Author Archives: Jody Key

  1. Sheet Metal Design Guidelines: All You Need to Know

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    Sheet Metal Design Guidelines: All You Need to Know

    In a day and age where fast production is the key to volume success, sheet metal fabrication has quickly become a key component of that process.

    Sheet metal fabrication is essentially the mechanical process used to turn large portions of the material, like alloys, aluminum, and other metals, and turn them into smaller, more specific components of larger products.

    Imagine turning a block of steel into military bullets. That’s what sheet metal fabrication can do for a variety of industries, from military and defense to lighting and home improvement.

    Sheet Metal Design

    Sheet Metal Forming Basics

    Sheet metal fabrication transforms metal sheets into different tangible parts through actions like punching, cutting, stamping, and bending.

    3D CAD files are translated into machine code, which instructs a machine to accurately cut and shape the sheet into the final product.

    Bending and wall thickness are two of the most essential things to consider before beginning the fabrication process


    Bending employs the use of a press brake machine to apply force to the sheet metal. The pressure from the brake bends the sheet metal at specified angles to form the final product. The K Factor, a measurement used for flat patterns, indicates the degree to which the metal was stretched during the bending process.

    Wall Thickness

    Wall thickness determines whether or not certain products can be manufactured from metal sheets or plates. It is essential to ensure that components maintain uniform thickness Typically, capabilities of 0.9mm-20mm in thickness are capable of being formed from sheet metal.

    When considering wall thickness, it is good practice to use a single sheet with punches as a determinant.

    Laser Cutting

    Laser cutting is one of the most efficient methods of cutting sheets of metal. Laser cutting uses a high-energy beam to cut different materials, including but not limited to metal, aluminum, wood, plastic, and rubber.

    Lasers use computer numerically controlled programming (CNC) to dictate the sheet metal design and layout of cutouts with material thicknesses of up to 20mm. Laser cutting is one of the most economical cutting methods because CNC machining significantly reduces labor costs.


    Depending on the material and the desired product, there are certain production thickness tolerances to keep in mind when determining whether sheet metal fabrication is the right production process for your application, including:.

    • General Tolerances: Wall thickness, hole diameters, and bends are all tolerances that should be considered in sheet metal fabrication. Sheet metal parts with a minimum of 0.9mm to 20mm can be manufactured with a +/- 1-degree tolerance on all bend angles. In laser cutting, hole diameters should be larger than the material thickness.
    • Curls: Curls ensure products are safe for handling. Curls should maintain an outside radius no smaller than 2 times the material thickness.
    • Countersink Holes: Countersink depths should be kept under 0.6mm of the material thickness.
    • Countersink Tolerances: Using standard angles, countersink diameters should measure between 2.3mm and 12.7mm. The tolerance for a formed countersink’s major diameter is +/- 0.254mm.

    H&S Manufacturing: Experienced and Established

    With over 40 years of industry expertise, H&S Manufacturing knows how to maintain tight tolerances, offer high-quality custom sheet metal fabrication services, and provide high-speed multi-tool solutions to suit our customers’ needs.

    With services like precision laser cutting, custom sheet metal fabrication, and more, H&S Manufacturing will offer the trained and knowledgeable resources you need.

    Contact us to learn more or request a quote today.

  2. Advantages of Form-in-Place Gaskets

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    Form-in-place (FIP) gaskets are produced using a form-in-place dispensing process. They were originally created for the automotive market as a less expensive alternative to gaskets made by die cutting, molding, or extrusion. However, due to various advancements in the manufacturing process over the years, they now find widespread use in many other markets, including aerospace, medical, military, and telecommunications. Compared to traditional gaskets, they offer numerous benefits.

    Common Features of Form-in-Place Gaskets

    Some of the advantages form-in-place gaskets have over die-cut, molded, and extruded gaskets include: 

    • Broader versatility. They can be used in a wide range of conditions and applications. 
    • Greater design freedom. They can be created in small or large sizes and with very intricate details. Additionally, they can be produced from a variety of materials to suit different sealing applications. 
    • Better performance. The form-in-place dispensing process allows for the manufacture of components that accommodate the need for elevation changes, uneven surfaces, and/or thin profiles. Additionally, the use of gasket shelf probing and other sensing technologies enables the production of FIP gaskets that can be used for less-than-perfect housings and as-cast metal shielding. 
    • Higher accuracy and precision. The FIP gasket-making process can be automated with robotic systems, which enables the manufacture of highly complex and intricate components with tight tolerances, regardless of the size of the production run. 
    • Lower inventory costs. Form in-place gaskets reduce the need for different shapes and sizes of gaskets to be kept in inventory. 

