Sheet metal is formed by industrial process which allows metals to process into flat and thins pieces which has many applications as it can bend into many shapes easily. There are various object fabricated from sheet metals. With very little thickness it can be termed as foil or leaf and those with thickness more than 6mm are considered as plate. The metals are available in coiled strips or flat pieces. By running a continuous sheet of metal through roll stiller, coils are formed. Then traditional method to measure the thickness is followed in millimeters. However United States uses different method which use gage to measure the sheet thickness which shows that the larger gauge number would consist of thinner metal sheet that ranges from 30 to 7. The gauges numbers are different in ferrous and non ferrous metals
The market size for metal sheet will show healthy growth in upcoming years because of the applications of sheet metals in industries such as aerospace, defense and automobiles. Metal sheet is formed with the industrial processes which turn the metal into flat and thin sheets that can also be cut or bend in to further shapes and structures. Disposable income growth of the people along with the rapid economic growth in developing nations is the factors that are running global automobile industry. The large number of automobiles is still in developed countries but sales of automobiles is being boosted by developing countries because of the evolution of facilities in infrastructure, living standard rising, and economic growth. It was recorded 92.8 million units of global sale in automobile in 2016 which will grow in future and will aid the global sale of sheet metal.
Defense and Aerospace industries is forecasted to show a strong progress and growth due to the frequent travelling and increase in transportation demand which will increase the use of aircrafts on large scale. It is now common thing even in developing countries to travel in aero planes because of purchase power parity. The decision has been shifted from saving money to saving time with change in lifestyle. The more environmental friendly and lighter weight aircrafts has also been introduced in the market that is changing the defense patterns and the sheet metal market is boosted due to it.
The products require handling with more care due to the variations in thickness and weight. The heavy products are good conductor of heat and electricity along with sharp edges. The products get hot rapidly when exposed to the sun and the operators working are required to be careful dealing with it. The welding and cutting of the sheet metals produce metal dust and fumes which are harmful to human health which can be the factors in consideration that may hinder the sheet metal growth.
The global sheet market can mainly be classified into steel and aluminium according to the material. Steel has four different grades which have different properties according tom the nature and used in different form of sheets. Aluminium is used to make sheets for aircraft due to its strong properties and light weight. Aluminium in aircraft is used to make the outer surface, wings and fuselage with combination off other element s and alloys. In coming years, the growth of usage of aircraft material and automobiles will contribute the important growth segment for metal sheet market.
The metal sheets according to the product can be classified into coiled strips or flat pieces. The rolling and bending of metal sheets can form flat pieces which can be used further by cutting into certain shapes. The thickness of the sheets may vary and the thinnest sheet with the thickness of 6 mm is known as foil. The sheet greater than the thickness of 6 mm are called plates. Metal sheets runs continuously through roller slitter to make coiled strips. The metal sheets has wide application in different industrial sectors such as automobiles, building and construction, aerospace, agriculture machineries, steel industries and heavy machinery industries such as shipbuilding etc. The metals sheets are used in these industries to make cars, vehicles, cargo trucks, building structures, aircrafts, containers, ships etc.
Trends from Global Market
China and India is primary sheet metal market when considering the regions of Asia that is helping to raise the construction and boosting automobile industry. The market is also projected to rise when considering North America and Europe. The Latin America is likely to fuel the sheet metal industry in future by the development and construction of automobile industry.
The global market size of metal stamping is estimated as 204.56 billion dollars in 2016. The market share for stamping is aided by the increase of demand in automotive and consumer electronics. Stamped metal is widely used in manufacturing of automotive chassis, interior and exterior structure and transmission components of electronics. The supply of steel in abundance has resulted to decrease the prices in past and the European crisis in economy was also the main factor to affect prices. However, declining prices in the period ahs benefitted the use of high grade steel to increase the performance of consumer end, electrical and electronic products.
Industrial machinery and equipments assembly demand stamped metal sheets with certain design and shape narrowly focus on geometrical structures can also increase the growth of industry. However wide use of plastic and polymers can substitute sheet metals and hinder the growth.Future Prospects
The conditions for construction trend has been increased and expected to result in increasing the growth. The metal sheet industry will be benefitted by increase in construction demand worldwide. Housing market growth will be highest in India followed by Myanmar, Vietnam and United States that will represent the highest demand in the sector.
The rise in financial downturn in various nations is projected to create opportunities in commercial and residential infrastructure that will help t create small and large infrastructure projects around the world. Change in demography and increase in awareness of knowledge around the world will also demand to establish educational sectors that will create the demand for roofing, sheet metals and ductwork.
Different metals can be used to make sheet metals which include: aluminum, copper, brass, steel, nickel, tin and titanium. Silver, gold and platinum sheets are also used and mostly for decorative purposes. Automobiles and truck bodies require sheets, medical tables, airplane body, roofs and many other applications use sheet metals. The laminated sheet cores have wide application in transformers and electric machines. China and India provide the largest market for sheet making industries. Europe and America can also be considered as key market for metal sheets as the demand will increase due increase in construction and infrastructure with various styles and designs including, shape, size and material. The market will also increase in Latin America due to increase in automobile industries
Impact of technology
Automation in industries has increased the productivity in every industrial sector including sheet metal industry. The automation has decreased the human intervention in manufacturing that has resulted to decrease accident rates at work place. However the automation has also resulted to increase unemployment for people who are associated with metal sheet industry. The automation has replaced the human labor force but the machine design argues that it will create more jobs for people, which is not obvious. The automation will demand more skills and the layman would run out of the job from industry. American Sheet manufacturing industry has been transformed by the automation that do not require low skilled worker. Further improvements in technological advancement such as robotics and 3D printing will boost the trend of redundant.
The automation industry have decreased the labor cost such as of welder who earns 25 dollars per hour is replaced by the automation that can provide more working with efficiency at 8 dollars of operating cost per hour.
America is going to invest around 1 trillion dollars on infrastructure to win successful trade of the sector in country. The president’s order for “Buy American, Hire American” will increase the price in construction. The prices of products for steel have been increased by 19 percent since last year. The call for buy American has led American federal agencies to initiate the projects for protection strengthening on American goods. The order has affected small businesses of steel that rely on foreign products at lower price but however it is aimed to increase the benefits overall in return with continuously using products for certain time.
Impacts of Policies
The technological advancement of metal stamping has increased the usage of process in commercial industries and local markets. However regulation policies have serious concerns on increasing usage of stamping as it is related with issues such as waste generations, safety standards. The increase in material usage is critical for sustainable growth of industry.
Key Market Players
The major sheet metal manufacturers include: Bud Industries, General Sheet Metal Works, ATAS International, BlueScope Steel , &E Manufacturing, Associated Materials, ABC Sheet Metal, Prototek, Autoline Industries, Wise Alloys, Alcoa, Noble Industries, United States Steel Corporation, NCI Building Systems, Nucor Corporation, Pepco Manufacturing, Southwark Metal, Proto-D Engineering, Deepesh pressing, Fabrimech Engineers, Rajhans Pressings, Nimex International , Aero Tech Manufacturing Dhananjay Group, and Vinman Engineering.