Manufacturing
5 Min Read

Sheet Metal Work in the Signage Industry

Signs are made from all sorts of materials and items, however metal is a major aspect in the creation of signs which will hold up to time. Dualite specializes in all aspects of sign creation, even the foundations and supporting structures. The realization that “all metal items that are made, generally come from flat sheets or bar stock. Every bend, crimp, cut, notch or any other thing done to a piece of metal to shape it is done using large machines.” -Reid Weibel. Our Sheet Metal department “is one of the most versatile departments because it can take in any raw piece of metal and convert it into usable parts. As long as the engineering department can design the piece, and sometimes without their help, this department can make it a reality.” -Weibel.

Work area of the sheet metal department at Dualite, Inc.
Next time you see any piece of metal which is not a flat sheet, or bar stock remember that it went through the hands of our highly skilled and incredibly knowledgeable sheet metal department.
A machine cutting a piece of extrusion at two end to size with perfect angles.

How does the sheet metal department work?

After sales births the sign project, engineering designs it, and then the sign itself is born. It begins with Sheet metal. With over four decades of experience the sheet metal department “manufactures main body parts for each sign, striving to produce parts as accurately as possible, with the least amount of further work in order to complete the sign housing.” -Dan Beusterien. They do this by “taking our aluminum extrusion, thin gauge aluminum and other metal raw materials and converting them to useable parts for the assembly departments.” -Weibel. This work isn't easy and it requires the use of large machines and specialized knowledge and understanding of how to run each machine. Our sheet metal workers get to play with things like “brake presses, turret presses, automated saws, drill presses, shears, stretch forming presses, and many other metalworking instruments".

Bending the housing for components that power and hold together channel letter signs.

What does it take to be in the sheet metal department?

This department makes everything from “extruded sign housings and mouldings, internal wiring components, internal and external wire hanging brackets, internal support bars & plates, sheet metal backs, stretch formed extruded shapes, raceway backs, and angle irons” -Weibel & Beusterien. These parts become the foundation for every sign and create a need to work closely with other departments like “welding, large assembly, channel letter, indoor signage, forming, and engineering in order to coordinate finished production, any potential material changes, design conflicts and ultimately to create a bill of materials” -Beusterien.

Large machine making precise hole punches in a sheet of metal.

What's incredible is that while many do not realize how challenging it can be to “setup parameters on equipment, nor how many set-ups and operations are required to produce sign parts” -Beusterien that most of these positions can be trained for in-house. When looking for people in this department they prefer those “who can read a tape measure, read a blueprint, is handy with tools, and possibly has some experience working with sheet metal” -Weibel.

At Dualite this department trains and develops “a continuous process where we can drill, punch, notch and bend, with machines which allow for multiple of these processes to occur simultaneously, greatly reducing the time required to complete a sign. Without this department we would experience slow downs on a major scale because all of this work would need to be performed during the assembling process” -Weibel. So the next time you see any piece of metal which is not a flat sheet, or bar stock remember that it went through the hands of our highly skilled and incredibly knowledgeable sheet metal department so that it could birth a new sign, and a customer's identity solution.

Machine used to cut extrusions into custom sizes.