    Choose Form-in-Place Gaskets From H&S Manufacturing

    Form-in-place gaskets benefit end-users in a number of ways. For example:

    • They achieve 100% surface contact, resulting in uniform stress distribution and forming effective sealing barriers. 
    • They seal rough surfaces without risk of damage, reducing the need for machining. 
    • They eliminate the need for multiple pre-cut gasket shapes or fragile gasket components.
    • They withstand use in vibration-heavy environments. 
    • They do not carry a risk of long-term embrittlement or disintegration, meaning they are less likely to break or leak over extended use.
    • They do not require shimming or specialized tools to dismantle, making them easier to use and replace.
    • They do not relax or shrink over time, eliminating the need for retightening. 

    Due to their numerous advantages and benefits, form-in-place gaskets are incorporated into a wide range of industrial and consumer products, such as computer chassis, racking, and test equipment. If you’re looking for quality Form-in-Place gaskets to use as EMI shielding in your next project, the experts at H&S Manufacturing are here to help. 

    We utilize 3-axis robotic form-in-place dispensing equipment to make silicone-based EMI shielding gaskets for customers in the communications, electronics, energy, lighting, medical, military, and transportation industries. These components are suitable for use with metal, plastic, and plated substrates. They can be manufactured to a variety of industry specifications and standards, including AS9100, ANSI, ASTM, ITAR, Mil-spec, RoHS, and REACH. We can accommodate prototypes to production volumes. 

    For additional information about our FIP gasket capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your EMI shielding gasket needs with one of our team members, request a quote.

  3. How to Design a Custom Sheet Metal Cabinet

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    How to Design a Custom Sheet Metal Cabinet

    At H&S Manufacturing, we’ve provided high-quality custom assemblies to customers across a wide range of industries for over 50 years. One of our areas of specialization is electromechanical assemblies. We can fabricate individual components or produce complete custom box builds

    Many of our electromechanical assembly projects require the construction of a custom sheet metal cabinet or enclosure. Below, we highlight the steps we take when designing one to ensure it fully meets the specifications and standards of the customer.  

    1. Select the Right Metal Type and Sheet Metal Thickness

    The first step in designing a custom sheet metal cabinet or enclosure is choosing the type and thickness of sheet metal that will be used for its construction. There are numerous materials options available, each of which exhibits unique characteristics that make it suitable for particular applications. For example: 

    • Aluminum. This material is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making it perfect for various cabinets and enclosures. It can also be finished in many ways (e.g., bare surface, grained finished, powder-coated, anodized, etc.) to suit different functional and aesthetic requirements.  
    • Copper. This material is soft, flexible, and ductile. It also offers excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, which makes it ideal for certain electrical and electronic applications. 
    • Stainless steel. This material offers high strength, stiffness, and corrosion resistance. Similar to aluminum, it accommodates a variety of finishing options. 
    • Cold rolled steel. This material combines high stiffness, long-term durability in indoor environments, and low cost, making it a suitable general-purpose enclosure material. 
    • Galvanneal. This material has a unique coating that makes it a better alternative to cold-rolled steel for wet environments. 

    Once we’ve selected the type of sheet metal we want to use, we need to choose the appropriate thickness (i.e., gauge) for the cabinet/enclosure. See the table below for information on the imperial measurements to which each gauge corresponds for each metal.

    Gauge #Carbon SteelStainless SteelGalvanneal5052 Aluminum 6061 Aluminum


    2. Identify the Correct Bending Method and Bend Radius

    Generally, sheet metal cabinets and enclosures are made by bending the sheet metal with a folder or press brake. A folder is used to form highly accurate bends quickly, while a press brake is used to create relatively sharp bends that are not possible for a folder.

