Springs are an essential component of a broad range of machinery and equipment across virtually every sector and industry worldwide.

However, having parts break down within your machinery is a significant problem for any business’s productivity. Likewise, having to cease production to conduct repairs or install replacements is something you want to make sure happens as little as possible.

Knowing the life expectancy of your machine’s springs will assist in planning your regular maintenance and preparing for any of these worst-case scenarios, thereby limiting the damage these shutdowns will cause.

pile of compressions springs

Essential Factors That Affect A Springs Life

Many factors dictate a spring’s life expectancy. Not every spring will be equal to every task, and even a high-quality one will struggle to perform at its best if not designed for that task. Furthermore, the life expectancy of your spring will depend heavily on the decisions made during its design phase. It’s therefore vital that you analyse the role you need your spring component to fulfil and make the right decisions when choosing your required specifications.

Stress, environment, and friction will reduce the quality of your springs and shorten a spring’s life expectancy considerably and lead to failure far sooner.

Stress is the term used when you put a spring under more pressure than it was designed to handle. This will make it compress further, causing it to become unstable and likely to break.

The working environment should be considered as it will dictate the treatment your spring needs. If your spring is not treated appropriately, its life expectancy will be shorter than it should be and certainly will not function at its full potential. Temperature, magnetic fields and humidity can all affect a spring treated incorrectly.

Friction against neighbouring components will constantly damage your spring and lead to breaks. Ensuring your parts are isolated during their function will prevent this persistent damage and extend your spring’s life.

collection of various springs

The Right Spring For the Right Task

Springs are an essential component in many different machines that perform various tasks. But a spring unsuited to the job will not last long. So beyond the decisions of materials, treatments and loads, the first decision that will dictate a spring’s lifecycle is choosing the right spring type. Here are some examples of springs and their appropriate roles.

For example, Torsion springs are coiled springs that work with a twisting, rotational motion. The typical helical looped design can be found in clothes pegs, mouse traps and car tailgates. However, this spring is designed for a specific role where you require the angular movement of components.

Tension Springs or extension springs are tightly wound coils that usually have a loop or hook on each end to attach to other components. These are popular for counterbalancing garage doors, trampolines and pliers. The function of this spring is to retract when an outside force is finished pulling it apart. This is very different to another spring, the compression spring.

Compression springs are highly versatile but only within their designed roles. The helix shape lets them resist compressive forces, and they can be found in watches, mobile phones and car suspensions, to name a few. They can be manufactured into a selection of different shapes such as conical, hourglass, magazine and torsional, but they all have in common the goal of resisting those compressive forces. If you were to attempt to use a compression spring instead of a tension spring, it would most likely fail quite quickly.

Ways to Extend Your Springs Life

One way to extend a spring’s life is by lowering its stress with a lower final load; you prevent overloading it. You can also choose a larger wire diameter, decreasing the internal pressures or installing an inner damper coil to minimise harmful shock loading.

Keeping your springs cool is a great way to extend their life expectancy. But unfortunately, spring relaxation happens at high temperatures and will reduce your spring’s effectiveness. But this can be prevented by keeping your correctly treated spring in a cold environment.

Shot peening is an excellent way to increase your spring’s life expectancy and keep it functioning ten times longer than other springs.  This helps increase the durability of your spring with its beneficial compressive residual stress. It can also prevent corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement and enhance fatigue stress. ’

With all the varied applications springs are essential for, searching for the right one for you can be tiresome. The most efficient way to acquire a spring with the required specifications is to invest in a bespoke service. Our team has years of experience in providing bespoke springs for every application and can manufacture the ideal spring for your needs. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

table of various wireforms

Benefits of choosing Bespoke

One of the best ways to avoid many of the previously mentioned issues is to choose a bespoke solution. By selecting this tailored solution, you will have a product specifically designed to suit your application’s needs and increase its life expectancy significantly.

As leading spring manufacturers, we have a lot of experience helping our clients find the specific components required for their current applications. We recommend browsing our extensive stock catalogue that contains over 12,000 items to see if we already have what you need.

Alternatively, we can offer a premium bespoke service to fulfil your needs. We pride ourselves in providing our customers with a bespoke service in both manufacture and design. Our engineering team is on hand to assist with vital decisions required for a custom spring or pressing, such as design support, material and surface treatment.

