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CNC Machine Fabrication for Businesses | Metal Supply

How A CNC Machine Can Help You And Your Business

Whether you have a business that deals directly with metal or you have a business that relies on metal structures to function, CNC machines and the parts they create are a tremendous advantage. By allowing you to precisely fabricate the materials you need, a CNC machine is what lets you push the design envelope, uninhibited by the limitations of slower and less consistent processes. If your business is looking for a CNC machine in Los Angeles, contact us today to see how our state-of-the-art equipment can transform your business and help drive innovation.

What Is A Modern CNC Machine Process?

Modern CNC machines are high-tech tools that let industry, technology, and, in some cases, art meet in the middle. Typically, a design is drawn in CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. This allows the designer to create a digital 3D representation of the structure or material. This design is then encoded, usually using G-Code, an industry standard language, into instructions the CNC machine can understand. The machine uses these instructions to create the finished product, perfectly matching the designer’s parameters.

Modern CNC machines can operate on multiple axis lines. There are CNC machines that use familiar, mechanical tools such as saw blades, drill bits, and cutting heads, but some now fabricate using lasers, plasma cutters, and other more modern production methods. This ability to keep up with modern technology allows CNC machining to evolve with the times and grow with the needs of their customers.

What Benefits Can A CNC Machine Provide Me?

  • Cost-effective Prototyping - Especially in a competitive market like Los Angeles, a CNC machine can help you control your development costs. By giving you precise, easily produced and replicated prototypes at a reasonable price, you are able to evaluate your design without the financial risk of commissioning an individual, traditionally created fabrication through manual processes. Best of all, the same instructions that made a successful prototype can be reused.
  • Small Batch Production - Not every part or material needs thousands of copies. CNC machines are perfect for those who need small, manageable production runs. While not completely autonomous, CNC machines can tirelessly fabricate without the need for rest human craftspeople need. This allows for an efficient 24/7 operation.
  • Decorative Trim And Fixtures - The precision of CNC machines allows for finer detailing of materials. CNC machines have the ability to cut, drill, bevel, mill, or finish items based on the designer’s vision. This gives you a wide range of options in developing decorative metal accents or making functional metal pieces look as well as they work.
  • Custom Fabrication - CNC machines allow for the custom creation of metal components, making one-off production a more affordable prospect when compared to more traditional, manual production techniques.
  • Easy To Assemble Structures - One of the largest CNC machine applications is the creation of stable, easy to assemble structural supports for construction products. Beams can be cut, formed, and drilled on a CNC machine for easy and quick assembly on site. This not only allows for faster erection of structures but helps eliminate dangerous errors in manufacture.
a cnc plasma cutter cutting a huge stainless steel pipe

What Is It That Makes A Perfect CNC Machine Partner?

Not every business has the need or the capital to purchase their own CNC machine. Sometimes, the better choice is to find a local company that can offer you the CNC machine services you need to excel. Here’s what to look for in your metal fabricating partner:

  • An Authority - A CNC is a specialized system that melds technology and manufacturing into one device. Make sure the contractor you choose has the experience to do the job right. For 55 years we have fabricated metal materials to our customers’ specifications, and we look forward to many more.
  • Where You Need Them - Many of the financial benefits of CNC machine fabrication can be lost in high shipping fees. We are the Los Angeles CNC machine solution, proudly serving the greater LA area.
  • Fast Turn Around - You would rather not pay a crew to stand around and wait for materials to arrive. Your CNC machine contractor should have the ability to set and meet deadlines for your projects. We pride ourselves on keeping our word and may be able to offer next-day fabrication for your project’s needs.
  • The Right Price -  You need the right material delivered to your specifications, but you also need it at a price that fits your budget. We offer competitive prices backed by world-class customer service.

Metal Supply Incorporated Is Your Los Angeles CNC Machine Expert

We have the knowledge and experience to help your business harness the full potential of CNC machining. We help our customers grow their business by offering competitively priced, professional CNC machine services for projects of every size. Are you ready to see what CNC fabrication can do for you? Choose a metal supply company that has the materials and know-how you need. Contact Metal Supply Incorporated today.

The steel and metallurgical industry is changing

The world is changing and that too at a very fast pace. The rate of change is also increasing. This means that the scientific and technological advancements happened in last 5 to 10 years are more than those happened in last 100 years or so. The steel and metallurgical industry is not an exception to it.