    Since sheet metal typically cannot be bent into a true 90-degree angle, the corners of bent/folded sheet metal usually have a curve. Different tooling and bending parameters result in different degrees of curvature. We pick them depending on the bend radius (i.e., the radius of the inside surface of the bend) needed for the cabinet/enclosure.

    3. Choose an Appropriate Welding Method

    After the individual pieces of sheet metal have been bent/folded, they are typically welded together. The advantages of welding a cabinet or enclosure include stronger and more watertight joints and simple and cheaper assembly operations. 

    There are a variety of welding methods available, including: 

    • Spot welding. This welding method is efficient and affordable for permanently joining two pieces of sheet metal in one or more locations.
    • Seam welding. This welding method is suitable for joining two or more pieces of sheet metal along a continuous edge. 
    • Tack welding. This welding method is ideal for discretely joining two or more sheet metal pieces along a continuous segment. 

    Get Started on Your Custom Sheet Metal Cabinet Solution Today

    Designing a custom sheet metal cabinet is a delicate process. If one element is wrong, the final component may not work or look as intended. Partnering with an expert manufacturer of sheet metal cabinets, such as H&S Manufacturing Company, can help you avoid costly design mistakes. 

    At H&S Manufacturing, we have the experience, expertise, and equipment needed to design and manufacture a sheet metal cabinet that meets your exact needs. To learn more about our capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your specs and standards with one of our team members, request a quote.

  4. What Are Form-in-Place (FIP) Gaskets?

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    What Are Form-in-Place (FIP) Gaskets?

    At H&S Manufacturing, we provide custom manufacturing solutions to customers across a wide range of industries. One of our core offerings is custom form-in-place (FIP) gaskets. These components are made using form-in-place liquid dispensing, which utilizes a 3-axis CNC robot to rapidly and precisely deposit high-performance silicone-based polymers in the necessary quantities and patterns. The result is intricate gaskets that offer excellent performance and protection against electricity and heat. They serve as a leak-proof, gap-proof solution for filling the spaces between components in an assembly.

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    Industrial Sheet Metal Uses

    Key Properties of Form-in-Place Gaskets

    Compared to gaskets created through other manufacturing methods, form-in-place gaskets offer a number of advantages, such as:

    • Greater reliability. Form-in-place gaskets provide more reliable protection for compartmentalized enclosures and packaged electronic assemblies.
    • Better electronic equipment performance. Form-in-place gaskets can be used for EMI protection in electronic devices and systems, where they help ensure uninterrupted equipment performance.
    • Higher flexibility. Form-in-place gaskets are highly flexible, which enables them to flex in response to flange movements. As a result, they are less likely to fail in dynamic applications.
    • Larger cost savings. Form-in-place gaskets require less raw material and labor to make than other types of gaskets, which translates to lower production costs.
    • Lower inventory costs. Since form-in-place gaskets can be manufactured when they are needed, companies do not have to keep a stock of gaskets in a variety of shapes and sizes, which helps reduce their inventory costs.
    • Broader compatibility and versatility. Form-in-place gaskets can adhere to a range of metal, plastic, and plated substrates, which enables them to be used in many different applications.
    • Wider design freedom. Form-in-place gaskets can be made in large or small sizes and simple or intricate shapes to suit their intended applications.
    • Faster installation speeds. Form-in-place gaskets are ready to use once they are dispensed, which allows them to be installed much faster than gaskets produced by other methods.

    Typical Form-in-Place Gasket Applications

    Due to their numerous advantages, form-in-place gaskets have found use in various industries providing products with protection against water, dust, EMI, and other potentially damaging compounds and conditions. Below, we highlight some examples of typical industrial applications.

