The two fundamental needs for growth in any business operation are confidence and ability. You must have the talent and technology to form components from the materials you choose to support. Confidence comes from a strong knowledge base to try new materials and technologies and know that you can recover and learn from failures. Both confidence and ability go together. Confidence without ability is just arrogance. Ability without confidence leads to inertia.
The pace of change in sheet metal forming over the past 25 years was swift for an industry that was relatively stable for over a century.
- Steel suppliers introduced over 2,500 new grades.
- Aluminum demand grew by over 4% per year from 2011 to 2019, in part because of increased use of aluminum components in transportation.
- Mass reduction and sustainable manufacturing continues to change how we use resources.
- New materials led to new technologies in forming.
- Virtual simulation changed how we design and test forming processes and tooling.
We find that many forming organizations, large and small, struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of change.
Our original goal for 4M is to provide training to forming industry professionals. We realize that just training isn’t enough to support the deeper needs of the industry. The volume of changes across most of the aspects of the industry are overwhelming for many professionals. Even much of the available training is complex and ambiguous. Much of the importance of tensile properties for those who actually form falls in knowing Yield Strength, Ultimate Tensile Strength, and the effect of variables on springback. So much additional meaning is attached, that we lose focus on what is important to those who stamp metal.
Our new program at 4M focuses on our client’s capabilities and goals. We guide clients through a self-assessment to define abilities, issues, production targets, and business goals. Once understood, we support a review of the organization’s skills, tools, and processes focused on meeting current forming challenges. The result of this review is a set of recommendations to meet current targets along with activities to move toward meeting business goals. We will then work with the client to assess any improvement projects and to support execution and measurement of the project.
Beyond teaching, our goal is to support formed component suppliers to manage their pace of change in materials and technologies, optimize production and business performance, and build better supply chains.
We hope you will follow us as we continue to develop and improve our program. We are here for you should you need help moving forward in these exciting and dynamic times.