What is ferrous metal?

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There are different recycled materials in the world and serves as a component for some products like home appliances, industrial machinery, cars, and construction material. A good number of these components are metals which are used in the manufacturing of several products. We have two types of metals: ferrous and non-ferrous metals. For the benefit of this post, the focus is on ferrous alloys only.

You’d get insights on ferrous metals and the reasons why it’s a useful element in the production process of manufacturing companies. The common forms of ferrous metals would be highlighted with details of their unique components. Furthermore, its peculiar properties in its different would be identified as well.

Definition of ferrous metal

Ferrous metals are elements with iron and magnetic properties which offer little contention to rust. Most ferrous metals are good conductors of electricity which makes it a suitable element in the manufacture of electronics. The metals are durable and possess malleable strength like cast iron and steel. The metal can be extracted from iron ore in the earth’s crust which contains compounds like iron oxide.

Ferrous metals are mainly composed of iron, and they are used in the manufacturing of commercial and domestic tools, shipping containers, industrial pipes, construction, rails, tools, nuts and bolts, machinery, aircraft, drills, and electrical appliances. Iron and steel remain the most common forms of ferrous metals.

Ferrous metals include the following:

  • Steel
  • Alloy steel
  • Carbon steel
  • Cast iron
  • Wrought iron.

The features of carbon and alloy steel

Steel is a ferrous metal, and about 40% of steel production in the world is made from scrap because it’s cheaper to make use of recycled steel rather than to produce new steel through the mining process. Furthermore, recycling steel gulps less energy in comparison to forming steel from raw materials. The physical properties of steel aren’t lost during the recycling process so it can be used again. About 500 million tons of steel is formed from scrap materials and manufactured using different melting furnaces like electric-arc, induction, open-hearth, crucible, and Bessemer converter.

Carbon steel: These are ferrous metals that are made of iron with carbon elements, and produced in open-hearth furnaces. Carbon steels are alloyed with other elements like chromium and nickel to enhance its physical properties. It can be welded, forged, or machined for the production of chisels, nails, gears, hammer, fenders, and rivets.

Alloy steel: The ferrous metal has higher durability than carbon steel, and it’s used in the manufacturing of different equipment.  The metal is melted in the induction and electric-arc furnace with mixtures of limestone, scrap, iron ore, and pig iron. Common elements used in alloy steel are molybdenum, chromium, nickel, silicon, tungsten, and vanadium. Nickel helps to increase the strength and toughness of the steel even as it reduces the temperature for hardening. Chromium is used to prevent corrosion and improve the resistance of shock. Chromium preserves metals from rust because it enables the top molecules of the metal to oxidize and still stay bonded to the metal below through the process of passivation thereby forming an impenetrable shell.

The features of Wrought and Cast iron

Wrought iron: This is a ferrous metal produced in a puddling furnace and made from pig iron. The presence of slag makes it resistible to oxidation and corrosion responsible for rusts. Wrought iron is useful for nails, chains, fencing, barbed wire, decorations, ornaments, and porch railings. The advantage of wrought iron is due to its ability to quickly bend when heated or cold, and the rate of rusting is low. However, its low level of hardness is a limitation, and it melts gently without emitting sparks.

Cast Iron: This is a ferrous metal that has low melting temperature, and it’s similar to carbon steel. However, the difference lies in the fact that it has silicon with additional carbon content within the range of 4.5 percent while the range for basic steel is between 0.03 and 1.7 percent. It reacts slowly with molding materials but doesn’t have sufficient malleability to be forged. It is produced by mixing pig iron, limestone, scrap metal, and carbon, then heating them up till a suitable level of all the elements is attained. Cast iron enables the production of complex shapes, and it has excellent fluidity which is desirable for casting. It’s also brittle and robust with lubricating properties.

Ferrous metals have magnetic properties and a high amount of carbon, so they are susceptible to rust when laid bare to the elements such as moisture and acidic environment. However, wrought iron is preserved due to its purity and stainless steel because of the presence of chromium. They also have tensile strength, hardness, and durability.  Carbon steel has less ductility and toughness,

Recycling of ferrous metals

A lot of companies make use of scrap ferrous metals as it’s more cost-effective with less environmental hazards because it reduces air pollution and utilization of water. Another benefit of recycling ferrous metals is the reduction of solid waste deposits in landfills which is quite expensive. Some ferrous metals can be recycled such as cars, vans, home appliances, railway tracks and it saves iron ore, limestone, and coal. Since the metals are magnetic, the scraps could be retrieved with the use of a magnet and transferred to the recycling unit.

