Springs, pressings, and wire forms are incredibly sturdy and durable pieces of manufacturing, as they are used in multiple situations, such as the aerospace, automotive, and engineering sectors. The reason they are sturdy is because they are made of a high-quality steel that is rich in carbon; this is more commonly known as spring steel, or high carbon steel.
Because of its hardness, the machines that are used to create these objects need to be incredibly strong and can withstand the large torque and pressure that is needed to create springs and wire forms. So, what is important about spring manufacturing machines, what techniques are used, and what are the statistics related to these machines?
What Type of Machines Are Used?
The most common type of machines that are used in spring manufacturing is the CNC machine, which stands for a computer numeric control machine. The secret to these machines is the CNC part itself; CNC is essentially a machining tool that enables the user to input a design which then allows the machine to carry out that specific design with extreme accuracy and precision.
With this, it means that manufacturers and engineers can design what a certain component looks like, such as a spring, pressing, or wire form, and then, with the use of certain pieces of CAD/CAM software, they can then transfer this to a CNC machine, which will proceed to create the design previously.
This is an incredibly affective way of mass producing lots of components, while also providing the ability to create one test product, test the product to its limits, change the designs if necessary, and then proceed to create the new designs. Another handy feature is that you can create a simulation of the manufacturing process, which enables the user to understand the process, as well as altering the simulation to make sure that the highest quality results are attained.
What is Capable from These Machines?
Essentially, the capabilities are endless; CNC machines and the ability to used CAD/CAM software, which stands for computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing, have made producing wire forms, pressings, and springs, as well as the custom and bespoke variations, far easier than it has been in the past.
An example of this, at Airedale Springs, would be the production of custom wire forms; this Christmas showed how we were capable of producing some truly fantastic bespoke wire forms. One of our apprentices that has been here for two years had to complete a project where he was asked to make something specifically for Christmas.
With his knowledge of pressings and wire forms from Airedale Springs, our apprentice, Alfie, created a high-quality wire form in the shape of a Christmas tree. This project itself had a lot of thought and precision behind it, so it’s great to see the younger generations getting to grips with the high standard of technology that we use daily.
Integrating CAD/CAM into Your Project
Computer aided technology is becoming increasingly popular in the engineering and manufacturing sectors, as it provides a way to test various pieces of equipment, whether they are small or large parts. For example, if you are an aerospace engineering company and you need to test how a spring or wire form will stand in the difficult conditions that it has to tolerate daily, then using a computer simulation will give you a fantastic testing ground for items that you have designed.
It also means that you can incorporate quality control into the manufacturing process, whether that be through computer simulations or during the testing phases. If you can test the strength of springs and wire forms within a simulation, it means that you won’t have to test it manually, which saves a lot of money and energy, as testing machines can be relatively large and use a huge amount of force to push springs and other similar items to the absolute limit. However, there is a difference between testing products virtually and in real life.
As such, it is vital to make sure that you use both to your advantage within your business, because if you only test via simulations, there could be a fault with the software that may not be considered, and it doesn’t give you a clear visualisation with what a spring or wire form is capable of withstanding.
As specialist spring manufacturers and designers, we use all the latest machinery and equipment to ensure that all our projects are of the highest quality and are rigorously testing to ensure that they are capable to withstanding their respective conditions. At our facility, we have 14 CNC machines which can produce the most unique wire forms and the strongest springs.