As medical advancements are conceived, more devices, tools and high-tech equipment are made that ensure that we all enjoy a superior quality of life. Springs are used in almost every application in medicine. These essential components fulfil vital roles within these machines and must be reliable so that the doctors and nurses can perform their work uninterrupted.

Many life-saving treatments are connected to the inclusion of springs and stampings in medical tools. We at European Springs frequently find ourselves commissioned to manufacture a wide range of high-quality components for use in the healthcare industry.

medical tools

Medical Springs

 

The main three spring designs used for medical applications are compression, tension and torsion spring. Compression springs are used in devices that require squeezing action, such as a surgical stapler. Tension springs hold objects together, such as stretches and surgical lights. Torsion springs assist with rotational movement. For example, a dental x-ray unit will have a torsion spring inside it to help point it at the right angle.

Biopsy forceps are a commonplace tool in medicine. These specific forceps are employed to remove small samples of tissue for examination. For example, a surgeon may need to remove a piece of liver tissue to examine it for anything unusual or abnormal growth. The small spring inside makes these forceps particularly good at their role. Other forceps create the possibility of mishandling or human error. In contrast, the pressure provided by the spring in the biopsy forceps ensures that the tissue can be removed effectively and safely.

A far more prominent example of springs assisting medical personnel involves the application of a coil tension spring. Tension springs are designed to resist stretching, providing a tension that pulls attached components back together when moved apart. Large coil tension springs are used in stretchers and posable surgical lights, with small tension springs installed in various other medical devices.

Springs are used in dentistry to help people with their braces. These springs are conventionally made of nickel and titanium alloy for their corrosion resistance and increased hygiene. These springs’ role is continuously exerting a minor force over long periods. This is to have the desired effect of moving the teeth successfully without causing additional problems. Therefore, the manufacture of springs for braces has to be very precise. If a stiff material is chosen, that inflexibility will lead to the force application of the spring reducing to nothing much faster than intended. More flexible materials will be able to compensate and provide the necessary tension for the desired time.

Medical Pressings and Stampings

Engineers designing pressings

Medical stampings are an essential part of the components we provide for the healthcare industry. Pressing flat sheet metal into custom shapes revolutionised the medical sector and opened a whole new world of possibilities for medical care.

Medicine has embraced the adaptability of this process for its medical devices, and they have embraced the possibilities that bespoke stampings provide. Variable sizes are available without sacrificing the lightweight nature, and durable materials are usually chosen for medical applications. Many complex shapes must be made, often in petite sizes, but despite these complications, they are still required to meet the required tolerance specifications.

Implantable Medical Devices

Medical scientist using microscope

All implantable medical devices have the same challenge, biocompatibility. In addition, these devices are usually life-saving and must be left in the body permanently without causing additional complications for the patient, which demands that they are hygienically suitable. Orthopaedics and cardiovascular are two areas of medicine that use implantable devices.

Artificial pacemakers send electrical charges to a patient’s heart if it’s beating irregularly or suffering from Tachycardia (fast heartbeat) or Bradycardia (slow heartbeat). Springs are used inside to ensure that the miniature electric leads that send these charges to the heart are never disconnected, called active fixation. Additionally, the exterior must be covered with a medical stamping sufficient to not react to the body’s internal chemicals; this is why titanium and stainless steel are usually chosen.

Both titanium and stainless steel are materials that are corrosion resistant, which makes them fantastic for implantable devices. In addition, titanium has the added benefit of connecting with the human bone without reacting negatively (known as Osseointegration). Titanium is also used as a material for surgical tools such as forceps, drills and retractors. Stainless steel provides similar results thanks to its high resistance and durability.

Gas Spring Applications in Medicine

Hospital corridor with beds

As the leading UK spring manufacturer, we know that the gas spring is one of the most sought-after components. Gas springs are installed in hospital or physiotherapy beds to allow flexibility in the bed position and provide increased comfort for the patient. You will also find them as a part of flow control valves or pressure valve regulators in medical gas cylinders. Our gas springs have also been installed into surgical applications, such as patient trolleys and robotic-assisted surgery.

