The process of transforming sheet metal into products, is an energy intensive process which requires a wide range of machinery across the supply, fabrication and distribution process. However, there are energy and material efficiency systems that manufacturers can adopt to reduce the environmental impact of sheet metal fabrication.
At Black Lab Design, the large majority of our products require sheet metal fabrication. We work collaboratively with our clients to optimise designs to ensure products can be manufactured in the most environmentally conscious way. The importance of building a greener future and business can’t be overlooked. We are consistently learning new ways to reduce the environmental impact of sheet metal fabrication, among other operations we undertake.
Did you know that steel is 100% recyclable? Steel is typically made up of three alloys: nickel, iron, and chromium. All of these can be isolated and recycled or reused. In fact, today, stainless steel is made up of 25% reclaimed scrap; 35% industrial scrap and 40% new raw materials.
We avoid manufacturing ephemeral products, our products are designed for longevity and are mostly permanent fixtures. Steel’s strength doesn’t decrease over time; products can last for decades. Its durability is unrivalled by alternatives. As a business model we discourage consumption and avoid engaging in deals where the life cycle of a product is minimal.
Here are some ways to reduce the environmental impacts in sheet metal fabrication:
- Programming simulation – software places parts optimally on available sheets, nests them to maximise sheet utilisation, keeps track of remnants. Virtual simulation effectively reduces the cost and waste of extra material.
- Material optimisation – software can help sheet metal fabricators with better sheet metal utilisation to reduce scrap, increase productivity and improve facility performance.
- Common cutting (laser cutting) – by placing parts with straight sides together, a single cut would be for two parts. This process saves material and the cutting time.
- Utilising machinery – by choosing the right tool for the job, scrap can be kept to a minimum.
- Retain skilled workers – it’s your workers who set up, operate, and maintain the machinery that you use to meet your production goals. Keeping their skills up to date while motivating them to find ways to improve efficiency is a key part of eliminating waste.
- Resell and reuse materials – there are companies that will buy your waste off you. We pass on our unused material to Associated Scrap Metal
Associated Scrap Metals buys all nonferrous metals – that is all non-magnetic metals such as copper, brass, aluminium, lead and stainless steel. Along with ferrous metals – iron and steel – in their Brookvale, Sydney yard, at any quantity.
We are focused on reducing the environmental impact in sheet metal fabrication not only for the environmental benefits, but also for the business. When a fabrication facility optimises its use of sheet metal, costs go down because there is less waste and productivity goes up because jobs take less time.