Today, a lot of basic metallurgical research is being carried out. New alloys are being developed for specific applications under specific conditions. The changes in the perception of a customer industry like automobile forced steel industry to develop new light weight steels, micro alloyed steels etc that are today extensively produced and used. Metallurgists are trying to develop specific steels which can be used for building human colonies on the moon in future. Moon is supposed to have a vast mineral resources and the research has already started on how to tap these minerals for the betterment of human race.

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All this is happening in the western world and unfortunately almost nothing of this kind is happening in India. If we look back in the history, India has a great metallurgical heritage. The process of separation of metals like gold, silver, copper from their minerals was known to Indian much earlier that the rest of the world. The iron piller in Delhi, which has not rusted for so many centuries, is a glaring example of Indian metallurgical expertise but unfortunately today, we have lost that edge. Except handful ones, no Indian steel companies have a ‘Research & Development’ department. There are heaps of iron ore fines lying outside various mines but we are not able to use or dispose them off. We are looking for Chinese or European technologies but are not able to develop one ourselves!

History tells us that those societies which invest in scientific research today will rule the world tomorrow. India had that edge in pre historic times but today they are surely one of the under developed countries as far as metallurgical research is concerned. With such approach, we do not need an astrologer to tell our future, do we?

Specials steels sector has come a long way in last decade or so

Indeed, specials steels sector has come a long way in last decade or so. It has developed not only in terms of volume but also in terms of new grades and specifications, technologies and processes and more importantly, new applications.

If one recalls the situation about two decades ago, there were very few special steels producers, commonly known as ‘mini steel plants’ which adopted scrap based steel melting and refining process. In most of the cases, electric arc furnace was employed. The applications of such steels were also limited to few end user industries like auto, springs, fasteners, gears etc. It was basically a seller’s market till de-control of steel happened in early nineties. Along with many private sector integrated steel plants, the population of special steels producers also increased substantially. The availability of sponge iron changed the input mix and also helped to make cleaner steel as sponge iron naturally contains lesser tramp elements. Along with EAF route, blast furnace route was also used to produce special steels and allowed the producers to cater to higher volume demands from the users. All this gradually started changing the face and the profile of this metallurgical knowledge demanding industry.

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When any society grows economically, it starts using more special steels. Thus the special steels sector in India started expanding post liberalization along with the economic growth of the country. Also as we all know, most of the inventions are done due to the pressure put by the customer industry. Indian special steels producers got such a trigger from the fast moving auto industry. If you see, the auto industry, auto models have gone through a sea change in last few years. A great emphasis is given to fuel efficiency, light weight, aerodynamic shape etc. In last few years special steels industry has lost sizable business to other materials such as aluminium, composites etc. and there is a standing danger of losing further. All this has more or less compelled special steels sector to develop new grades, enhance their competitiveness and cater to the ever increasing demands from the auto sector. Also special steels have found applications in other emerging industries such as power, defense, aerospace, nuclear etc. and thus the long term future of this industry looks bright.

Though all this is true, we all know that this industry vertical is today struggling for its survival and hoping for the revival of the economy in due course of time.

Iron & steel industry are sailing in the same boat

Economic slowdown is a global phenomenon and iron & steel industry are sailing in the same boat. As we all know, more than 50 % of steel is consumed by infrastructure projects and unfortunately this core sector is not moving ahead in many parts of the world. This naturally affects the steel demand and has a negative impact on capacity utilization. Many Greenfield and brownfield expansion projects are on hold which is badly affecting the bottom line of steel business houses. Even many running mills are operating much below the rated capacity which makes survival a difficult proposition. In India there are additional negative factors such as non-availability of vital inputs like iron ore and coal, problems in land acquisition, environmental issues etc. Needless to mention that Indian steel sector is going through one of its most lean periods. The demand seems to be stagnated and unless the government gives a major push to mega infrastructure projects, the industry future looks bleak. Many analysts argue that this can happen only if a stable government is formed at the centre in the forthcoming general elections. Of course these issues and factors are very well outside the purview of the industry but at the same time, have a great impact on it.