Our engineers can make sure all the technical specifications are met while considering the working environment your bespoke component will be in. Thanks to our rigorous testing processes, we can monitor the repeatability of manufacturers, such as the design’s tolerances, its life expectancy and the most economical method for the manufacture

If you are unsure about how to proceed when acquiring your bespoke components, feel free to contact us directly with our enquiry form. Alternatively, you can choose either by phone at +44 (0)208 663 1800 During business hours or by email at info.bec@europeansprings.com, and one of our team can answer all your questions.

At European Springs, we believe that by working together with our customers, we can make sure to provide springs and other components that are economical and have the longest longevity possible.

Manufacturing is a highly professional industry that requires its workers to earn particular qualifications, leading to the current skills gap shortage troubling the sector. Recruiting skilled engineers and other production team members is a constant issue to fill all the current vacancies, but there are ways to fix this.

workers in a factory

What Is The Manufacturing Skills Gap?

The manufacturing industry plays a prominent role in the UK’s economy. With over 270 thousand businesses in the manufacturing sector across the UK, it’s recognised as one of the most significant contributors to the UK economy.

Any business needs to adapt to thrive and evolve, including STEM industries. By implementing intelligent technologies such as big data, cloud computing and industrial IoT, managers can more accurately optimise their work processes and identify those areas that need improvement.

The skills gap is partially due to the rapid advances in smart technologies and automation that are helping increase the efficiency of the industry. However, whilst investing in these new technologies is a great idea, many people do not have the experience or qualifications to use them.

Unfortunately, there are many working positions unfulfilled across manufacturing and other STEM sectors. These vacancies are known as the skills gap. The manufacturing skills gap is not just a buzzword for low employment numbers; it is, in fact, a complex reality that many spring manufacturers face as there are more open positions than applicants to fill them.

Manufacturers National Contribution

Pressing manufacturers such as ourselves are among the many companies in our sector to account for 9.7% of the total UK economic output in 2021 (gross value added). At the start of 2022, manufacturing output was 0.8% higher than the previous month but 1.6% below the beginning of 2020. All of this was achieved with this sector 7.3% of the jobs positions available in the UK.

robotic automation in manufacturing

Current State of The Industry

The British chamber of commerce, early this year, reported in their quarterly recruitment outlook that there are record highs in recruitment difficulties. In addition, 79% of companies shared that they have problems filling positions. Companies have reported a broad range of issues that have contributed to this, such as the effects of Brexit and the pandemic.

Head of people policy, Jane Gratton, believes that these results highlight the continuing difficulties employers face in accessing the skilled labour they need and that such a loss will impact the country’s economic recovery. For example, as more compression spring manufacturers struggle to fill their skills gap, it will create a knock-on effect on their ability to provide products. This effect will continue adding struggles to an already pressured supply chain battling supply and demand.

Upskilling Your Team

One short term solution to the skills gap problem is to upskill your current workforce. Re-training and developing new skills is an excellent way to grow your existing team and address those areas with gaps. Additionally, focusing on automating easier processes will free up those team members to address the more complex parts of your business.

Another practical method for filling skills gaps with upskilling is implementing personal development plans (or PDPs). These help companies set goals for each employee and encourage their development as they learn the skills required.

By upskilling your team to your new equipment and procedures, companies are building well-rounded, multi-skilled workforces capable of filling those missing positions and increasing their businesses’ overall efficiency.

manufacturing apprentices

Investing In Young People

At European Springs, we believe that investing in new engineers supports us and benefits the industry as a whole. In addition, by increasing awareness of the advantages of STEM careers to students through various existing programs and apprenticeship schemes, the talent pool will be increased dramatically.

Continuing to promote our excellent apprenticeships is crucial to us as a company. We offer incredible schemes that follow the mechanical manufacturing apprenticeship framework and award BTEC Level 3 certificates in Engineering operations and maintenance.

Filling The Skills Gap

The way manufacturing companies react to this labour shortage will be an essential factor in deciding the future of the manufacturing industry. In order to prosper, the sector must embrace the initiatives already in place to attract new skilled people to enjoy a profitable career in STEM.

