Archive for the Hydroforming Industry Category

Tube Hydroforming Process Leads to Amazing Bicycles

Tube Hydroforming Process Leads to Amazing Bicycles

Though tube hydroforming has humble roots, it has taken those roots and firmly planted them in industry, design, and innovation.

For instance, take a look at how much innovation has gone into biking. Thanks to lightweight tube hydroforming, bicycles are more agile and lighter than all previous designs and models.

Mountain bikes are more popular than they ever have been before, thanks to tube hydroforming. They are also more sturdy than ever before, which is something that attracts manufacturers to the  tube hydroforming process when the design phase begins.

How does the process begin?

As with most design and industry, the process starts with an idea. From there, designers and engineers work hard on computers to formulate and adopt a plan. Then, after many more hours of time and research, the prototype is produced on a 3D CAD. Sometimes the initial design is worthy of the work, and other times it is scrapped and redone. Oftentimes, many mockups are worked through before the final selection is made.

What happens next?

In the case of mountain bikes, materials like aluminum are selected and reviewed. Then, as this article on a new mountain bike design points out, many things go into the final product:

[The process] combines several common aluminium construction types — hydroforming, taper butting, mechanical shaping, 3D forging, double-pass smooth welding, post-weld heat-treat — to tailor the ride quality as much as possible.

This type of design and scheme is virtually the same across all tube hydroforming development. It’s a labor-intensive process that yields some of most durable and lightest products available today.

For more information on the tube hydroforming process, please contact us anytime. Since 2003, American Hydroformers has been setting new standards in the hydroforming industry for tube hydroformed structures, parts, and components.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Benefits Of Hydroforming

The Benefits Of Hydroforming

The process of hydroforming has been kicked around the manufacturing industry for quite some time. The process involves forming ductile metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and low allow steel into complex shapes by the use of fluid and pressure.

The application of evenly distributed pressure over the single sheet of metal or through a tube results in components with a number of benefits over their traditionally manufactured counterparts. Some benefits of hydroforming include:

Superior Surface Quality

Because the sheet of metal being pressed never comes into contact with actual tooling equipment, the chances of structural and surface damage are drastically reduced.

Lightweight Items

Components manufactured via hydroforming exhibit superior strength to weight ratio. In addition, complex shapes can be created with all of their walls at a more uniform thickness than what could previously be achieved.

Versatility of Materials

This process allows for the use of any ductile metals to be hydroformed. Regardless of if it’s sheets of copper, brass, aluminum, titan, or steel, optimum deformation levels can always be reached. The thickness of the sheets to be formed can range anywhere from 0.05mm to 6mm. Hydroforming is also superior at forming thin sheets over other traditional forming methods.

Manufacturing Savings

Because the hydroforming process does not require the use of guide way systems or hold-down device, the process saves quite a sum of money. Combine this with the fact that hydroforming generates very little waste from the process and the fact that tooling costs are cut in half due to only needing the negative molding tool. The result is a manufacturing process which drastically cuts back on manufacturing time and production costs. Additionally, complex shapes can often be created using one machine, which negates the necessity for more machinery to be running.

It’s for these reasons that it’s no wonder the benefits of hydroforming components are growing in popularity in the automotive industry; specifically for racing vehicles. They are also commonly seen being used for machinery parts, and in the aerospace industry. If you would like to learn more about hydroforming, we welcome you to visit our website. Additionally, if you would like to ask us a question directly feel free to contact us.