Archive for the Blog Category

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.

How a New Tube Hydroformed Instrument Impacts the World of Optics and Photonics

How a New Tube Hydroformed Instrument Impacts the World of Optics and Photonics

Automotive and aerospace engineers (among others) have used tube hydroforming as a means to supplement inferior design techniques, by decreasing weight and increasing tensile and ductile strength, two things that had been sorely lacking in those industries for many years.

Tube hydroforming contributes to industries all around the globe, and lends an idle, albeit able hand in sculpting and shaping how those global communities think, brand, and progress into the future.

Recently, a new advancement in design was announced from an industry that has had little use for hydroforming up until the last few years: optics and photonics.

A newly designed, tube hydroformed instrument is helping to find sensitive measurements, and the scientists who use them.

From an article on optics and photonics on how the instrument works:

The instrument measure objects with apertures that range from 20 to 200mm or more, and consists of a laser diode, a conical mirror, and a miniature CCD or CMOS camera.

In the progressive world of aerospace design and mechanical engineering, seeing the truly smallest of smalls makes a huge impact on a nanoscale. Nanoscientists have for a long time been viewing that in which we are not able to see, and use powerful microscopes to do so.

For those in the aerospace industry, however, measuring the inner diameter of holes to establish the gauge of the bore by using two or three measured points is time-consuming and arduous.

So optics has stepped in to ease the burden. But even then, older optical sectioning methods are difficult to use for pipes measuring less than 100mm.

From the article on how the technique is applied to measurement and its functional principle:

The key component that we use in our technique is a ring beam device, which consists of a conical mirror and a laser diode. The fundamental principle that underlies our technique is based on optical sectioning, without the use of any contact-type stylus.

The instrument, whose shell is made by tube hydroforming, is rapidly helping those who already do a difficult job easier, by enabling the instrument “compatible with practical industrial applications,” as well as aiding in the future development of an even smaller probe that measure holes less than 10mm in diameter.

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

Research Predicts Rising Future for Metal Hydroforming, Stamping, Forging, and Rolling

Research Predicts Rising Future for Metal Hydroforming, Stamping, Forging, and Rolling

The future of United States metallurgical manufacturing has never been more sound, according to a recent report on the ever-growing, ever-expanding billion dollar industry.

Tube hydroforming, metal stamping, forging, and rolling are all a part of a sound industry with a more than profitable and promising future. Metrics and analysis suggest that a measurable growth rate of metallurgy will save “countless hours of research,” thanks to key findings in the comprehensive research performed.

Key findings from the report:

– Metal Forging, Stamping, Rolling (and Powder Metallurgy Manufacturing) Industry (U.S.) to reach $49.6 billion by 2021.

– Metal Forging, Stamping, Rolling (and Powder Metallurgy Manufacturing) Industry, including Average EBITDA, Operating Ratios and Sales per Employee.

Along with expansion and growth, comes a list of benefits, which include many respectable positive features for employees and customers.

The research was carried out by Leggett & Platt Inc and Sypris Solutions Inc, et. al., and was featured on the Research and Markets website.

The metric data and analysis was carried out by several methods, designed to find core values of data and express it in terms of industry benchmarking, ratios, and vital statistics, so that owners and customers could see the findings alike.

Customers interested in how this affects them can read further into the report to find the core benefits, which include:

Comprehensive overview of an industry’s financial results… Complete benchmarking of the industry and its top companies…  Deep industry and company financials.

Key features of the report lead even deeper into the future of metallurgy, focusing heavily on future reports and money.

While those interested in adjusted financial information and futures can read further on operating ratios and “Deep profiles and financial histories/operating ratios for up to ten top U.S.-based companies.”

To read more, follow this link to discover the full text or simply read more on the overview we’ve outlined above.

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

How Hydroformed Components Make Products Better

How Hydroformed Components Make Products Better

Hydroformed components  and hydroforming positively impact how manufacturers produce. After all, hydroforming adapts to needs and makes lighter, more durable, and longer-lasting products, which benefit all of those who use them… whether they know they are or not.

For instance, take how car and truck companies use hydroforming. In many areas of the automobile, heavy parts made by traditional means weigh the car down; adding extra pounds creates drag and slows down acceleration.

But as hydroforming integral parts has become standard, car and truck manufacturers now use the seamless and more ductile components to benefit how new cars run.

The same situation applies to bicycle companies. Manufacturers of new super-terrain bikes, ones designed for optimum use and ware, are made with hydroformed frames and turning forks.

