Case Studies

Client:  TricoTrico

Project: Four die contract tooling package

Dates:  December 2009

Challenge: National automotive manufacturer, Trico, needed four dies for a windshield wiper blade assembly. The tool needed to accomplish this would have to meet tight dimensional requirements, hold up to strict quality expectations and be built with an aggressive deadline.

Execution: To accommodate workload and comply with Trico’s deadlines and specifications Ultra assigned multiple toolmakers to the job and extended the tool room’s hours into a second shift. With extra sets of eyes evaluating the progress of the die’s build, potential problems were identified early and solutions were compiled using multiple perspectives. To keep lines of communication open Trico was put in direct contact with the tool room manager at Ultra Tool, who also devised a spreadsheet which outlined progress on a weekly basis.

Trico PartNot only were the dies all completed on time, but Trico expressed much satisfaction with the quality level of the tools’ build as well as the extra effort the tool manager took to keep them apprised of progress.


The tabs on the lock washer were not forming correctly, including their slight twist.  The tabs were required to obtain the correct force and maintain the locking feature of the washer.   This functional issue was causing continuous frustration and assembly delays.

Work with Ultra’s die designers to modify the stamping die to meet the design intent of the part and its associated assembly.


Ultra’s design team evaluated Honda’s current die and determined the tool’s design was incapable of being modified to meet the part print and recommended a new progressive die.   A main concern with this approach was time, but a new die was needed if the features of the part print were to be obtained including adjustability of the tabs.  Tab forms needed to be adjustable to accommodate normal variations in material.

To handle the force requirement issue, Ultra designed and built a customized testing gage to measure the force the tabs were producing.   During prototyping we were able to prove out cut/form sequence and meet the force requirements.

Consistently manufacture a lock washer that met the original design intent and was reliable in assembly.  The newly designed die provided an uninterrupted production flow meeting delivery expectations.