Rapid Sheet Metal adds coating, printing

Subcontract sheet metal working company, Rapid Sheet Metal, has added the latest protoype job powder coating and silkscreen finishing systems, to help clients reduce ‘time to market’.

Specialising in rapid turnaround of sheet metal prototypes, Rapid Sheet Metal has added on in-house powder coating and silk-screening lines, enabling the company to meet even tighter turnaround times for its customers "When it comes to rapid manufacturing, every day, every hour and every minute really counts," said James Jacobs, president of Rapid Sheet Metal.

"By bringing powder coating and silk-screening in-house, we can literally cut days off delivery lead times".

The standard lead time for each process is two days, but because the processes are in-house, even more compressed schedules are possible.

To illustrate this point, Jacobs described a recent urgent prototype order for critical parts which Rapid Sheet Metal filled in 24 hours.

He related: "The customer called us at 11 am on a Thursday morning with an incredibly ‘hot’ job.

We engineered, manufactured, powder-coated and shipped the parts the next day for Saturday delivery so that the customer could build beta machines over the weekend".

Jacobs reckoned that would never would have been possible before the company added its powder-coating facility.

When Rapid Sheet Metal decided to bring the sheet metal finishing process in-house in early 2007, it decided to use powder-coating instead of a wet-finishing process.

Powder coating was chosen for its consistency, versatility and its environmental friendliness.

Unlike a wet paint process, powder coating requires no solvents and any powder overspray is completely recyclable.

To ensure a state of the art facility, Rapid Sheet Metal hired a first-class coating specialist with over 30 years of experience in coating and silk-screening to design and oversee the construction and acquisition of the best available equipment.

After three months of limited production ramp-up, Rapid Sheet Metal fully added the capability to its rapid production process in January, 2008.

* Coatings held in stock – Rapid Sheet Metal carries over 30 coating powders in stock, including blacks, whites, grays, beiges and even safety orange.

It can handle parts up to six feet in length with the ability to mask hardware and geometry areas.

The company’s new 1440dpi printer allows the company to produce high resolution artwork and silk screens for any sized part.

They can also match ink to Pantone colour specifications, and produce multiple color screens.

* About Rapid Sheet Metal – Rapid Sheet Metal Incorporated focuses strictly on providing sheet metal prototypes and time sensitive short run fabrications to new product developers and engineers.

Typical quote response time is under 24h and most parts are shipped in one to two weeks.

A 48h fast expedite prototype sheet metal service is also available.

Parts such as brackets, racks, housings, and enclosures are fabricated to data from Solidworks, Pro/E, Inventor, KeyCreator/ Cadkey, SpaceClaim and other 3D CAD data sources from stainless steel, cold rolled steel and aluminum.

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