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How High-Speed Metal Stamping May Change the Industry

How High-Speed Metal Stamping May Change the Industry

Many aspects about manufacturing remain the same for decades. So many regular processes designed solely to fabricate are rarely altered because change costs money, and so often those in charge don’t levy for deviation because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The evidence of this type of thinking on our industry, however, is usually scant and lacking. In the world of hydroforming, innovation is part of our reality. We have spent many years designing and scheming for the future; we welcome forward-thought and progress.

For instance, take a look at metal stamping and how it has changed. To most untrained people, the process is simply a few lines of work, pushing materials, and stamping forms. It seems simple, though it really isn’t.

A great example of metal stamping innovation comes from a company on the East Coast called Intricate. They have, among other things, perfected the art of high-speed metal stamping.

From this write-up, it proves that with some extra effort and willingness to exceed previous expectations, hydroforming and metal stamping can go very far with a measured amount of success.

Company innovations include manufacturing speeds up to 1,500 strokes per minute, modular and carbide tooling, and multiple-out manufacturing.

With these types of progressions in the metal stamping field, the positives for consumers reaches new heights. By increasing the strokes per minute, Intricate has shown that metal stamping continues to be a viable source of production.

Add to that state-of-the-art machines, and a core group of people who care incredibly about what they do, and you have a recipe for success and a future full of solid enterprise and progression.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time.

Tubular Hydroforming And Other Innovative Techniques

Tubular Hydroforming And Other Innovative Techniques

Whenever you are working on a project, no matter how big or how small, you should always look for the best possible way to make the project successful. When you want the project done correctly, it does not mean you can take the easy way or the quickest way to get it done.

If you are looking for a design for a tubular metal part, you may be scratching your head while you look for the best possible way to manufacture it. Well, whether you know it or not, you have a significant amount of options and solutions.

One of those options is hydroforming. As with any other options or solutions, hydroforming will have its advantages, disadvantages, and limitations. With disadvantages, you may have to change things, in regards to your design and the production process.

One of the newer forming technologies is known as tube stamping. Tube stamping opens a box of endless possibilities. With tube stamping, you will not find yourself jeopardizing your production time, your costs, or the weight of the product. If you anticipate a high-volume production, tube stamping will be a great solution because it is incredibly quick. Tube stamping is similar to tubular hydroforming because both processes can create those difficult and confusing parts.

Each tubular metal project that you take on will have its own requirements, whether it is related to the time or the cost. In order to choose the right process, you will need to evaluate all of the requirements and circumstances surrounding the process. You will certainly need to find the right fit, so it is important that you take your time to research all of the possible techniques.

If you are interested in more information about tube stamping, tubular hydroforming, or any other technique, contact us today.

Hydroforming Aluminum Vs Stamped Steel

Hydroforming Aluminum Vs Stamped Steel

The rise of hydroforming as a viable manufacturing process which reduces the weight of resulting items is driving two distinct transitions in the industry. One of these is the switching from stamping to hydroforming, and the other is from steel to aluminum.

It is the desire to reduce item weight which is pushing forward the hydroforming of aluminum. Steel has long been the go-to metal for bike, automotive, marine, and aerospace components. However, the need for a more lightweight material arose when the industries began to feel a need for lighter components.

This is where aluminum came in. It is more lightweight than steel, resulting in the component having a 25%-50% reduction in overall weight as compared to the same component made from stamped steel. Once aluminum was able to easily be hydroformed, the transition began. Many manufacturers favor hydroforming over older means of metal forming such as stamping because hydroforming can deliver complex shapes and sizes, as well as requiring less finishing work. This is due to the fact that imperfections which would be present in the surface of the pressed metal when stamping are not present in components which were hydroformed.

The only downside manufacturers must take into consideration is the cost difference. Because aluminum is in such high demand across a wide range of industries, manufacturers could be looking at a cost anywhere from three to five times more than the same quantity of steel.

However, this is a small price to pay for the excellent product which comes from hydroforming aluminum. These superior components are ideal in industries where individual component weight is a variable.

