery repair.

sheet metal machinery

#1: Sheet Metal Manufacturing

Let’s start with a broad definition of what sheet metal manufacturing, or fabrication, actually is. The term is used to refer to the process of creating metal structures from raw material – sheet metal. There are three general categories of processes: cutting, bending, and assembling.

#2: Sheet Metal

This is metal that is formed into flat and thin pieces, which are then able to be changed, through cutting, bending, and assembly, into differing shapes.

#3: Notching

Notching is a process that is used on sheet metal and falls under the category of cutting. It is done through the use of a punch press which selectively cuts away the excess or unwanted metal. There are different types of notching, including tube notching, end notching, and side notching. Tube notching is generally carried out in order prior to joining tubes in a tee joint, or another similar joint. One, or both of the tubes may be notched before assembly is performed through the use of a weld. End notching performs this process on the end of a tube, and side notching does so to the side of a tube, usually creating a vee-notch.

#4: Bending

Bending can be defined as the process of forming sheet metal into a desired shape. This fabrication process changes the geometric shape of piece of metal, without the need for cutting, for instance. It means that no material is taken away from the original workpiece, so the volume is not affected.

#5: Curling

Curling is a sheet metal fabricating process which essentially forms the edges of a workpiece into a hollow ring. A curling die is used to complete this operation, which is often carried out to get rid of any sharp edges in the metal piece.

#6: Rolling

This sheet metal process is also used to reduce the thickness of a workpiece or to achieve a uniform thickness. The workpiece is passed through a pair of rolls (though there can be more than one pair) to essentially flatten it evenly. There are three categories of rolling processes: hot rolling, cold rolling, and warm rolling. The general process of rolling sheet metal is similar to what happens when you roll out dough when baking bread, or cookies.

#7: Ironing

Another sheet metal manufacturing process is characterised by achieving a uniform thickness on a particular workpiece. Just as with the bending process, the workpiece retains its volume, as when the metal is thinned, it actually lengthens.

#8: Deep Drawing

Deep drawing is a sheet metal process that is often used in combination with ironing processes, as both ironing and deep drawing are frequently used in the manufacturing of structures that are cup or box-like. These products often include items like pots and pans and aluminium cans. Performed with a punch and die, the process involves a sheet metal blank that is drawn into a die by the mechanical action of a punch.

#9: Perforating

The process of perforating sheet metal is a type of cutting process which punches holes into a flat workpiece. The holes are small and punched close together in formation and the perforated metal is then used for a variety of applications in both industrial and commercial settings.

#10: Shearing

Shearing is an operation which cuts a workpiece in a straight line. This is achieved by placing the sheet metal piece between two dies and punching it at the other end, which produces the cut.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery Repair?

Here at ACRA Machinery, we are experts in the sheet metal industry, and we are aware of the critical importance of machinery repair and maintenance. These elements play a very important role in supporting and ensuring the safe operation of businesses in the sheet metal industry. Whether it’s your bandsaw, plasma cutter, or another machine that needs repair or maintenance, look no further than ACRA Machinery. Backed by 42 continuous years of experience, we are proud to offer you brilliant customer service, alongside professional expertise.

So, if you’re in need of sheet metal machinery repair, maintenance, or sales, we are here to help. Call us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to assist you.