In terms of metal prices, few in industry can argue against the statement that this year has been one of both frustration and fascination.
For example, take Indonesia’s export ban on mineral ore earlier in the year, which has led to the price of nickel, which is used to make stainless steel, increasing by 40%. In 2014 alone, three of the most important metals used in industry – steel, copper and alumiunium – have seen price rises, and this trend is predicted to continue as global resources deplete.
As a result, global industry has worked to utilise alternative metals and source precious metals from elsewhere, which is a difficult and costly exercise. Two industries that are high in metal reliance and usage are automotive and aerospace, both of which are seeing growth following the global economic downturn. This has driven the prices of raw metal materials even higher; in simple terms, as demand for cars increase, manufacturers require more metal, and as availability of the required metal declines, prices increase.
However, many businesses have focused on improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of production and manufacturing in an attempt to prevent product and component prices rising.
Enter, cold forming, which is a cost-effective means of pressing metal into a die at room temperature. It uses as much as 70% less raw materials in comparison with other metal forming techniques. This means that the cost of raw materials to businesses is significantly reduced, while the quality of machines parts are equally as high, if not higher.
This is why businesses operating in such industries as aerospace, automotive, electronics and medical are turning to cold forming. And as global metal resources continue to decrease, resulting in prices continuing to rise, cold forming will be an ever greater way for business to minimise waste and costs.