If you would like to know more about hydroforming or friction stir welding, we invite you to visit us at our website. Additionally, you may contact us with any questions or comments about this article and more.

2016 CAFE Standards: What the Near Future Holds

2016 CAFE Standards: What the Near Future Holds

Beginning in 2011, automobile makers had to meet a set of government regulations that had sat in limbo for many years. For many, this was the biggest change in fuel-economy standards since the 1970s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law, otherwise known as cafe standards.

With an increase in fuel economy by nearly 40% for cars, and by almost 25% trucks, automobile manufacturers really have their work cut out for them.

According to an article on Car and Driver, the MPG increase is palpable, and might seem like a struggle for major manufacturers.

The average fuel economy for cars must improve from the current 27.5 mpg, where it has been since 1990, to 37.8 mpg by 2016. The truck standard has to rise from 23.5 mpg to 28.8.

So while the standards might not be as severe as they maintain by simply looking at the raw data (manufacturers have come up with a few clever ways of circumventing strict guidelines; not to mention “surplus credits”), they are seeking out alternatives to achieve the “goal” set by the US Federal Government, which doesn’t always mean drastic changes in design.

As the relative dimension, or footprint needs altered, car manufacturers often garner help from things that increase efficiency without direct alteration of typical features. They do this by redesigning aspects of the car which make it lighter, paying careful attention to small details where new components and materials offer a replacement. It’s at this point in the process where hydroforming steps in.

The hydroforming process lends to aiding CAFE standards in almost all parts of their design. By providing lightweight parts, that are durable and strong, manufactured quickly and easily, car manufacturers have a veritable goldmine in hydroforming companies.

What’s more, for 2016, it doesn’t matter which manufacturer requires assistance, because the regulations are different across the board.

Thus, for truck manufacturers and car manufacturers alike (whether SUV, sport, sedan, luxury, and so on), hydroforming is a viable option to reducing weight thereby increasing average MPG, and saving car manufacturers’ bottom line.

For additional information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

American Hydroformers Discusses the Heat Treating Process

American Hydroformers Discusses the Heat Treating Process

We have a lot of experience working with metal here at American Hydroformers, and a ton of experience in shaping the use of our products by clients. We also do out fair share of processing work. That is, how materials are turned into the end-product.

One such process that doesn’t get much exposure is how metals are heat treated. Every metal from stainless to aluminum, to even some exotic metals are heat treated to increase their strength and improve durability.

Industries that Use Heat Treating

Heat treating is used by a wide variety of markets.

Aerospace

Auto manufacturers

Lighting solution companies

Cookware manufacturers

The Defense Department

Medical and surgical instruments

Heavy and industrial equipment

Two Types of Heat Treating

The heat treating process is broken into two distinct categories:

Vacuum Heat Treating: Ideal for ferrous metals, like steel, bronze, and brass. The vacuum is airless, and burns a fine layer of metal off the surface of the treated material. This gives the product a beautiful and strong finish made to last the life of the product.

Aluminum Heat Treating: Oftentimes aluminum parts require additional treatment. A variety of processes, like annealing, stress relieving, glycol quenching, case hardening, precipitation strengthening, and tempering, are performed depending on the customer’s requirements.

How it Works

The process alters the physical (and sometimes chemical) makeup of the treated metal in a way that doesn’t change its shape. Extreme heat is most often used to increase the toughness of a product, but it can also be used after the hydorforming or deep draw processes to restore a metal’s ability to deform under tensile stress (so re-shaping is possible).

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time.

Source Says: FEA Soon Available in the Cloud

Source Says: FEA Soon Available in the Cloud

According to a tech engineering firm known as Frame, CAD Windows apps, like FEA (Finite Element Analysis), can now be moved to the cloud, which will bring a hug change in how CAD operates.

From an article that outlines the subject:

The value of CAD systems for electronic envisioning of designs has been one of the most important drivers of what some call the post-industrial age.

CAD revolutionized the design industry, allowing fewer people than ever to render 2D and 3D objects. Significantly cutting down manpower.

