Know the right questions to ask during precision metal part development.
Easton, PA - "I wish we had thought about that when we started our design effort." Because of outside stresses—delivery dates, quality expectations, and budgetary limitations—a metal component being developed to prove a concept is often not ready for a high-speed stamping press. If the end goal is not addressed early, a redesign is looming in the future. What should an engineer responsible for a project be thinking in order to avoid delays and cost escalations?
Photo-etching is a very quick and economical method that can hold good tolerances specific to light-gauge metals during the prototyping phase of a metal component. Here are some important steps to avoid redesign:
Determining Part Function: What material will function best in the application? Are there any special mechanical properties that will need to be specified when developing the material description? Unfortunately metals are often specified without determining if that material is able to be worked into a usable final part.
Solving Elusive Metal Form Issues: During the photo-etching and secondary forming process there is room for adjustment to yield a functioning part. If the project warrants unique features (lines, logos, and pockets) then photo-etching becomes the only option. In cases where the final product must take advantage of progressive stamping’s power of cost reduction, preplanning has great benefits. The advantages of photo-etching need to be used with care if high-speed stamping is the desired manufacturing process.
Planning Ahead: By working the future into prototyping you can eliminate the need to update prints while going through the part approval process twice for the same end-part. This saves time and money. When looking for a prototype partner it is important to make sure they have scalability within their operation. This makes developing and moving the part into the best possible manufacturing scenario possible.
To read more about photo-etching processes that require a tab to hold a part in a large sheet as it is being processed, click here.
Since 1961, Orbel’s custom design and manufacturing process has enabled unique engineered solutions for a variety of applications and industries. From conception through delivery, Orbel offers today’s most effective EMI/RFI shielding, photo-etched precision metal parts, precision metal stampings, and electroplated metal foils. Areas of specialization include aerospace, telecommunications, electronics, medical, automotive, and manufacturing. For more information, visit Orbel.com or call 610-829-5000.
Posted January 8, 2015