The seamless and lighter frame adds to the riders experience, not only in terms of handling, but also in how the bike’s tires grip and use whatever surface they are on.

With a hydroformed frame, the rider can feel individual rocks and crevices when it matters most. Perfect for professionals competing in rallies, and off-road riders who need to feel the ground below them for the sake of safety.

Hydorforming also finds its way into our kitchens, and many people are completely unaware of it. Tube hydrofroming is a popular way of producing kitchen fixtures and piping under the counters. Those sleek and beautiful fixtures that you see in hardware stores are most often made through hydroforming.

Hydroforming in plumbing, as a whole, allows for stronger parts with less weak spots for failure. Meaning no drips or leaks. For cars and bikes, it allows for lightweight, better performing rides, while improving performance and part durability.

In the end, hydroforming comes out on top as a key manufacturer and innovator. As the top producer of hydroformed parts in the Midwest, we are excited that we are a part of this growing industry.

For more information about hydroformed components or how we can help you, please contact us.

High-Temperature Metal Gas Forming Burning Brightly

High-Temperature Metal Gas Forming Burning Brightly

Hydroforming is, arguably, one the most innovative methods for manufacturing of the last couple of decades. However, a similar yet just as important process known as high-temperature metal gas forming (HTMGF) has existed for nearly as long, and with similar benefits.

A few decades ago, when auto manufacturers wanted a lightweight, high strength but fully flexible part, they sought out hydroformers for the job.

As an alternative process to the mainstream, hydroforming eventually gained the popularity of design engineers, and not long after, hydroformed parts became a prominent means for design.

Then, as finite element analysis (FEA) software became more sophisticated, predictability in part production moved to the forefront, and parts were made in such a way that the receivers learned to expect a quality product that delivered consistency and reliability.

Not long after, however, high-temperature metal gas forming became a reality. Even if its rise is less well-known, its products are comparable, and some would argue, maybe even better in some ways.

Both tube hydroforming and HTMGF share many qualities. Both ways of production have their strengths and weaknesses, in terms of manufacturing and overall product strength. Both methods of production work similarly, and FEA software allows both to reap great advantages.

So which method is better? That’s a difficult question to answer. Each one appeals to different types of industries. While hydroforming is more well-known, HTMGF is slowly working itself towards the limelight.

In some ways, HTMGF is superior to hydroforming in terms of time needed to produce. Similar parts produced by the same method sometimes requires additional forming time.

As Dave Gearing points out in his incredibly in-depth article on the subject,

Choosing the optimal process often is a matter of considering both… early in the design stage when simple modifications to the part to aid the manufacturing process are easy to incorporate…

So while the jury is out, the debate continues as both methods become more nominal in their field.

For a deeper look at the finite schematics, extended benefits, methodology, and mathematics surrounding each process, check out this article on the subject, as mentioned above.

For more in how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

AHI Discusses Diode Laser Welding in Tube Production

AHI Discusses Diode Laser Welding in Tube Production

When one improves upon already top-notch engine and car parts (and the process therein), the results are something that most people wouldn’t expect. This is applicable for any advancement in production. Updated technology makes huge improvements in manufacturing.

We here at American Hydroformers love new technology. We respect and revere those who innovate and adapt, those who have an expanded vision to take something that works well and make it even better. There is something greater that can be said for people who take an existing idea and improve on it. They are pioneers.

Take the recent advancement in laser welding, how it has helped tube production, hydroforming, and how it has aided in making better parts and lighter automobiles by producing continuously welded tubes.

European company Plimet has taken a conventional way of welding, induction welding, and improved its completion rate and reduced its heat transfer, while exhibiting a drastic decrease in energy output.

Currently, laser welding machines are being used and they are becoming a respected alternative. Plimet has been using CO2 laser welding machines for several years with good results, as weld seam quality has increased rapidly. Welding speed over 10m/min can be achieved and the process stability is comparable to the robust induction systems.

The 8.5kW fiber-guided diode laser being used also uses less power than the traditional induction method, which traditionally uses a CO2 laser.

Further, the diode laser can work with larger areas, allow for higher tube tolerance, and brings a much stabler end product result.

As tests have proven, the tube durability and weld seam quality can expand to 20-percent of its diameter without cracking. Further, there is no spatter inside the tube. All advancements, all positive.

This process, which was recently adopted into Plimet’s production line in their European plants, is currently available to consumers. It offers high quality, low-cost, and a reduced running cost.

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