CAD, as the article points out, is apart of the larger Digital Product Development (DPD), which is situated inside the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) set of processes, which includes Finite Element Analysis (FEA) among others. It is, for the sake of design argument, the home base for how all design and planning begins.

CAD isn’t, as is probably no surprise, a set of systems that has made it to the cloud. Because of render computational speeds and a specialized set of codecs that need to be speedy in how they operate, CAD is relegated to localization. But Frame aims to change that.

As Frame’s website says: Frame is like Box, except instead of them delivering your documents via the cloud, they deliver your apps.

Apps that can be ran from an internal infrastructure, or from a cloud-based one, depending on your preferences.

But why CAD?

Because CAD needs it. According to Frame engineers, CAD is among the most demanding of all design programs, often requiring the most intense graphics, and a need for preserving and storing the highest quality of images.

It also boasts a compatibility with other Windows software, the key ability to host PDM or cloud storage, and a greater than stellar graphical performance.

All in all, having apps stored locally or in the cloud is a huge advancement for business and potential savings alike.

Those who are interested in taking it for a spin can sign up for a BETA at Frame’s website.

For more information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

3 of the Latest Hydroformed Components Hitting the Market

3 of the Latest Hydroformed Components Hitting the Market

As we so often do, we like to focus on hydroformed components that are making waves in the modern world. From mountain bikes to car parts to aerospace design, hydroformed components and products are near and far in the world around us.

Innovative production, hydroformed products and components are found just about everywhere, here are some of the latest items to use hydroforming for its innovation and design.

Bicycles

As this report points out, the latest “Frostbike” event was rife with new and inventive biking gear and products. Some of the latest off-road and all-terrain bikes feature hydroformed tubing, which, according to the report, is an even greater advancement than many of last year’s bikes. Bicycles continue as an integral industry, connected closely to hydroforming and hydroformed products.

Police Cars

The 2016 Police Interceptor, and updated version of the Ford Explorer, is the latest police vehicle to feature hydroformed parts. According this write-up on the latest police vehicle, the main hydroformed component is a “high-strength steel tube that runs the width of the vehicle to improve structural rigidity.” Look for the new SUV Police Interceptor at a police station near you.

Electric “Yikebike”

What’s a Yikebike? It’s a fully electric folding bicycle, which (according to a news report) “enables users to truly discover their urban freedom.” For those looking for a piece of art that they can ride, the Yikebike is your thing. It’s lightweight features (due to a fully hydroformed frame), makes it ideal for urban environments. But don’t get too excited yet, it’s only available in New Zealand currently.

Hydroformed components run the gamut of diversity. Thanks to an engineered design that provides light-weight strength and durability, hydroformed engineering satisfies many industries and a broad range of markets and products.

For more on how we can help you, please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Metal Stamping Keeping Up with Demand Through Innovation

Metal Stamping Keeping Up with Demand Through Innovation

Not to be outdone by all of the advancements in hydroforming and welding, metal stamping continues to stand up for its respected and trusted method. Thanks, in part, to those manufacturers whom rely so heavily on it as a method of production.

This time, evidence of metal stamping’s forward march in engineering comes out of the Land Down Under, from engineers at Bestech Australia who recently announced two new optical micrometers, that are specifically

designed to measure the roundness and diameter of stainless steel metal stampings to micrometre accuracies in a full installation.

The two meters, named Micro-Epsilon optoCONTROL 2600, offer complete automatic measurements of “cylindrical, ground stainless steel metal stamping application.” With schematics , angles, and density at three separate calibrations within an accuracy of ±2 µm.

Both of the micrometers are connected through a laser line, which helps to prove reliability in roundness and strength. Then an encoder performs rotations designed to impress a sharp edge upon the blank, with rotations “assigned to the respective angle position.” After which, it measures and records all mathematical calculations and calibrations.

The Micro-Epsilon optoCONTROL 2600 is controlled by a sophisticated computer system that calculates measurements and solves problems in design all at once.