Scholarships, bursaries, and apprenticeships are all fantastic ways of increasing this awareness and are proving to address the skills gap successfully. In addition, male and female postgraduates students can apply for funding opportunities that will help them explore a career in manufacturing or any other sector under STEM.

Brunel University in London offers a mentoring program called Women in Engineering and Computing (or WIBEC) that encourages and supports female graduates and undergraduates to begin a fulfilling career in manufacturing.

The UK is home to many prestigious universities well known for innovation, research and creativity. This has created a reputation for top-ranked UK universities globally and has been providing STEM education in many forms for centuries. In addition, this positive relationship between these institutions and manufacturing companies have created a supportive network for job hunting or apprenticeship applications that makes it much easier for employers to find people to fill their skills gaps.

At European Springs, we manufacture a wide range of springs for many different industries and bespoke pressings and wire forms, so you’re always getting exactly what you need for your project, no matter its specifications.

Our extensive catalogue includes die springs, which are considered a version of compression springs. In this article, we’re looking at what these springs are, how they work and their applications.

vault door

What are Die Springs?

First things first, knowing what die springs are can help you decide whether they’re suitable for the application you have in mind.

As part of the compression spring family, these products are made to withstand applied stress. However, unlike other compression springs, die springs are made from rectangular wire and designed to handle considerable pressure. As a result, they can take a higher load (around 30% more) and are resistant to high temperatures, as they continue to function well up to 475oC.

The use of rectangular wire makes all the difference since it boosts the efficiency of the spring by allowing it to store more energy in a smaller space when compared to traditional springs.

How Do Die Springs Differ from Other Compression Springs?

Die springs might be similar to compression springs, but they are purposefully created to handle a large amount of environmental stress, which is why they’re also known as high force compression springs.

These products are incredibly reliable and can be designed with various strengths, perfect for several different applications. Die springs can come with closed or open ends, depending on the product’s end use, and are also colour-coded according to strength.

This allows you to easily choose the correct spring for your project – we can also help you make a decision, so chat to us on 0208 663 1800 if you have any questions we can answer.

compression springs

Benefits of Die Springs

We’ve already touched on some of the advantages of using these types of springs, but they provide many other benefits, such as the following:

  • Excellent performance in high-stress settings
  • Resistance to high temperatures
  • Available in several materials, including steel and chromium alloys
  • Variety of designs and sizes
  • Cost-efficient
  • Handle higher loads when compared to other compression springs
  • Resistant to wear and tear
  • Have a great degree of flexibility when it comes to their applications
  • Perfect for heavy-duty environments
  • Increased fatigue life
  • Reliable load-bearing surface
  • Consistency when it comes to dimensional requirements

Where to Find Die Springs?

As we’re die spring manufacturers, we understand these springs are crucial in applications that require a high degree of force in a small space, which is why you can usually find them in industrial settings, such as heavy-duty machinery.

Die springs are also used in:

  • Vehicles, including brakes and clutches
  • Aircraft engines
  • Farm equipment
  • Drills, such as those found in the oil and gas sector

So, it’s clear that these high force compression springs are typically used in factories, warehouses, the transportation industry, the agricultural industry, and more. This range of uses shows how highly versatile they are!

Quality Die Spring Manufacturing

Everyone at European Springs knows the importance of quality manufacturing when it comes to springs, pressings and wire forms, and this is true of all types of products, such as die springs.

We have many years of experience in custom spring design, which allows us to understand our clients’ needs and requirements, no matter how difficult they are or how demanding their industry or sector is.

Not only do you always receive products designed to last, but you can also be confident that our springs will be delivered to you promptly so that you can take your products to market faster.

Die Springs

How European Springs Can Help

As bespoke pressings and spring manufacturers, we can produce both rectangular and circular wire springs, which are suitable for different applications. When manufacturing a product, we take into account factors like the material of choice, the diameter of the wire and the size of the spring, and also the environment the spring will be used in.

This helps us ensure that you’re getting the right product for your needs. Sometimes, this can mean opting for traditional compression springs instead, as they may be the better option depending on your situation – for example, die springs are not always able to compress as much as their circular counterparts. This means that if you require a spring that can travel a lot, then a compression spring is likely the better option in that case.