    • In the aerospace industry: aircraft seats, drones, flight instruments, ground support equipment
    • In the automotive industry: air and oil filters, doors and windows, external engine parts
    • In the chemical processing industry: processing equipment and systems
    • In the electronics industry: communication systems, electronic enclosures, semiconductors
    • In the energy industry: generators, transformers, alternative energy systems (e.g., solar panels)
    • In the medical industry: medical devices, such as dialysis machines, heart pumps, oxygenators, and ventilators
    • In the military industry: global positioning systems (GPS), missile guidance systems, radar systems
    • In the mining and oil & gas industries: communication systems, power generators, processing equipment, vehicles
    • In the petrochemical and deep sea industries: devices and systems that require leak-proof seals
    • In the mass transit industry: mechanical systems, seating, windows, and doors

    Quality Form-in-Place Gaskets From H&S Manufacturing

    Form-in-place gaskets are a key component of many industrial and consumer products. Since they are made using robotic liquid dispensers, they can be formed quickly without sacrificing quality, which saves users time and money.

    If you need form-in-place gaskets, H&S Manufacturing is the ideal partner. We manufacture durable EMI shielding components that are compatible with metal, plastic, and plated substrates. To learn more about our capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your component requirements with one of our team members, request a quote.

  5. Industrial Sheet Metal Uses

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    Industrial Sheet Metal Uses

    H&S Manufacturing Co. is a leading provider of custom manufacturing solutions for a broad range of industries and applications. We specialize in precision sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical and electromechanical assembly, and testing. We are pleased to offer a variety of custom industrial sheet metal fabrication services to meet the particular needs of nearly any application. 

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    Industrial Sheet Metal Uses

    Sheet Metal Fabrication and the Different Sheet Metal Forms

    Sheet metal fabrication refers to a collection of manufacturing processes used to bend and form flat sheets of metal into a variety of products and components. These processes can be used to produce manufactured products from a wide range of sheet metal materials and forms. 

    The four most common forms used in sheet metal fabrication are:

    Cold Rolled Steel

    Cold rolled steel is a form of sheet metal created by directing room-temperature steel through industrial rollers to create strong, thin sheets ideal for the fabrication of durable industrial components. 

    Hot Rolled Steel

    Hot rolled steel, as the name implies, is formed by forcing steel that has been heated to a high temperature through industrial rollers. Hot rolled steel is more difficult to work with than cold rolled steel, but it’s easier to handle in sheet form. 

    Stainless Steel

    Stainless steel is a form of sheet metal composed of an iron-chromium-nickel alloy. The chromium content of stainless steel makes it highly resistant to corrosion and rust.


    Aluminum is one of the most popular sheet metal forms. Strong as steel, yet lightweight, aluminum is less expensive and highly resistant to corrosion and rust. 

    Benefits of Industrial Sheet Metal Fabrication

    Industrial sheet metal fabrication offers a variety of benefits over other manufacturing techniques. Some primary advantages include:

    • Exceptional Strength. Sheet metal is valued for its exceptional strength. It is available in a variety of metals and alloys, so you can select the ideal strength for your particular application. 
    • Resistance. Sheet metals are available in a variety of materials that are resistant to corrosion, moisture, and UV radiation. 
    • Lightweight. Sheet metal is thin and light, which makes it easier to fabricate, transport, and store. 
    • Superior Durability. Sheet metal is formed using compressive force, which makes it highly durable and capable of operating in high-pressure conditions. 
    • Excellent Ductility. Sheet metal is pliable, which makes it ideal for use in fabrication processes that require exceptional precision. 
    • Sustainable. Sheet metal is made from natural metals and alloys that are non-toxic and easy to recycle. 
    • Easy to Repair. Sheet metal is easy to repair due to its high level of ductility and weldability.
    • Widely Available. Sheet metal is a common material that is easy to obtain almost anywhere in the world. 
    • Low Cost. Since sheet metal is readily available and easy to transport, it is one of the least expensive manufacturing materials available on the market.
    • Top Quality. Sheet metal is a high-quality material, making it suitable for creating a wide range of products.
    • Quick Turnaround. Lead times for sheet metal fabrication are typically short.
    • Versatile Production. Sheet metal fabrication processes are easily automated, which makes it easy to adjust production speed and volume as necessary.
    • Various Finishes. Sheet metal can be finished using a variety of heat treatments, coatings, paints, and other finishing options, so you can choose the perfect finish for your needs. 
    • Multiple Fabrication Methods. There is an extensive selection of sheet metal fabrication methods that can be used to create quality metal products and components. Some of the most common fabrication methods include metal forming, cutting, welding, bending, and stretching.

