While there are plenty of approaches to cutting and shaping metal sheets, each different approach is generally used to arrive at a very specific objective.
CNC machines can be used for intricate details, plasma and laser cutting can be used for extreme accuracy and uniformity, and then of course, where sheet metal needs to be cut with the utmost accuracy and speed, there is always a need for fine finishes, uniformity and quick turnaround times. All of this can be done through guillotine sheet metal cutting.
While there is more than one way to cut steel, as it were, guillotining serves a very particular purpose in this regard.
But what exactly is it? How does guillotining work? What are the advantages of doing it? And how can you find a metal cutting company that you can trust to get it right?
Find out this and more, right here.
What is Guillotine Cutting?
Guillotine sheet metal cutting serves a very particular purpose. Much like the process of guillotining used in the printing industry to cut paper or card to a specific size and dimension with absolute accuracy, these machines can be used to shape metal sheets of various sizes, dimensions and scales.
Guillotines have become a staple for many different types of metalwork companies as an essential tool for meeting their clients’ needs and specifications.
Guillotining may be used as a single part of a metal-shaping process whereby it is prepared for the next step, or as a complete part of the process where sheets of metal need to be produced for any number of reasons.
By using a mechanised cutting machine that can guide the sheet with exact measurements and angles, these machines have come to fulfil one of the most important roles in metal shaping.
What are the Advantages of Guillotine Sheet Metal Cutting?
As a process for shaping metal, guillotine cutting provides a number of advantages when arriving at a clean, elegant finished product that meets the exact specifications of the client.
The advantages that can be cut from using guillotines to shape metal include much faster turnaround times than through other approaches, easy of operation, heightened accuracy, cost-saving as well as a much cleaner, more attractive finish on the workpiece.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits offered by guillotine sheet metal cutting:
Quicker Turnaround Times
One of the top advantages of metal cutting guillotines is that they can perform their tasks with incredible efficiency. Where sheets need to be cut to the exact same sizes, multiple sheets can be worked on at once by stacking them on top of each other.
This allows the workpieces to be completed in a much shorter time than through other methods of shaping and cutting; without sacrificing on the quality of the finished job.
These quicker turnaround times equate to more projects being completed in less time, which improves profit margins greatly, especially when there is a high demand for the finished product.
A Convenient & Simple Approach
Once the basics of operation are understood, using a metal cutting guillotine is actually quite simple to do. With an easy to navigate learning curve, just about anybody can operate one effectively with a little practice.
This shouldn’t take away from the added efficiency and effectiveness of those with plenty of experience when using a guillotine, however, whereby skill can be built through extensive use; such as is always the case when you use a metal profiling service to have it done.
One of the top advantages to guillotine sheet metal cutting is that work can be conducted with extreme accuracy. These machines feature exceptional guiding and measuring technology that can be adjusted and applied to each job being worked on.
This ensures that each and every cut, and all angles, no matter how obtuse, can be simply and precisely done using these machines; particularly when being operated by an experienced and skilled workman.
Minimise Wastage & Save Costs
There is a further benefit that is brought about through the abovementioned ones.
Heightened accuracy, the efficiency of the machine’s operation and how easy it is to use all mean that guillotining incurs less of a change of mistakes, which ultimately results in reduced wastage.
This means that far fewer resources and workpieces will be wasted on any given project, which means that, once again, guillotines are an excellent way to expand those profit margins through reduced profiling costs.
Get a Cleaner Finish
The last benefit on this list doubles up as the primary function for guillotine cutting. These machines have been designed specifically to produce clean, sheared and perfectly accurate cuts on sheets, which gives them the cleanest and smoothest possible finish.
The blades used for the process of cutting are designed to whittle through even the toughest alloys, and in the case of the machines used here at Fast Flame Profiling, carbon processed steel up to 12mm in thickness can even be cut to a perfectly fine finish; thanks to the carefully placed and sharpened blades, as well as the strength and pressure applied by the guillotine itself.
Safety Concerns When Using Sheet Metal Guillotines
With the details of its functions and advantages out of the way, you may be considering sourcing and operating your own metal sheet guillotine; which is perfectly viable if you need to use them consistently and for very specific purposes.
