If You Need a Notcher, Flanger, Roll Form Machine or Bender — You Have Arrived!
If you were ever in need of any of the types of machines listed above, what kind of business would you be in? If I was to list a couple more of the kinds of equipment used in this type of work, you would have guessed it right off. How about a used sheet metal brake, a folding machine, press brake, sheet metal shear? You guessed right, we would be talking about a company in the sheet metal fabrication business.
Owing to the fact that there are almost as many variations of the term "sheet metal fabrication" as there are machines specific to their design, the list of different types of sheet metal fabrication machines is considerable, no doubt about it. If we are going to run with this concept, you would have to include, let's see — an automobile body panel is said to be made out of sheet metal, right? Okay, so you would have to include those gigantic body panel hydraulic presses, that when chained together using progressive dies can produce a finished body panel by the time the part comes out the other end. These integrated presses, mostly served by robots, where re-positioning or re-orienting of the panel is necessary, can be hundreds of feet in length. That would be one end of the spectrum of sheet metal benders; the complete opposite end of that spectrum is where we find a whole world of hand-operated sheet metal fabrication tools. (I've got a question, did the hand tool of a specific task — say like flanging — beget the machine of the same title or was it the other way around?)
What Is the History of Sheet Metal, When Did It all Start?
Should we pull a Ronald Reagan on ya right now? Remember when he would look up with a little twinkle in his eye and say, "I'm glad you asked me that question," and then proceed to explain like a comfortable old grandpa why we need to obliterate Communism, etc.? Well, we're going to run with that. Funny you asked, as there is quite a history behind and around sheet metal right from its inception.
As it was back in the early 1800s, if you made a considerable discovery or came up with an invention that was worthy of note, one had to be quite secretive about such a discovery right through the process of getting the thing patented. You see there were a lot of people in those days that had no problem stealing another’s idea or invention. The best example of this was later in that century when two household names battled over what kind of electrical power was America going to run on by the names of Westinghouse and Edison. Lots of skulduggery going on behind the scenes, but let’s get back to sheet metal.
The Inception of Sheet Metal Helped to Write the History of the Twentieth Century
The history of sheet metal pretty much follows the history of steel itself. For a couple hundred years man had been able to cobble together a mild steel mix referred to at first as "wrought iron." Since those early attempts to produce steel, man had not been able to mix enough at one time to make steel the go-to material that it is today. Then in steps a gent from central Pennsylvania by the name of Henry Bessemer. Old Henry took care of the problem of not being able to make enough steel at one time by inventing a blast furnace unlike anything of previous design. The Bessemer blast furnace would mix as much as 50 tons a batch of anything you wanted to make in it.
Once the word got around about the availability of steel, its use throughout our society began to skyrocket. As the amount of steel in use began to increase so did the metal fabrication equipment designed to work it. In the case of sheet metal availability, sheet metal was a bit late to the party as the mills experimented with different processes to produce steel that thin. Numerous attempts to create and consistently run the first rolling mill dated back as far as the early 1600s. Around about the 1850s a company brought a sheet of mild steel to the show that was some 6.3 meters in length and one meter wide. This sheet was 11 mm thick or roughly 7/16-inch thickness. Innovations began to come quick and in a hurry! There was, it seemed, an explosion of new equipment meant to work this new sheet metal product. Soon sheet metal was showing up on building roofs, side panels, metal boxes of all description. Sheet metal had finally arrived.
What Kind of Sheet Metal Machines Are There, and Who Has Them?
Let’s say you wanted to race motocross at the highest level and compete with the factory teams peg for peg and win the world championship. Wouldn’t you go to a specialist that concentrates on ultra-sophisticated souped up dirt bikes capable of winning a championship? Of course you would — ya gotta have the best hardware you can get your hands on.
Well, that is where a company like Jorgenson Machine Tools comes in real handy. With our knowledge of all things fabrication and extensive experience with fabrication machines, our ability to offer our customers either used machines (if that’s all their budget allows), or new machines (if our customers prefer) is second to none. Over the considerable number of years we've been in the fabrication machinery sales business, we have encountered just about everything imaginable when it comes to installation of new or used fabrication machines.
Additionally, we do not disappear or abandon our customers after the installation. We offer both stock parts and tooling as well as items from certain aftermarket suppliers of tooling with whom we have dealt with for decades. We will support your machine long after the newness begins to fade. Jorgenson has been in this business for a long time, and the way you can tell that we have been successful is by looking at the way we have treated our customers throughout all those years. Jorgenson Machine Tools is where they keep doing business — and we invite you to become a satisfied, long-term customer as well!
Jorgenson Machine Tools: “Strong on Service”