Glossary

Sheetmetalworld.com has compiled a comprehensive glossary for the sheet metal and general manufacturing market. If we're missing some terms please feel free to use the Contact form.

Another useful glossary is the CAD CAM and Nesting glossary.

Term Definition
Air Feed

A way of feeding the die in a stamping press. with raw material.

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AISI Number

AISI stands for the American Iron and Steel Institute, and is a four-digit identification number used to specify different types of carbon steel coils. The first two digits indicate the grade of steel, and the last two give the amount of carbon that the steel contains.

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Base Metal

When referred to in reference to welding, the base metal is the part that all other parts are welded to. It can also be referred as the parent metal.

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Bead

A narrow ridge of metal used to strengthen a flat sheet metal workpiece or part.

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CAD

Computer Aided Design. Software to design parts. Examples are AutoCAD, Solidworks, SolidEdge etc.

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CAM

Computer Aided Manufacturing. Software that takes a CAD file and create NC code to manufacture the part on a CNC controlled machine such as a Mill, Router, Laser, Punch etc.

Customer Asset Management.

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CNC

Computer Numeric Control. Refers to the computer integrated into a machine (such as a mill, router, laser etc) to receive and process instructions.

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Dart

A narrow ridge of metal used to strengthen a flange of a part. The dart is formed into the edge of the flange and the part.

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EDM

Wire electrical discharge machining (EDM). It uses a wire electrode that travels through the workpiece. Wire EDM removes metal with electricity by means of spark erosion.

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ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning. As MRP, but including additional features such as data warehousing, accounts, human resources etc.

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Fly Cutting

Fly cutting, also known as grid cutting is a process used with laser machines. Traditionally, an array of holes would be cut one at a time e.g. top, right side, bottom and then left, before moving onto the next hole. This is a slow process, as the laser has to stop when changing axes. Fly cutting will 'snake' across the array of holes, firstly cutting all of the top areas before moving onto the bottom areas of the first holes in the array.

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Galvanizing

The process of coating steel with zinc, which creates a surface that is highly resistant to corrosion.

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Gauge

A measurement of thickness. Standard gauges include the Galvanized Sheet Gauge (GSG), United States Standard Gauge (USS) and Birmingham Wire Gauge (BWG).

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GTAW

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding.

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ID

Inside Diameter. Used to measure the width of a coil or tube.

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Kaizen

Japanese for "improvement" or "change for the best", refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, business management or any process.

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Lancing

A cutting process where material is sliced or cut without producing a slug or separating the workpiece.

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Laser Cutting

The use of a highly concentrated beam of light to generate enough heat to pierce and cut, using CO2 and fibre optic lasers.

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MRP

Materials Resources Planning or Material Requirement Planning. Factory management/planning software, allowing companies to control and plan production, stock, purchasing, dispatch etc.

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Nesting

Nesting software takes a series flat patterns of parts to be cut out of sheets or rolls of material and works out the best pattern, or 'nest' in order to combine as many parts on the material with the least amount of waste. It also optimizes the cutting path to take the shortest time and generates the 'NC' (numerical control) code used to drive the CNC machine that will cut the material. More information about 'what is nesting software' is available here.

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Perforating

The punching of multiple holes, often identical and arranged in a regular pattern, in a sheet, blank, or formed part. The holes are often round, but could be of any shape.

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phosphating

The process of forming an phosphate coating on metal by immersion in an aqueous phosphate solution.

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PLM

Product Lifecycle Management.

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POB

Plane of bend. The orientation of a bend in relation to the axis of the straight section preceding it. Used specifically for changes of plane in successive bends.

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Ram

The traveling plate onto which one part of a stamping die is mounted in a press. Also referred to as the slide.

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Remnant

A 'remnant' is the offcut of remaining material from a sheet after a nest is cut. Nesting systems that include remnant sheet management can store remnants in their database and intelligently re-use them when a suitable nest is created.

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Rib

A long V-shaped or radiused indentation. It is used to strengthen large sheet metal panels.

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Rust

The reddish material that form on iron or its alloys resulting from exposure to water/humidity or chemical attack. It mainly consists of hydrated iron oxide.

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Unicoiler

Material handling machine located at the beginning of a process which is used to hold and safely deliver or uncoil the steel strip.

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Viscosity

The resistance of a fluid to flow or motion within itself.

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Welding

Joining two pieces of material by applying heat, pressure, or both. Sometimes this will be with or without a filler material. The join is produced through fusion/recrystallisation across the interface.

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