The process of recycling ferrous scrap metals is cheaper than producing metal directly from iron ore. The most significant source of scrap ferrous metals is the processing of old automobile by crushing and flattening the body before shredding into little pieces. Afterward, the remelting and recasting of the scraps is the next step in the recycling procedure. However, one disadvantage of ferrous metal scraps is increasing the technical challenge in production due to the introduction of impurities into the steel.

Many companies use ferrous metals because they are essential in the production of a wide range of tools, machineries, household appliances and equipment. Ferrous metals can be derived from iron ore or through the recycling …

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Why do tools need to be calibrated?

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Calibration is a process that’s required to ensure the accuracy of measuring instruments, which indicates not only whether the device is suitable for its intended purpose but also how much can be interpreted from any readings it provides. Some instruments may provide readings which are accurate enough for some applications but will not give enough information to analyse the result in more depth. Calibration determines all of this, so it’s a crucial step.

In general, the instrument being tested must be compared to one which is capable of providing data around 3-10 times more accurately. Instruments should be calibrated using their main measurement scale as a parameter for accuracy, and also tested for zero error by completely resetting them (this process will vary greatly depending on the actual device).

Of course, if you buy accurate measuring devices from well known brands such as GE Druck, Additel or Techne, you can expect them to be extremely accurate and to meet your requirements, whatever purpose you are using them for. The reason it is necessary to calibrate tools again in future is because in almost all cases, their accuracy will deteriorate as time goes on.…

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Marketing Strategies In The Manufacturing Industry

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Within the manufacturing and engineering industry, the pressure of keeping up with demand can often lead to a situation where you’re producing just enough and working just hard enough to keep going at the same rate, but not taking advantage of opportunities to grow.

Unfortunately for some firms, branding and business success has evolved significantly, becoming highly focused on digital marketing and new promotion channels like social media. The manufacturing industry has been criticised in the past for being too traditional and slow to adapt, which has cost many long-running firms dearly.

Here are four major ways you can develop your marketing strategy within your niche and make it work for you, so you can avoid falling behind.

1) Start with a plan

You need a cohesive strategy before you start trying to advertise your company and sell your products or services. Manufacturers have different aims, but generally speaking your objectives are likely to include increased leads, sales, repeat purchases and brand awareness.

Considering these goals plus any specific growth targets you have, a plan should be created that covers a specific time frame and is understood thoroughly by all relevant parties.

2) Pay attention to your website

A large proportion of manufacturers don’t consider their online presence a priority, and as a result they are left with an out-of-date website that isn’t really a part of their strategy.

Your website represents your brand when people take an interest in finding out more, so it needs to be optimised for conversions as well as for search engines (so you can be found organically in the first place). It needs to be professional, attractive, engaging and informative, plus it should be designed to work on mobile devices.

3) Support your brand with social media

This is another area of digital marketing that is generally ignored by many manufacturing firms, since it can be tricky to create content and discussions that are relevant to the average social media user.

The trick to learn is that this isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing. You should be targeting your ideal customer, just like with any traditional method. Offer value to your audience so they will start to trust you, build on the relationship and eventually you can turn relationships into leads.

4) Focus on email marketing

This method has been adopted more widely within manufacturing, but often the techniques used are still outdated. Email lists should be kept up-to-date at all times, and correspondence should be regular. The content of your emails needs to be professional and exciting for your audience, and to get the best results you should analyse every campaign after it’s finished.…

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Technological Factors That Are Transforming Manufacturing

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It’s important to always be looking to the future within this industry, and looking for ways your business can develop to stay ahead of the curve. Technology is a major part of this, as it can improve efficiency in almost every area of your business.

Of course, it’s not possible or wise to invest in every new technological innovation before it has proved itself. However, there is a knack to catching new trends at the perfect time, when you can safely bet they’re going to go mainstream but the market isn’t saturated yet. Here are a few prime examples for 2017.

3D Printing

Although the process has actually been around for decades, the last five years or so have seen 3D printing finally become commercially viable across a range of industries. In certain manufacturing niches, creating complex parts with high accuracy has been made much easier and more cost effective thanks to this advancement.

The main difference we are currently seeing in the market is that small firms can now afford to adopt the same printing techniques as the bigger companies. This is going to create a wider gap between the most cutting-edge firms and their rivals who are slow to adapt.

Next-generation materials

Highly advanced manufacturing materials are constantly being developed in order to replace traditional alternatives. Gone are the days when factories would work with one of a few types of metal. Now, almost all niches make use of specially-developed materials which are fully optimised for the job they need to do.