Our die springs are perfect for heavy-duty use, as they offer an additional degree of resistance to environmental stresses, so browse our spring catalogue or speak to us if you’re looking for a custom-made product to meet your heavy-duty requirements.

If you’re unsure whether these products are right for you, we can help by advising on the best springs for your project – just get in touch for more information. We also offer a variety of other springs from compression springs and tension springs to torsion springs.

Manufacturing has always had a severe impact on the environment. The processes used in the past led to wasteful practices that were inefficient and also harmful to the environment, but fortunately, this is all changing.

carbon offset

We are in the midst of a profound change in one of the biggest industries worldwide. Across the UK, companies are committing to enforcing new procedures that will reduce carbon emissions, improve sustainability and bring the industry into the UK government’s Net-Zero 2050 plan. This article will discuss how we will reach this goal and become a more sustainable industry.

Waste Hierarchy

The waste hierarchy was introduced in 2011 as part of three different regulation schemes:

When considering their waste management plans, businesses must follow the hierarchy and encourage them to choose the most sustainable solutions. The waste hierarchy graphic shown here is a representation of this idea.

the waste hierarchy

The concept is that every company will attempt to apply the highest step of the hierarchy to their waste scheme. They must only attempt the lower step if it is impossible to do the one above. So, for example, if prevention is not possible due to technical, financial or logistical issues, you try to reuse or recycle. Enforcing the waste hierarchy on your waste program is a national requirement. However, it is also a fantastic way of reducing your company’s carbon footprint.

As spring manufacturers, we regularly reassess our existing waste programs to ensure that we always carry out the highest step on the hierarchy possible.

Benefits of Recycling

There are more benefits to recycling than most people realise. Recycling isn’t just about saving the planet; it can be a way of significantly improving your financial situation as well.

Conserving natural resources gives them a longer lifespan. However, whilst in plenty, the world’s resources are at risk of diminishing. Fundamentally, manufacturing-specific resources such as metal, plastic and glass require more energy to create as raw materials than they do from recycled products. While paper and wood also fall into this category, we can offset this loss by planting more trees to compensate.

Reduced demand for Raw materials is just one advantage of recycling. Most raw materials require a vast industry to acquire and then transport to your manufacturing business, using even more energy and creating more harm to the environment. This process increases the costs and the production time for businesses; recycling can cut these impacts up to half in some cases.

Saving energy is another benefit. For example, the energy requirement for creating new:

  • Aluminium uses 95% more energy
  • Steel uses 70% more energy
  • Paper is 40% more energy

All of these and more can be manufactured at the same high quality for far less cost and energy, thanks to the manufacturing industry embracing the benefits of recycling.

Net-Zero 2050 Plan

net zero 2050

The essence of the Net-Zero strategy is to create a balance between the carbon emissions produced and the carbon removed from the atmosphere. This balance makes it Net-Zero, which means we will finally reduce the harm done with increased carbon emissions.

It’s believed that with the success of the UK’s ecological initiative, other countries will follow the recommendation of the Committee on Climate change and enact their Net-Zero initiatives. This worldwide shift to reduced carbon will increase our chances of avoiding the 1.5°C temperature rise by 2100 to 50%.

The Net-Zero plan is called 2050, but considerable changes need to occur by 2030 to ensure we can reach the Net-Zero goal by the required time. The hope is that we not only reduce output but increase carbon removal or offset.

Current status

According to statistics released in 2021, we’ve already reduced our national emissions by 48.8% since 1990. This fantastic achievement is proof that these measures are adequate for the environment and practical for businesses.

At the end of 2021, a new poll run by Subcon revealed that 40% of UK manufacturers were without a sustainability policy. They surveyed 81 subcontract companies to disclose this data, but 95% of these did state that they claim to implement a policy by this summer.

As proficient compression spring manufacturers, we know that manufacturing is a highly energy-intensive industry. Each company must implement a policy to comply with the nation’s goal of reaching Net-Zero by 2050. But, with:

  • 67% reusing or recycling materials
  • 58% reducing their energy consumption
  • 31% reducing their freight miles

Thanks to various government-assisted grants and electrical companies’ carbon offset plans, this initiative’s momentum are gaining speed. As a result, 2022 should see some significant changes across our national industry.

man holding small plant

Innovation for a Bright Future

Established in 1948, we at European springs are the leading experts in custom spring design and bespoke pressings for the broadest range of applications. We are dedicated to not only providing our customers with the best springs and pressings, but we are also committed to meeting our ecological goals. We achieve this through reducing carbon and improving our sustainability with new, innovative processes.