Its telecentric lenses and filters make it impervious to ambient lighting pollution, so that edges and calculated values (as well as diameter measurements) are precise and accurate.

Further advantages include a CCD camera that aids in producing high-resolution measurements, while LED technology means there are fewer working parts, meaning a longer operational life and a wear-free function.

As the need for metal stamping remains evident in manufacturing and industries around the world, so, too, will the inventiveness and innovation from engineers who strive to keep it relevant.

For more information on how we can help you, or additional information on the services we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

American Hydroformers, Inc. to be Featured on the Science Channel/Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” Television Program.

American Hydroformers, Inc. to be Featured on the Science Channel/Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” Television Program.

SUMMARY:

American Hydroformers is proud to announce that the company will be featured on a segment of the Science Channel/Discovery Channel’s popular “How It’s Made” television program. This detailed behind the scenes look at tube hydroforming chassis parts will be airing on the Science Channel in the US on Thursday, May 14th 2015 at 9:00pm (Eastern Time Zone).

 

Fort Wayne, IN–March 20, 2015-American Hydroformers, a leader in the tube hydroforming process, announced that the company and its hydroforming facilities will be featured on an upcoming episode of the Discovery Channels documentary television series “How It’s Made.” The segment will provide a compelling and comprehensive behind the scenes look at the tube hydroforming process. Viewers will be given the opportunity to see the hydroforming process for themselves as well as learn more information about the industry in general. The show will offer a step by step demonstration of the tube hydroforming process as well as an explanation of its uses and current industry examples. This informative segment will air on the Science Channel in the US on Thursday, May 14th 2015 at 9:00pm (Eastern Time Zone).

The Discovery Channels “How It’s Made” is a documentary television program that presents behind the scene perspective from factories and manufacturing facilities from around the world. The program demonstrates how raw materials and supplies are transformed into everyday objects. Shows range from typical household items to more complex manufacturing processes.

About American Hydroformers

Founded in 2003, American Hydroformers specializes in the tube hydroforming manufacturing process. Production capabilities include numerous metal forming techniques such as hydroforming, hydraulic press work, metal stamping, and tube forming. In addition to hydroformed components, American Hydroformers offers complete assembly level fabrication of automotive structures, robotic welding, and both industrial laser and plasma cutting.

To learn more about American Hydroformers products and services, visit their website at https://americanhydroformers.com/

5 Benefits of Hydroformed Components

5 Benefits of Hydroformed Components

In the middle of the US, located in what is universally known as the “breadbasket” of America, sits the heart of hydroforming in the Midwest. The sometimes seldom-known but vastly innovative production, which benefits almost every industry big and small, technically termed as “hydroforming,” sits atop ingenuity. Bringing with it vast benefits for just about any industry that chooses to use its simple, yet effective design principles.

Here are 5 benefits of hydroformed components :

1. Simple but strong products. Hydroformed components are designed strong, and built to last a long time. It’s just how they are produced. Hydroformed products often beat out similarly designed products made to perform in the same manner.

2. Increased ductile and tensile strength. Compared to regular products of the same design, hydroformed products exhibit an increased ability to be drawn out (ductile), and used in restrictive, tense environments (tensile). This has to do with the selection of metals used for design, thanks to years of consistent research.

3. Cost-effective savings. Because of the design concept, shaping ductile metals into lightweight components brings with it an incredible savings. Add to that low material costs, and the savings is passed back on.

4. A variety of production methods. With hydroforming, there’s something for everybody in terms of design technique. From tube hydroforming to deep draw hydroforming to metal stamping, any type of component is open to design.

5. Efficient production technique. Unlike traditional means of production, hydroforming offers several time-saving measures, like quick changeover times, reduction in tooling, quicker operations, and less need for manual operators. Meaning components are made faster, and with less wait time.

All in all, hydroforming in the Midwest beats out many other production and design techniques in the same category. For lightweight precision, with consistent guaranteed quality, hydroforming offers numerous benefits over traditional methods of production.

For more information on hydroforming, techniques, designs and innovations, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can walk you through the process to find out how we can help you with your every need.