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Thermal Cutting Solutions  for Metal Processing Industries
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Thermal Cutting Solutions for Metal Processing Industries

September 2, 2022 5:02 pm

The big cluster of MSMEs present in India is being actively supported by government initiatives that act as a driving force to boost the metal fabrication industry.

Metal Fabrication market dynamics 

Rising demand and increased utilisation for the metal processing and machining market’s growth are expected to be aided by increasing demand for machining and efficient fabrication techniques. The growing demand is fuelled by programmed production techniques in the element fabrication sector, which aids in creating trustworthy fabrication amenities. The increasing demand and supply for metal fabrication across numerous industries, such as automotive, aerospace, military, and manufacturing, are expected to boost market growth. Increased advancements in sectors like computerisation and robotics are paving the way for new technologies and solutions to be implemented in the metal fabrication market. It is expected to rise in the next year due to increased demand for metal processing and machining in various growing economies worldwide.

The Indian Metal Fabrication Market is anticipated to register a CAGR greater than 5 percent from 2022 to 2027. It is considered one of the fast-growing markets in the global metal processing industry. The main advantage of the metal fabrication industry in India is the availability of a workforce at a competitive cost. 

The Indian metal fabrication market is fragmented, with many small- and medium-sized companies and EPC companies. The rising demand for goods and services across various sectors in India, combined with the fact that global manufacturing companies focus on diversifying their production by setting-up low-cost plants in countries like China and India, is expected to drive the Indian manufacturing sector.

 

Factors behind the fast growth of the metal fabrication industry in India 

Several factors like new infra projects initiated by the Government, modernisation of Railway infrastructure and manufacturing facilities, development of Metro networks in all majors cities of India, privatisation and modernisation of defence projects under ‘Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative from the Government driving the metal fabrication industries in India. The Government is actively supporting the big cluster of MSMEs present in India. It acts as a driving force to boost the metal fabrication industry. As demand grows, the requirement for a skilled workforce and automation are also increasing. Optimisation of the fabrication process is essential to match the global standard in terms of quality and to become price competitive on the world stage.

 

Thermal cutting processes in metal fabrication operations

 Metal fabrication is one of the integral parts of industrial operations. It involves several processes that are used to cut, shape, or mould metal structures into the final product. Any fabrication operation starts mainly with the cutting process. 

Let’s talk about the steel industry and three main metals, i.e., Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminium. The cutting process will be carried out mainly by plasma, oxyfuel, laser, and waterjet processes. In India, the plasma, oxyfuel and laser cutting processes are driving the fabrication industries on an immense scale.

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Selecting the proper process for the correct application is critical and will give industries a competitive advantage. In the battle to reduce costs, engineering and manufacturing departments constantly look for an edge. The graph below will provide clear ideas for selecting the cutting process if we discuss the application area for the thermal cutting process.

Let’s talk about the Oxyfuel process. In specific applications, even though this process has certain limitations, you cannot have an alternative for this process. To optimise this process and reduce the cost of operation, We Messer has introduced a special torch, “ALFA “, to carry out this process in the most optimum way to reduce the cost and improve the cut quality. Additionally, this torch will reduce operators’ skill requirements to carry out our Oxyfuel process. Furthermore, an automatic in-build ignition inbuilt height control system will also reduce gas consumption during operation and optimise the use of plates.

The second vital process is the plasma process. This process has also involved improving its footprint in fabrication industries over decades. This process started with Air plasma and oxygen plasma and is now upgraded to high-definition plasma resulting in improved consumables life, cutting quality and productivity.

Most fabrication industries are also engaged in edge preparation of the plate for welding surfaces. In this scenario, plasma cutting with a bevel will be essential in providing an optimum solution. We, Messer, are pioneers in providing solutions for edge preparation in fabrication industries. Our newly introduced, high-speed ‘ELEMENT’ machine with a bevel tool is the perfect solution for this requirement. Our bevel machines work in good yellow Industries, shipbuilding, windmill and railway industries worldwide.

Laser cutting, particularly fiber laser, is the latest trend in sheet metal industries. Every fabrication industry, particularly thin sheet industries, wants this process due to cost-effectiveness, cutting quality and high productivity. Fabricators need to choose the right products for their application. Messer India is offering a very reliable and unique solution in this process. Our Flagship products, like FiberLight and FiberBlade machines, cater to these industries.

 

Advancements in technological tools used in metal fabrications 

The metal working market uses a variety of ERP technologies and software. This facilitates data access and speeds up the decision-making process. Companies in the metal fabrication industries benefit from increased computer-aided manufacturing technologies, helping them improve operational efficiency and production.

 

Material Handling Process: A scope of improvement for utilisation of thermal cutting machine duty efficiency

 Plate/ Material handling also plays a vital role in the productivity of any fabrication unit. Processes, like laser and plasma, need huge material handling requirements to feed the machines and remove the cut parts. We are witnessing a significant bottleneck in today’s fabrication industries due to poor infrastructure for Material handling in fabrication units. Even though cutting equipment is very reliable, high speed and capacity to run 24X7, utilisation of this equipment are not increasing more than 60 to 70 percent most of the time, mainly due to in-feed and out-feed or availability of suitable material Handling in units. Material handling is critical for any fabrication unit to utilise world-class equipment optimally. And as always, Messer India is always a pioneer in visualising fabrication industries’ requirements and coming out with solutions for Material handling. We have recently launched a cost-effective material handling solution for fabrication industries, particularly for Plasma and Laser cutting processes.

 

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