    Quality Industrial Sheet Metal Fabrication by H&S Manufacturing

    Since 1968, H&S Manufacturing has been providing customers with superior precision products using the latest manufacturing and engineering technology available on the market. We use cutting-edge equipment to produce exceptional results for even highly complex parts within extremely tight tolerances. To learn more about our innovative industrial metal fabrication solutions, contact us today or request a quote

  6. Why Turn to H&S for Contract Manufacturing Solutions?

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    Why Turn to H&S for Contract Manufacturing Solutions?


    Since 1968, H&S Manufacturing has focused on continual improvement and building long-term relationships with customers, employees, and partners. Over the years, we’ve worked with clients across industries, including medical/healthcare, lighting, military/defense, electronics, communications, energy, and transportation, providing products for diverse applications that require quick turnaround times, tight tolerances, and high repeatability.

    When you choose us for contract manufacturing solutions, you get high-level customer care, personalized attention, and a range of options. Our custom capabilities include precision sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical assembly, electro-mechanical assembly, and testing services, which come with competitive pricing and on-time delivery to meet or exceed your expectations. 

    H&S Manufacturing Capabilities

    Our extensive capabilities are backed with top-of-the-line equipment and a team of skilled employees who hold themselves and their work to the highest standards. These capabilities include:

    Precision Machining

    Our ISO 9001:2008 certified and ITAR compliant facility features a variety of specialized equipment, including vertical and horizontal CNC machining centers, vertical mills, and drill presses. We specialize in manufacturing custom parts to exacting specifications, offering services such as: 

    • Milling
    • Drilling
    • Boring
    • Tapping
    • Lapping
    • Welding
    • Silk screening
    • Plating
    • Heat treating
    • Painting

    Learn More

    Sheet Metal Fabrication

    We offer high-quality custom sheet metal fabrication services for industries such as defense, lighting, and medical. Our modern equipment and extensive experience allow us to maintain tight tolerances, with bend tolerances of ±.005″, hole to hole tolerances of ±.005″, hole to bend tolerances of ±.015″, and hole to edge tolerances of ±.010″. Our custom sheet metal fabrication capabilities include:

    • Shearing
    • Punching
    • Laser Cutting
    • Notching
    • Forming/Bending
    • Extruding
    • Louvers
    • Lances
    • Graining
    • Grinding
    • Deburring
    • Sand Blasting

    Learn More

    Laser Cutting

    Our advanced turbine driven, RF excited, fast axial flow CO2 lasers feature an impressive maximum power output of 2500 watts for efficient processing. We can achieve position accuracy of ±.001″ and repeatability to ±.001″. Our 3 axes cutting capabilities allow us to work with a variety of materials, including thin metals, steel, heavy plate, aluminum, and more. 

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    Custom Form in Place Gaskets

    We have a 3 axis (XYZ) robot for rapid, accurate form in place liquid dispensing of silicon-based materials for custom gasketing. Bead sizes as small as .030″ x .030″ allow us to create precise custom gaskets for a wide range of applications and industries. We can manufacture highly durable EMI shielding components that offer excellent electrical and thermal performance.

    Learn More

    Custom Box Builds

    Our custom assembly solutions take you from part fabrication to final assembly including enclosures. We specialize in electromechanical assemblies, handling components including power supplies, fans, cable wiring and harnesses, brackets, chassis, and boards. Our custom box build capabilities can accommodate production volumes ranging from prototype orders to large runs.

    Learn More


    Our certifications, including ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D, are evidence of our commitment to holding ourselves to the highest industry standards for quality, safety, and efficiency. We are ITAR compliant and meet the standards for Mil-Spec, RoHS, and Reach. It’s our ongoing mission to maintain top-of-the-line equipment and the most efficient processes to ensure we can deliver the best results for our clients.


    Our precise visual and CMM inspection capabilities include a Micro-Vu video measuring system, a Micro-Vu Optical Comparator, and four Brown and Sharpe Micro-Hites. 

    Contract Manufacturing Solutions from H&S Manufacturing

    Over the years, H&S Manufacturing has adapted and grown to meet ever-evolving industry trends and customer demands. Our team of expert employees, decades of experience, and advanced equipment allow us to offer a wide range of high-quality contract manufacturing solutions to meet the needs of various industries. To learn more about our custom manufacturing capabilities, contact us today.