This process is very much ongoing, so there is an always an incoming generation of newer and more efficient materials on the horizon. It’s rational, therefore, for manufacturers to keep looking for the next big thing and consider getting on board early.

Cloud connectivity

There is an ongoing battle raging within IT services for manufacturing, as of the last two or three years. It has become evident that cloud computing (i.e. outsourcing data processing, storage and other applications to an external, online resource) is more efficient for businesses in the vast majority of cases. However, on the other side, high profile security incidents have been making manufacturers think twice about what aspects of their own security they want to entrust to a third party.

Despite the concerns about security, it’s extremely likely that cloud computing will increasingly take over almost every area of IT. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a related talking point, as everything from factory equipment to everyday appliances can be connected to an online system for added functionality. At its best, this technology allows highly complex production lines to instantly resolve their own problems and make adjustments for efficiency, which obviously offers massive potential benefits to all types of manufacturers.…

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The Benefits of Sustainable Manufacturing

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The term “sustainable” is used to describe many different techniques and trends, but in essence the word is self-explanatory. Being sustainable simply means you can keep your business going in the future. The alternative is that you run out of finite resources (whether that’s fuel, cash or customers) and go out of business. It’s worth remembering that sustainability is not really optional, it’s essential for the survival of your firm.

With this in mind, let’s consider some of the short term benefits of getting ahead of the curve when it comes to environmentally-friendly manufacturing.

Cut down on energy bills

Energy efficiency reduces your costs directly, although some initial investment may be required. On a monthly basis, changing your practices or infrastructure may cost more at first, but annual savings are likely to be significant. In a similar way, you can cut costs on supplies and materials by recycling more internally and wasting less.

Get access to tax benefits

The government offers various programmes to support businesses when they choose to invest in greener technology. You may be able to reduce the amount of tax you pay if the money goes towards sustainability projects.

Improve internal culture

The more positives things you can do as a business, the more likely it is that your employees will feel happy and engaged. Sharing the same goals always helps productivity, so working together with staff to cut down on environmental costs is often beneficial.

Make your business more appealing

Customers will care that you’re looking out for the environment, as long as you convey this clearly in your marketing. It provides another advantage over your competitors and draws attention to the fact that you have a long term plan rather than being out to make a quick profit. Being called out publicly for damaging the environment, on the other hand, can cause a lot more trouble for your brand.

Have a real impact on the world

Regardless of the size of your business, changing your actions to become more environmentally friendly is directly contributing to making the planet better off. By creating less pollution and investing in the future of sustainability, you are helping future generations live better lives.…

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Advantages of Hydroblasting

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When most people think of demolition, the image of a building imploding through the use of explosives may come to mind. However, only 1% of demolition work is actually done through those techniques.

Several more modern and popular solutions are significantly easier to control and pose less of a hazard, a major option being hydrodemolition. This works by using a highly targeted hydroblast of pressurised water to cut through concrete, a concept that appears to defy logic, but works incredibly well. The key benefits of hydroblasting include the following.

High-precision hydrodemolition

Blasting through concrete using water is, surprisingly, one of the most effective methods for cutting highly accurate lines. Depending on the equipment used, settings can be controlled very precisely to get the desired result, and only a defined area will be affected.

Removes weakened concrete

Although hydroblast equipment will not damage concrete outside of the specified area, it does remove any weak or loose concrete in the direct firing line, which most demolition methods would fail to address. This leaves behind a rough but extremely strong surface.

No chemicals required

Water is the only material required for hydrodemolition, and it is not necessary to use any potentially toxic or abrasive chemicals at any point in the process.

Environmentally friendly

Since no chemicals are used, there are no fumes or pollution directly caused by hydroblasting. The water mixes with the concrete to form a slurry, but this can be processed to extract and recycle the water.

Widely applicable

Since there is very little effect on the surrounding area when using hydrodemolition, it can be used in a relatively small, indoor space as well as externally without much clean-up.

Training is quick and simple

It only takes one day to be trained on the basics of hydroblasting, and up to three days for using more advanced tools. Experience helps to improve efficiency, but the basic training does not require significant investment.

The process can be automated

In order to make training and execution even simpler, a lot of hydrodemolition is handled by robotics which feature relatively straightforward controls. This means the required water pressure, flow and other factors can be automatically calculated rather than relying on the judgement of an operator.