In such cases, however, you need to be aware of the potential dangers associated with misusing them, and how you can avoid injuries during their operation:
Always use Protective Equipment
In any situation where metal is being cut, there is a danger of injury; especially with regards to your eyes.
Since alloys are a tough material to work through, they are put under immense pressure when cut by a guillotine.
This may result in projectiles, which can cause severe injuries if they strike the operator while they are not wearing goggles.
Protective gloves are also a good idea.
Only EVER Use as Directed
Guillotine machines have a number of safety measures that are designed to protect the user during its operation.
The presence of extremely sharp blades, an obstructed view during operations and the amount of pressure applied by guillotines to cut metals makes it a risk to your appendages if the machine is not being used as directed by the manufacturer.
Because of this, you should only ever use these machines as directed.
Never rush and think every movement through carefully, and you will likely never suffer an injury (particularly to your hands) when operating them.
Tie Up Loose Hair & Clothing
Because of the point mentioned above, guillotines may present a risk of snagging or pulling if hair or clothing should get int the way during operation.
To avoid any damages as a result of this, all loose clothing and especially hair should be tied up neatly so as not to get int the way while operating the guillotine.
Only Use with Training
While steel sheet guillotines are remarkably easy to operate, they do require a bit of knowledge, especially where safety is concerned, before somebody can use it.
Because of this, it is essential to ensure that each operator has been given the right instruction and training before they use them.
It is also important to ensure that these operators understand the importance of using the machine properly, and if anything is unclear, they should be comfortable with getting clarification on those matters.
This will not only protect the operator from harm but will protect the condition of the guillotine itself. It will also ensure that no materials are wasted during use as a result of mistakes being made.
Should You Buy a Guillotine or Use a Service?
The next thing you should consider carefully is whether or not it would be beneficial for your business to get its own guillotine, or to rather use the guillotine sheet metal cutting services of a company that specialises in it.
There is no wrong answer here, the approach you choose will depend on the scale and frequency of your needs for guillotining, your budget, and your experience when using them.
For most instances, it is more efficient, effective and cost-effective to use the services of a specialised profiling company that has extensive experience, all the equipment needed and the ability to keep them maintained.
Remember that when sourcing your own guillotine, you will incur costs relating to its upkeep, you may also need training; all of this comes at an expense to you and your business.
If you aren’t prepared for this, are not in a position to pay these costs, or don’t have a consistent need for guillotining, it would be a much better idea to have a company handle the service for you.
How to Find the Right Service Provider
If you are making the choice to use a cutting service for guillotining, then your next question should be one that helps you find the right service provider.
There are, of course, a myriad of companies out there who can offer you guillotine cutting services, but not all of them will be able to give you the service that you need.
They may be understaffed, inexperienced, not have the equipment needed or could offer their service at a disproportional price.
To ensure that you don’t fall into the caltrop of siding with the wrong profiling business, you should ask yourself these questions when looking for one:
How Experienced are They?
Experience, in any industry, counts for a great deal. It can determine their price, the time it takes to complete the work, the quality of the finished project and their ability to provide the service according to your exact specifications.
To this end, it is a good idea to find a company that has enough experience, not just as a company, but with regards to the accumulated experience of everyone working within it, since quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are often the hallmarks of an experienced metal profiler.
What are their Customers Saying?
In this day and age, it is fairly easy to find out what a company’s clients think about their services. Between social media reviews and ratings on Google My Business, you can simply run an online search for the company in question to find out exactly what their previous and existing clients think about them.
The thing about reviews is that pretty much no company is ever awarded a perfect score, there will always be at least one or two customers who expected something more.
If the company in question has mostly positive reviews and just a few unhappy ones, they are likely still a good choice to go for.
If, however, their reviews are overwhelmingly negative, you should probably give them a wide birth.
Contact Fast Flame Profiling for Details
Here at Fast Flame Profiling, we offer a range of metal cutting and shaping services that have been specially designed to meet the exact requirements of our clientele. These services include everything from chamfering and de-coiling to laser, plasma and profile cutting.
Of course, we also offer specialised guillotine sheet metal cutting services that have been refined over years of experience and customer service excellence.
If you would like to know more about our offers and services for metal profiling, be sure to get into contact with a representative from Fast Flame Profiling today, or visit our website for further information on our offers and services.
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