If you have any questions about our products including compression springs, tension springs and torsion springs., please don’t hesitate to contact us, and one of our experts will happily answer your questions.

At European Springs, we’re proud of our long-term commitment to support the manufacturing industry with our apprenticeship schemes. We firmly believe that these schemes are a way of investing both in people and in the industry, with each successful candidate having a positive effect on the sector as a whole.

female engineer on Apprenticeship

The past few years have been a struggle for the manufacturing industry at large. Many companies found it difficult to cope with the supply chain issues, talent shortage and gender gap. Whilst it seems now that there is an end in sight to most of the problems caused by the pandemic, the gender gap remains.

In this blog, we’re discussing the need for more inclusivity in manufacturing and the career opportunities available for women.

Addressing the Gender Gap

As prominent spring manufacturers, we are aware of the unfortunate truth that, whilst 48% of women do actively participate in the labour market, they make up only 29% of the manufacturing workforce. Some have noted this as a consequence of occupational segregation limiting women’s career roles in manufacturing. 2021 Make UK’s reportstates that only 8% of women take up apprenticeships in manufacturing due to the impression that it’s not for them.

As disheartening as these numbers read, we at European Springs are one among many companies that are committed to changing this by creating a more inclusive community that welcomes both men and women to successful careers in manufacturing. Much like the bespoke pressings service we offer, we believe that, for this industry to survive, you can’t limit yourself to just one way of doing things; you need to be flexible and adaptable to thrive.

More employers have begun to search actively for new graduates to become apprentices. There is always a constant demand for highly skilled people in the manufacturing industry, so women interested in exploring this part of STEM are valued resources.

Advantages of Apprenticeships

female engineering Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships’ contributions to the economy have been growing over the last decade. The CEBR report on productivity correctly predicted that £3.4 billion of the UK economy was due to the increased productivity of 3.8 million people completing their apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship schemes are a great way to get a hands-on experience of a career and potentially learn things easy-to-miss in the classroom (or that are simply not taught there). In addition, the ability to shadow an experienced member of the team combined with the supervised work can help someone new gain confidence in what they are doing. Apprentices will take, on average, 1-4 years to become fully qualified, but you will also be paid for your work during this time.

There are advantages for the employer as well. For example, the UK government has recently implemented a new incentive payments scheme for hiring new apprentices. This limited-time initiative is available until May 2022 but substantially assists companies who help their industry by taking on new apprentices.

The apprenticeships we offer at European Springs follow a nationally recognised mechanical manufacturing apprenticeship framework that will award certification at BTEC level 3 in engineering operation and maintenance. An NVQ in mechanical manufacturing engineering accompanies this; for more information on our apprenticeship schemes, please contact us.

Other Opportunities for Women in Manufacturing

mentor teaching female engineer Apprentice

All across the UK, there has been an increase in scholarships and bursaries to assist women studying for manufacturing positions. Additionally, apprenticeships for all young people have increased, thereby making it easier than ever to start a profitable career in the industry.

Brunel University in London offers a prestigious program for its graduates and undergraduates called Women in Engineering and Computing (otherwise known as WiBEC). This mentoring program supports young women who wish to enter a STEM career in engineering and manufacturing. With over 600 female students benefiting from the impartial advice from their industry mentors since 2014, this is a prime example of how accessible manufacturing has become for women.

More improvements have been made in the manufacturing industry beyond study and apprenticeships. For example, it’s been reported that 67% of manufacturers currently have an EDI in place (which stands for equality, inclusion and diversity), with those EDI plans reviewed yearly. These improvements have led to women making up 29% of the manufacturing workforce in the UK and 18% of the company boards.

Engineering Apprenticeships for Women

As the most prominent compression spring manufacturer in the UK, European Springs wholeheartedly disagrees with the idea that manufacturing is a gender-limited occupation. We celebrate the 23rd of June every year as National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) because we believe that everyone should feel welcome when choosing to work in the manufacturing industry.