The versatility of the gas spring provides a wealth of opportunities for medical applications, and their quality ensures that they operate sufficiently for the products’ entire lifetime.

You can read more about the specific high-quality springs we supply in our spring catalogue. Additionally, if you require a unique component for your next application, consider requesting a bespoke design. Finally, you can contact us directly online; one of our experts will be happy to help you find what you need.

 

 

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.

Dozens of manufacturing firms have been claiming back tens of thousands in tax relief thanks to new R&D tax credits. By choosing to claim R&D expenditure credit, you can benefit from Corporation tax relief on your company’s future research and development costs. Read further to learn how these tax credits could help the future of your business.

Suit man tax percentage toy

What is Research and Development Tax?

Research and Development expenditure credit is otherwise known as RDEC. R&D expenditure credit replaced the large company scheme and changed the rules and applications.

This credit relief is designed to support companies working on innovative projects in technology and science in general. Any innovation can be boiled down to a simple process of resolving uncertainty. Every new creation had to address something in the world that was not quite right and fix it, and this is what reliefs like RDEC want to support.

This can be companies developing new business components, products, software and inventions. The desired result is an increase in new or improved performance, functionality and quality in general.

The research and development expenditure credit was initially 11% of your qualifying R&D spending. It was increased in January 2018 to 12%, then finally 13% in April 2020

As of writing this article, the credit is calculated as 13% out of your qualifying R&D expenditure. Additionally, these expenditures must be incurred after 1/04/2020. This resulting figure is taxable, and depending on your companies status, the credit could be used against the liability or result in a cash payment.

Interior manufacturing warehouse

Research and Development Criteria

The RDEC can be claimed by a range of companies working in science, manufacturing and technology. If your company has plans to research, develop, and advance in your field, you may qualify for R&D criteria. As bespoke spring manufacturers, we have a lot of experience with the R&D process required to fulfil our client’s orders.

R&D work must be part of a planned project related to the companies trade to qualify for R&D relief. It can be associated with a current or future trade, but it must be practical; economics, pure maths and other theoretical fields are ineligible.

When determining if your project is worthy of R&D relief, there are several requirements to consider. First, you should ask yourself, did your project:

  • Overcome uncertainty? Succeed or fail was there uncertainty to its success?
  • Prove challenging to accomplish for a professional in the field?
  • Look for a way to improve the field with science and technology?

 

Which Businesses Can Claim?

Almost any business can apply for these tax reliefs – software engineering groups, spring manufacturers, even construction companies. The focus is on what your R&D project plans to innovate in your field.

There are many different types of R&D relief, such as RDEC. And the size of your company will dictate which is appropriate for you.

Man in workshop using laptop

SME R&D Relief

If you’re a small and medium-sized enterprise (or SME), you may claim this credit relief, but only if you have a turnover of under 100 million euros or a balance sheet total under 86 million euros. Additionally, you must also have less than 500 staff under your employment.

If your company is loss-making, then the SME R&D relief lets you claim a tax credit of up to £14.5% of the surrenderable loss. Also, you may deduct 130% of your qualifying costs from your yearly profit. This 130% is in addition to the usual 100% deduction to bring you to a total of 230% deduction.

Remember to consider any linked companies/partnerships when investigating these requirements.

RDEC

You may also claim this credit under certain conditions as a small-medium enterprise. You are eligible to apply for the research and development expenditure credit If you have been subcontracted to complete any R&D work for a larger company. Also, you are eligible to apply if you have received a subsidy or grant for your R&D project.

How Can I Claim?

co workers inventorying stacks

To claim your RDEC relief, you will need to enter your expenditure into the Full company tax return form (CT600). This form will only apply to the current tax year it’s filled in, so be aware that you will need to submit a separate claim if your project takes longer.

To apply for your claim, you will need to have a GOV.UK gateway user ID and password and all the information on your R&D project, and you must prove it meets the R&D requirements mentioned above.