Low safety risk

Since the concrete being demolished is broken down into very small pieces and water is the only other material involved, safety risks when conducting hydroblasting are relatively low. Although specific precautions are still needed, most alternative methods are significantly more dangerous.…

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Misconceptions & Facts About Warm Air Heaters

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Warm air heating systems have been around for a long time, so it’s not surprising that many people still hold the same beliefs they had decades ago about how these devices work. In fact, there are many common myths about them which are not necessarily true, and sometimes the opposite is actually the case.

Here we look at the science behind warm air heaters and the truth about their many applications today. This is especially relevant while it’s still cold, as many people are looking for heating systems at home or in the workplace and aren’t sure whether to even consider warm air systems as an option. Hopefully this summary will help.…

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Comparing Types Of Industrial Ovens

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Industrial OvensChoosing an industrial oven may be relevant in many more industries than you first realise. When you get into the finer details, it certainly involves a lot of complex engineering, and there are many different types of commercial ovens that can be applied for various uses.

In general, these work by using electrical energy to create heat, but other fuel options are available. In the UK, the best way to learn more about furnaces and the best applications for each type is to consult industrial oven manufacturers like JLS Ovens, who specialise in heat treatment ovens, belt conveyor tunnels, drying, curing, and box ovens among others. Before you consider the full range of elements that may be required for your factory setup, however, it’s important to understand the main types available to you.

Bell ovens tend to be less heavy duty than some alternatives. They are designed to provide a consistent heat output which is essential in factory manufacturing. They are commonly used to apply intense heat to metal coils, plates and other parts so they can be manipulated and used in production.

Lightweight aluminium furnaces are also generally used within the metal manufacturing and refining industry. They tend to be mechanically driven and powered by electricity or gas, and are used to melt aluminium as well as other metals such as iron and chromium in order to use it for other purposes.

Container ovens offer the benefits of being quick to heat up, safe to work with consistent in performance, so they are among the most popular choices for most factories and similar uses. They tend to be simple in construction, consisting of a large container with a heavy door on one side, which makes them very versatile.

Induction ovens work using a magnetic induction process to transfer heat energy, which differentiates them from other types. It is known for working extremely quickly and efficiently due to the direct heating process. These units tend to be used in industry to melt iron or aluminium.

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Top tips for warehouse management

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building-856444_960_720Organise

The first step for a better warehouse management is to get organised. When the system is unorganised, it’s difficult to find what you are looking for, and this also wastes a lot of time. Ensure that you adopt a system that suits you best, this could be organising in a logical order to find things easier.

Right receiving

When there is a delivery, the materials should always be checked carefully. For instance, if there are any missing items this could affect your stock available in your system. This can easily confuse you with the number of items you should have.

Re-organise

When the number of your stock changes, you may need to re-organise for a better workflow. For example, some materials may change in demand. You may want to allocate materials in different places.

Lighting

Install a brighter light as this will provide safer work environment. Better lighting is also beneficial for your employees as this can improve their ability to perform a task.

Safety

Ensure you provide a safe environment for the safety of your employees. Accidents and hazards can happen anytime in a warehouse. Always provide health and safety for your staff to prevent any accident.

Staff training

Training of staff is highly relevant. Keep in mind that you may need to train them from time to time if your work process changes often. A well-trained staff will be able to do the job correctly. Furthermore, cross-training can be implemented so staffs can be flexible at work.

Customer service

To enhance your customer service, you can use a shipment tracking program from your carrier. Knowing where your products are is important for you and your customers. When customers are aware of their tracking information, they are more likely to trust your company.

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The Gear Manufacturing Industry

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Gears are something we don’t tend to think about in most industries, even within manufacturing and similar fields to a certain extent. They have been part of our machinery designs for thousands of years, and are an essential element of modern engineering across the board to this day. The practical of applications of gears are almost unlimited, across almost every industry including automobiles, aerospace, medical, military and more.

The manufacturing process for gears is complex, and an in-depth knowledge of all these relevant industries is required for any business in this industry to do well. This is why the market is currently dominated by a relatively small number of leading UK suppliers such as Davall, who design and manufacture precision worm gears, helical and straight bevel gears, gearboxes and more.

Essentially the reason we rely so heavily on gears is due to their simple but effective function. They are a method of transferring energy from one action to another, converting one form of movement into a different one and facilitating a small but vital part of a bigger process. Because of the varied demands that can be placed on them, gears for manufacturing, vehicles and other equipment must all be produced to an extremely high standard. They need to be robust and reliable to ensure the machinery they power isn’t at risk of failure.…

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