Case Study: Prototyping to Production

Aluminum frame with pem nutsThis customer came to Ultra with a two-piece aluminum frame requiring welded assembly and 21 inserted pem nuts.  They were looking for a redesign and a new production process to solve their problems.

Manufacturing Issues

  1. Increasing production costs.
  2. Leakage was occurring because of the welded assembly.
  3. Hardware insertion was difficult and becoming a very time-consuming process.
  4. A challenge to correctly form the aluminum frame.

Redesign Process

The original two-piece aluminum frame, 27" long x 12" wide, required welded assembly with the insertion of multiple pem nuts.

First, the redesign process began with a form analysis to establish the manufacturability of the proposed one-piece design. Then various grades of aluminum were tested to identify the specific aluminum that would be strong enough for the new design. This included shock and vibe tests on the different types of aluminum until the results met the customer’s standards. This prototyping process ensured the frame could meet its performance requirements in an industrial environment.

Second, our Die Design team designed a progressive stamping die to support
this new one-piece model. The prototyping continued as the Toolmakers built
the various die components. They utilized our fiber laser to cut different strip
configurations and fine-tune the die design to eliminate wrinkles.

Progressive stamping die for an aluminum frame

Third, to improve the accuracy and productivity of the 21 pem nuts that needed
to be inserted we selected a mechanical stamping press. This equipment can
insert the required hardware including three different types in just one-set up.

Hardware insertion of pem nuts

Customer Outcome

This redesign created a more efficient manufacturing process that lowered costs and improved the frame's quality.

Prototyping provided 100% confidence that the frame would function hassle-free.

The customer then selected Ultra to redesign their even larger frame – 35” long x 17 wide” with a similar shape and hardware insertions.
On-time delivery of metal frames

Other Case studies

Quality Controlled Manufacturing Process

With a manufacturing process like this that utilizes our in-house services and outside suppliers, continuous AQL inspections are required to verify the metal part is defect-free.

Read more   →

Achieving Manufacturing Cosmetic Standards

This stainless steel part is metal stamped in our 800-ton press using a 144-inch progressive stamping die that successfully removes sharp edges and cleans the surface areas.

Read more   →

Improving the Production Process

The (6) bends and (8) holes require a detailed and customized fabrication process to match the design print. Hardware insertion and final inspection complete this production process.

Read more   →

Reducing Costs with a Progressive Stamping Die

Production costs were increasing because a splash guard and (6) drainage slots were added to the part’s design to meet safety requirements. The part’s length changed with these newly added features and made the existing die unusable.

Lower production costs for the fuel filler by utilizing a more efficient production process. Ensure the new features maintain the overall functionality of the fuel filler cup.

Read more   →

Outdoor Power Equipment Metal Stamping Case Study

Manufacturer of Rotary Lawn Mower Blade Sharpeners and Balancers for the Outdoor Power Equipment Industry

A recommendation from their previous supplier brought Outdoor Power Equipment Manufacturer’s leaders, Gerd & Erik Bauer, to Ultra’s front doors to continue production of their lawn mower blade sharpener.

Read more   →