When applying for your RDEC credit, the main goal is to allow you to offset the tax you owe to HMRC and before and R&D tax relief is paid. This way, Loss-making and profit-making companies are treated the same when claiming.

 

At Europen springs and pressings, we believe in innovation and growth in the industry. The only way to succeed is to keep pushing those limits to achieve outstanding quality and efficiency. Our many years working to develop new techniques, products and our work with apprenticeships has shown us that only through improvement can anyone succeed in business.

With the broadest range of compressions springs, tensions springs and torsion springs in the UK in our catalogue, we are confident that we can fulfil any of your needs. Please contact us online today or call us on 0208 663 1800 to discuss how we can help your company.

Many manufacturing companies are discovering the benefits of adopting a sub-assembly process. The sub-assembly process has become the much-needed solution for manufacturers in many sectors, from aerospace to construction.

European Springs is proud of the sub-assembly process we provide; read on to learn what sub-assembly is, why it’s so effective and perhaps discover how it could help your business.

Engineers operating mechanical arms

What is the difference between sub-assembly and assembly?

Firstly there are two titles for this process, subassembly manufacturing and sub-assembly manufacturing. However, despite the two names, it’s the same process.

Sub-assembly is the process where you combine pre-made pieces into your final product. These pre-made pieces are known as an assembly. Assembly is a common term assigned to an OEM (or original equipment manufacturer) who creates complete parts or products.

An assembly is essentially the process of manufacturing a finished product. Assemblies can be combined to create larger sub-assemblies and components until your final product is made.

Benefits of Sub-Assembly

The sub-assembly process has proven to be a valuable improvement to the workflows of many businesses. Choosing to outsource your sub-assembly manufacturing operations to a third party can bring many benefits, for example:

  • It reduces production time. Outsourcing to third parties will allow many of your components to be made simultaneously. Additionally, the creation of the final piece is much faster, with many parts completed before they even arrive.

 

  • It lowers production and equipment costs. In addition, with third parties being contracted to complete these sub-assemblies, this leaves your companies resources free to be redirected into other needs.

 

  • Finding third parties with access to specialist equipment will eliminate your need to buy it. Embracing third parties in your process will also reduce your staff training requirements for new techniques and tools.

 

  • Improved accuracy is also a benefit of sub-assembly. The whole concept of sub-assembly is essentially breaking the problem down into manageable small pieces. By using a system where manufacturing teams only need to focus on one part of the project, they can study and become experts. Unless your staff must be aware of the whole process, we always recommend breaking it down into these manageable categories.

 

Different types of sub-assembly

During our many years of manufacturing bespoke stampings, we learnt that there just isn’t one single process to this system. Instead, our skilled engineers at European Springs and Pressings can offer a range of strategies customised for your sub-assembly needs.

We offer single operation assembly techniques for fully automated processes. In a single operation assembly technique, only a single model product is produced in this line. Our fully automated processes adapt to high product demand. Each approach has its own merits, so contact us today to discuss your needs with us.

Tapping

engineering mechanical pieces tapping

Tapping is a well known and highly efficient manufacturing process. The tapping method is cutting a thread inside a hole so that you can easily thread a screw cap or bolt into the hole. Additionally, you can use it to put a thread on the nuts for increased hold. Using tapping helps reduce machine downtime giving higher cutting speeds and longer tool life.

The material you choose, the coating and geometry are all significant decisions for your forming or cutting taps. A tap made in a certain way with certain materials may not be as effective as you would hope. Don’t be afraid to talk to us first to discuss your goal, and we can make sure you get the right combination.

Tapping is the most common thread profile, appropriate for all machine types. Whether it’s a rotating or non-rotating component, tapping is a great idea to include.

Resistance and Ultrasonic Welding

engineer welding metal

Resistance welding is used for joining two metals. A welding head applies pressure to the metal between the two electrodes at its head. The resistance utilises heat to create friction heat where it’s used. This is achieved because the electric current at the head tries to move through the metal. The heat is from the metal’s resistance, and the friction is localised at the contact point.