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Given the above situation, many steel business houses in India are looking for overseas opportunities in terms of markets or even strategic acquisitions to tap the growing markets. The conventional export destinations for Indian companies were US and EU but today these markets seem to be stagnated or saturated and new growing regions need to be identified. MENA (Middle East & North Africa) is one such region which is growing faster than most of the regions in the world. Yes, Middle East economies had become vulnerable along with the developed world meltdown in 2008 but in past 4 to 5 years, they are slowly coming back on track. The trigger in the Middle East is undoubtedly Saudi Arabia where the government is putting in huge investments for making none less than few industrial cities. One can only imagine the huge generation of steel demand due to such mega infrastructure projects. Further, most of the experts agree that North Africa is slowly waking up and today’s possibilities can be converted into opportunities if dealt properly.

In my opinion, the situation will ease out by the end of this year and the iron & steel industry will be again surging ahead! Let’s hope for the best but prepare for the worst!

The steel demand in most of the parts in the world

The steel demand in most of the parts in the world is sluggish for quite some time. Even the countries like China and India, which were not affected by the global meltdown, are now witnessing a weak steel market. The prime reason for this is that the user industries like infrastructure, automobile are not growing as per the expectations. In other words the production levels have rose substantially in view of the future rise in the consumption but it was not to be. Except MENA region, most of the world is facing either a slowdown or stagnation in steel consumption. Of course in India the problems do not end here. There are other issues like environment, land acquisition etc. which are very vital and have the potential to delay any project for an indefinite period. In fact if you see, not many green field steel projects have come up in India in last few years. There is a limit to which one can have brown field expansion but what will happen after that? How can Indian mills cater to the rising steel demand in the country? Will India be a long term net importer? Only time will answer all these questions!

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The recently concluded ‘Indo – Arab Steel Summit’ was in a way an eye opener for many. We all know that UAE is the biggest trade partner for India and even for steel, it is an important destination. The Middle East region being a net importer of steel, offers a tremendous potential for steel exports but mind well, it’s not a cake walk. There are other players like Turkey, CIS, China which are very active in this region for many years. Also there are certain certifications needed in order to sell in this market. Further, the market needs a seamless and a long term supplier, not an opportunistic one. Today, due to weak domestic market, many Indian mills want to export to Middle East but they will have to take a matured view and continue the supplies to this region even if the domestic market improves.

I am sure a multi product and multi dimensional Indo-Arab steel trade will flourish in coming years and will be beneficial to both the regions.

The Indian sponge iron industry

The Indian sponge iron industry has come a long way post Y2K. It is worthwhile to take a look at its interesting but corrugated journey in this period.

Conventionally, Indian steel making was dominated by blast furnace route and only few sponge iron plants existed. Essar, Ispat and Vikram Ispat were the gas based plants and Tata Sponge was coal based. Initially, there was a lot of apprehension about using sponge iron as an input in EAFs but eventually it was proved that it not only reduces the melting cost but also produces cleaner steel with reduced tramp elements. At the same time the availability and the price of coking coal started behaving erratically giving more reasons for new plants to adopt sponge iron route.

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In sponge iron too there was a difference in fortunes between gas based and coal based plants. Gas based plants used MIDREX or HYL technologies and were quite cleaner plants as compared with coal based ones. But here also gas availability was a big problem and this single factor restricted the growth of gas based sponge iron industry in the country. On the other hand, non-coking coal was abundantly available especially in the states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand etc. At this time, a suitable technology for producing sponge iron through rotary kiln using indigenous non-coking coal and high grade iron ore was developed which opened the floodgates for mini-sponge iron industry in the country. Hundreds of small units having kilns of the capacity ranging from 50 TPD(tonnes per day) to 350 TPD were commissioned in the states mentioned above. The hot flue gas was used to make either power or ferro alloys thus strengthening the bottomline of this ‘mini integrated steel complex’.

Today India is the highest producer of sponge iron, thanks to the rise of coal based sponge iron industry. The viability of this industry also depends on the availability of high grade iron ore and non-coking coal and thus its fortune also fluctuates depending on these parameters. Today the sector is struggling to find a way ahead on the backdrop of ‘Quality Order’ being implemented by the central govt banning the usage of construction steel having high S & P. One needs to add a refining vessel to the existing induction furnace but in today’s depressed industry condition, not many would be in a position to do that. As such the industry is poised at a crucial juncture and it will be interesting to watch how the things unfold in due course.