  7. Aerospace Manufacturing

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    Aerospace Manufacturing

    H&S Manufacturing Co. is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9001D certified and specializes in precision sheet metal fabrication, electro-mechanical assembly, mechanical assembly, machining, and testing, and offers contract and custom manufacturing solutions with integrity. H&S is focused on delivering the best software, equipment, and training to its staff so that they can manufacture products that are built to exact specifications. H&S employs cutting-edge manufacturing technology, engineering software, and a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. H&S has real-time e-mail and FTP functionality as part of its promise for reliable and rapid data delivery. Hardware installation, mechanical assembly, and spot welding services are also provided by H&S.

    H&S works on material including copper, aluminum, brass, galvanized hot or cold-rolled steel, stainless steel, and plastics. The vertical and horizontal machining capabilities include drilling, milling, boring, countersinking, tapping, and counterboring. We provide high-quality service of sheet metal fabrication including forming/bending, notching, punching, and shearing. We also offer finishing services like plating, graining, powder coating, deburring, wet painting, silk screening, sandblasting, and heat treating.

    Aerospace Industry

    The aerospace industry is a high-tech industry. Most enterprises in the aerospace industry must comply with one of three specific standards: AS 9100, AS 9110, or AS 9120. A corporation or individual engaged in the design, construction, maintenance, testing, and sale of airplanes, missiles, aircraft parts, rockets, or spacecraft are known as aerospace manufacturers. Airline design and production are the primary focuses of aerospace manufacturing companies. Airliners account for over 60% of all products sold by aerospace manufacturing companies.

    Because its principal products, flight vehicles, require millions of different parts, the aerospace industry’s product line is forced to be vast. In addition, to operate and maintain the vehicles, other support systems are required. Military aircraft have the biggest market share in terms of sales, followed by space systems and civil aircraft, with missiles occupying a minor position.


    H&S Manufacturing specializes in the customized manufacture of small and large-scale products for a variety of applications and industries. A few examples are given below:

    Precision Machining

    Using precise machining capabilities, H&S Manufacturing specializes in the production of unique parts to strict requirements. Drilling, milling, tapping, and boring are among the capabilities, as are welding, plating, silk screening, heat-treating, and painting.

    Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication

    H&S Manufacturing specializes in high-quality custom sheet metal fabrication for a variety of industries, including lighting, medical, and defense. Modern high-speed multi-tool equipment, such as punch-laser machines, laser cutting machines, and punch presses, are available at our facility. We can make parts out of cold and hot rolled steel, aluminum, brass, stainless steel, and copper.

    Precision Laser Cutting

    Precision laser cutting services are provided by H&S Manufacturing for a variety of industries, including medical, electronics, military, and energy. We use modern, RF-excited, turbine-driven, fast axial flow CO2 lasers that combine precision and speed. We can cut a variety of materials with our three-axis cutting capabilities, including, heavy plate, aluminum, thin metals, and steel. To know more about the laser cutting process, click here.

    Custom Place Gaskets

    For custom gaskets, H&S Manufacturing offers form-in-place liquid dispensing. A fully equipped 3 axis (XYZ) robot maximizes our production rate by properly and quickly dispensing silicon-based materials for gaskets. Using a variety of bead sizes as small as .030” x.030” for accurate positioning on surfaces, multiple patterns and volumes can be created. We manufacture EMI shielding components that are both electrically and thermally efficient.

    Custom Box Build

    H&S Manufacturing specializes in electromechanical assemblies, such as power supply, cable wiring, fans, and chassis, as well as brackets, harnesses, and boards. Box build manufacturing service provides customers with experience and insight for all levels of production volume, from prototype to large batches, from part fabrication to complete final assembly, including enclosures.

    Our past customized projects are Precision Form in Place Gasket Aluminum Exhaust Side Shield, Fabrication of a Stainless Steel Tank Drawer, Precision CNC Milling of Aluminum Monolithic Heatsink, Assembly of a Stainless Steel Chassis Probe, and Fabrication of a Steel Cart Frame.