Ultrasonic welding is when two materials (metal or plastic) are joined without melting. It’s called solid-state welding.

High-frequency mechanical vibrations pass through both materials, causing them to slide on top of each other. This creates its own form of heat friction and bonds the two materials together.

The benefit we enjoy from using ultrasonic welding is that it’s the fastest welding technique available.

Experts in Mechanical Assembly

sub assembly being drilled

As experienced spring manufacturers, we promise to deliver a premium service for all our customers. Our sub-assembly team is one of many teams that specialise in creating custom and prototype work from bespoke springs to bespoke wire forms and pressings.

If you need the services of our sub-assembly team, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch and discuss your needs.

view-of-operating-room-247786

From springs that go into the mouthpieces for ventilators to catheter clips to syringe drivers, patient beds and trolley systems, instrumentation and numerous electrical components for medical technologies including defibrillators, European Springs & Pressings is proud to play a key part in the supply chain for a number of medical equipment manufacturers.

Stuart McSheehy, Managing Director of the Beckenham factory says: “We have developed tooling and manufactured medical components for the healthcare sector for decades but today’s climate and subsequent increase in demand has highlighted the market share with which we and our customers operate in.

We manufacture springs, pressings and gas struts for engineering companies and subcontractors across a broad spectrum of the healthcare industry. Requests for rapid turnaround times has made us see the fuller picture and resulted in us operating new production schedules to meet demand.”

With 1 million mouthpiece springs taking approximately 125 machine hours to manufacture and other product lines in the tens of thousands, the advanced design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities across European Springs & Pressings factories, from London to Cornwall, are working together to help combat today’s public health emergency.

McSheehy concludes: “We manufacture the largest range of springs and pressings in the UK and have some of the most advanced high-volume machinery available. At peak, our machines can manufacture 5 million springs an hour and we have repurposed and upscaled specific production lines to manage orders.

Normally validation as a new supplier takes months of trials before volume production but in this very abnormal period we’ve been fast-tracking processes to suit our customers and are beyond proud to be able to play a supportive role in today’s climate.”

Spring manufacture is rarely glamorous. However, all that changed when European Springs and Pressings were invited to design a bottle top for probably the most beautiful gin in the world.

Tinkture, a new drink manufacturer focused on delivering a purer, clean element to beverages, approached the Redruth company to create a signature bottle top like no other. The family firm, led by Hannah and Sam Lamiroy, developed a world first using the finest organic roses to create a rose gin which is now gracing the bars of some of the most exclusive drink establishments across the UK.

Tinkture Gin

Director, Hannah Lamiroy explains: “For a long time I’ve been really conscious of the food I eat, the ingredients I cook with and the best way to keep my body healthy – however I never really paid much attention to the provenance of my drinks on a night out. Until a couple of years ago. Once I really started looking for answers I just could not find what I was looking for, so my experiments began.”

Tinkture is the result, a personal journey into the drinks that should always have been. The finest alcohol, organic ingredients, nothing nasty, amazing flavours and all distilled by hand in copper pot stills at their distillery on the Cornish coast.

“We knew we had an incredible product and to complete this new approach to drink manufacture, wanted to ensure the packaging achieved exceptional results too and that’s when we discovered the team at European Springs & Pressings. They understood exactly what we were looking for, were dedicated to achieving everything we wanted and wonderfully, have produced a stunning bottle top that embodies our uniqueness.”

Michael Gibbs, Managing Director of European Springs & Pressings says: “Working with innovators like Tinkture is everything we love about engineering and manufacturing. To be part of their passion, to be part of a family so focused on achieving exceptional results, helping bring to market a new way of thinking about how we drink, has been a true privilege. Our bottle top design seals an extraordinary journey that simply gets every element right from the clean, organic contents to the processing, right through to the reusable packaging, environmental refills and of course, the taste! Tinkture and their rose gin really is something very special – I drink nothing else now.”

To discover more about Tinkture, please visit www.wearetinkture.com

For further information, please visit www.europeansprings.com

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