4 Essential Responsibilities of Your Spring Company
In industries ranging from natural gas and refrigeration to automobiles and aerospace, compression springs act as vital components for numerous products and devices. Manufacturers often turn to a spring company that specializes in manufacturing springs, whether due to lacking the dedicated infrastructure for fabricating springs or in order to save time and materials.
A reliable, trustworthy spring company understands the importance of well-made products and serves multiple functions. In turn, they produce high-quality springs and enable other manufacturers to achieve their best output as well.
What Does a Spring Company Do For Manufacturers?
There are many essential roles of a reputable spring manufacturing company.
The main roles include:
- Assessing the client’s needs correctly and efficiently
- Customization and testing of the clients compressor springs
- Utilization of spring engineers
- Fulfilling engineering standards – regardless of industry
These are essential roles that a spring company must fulfill so that their manufacturing partners can succeed.
1. Assessing the Client’s Needs
In selecting the appropriate type of spring, the company will consult with the client to gather information on the specifications needed.
Many factors contribute to this decision. The spring company should have a set of standard questions that address both the intended function of the spring and the typical environment in which it will operate.
While manufacturers may already have specifications laid out, from the spring and wire dimensions to the finish, direction of winding and end styles, sometimes the client does not have all the specifications already determined, and the spring company should be ready to gather further information and discuss concerns and solutions.
Broadly, such questions include, but are not limited to:
- How does the product function that the spring will be used in? How will the spring facilitate its proper function?
- What is the expected shape – i.e., cylindrical, tapered, conical, convex, concave, etc. – and dimensions of the spring?
- What loads and frequencies of compression are expected of the spring in regular use?
- Is there an expected temperature range that the product will operate in, and how frequently/strongly will the temperature fluctuate?
- What kinds of corrosive elements, if any, is the spring likely to be exposed to during standard operation?
This information is vital in fully determining the necessary specifications of the client’s compression spring, including the material to use and any customizations in the form of the spring or wire.
A trustworthy company is transparent in the specifications expected from the client. They also explain any other design considerations that will be discussed with the client or evaluated via testing for custom designs.
2. Customization and Testing Process
Depending on how thorough the given specifications are for the requested spring, the manufacturer may be able to immediately being production if the spring is already in the company’s stock or if full spec sheets are provided.
For custom designs, however, the spring company must do more. They first conduct calculations and testing to design a spring that fulfills the client’s needs. Such tests evaluate the mechanical properties of proposed designs, dependent on both the materials used and the form of the spring.
The properties tested include:
- Capacity for energy storage
- Tensile and compressive strength
- Resistance to fatigue and corrosion
- The effects of temperature extremes
- Fluctuation on mechanical properties
Both simulations and prototype designs may be employed in the testing.
Customization options for compression springs can include the material the spring’s wire is composed of, ground or closed ends for the spring and any finish applied to the spring – for instance, corrosion-resistant powder coating.
3. Certified Spring Engineers
Many spring manufacturers employ spring engineers that act as direct partners and liaisons in assessing what a client requires. Leading spring manufacturers can be trusted to connect clients with qualified engineers. This removes some of the work on the client’s part in seeking professional consultation.
These engineers work closely with the client at all stages of the process.
This includes gathering information on expected dimensions of the final product and environmental conditions. It also includes listening to the client on requirements and any preliminary specifications offered, and providing advice on material and mechanical considerations before moving forward.
If the client is ordering new springs following the failure of a prior model, the spring engineer can also provide failure analysis to determine the cause. They can also explore how to mitigate the risks of it happening again.
Spring engineers understand manufacturing standards as well as the standards the client seeks to uphold.
Moreover, they understand how to bridge between a spring manufacturer and a client that may not share the same expertise in the various factors of spring design.
Clear, unambiguous communication is critical in engineering and manufacturing. These experts should be capable of guiding clients through the design process while still allowing input and transparency. This allows the client to know what to expect and ensure they get what they desire.
4. Fulfilling Engineering Standards
Other manufacturers may lack the time, materials and equipment to fabricate the springs they need for their products. Spring companies, however, are able to more specifically dedicate their resources to this.
Along with the assembly tools and equipment, they also have deeper expertise and knowledge in spring manufacturing techniques, technologies and standards than a client would. This means they can be trusted to produce higher-quality components.
A dedicated spring manufacturer displays proficiency in working with a variety of materials common in compression and tension springs. This includes stainless steel, music wire (also called piano wire, made of high-carbon steel and named for its most common use in pianos), phosphor bronze, Inconel, beryllium copper and other metals and alloys. A range of wire thicknesses and spring dimensions will be considered.
As well as those considerations, they explore spring shapes from conventional cylindrical forms to more esoteric conical or tapered compression springs as well. Each type offering different mechanical properties, along with a selection of finishes for decorative or protective purposes.
Types of Standards
This expertise also entails an understanding of both the standards clients expect of their manufacturing products and the standards expected within the industry.
Meeting and exceeding OEM standards set for the industry – particularly relevant in, for instance, automobiles – provides a certification of quality that extends to the products the client sells. A leading spring company also ensures that their manufacturing processes comply with RoHS and other health and safety directives. This in turn extending that assurance to client manufacturers to avoid potential legal issues.
Altogether, manufacturers have many good reasons to turn to a certified spring manufacturing company for compression or tension springs. The client’s time, materials and labor can be better focused on its main products.
The spring company can be trusted to not only have the relevant resources for these parts but the capability to establish a knowledge base on producing high-quality springs, employ certified experts able to directly work with and assess clients’ needs, develop customized components as necessary and ensure industry and client standards are satisfied.
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