• 1. Can I get small quantities run on a four slide?

    By running pre-production first in our short run department, you get the benefit of proven reliability and product design before you invest in production tooling. As always, we design our tooling after we have a thorough understanding of your requirements and we have discussed the manufacturability and the quantities of your part. Generally we manufacture pre-production quantities using soft tooling until your design is proven and the quantities warrant four slide or metal punch press hard tooling. Things we consider are manufacturability, cost, life span, engineering design changes, material requirements, fit and function, tolerances, finish, and material availability.
  • 2. How do I determine whether or not to do a prototype part first vs. pre-production vs production.

    If you know that you have some changes pending it is generally best not to go into hard tooling. For example, you should not use the first article to prove if your parts will work. By that time, the tooling is already completed and it may be too late to change without incurring high costs.

    We will determine on a part by part basis whether or not changes will affect the hard tooling and advise you of our findings. More often it is best to let us do prototypes, and then you can evaluate your part to determine if changes are needed. This may cost a little initially, but it will save thousands down the road. Some of our progressive die tooling is manufactured in segments so that sections can be replaced without replacing all the tooling.

  • 3. What is the average lead time?

    When we quote lead times, we base our figure on our estimate at the time of the quote. Often, when the order is placed, customers need it sooner. We do our best to deliver every order on time, so it is important that we give as accurate lead times as we can before we promise anything. Please do not let our quoted lead time deter you from calling us to place an order. We can, and often do, expedite orders without jeopardizing other existing jobs to provide parts to you ASAP.
  • 4. What tolerances are realistic, and what about the block tolerances on drawings?

    Many jobs are quoted with standard “commercial spring tolerances” and people want to know exactly what that means. Most drawings we receive these days have a block tolerance pre-printed on the sheet that gives a tolerance that is not attainable with springs. These tolerances may be fine for CNC machining work where a block of steel is machined to tenths of thousandths, but springs are a different animal. Tolerances will depend on the forming operation itself, the accumulative tolerances, the material (music wire, 17-7 stainless steel, 300 series stainless steel, beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, inconel, cold rolled steel, carbon steel, monel and others), the thickness of the material, and the heat treatment required. It is important not to “over restrict” tolerances. We are often able to hold tight tolerances in a certain area of the part, only to find out that the tolerance in that area was not important. There is no sense spending money where it was not necessary.
  • 5. Can you help me with my spring design, I know nothing about springs? What makes a good design.

    Often the spring component of an assembly is left until all the other parts have been engineered. This can result in an undesirable spring design that is unfortunately necessary in order to meet the physical parameters of space, etc. We will help you with your spring design before the assembly is completed and restrictions make it impossible to make a well designed spring that will work best for you. Talk to us first for our input into your design. We will be glad to sign a non-disclosure agreement with you and help you with your product design both for cost savings and for dependability.

    Factors that influence the spring design are physical requirements, temperature, corrosive conditions, function, finish, and of course, cost. Materials for compression, extension, torsion and leaf springs run the full spectrum from music and carbon steel wire to many stainless steel types, nickel alloys, beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, and inconel.

  • 6. What materials are best for my job?

    Material depends on your applications. These are some of the materials we work with:

    • Music Wire
    • Stainless Steel
    • Copper
    • Brass
    • Inconel
    • Monel
    • Aluminum
    • Carbon Steel