Hopefully, this blog will help inspire some of you to follow your passion and pursue the career in manufacturing you deserve. For more details on our apprenticeship programs, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and one of our experts can answer all your questions.

female Apprentice

We at European Springs like nothing better than being able to talk to people in person when we attend the many industry exhibitions around the UK. As this spring approaches, we are proud of our high attendance at these important events, and we’d like to discuss what you can expect from us at such an exhibition as well as take a look at those we’ve attended so far this year.

european springs exhibition

Sharing Our Experience

We believe that these exhibitions represent a chance to not just meet people in person but to really connect with existing or (potentially new) clients in a more personal way than impersonal phone calls. Additionally, with so many attendees from across multiple industries, it’s a delight to regularly meet so many other professionals in manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and defence.

We enjoy connecting with the broadest range of sectors when we attend these exhibitions. Just to name a few of the many audiences we are always eager to connect with:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Defence
  • Electronics
  • Rail
  • Mining
  • Medical

Offering Unique Capabilities

We confidently believe that we are unique as spring manufacturers because we specialise in covering various disciplines. We pride ourselves on our design spectrum of wire forms alongside our ability to create bespoke springs ranging from 0.03mm to 65mm.

We have a lot to be proud of with our ability to manage both high and low production of pressings and multi-slides up to 130 tonnes with the aforementioned unlimited design spectrum of wire forms.

manufacturing exhibition

The Personal Touch

The effects of the pandemic can still be felt throughout the manufacturing industry as a whole, and European Springs was not left unaffected by that event. So we think it’s important now to work to raise our profile and improve our effectiveness at our exhibitions. That is why we embrace collaborations with our partners within the wider Lesjöfors family. You can learn more about our response to the pandemic in our other blog about the resilience of the manufacturing industry.

European Springs serve clients from the broadest range of industries and sectors you can imagine. We firmly believe that the quality of our manufacturing processes speaks for itself, and that’s why we stand out from the crowd with our contributions to the various renowned exhibitions that happen yearly.

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics

This was the first of the exhibitions we planned to attend this year. The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics exhibition is the most comprehensive of the industrial exhibitions we participate in in the UK. We firmly believe that networking and future innovation are a huge part of what we do. So meeting like-minded individuals from the impressively varied range of attendees showcased at this event is always very stimulating.

southern manufacturing & electronics exhibition

Data Center World

The Data Center World exhibition was an inspiring way to start March. This eye-opening exhibition is an excellent way for us to share our extensive knowledge and decades of experience face to face with suppliers and industry experts from various fields. With our experts in data-based manufacturing on hand, we were able to answer many people’s questions and enlighten them to the superior processes conducted at European Springs.

manufacturing exhibition

UK Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference

The UK manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference is an extraordinary meeting of technology to industry and one that we were happy to attend previously this year. On March 10th, we were one of the featured exhibitors at the event in Milton Keynes. This event serves as a national forum for manufacturers and the various sections of the different supply chains across the UK. We were excited to be at this conference where key stakeholders from every part of British manufacturing can meet and connect.

UK Manufacturing & supply chain conference

Medical Technology UK

The Medical Technology UK exhibition was our most recent exhibition visit this year. Set at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, this was a chance for us to showcase our innovative solutions for custom spring design that can be implemented for new medical devices around the world.

By visiting our section at any one of the exhibitions later this year, you’ll find our experienced representatives eager to help with any of your queries.

Medical technology UK

High-Quality Pressings, Stampings and Wire Forms

European springs constantly strive to be the best solution for your requirements with bespoke pressings, springs or any wire forms you need. We confidently believe that our practices as an innovative, lean manufacturer combined with our exceptional engineering expertise have led us to be one of the UK’s top manufacturers of compression springs, tension springs, torsion springs and more.

If you are interested in seeing us in person, you can find out what exhibitions we are planning to attend on our website. So come along and meet the team and discover our product range; we look forward to meeting you.

If you’d like to discuss your needs with us, please don’t hesitate to contact us online today or call us at 0208 633 1800 to talk with one of our experienced team members.

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