Purchasing capital equipment is a substantial investment. Many factors influence whether or not the purchase will have a positive return on investment. Perhaps the most significant factor to consider before purchasing assembly equipment is whether it will provide the desired outcome - will it produce high-quality parts that meet all the requirements?
Talking to the assembly process experts and following design guidelines before purchasing assembly equipment can help increase the probability that the resulting parts will meet the functional and aesthetic requirements. However, the best way to ensure the equipment will provide the desired outcome is to assemble and test prototypes. Even if an existing assembly process is producing similar parts, small changes can affect the results, such as changes in material, pre- or post-form diameter requirements, stack-up tolerances, and more. Assembling prototypes can help validate if existing processes will meet requirements or if a new solution is needed.
Recently, a manufacturer came to Orbitform to purchase equipment to assemble a latch. Their customer assured them they were orbital forming a similar part in a different facility. After they purchased orbital forming equipment for the new application, we received samples to develop the proper tooling. Our Solutions Engineers discovered that the tenon was a hardened material that cracked during the orbital forming process. We experimented with different equipment parameters in order to get a more acceptable finished form. This did not eliminate the cracking. We were also able to make design recommendations that allowed the manufacturer to meet their requirements. However, the best way to ensure assembly equipment will produce quality parts is to test prototype samples prior to purchase.
Manufacturers partnering with Orbitform can leverage our Solutions Lab to assemble samples with any of our several permanent assembly processes. Our unbiased approach allows us to identify the optimal process before manufacturers purchase equipment. With the right equipment, manufacturers can produce high-quality parts with reduced scrap, increasing their return on investment. Contact us today to discuss your assembly applications and determine the assembly process that aligns with your part requirements.