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Making neat sheet metal seams (for body panels on machinery)

Making neat sheet metal seams (for body panels on machinery)

Making neat sheet metal seams (for body panels on machinery)

(OP)
At the company I work at, we design machinery like forklifts and such.

As part of the machines, we make body panels out of sheet metal. Some of the parts are complex and the amount of welding/grinding at the exposed sheet metal seems of the part is unacceptable for our budget for the components.

I was looking for input on other methods to address these seams. Is using body filler or seam sealant as an OEM a standard practice? Or have all applications that involved this kind of finishing work been done by welding & then grinding?

Does anyone know what the most efficient/quickest process is to do this or if there is any faster way to clean up the edges than the good ol' grinding wheel?

Also, if it's of concern, we blast, prime and powder coat the parts after making the seam as well.

Thanks for you input!

Ps. Attached is a sample of the seam that we currently clean up by welding/grinding. It takes about 16 hours of grinding/welding per unit currently.

RE: Making neat sheet metal seams (for body panels on machinery)

What welding process are you using, I assume either GMAW or SMAW? Have you explored process changes (filler type, size) to reduce spatter, or have you looked into using alternate processes (GTAW?) to reduce weld spatter and associated cleanup?

RE: Making neat sheet metal seams (for body panels on machinery)

Thanks for the picture.

How thick are the panels?

I think I would guess wrong about which seams are welded.

I for one still have questions how the panels are joined.
Could you post pictures of actual parts after welding, and before finishing ?
Could you post pictures of actual parts after grinding etc, and before painting ?

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