An Independence Day Reminder: Why American Manufacturing Matters

As we celebrate America’s Independence Day—and enjoy everything that comes from the historic event—let’s take a brief look back: Following the country’s independence, there fourth of July and Industrial revolutionwas a great success that came as a result. The Industrial Revolution occurred shortly after, and the U.S. was built on this revolution. The manufacturing industry was born out of it, and what followed was the rise of America to the forefront of the world in every sector.

Simply put, out of our freedom came our country’s entire success.

Now let’s look at American manufacturing today. As noted in this article, manufacturing “is essential to innovation, and tightly linked to our nation’s economic health and national security…[manufacturing’s] output came to $1.9 trillion in 2012, and by itself would have made the world’s tenth largest economy. The U.S. manufacturing sector was larger than the total economies of India, Canada, Mexico, or South Korea.”

And according to NAM:

• Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.4 million jobs in the United States—about one in six private-sector jobs.
• For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.32 is added to the economy, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.
• Manufacturers in the United States are the most productive in the world, far surpassing the worker productivity of any other major manufacturing economy, leading to higher wages and living standards.

The fact is, manufacturing today is as important to our country’s success and future as it was when it first began following the country’s independence and the Industrial Revolution. Innovation, employment, technology, the economy, and infinite other factors grow and improve from American manufacturing.

So this July 4th, as you enjoy barbeques and fireworks, remember the importance of buying American, and what making this decision means to the entire success and livelihood of the country; every decision to buy a Made in America product makes a major impact in myriad ways.

Back to Basics: All About Sheet Metal Fabrication

In the world of manufacturing, name any industry—automotives to appliances, electronics to energy—and that industry relies on sheet metal fabrication. It’s where it all begins and ends, and is responsible for an infinite amount of everyday products

Within the topic of sheet metal fabrication, there are plenty of subjects to delve into; in the past, we’ve discussed such things as the advantages of metal finishing and looked at specific metals of choice.

But sometimes it’s important to get back to basics. Here, we’d like to look at sheet metal fabrication, and what it’s all about.

The Process
Simply put, sheet metal fabrication begins with a piece of raw sheet metal, which is shaped into a desired part through forming/deforming or material removal. The thickness of the metal sheet varies based on the specific metal being used and can range greatly—for example, up to 3/16 in. for aluminum, or 14 gauge for stainless steel.

By cutting, burning, and stretching, using special metal fabrication tools (such as band saws), the sheet metal is formed into any desired shape. Various processes can be used to achieve the exact shapes and specifications of the part. Rolling machines, for instance, form steel into round sections, while cutting torches are used to cut large pieces of metal easily.

To simplify it even more, sheet metal fabrication can be broken down into two categories: cutting and forming. To use the examples above, rolling machines fall under the forming category and cutting torches fall under the cutting category. Further processes used in metal fabrication include shearing, punching, hot and cold sawing, tapping, bending, and more.

Welding, one of the most common of the processes, forms fabricated pieces into place while protecting them from defects, such as warping. Once the fabrication is complete, various finishing processes can be applied, including painting, powder coating, and plating.

The Materials and Specifications
A wide variety of metals can be used in sheet metal fabrication. At Red River Precision, we work with alloys, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, titanium, molybdenum, and more. Using our press brakes can accommodate parts up to 10 feet long, weighing up to 125 tons. Extremely tight tolerances can be achieved—up to ±.005 in.

The Advantages
There’s a reason sheet metal fabrication is so common and preferred; it is a cost-effective way to achieve any number of desired shapes and sizes, creating the exact part needed in a short amount of time. Whether it’s a small part of the semiconductor industry or a larger automotive part, sheet metal fabrication meets precise needs and creates parts that are strong and long lasting that meet exacting standards.

To learn more about our extensive fabrication services, visit our website and feel free to contact us anytime with questions.

Why Stainless Steel Is Right For You

Stainless steel is corrosion resistant steel that resists rust and remains intact against aggressive chemicals, liquids and gases that generally cause other materials to fray, disintegrate and fall apart completely. Most of these classified steels display a powerful strength against extreme environments and are able to manage escalated and extremely low temperature levels making it suitable for a wide array of uses. All stainless steels materials carry iron as the main element and include a chromium range percentage, which varies from 10% to 29%. The chromium used ensures the weathering resilient traits for the stainless steel. This composition differs from chromium-nickel stainless steel.

Stainless steel has a multitude of uses from cookware to US naval ships making it a very versatile metal found in virtually every industry. It is exceedingly durable and easy to work with rendering it a great solution for commercial and residential solutions. One of the most sought-after traits of stainless steel is the corrosion resistant property.

Stainless steel is also used to make heat exchanger tubes, which are used in different industries including chemical, nuclear and natural gas processing. They are designed for heat transfer processes and mostly applied in heating, cooling, condensation and evaporation of liquids, gases and steam. Heat exchanger tubes are always a cold finished product and they are known to be extremely resistant to aggressive mediums such as acid.

Another important industry where stainless steel is used is the Oil and Gas Industry, which understands the benefits to using duplex stainless steel pipes. These duplex stainless steel pipes are resistant to an extensive variety of corrosive mediums found in both offshore and onshore locations. Another advantage of using stainless steel is the elevated strength it has that holds up under high pressures confronted at great depths. They are also the first choice for the constructions of oil rigs (mainly due to its strength and corrosion resistant properties), which are always under relentless weather conditions.

After considering all the applications stainless steel is used in and the qualities it possessed it may be the right fit for your manufacturing needs. Keep these facts stored away for you next project.

Celebrating Our Industry: Manufacturing Day 2014

Consider these numbers and statistics related to American manufacturing*:

  • Manufacturing supports about 17.4 million jobs in the U.S.madeinusa
  • In 2013, manufacturing contributed $2.08 trillion to our economy
  • American manufacturers are the most productive in the world, surpassing the productivity of every other manufacturing economy
  • The average manufacturing worker earned $77,506 in 2013

Considering these remarkable facts, along with the knowledge that the industry is continuing to grow and is more innovative than ever, it seems that American manufacturing has a lot to celebrate. Likewise, it should be celebrated, and we can all do just that, on October 3, 2014.

This day, the third annual Manufacturing Day, is a celebration of the industry in our country, co-produced by the nation’s leading manufacturing associations, and occurring throughout the country. Thousands of events will take place and tens of thousands of people will participate—manufacturers, students, parents, teachers, and community leaders will come together. Manufacturers will have the opportunity to open their doors to the public and show what they make, what they do, who they employ, and how their work matters.

This is not only a great way to get the country involved in what we, as manufacturers, are all about, but it’s a wonderful chance to get young people excited. We can showcase manufacturing as the high-tech, fast-paced, invaluable industry it is. This can help get the next generation of Americans interested in rewarding careers, while also helping to address the skilled labor shortage.

As proud American manufacturers, we are excited to celebrate this great industry, and encourage everyone to take part in MFG DAY 2014.

* http://www.nam.org/Statistics-And-Data/Facts-About-Manufacturing/Landing.aspx