Compressions springs are among the most versatile springs we manufacture here at European Springs and Pressings Ltd. Large or small, at some point, everyone has used something that needs a compression spring without realising it. Read on to discover how we use compression springs in our daily lives.

 

Multiple compression springs

 

What is a Compression Spring?

A compression spring is essentially a helical spring with an open coil; it’s your classic spring. They can come in various body sizes, diameters and pitches depending on what they will be used for. In general, the purpose of a compression spring is to absorb potential energy as it is compressed and released after, essentially to compress and expand when needed.

 

Different Types of Compression Spring

As one of Europe’s leading spring manufacturers, we can supply a catalogue of different compression springs, each with its purpose. With this classic spring being applied in so many different ways, there is a growing selection of choices when looking for yours.

The unique helix shape is why this spring has become a classic choice. The flexibility of the helix shape gives manufacturers an option to mould them in almost any desired shape.

  • Cylindrical
  • Conical
  • Tapered
  • Hourglass
  • Convex or concave
  • Barrel-shaped
  • Magazine

They can be made with a constant or variable pitch to suit any design specifications.

 

Compression spring in motion

 

We offer various materials for making our compression springs—other materials from stainless steel right through to non-ferrous metals.

  • Phosphor Bronze
  • Beryllium Copper
  • Inconel
  • Hastelloy
  • Nimonic
  • And many more.

Here at European Springs & Pressings Ltd, we understand how important it is that you can choose your spring from a variety of the highest quality materials. Our top priority is that your spring is exactly what you need for whatever design you have.

 

Industrial Uses For Compression Springs

With our experience as compression spring manufacturers, we’ve seen them used in many applications across various industries.

  • Automobile manufacturing
  • Pulp and paper industry
  • Railways
  • And many more.

An industrial example of where compression springs are needed is in oil rigs. These springs are vital in manipulating the pressure and keeping it at optimal levels, and this is a crucial part of operating any offshore oil rig.

Medical devices may seem so complicated they wouldn’t need the humble compression spring, but this is not true from micro springs like those found in inhalers or syringes to larger ones inside diagnostic equipment and, finally, the ones in the ambulances themselves. Additionally, you could discover springs in various medical tools such as catheters, valves, peristaltic pumps and the standard wheelchair.

Aeronautics rely on compression springs. Most air travel would be impossible without these classic compression springs. You could discover them in almost every part of a modern aircraft, from the turbines, guidance systems, engine controls, not to mention the actual engines themselves.

 

compression spring in a pen

 

Compression springs are an integral part of making firearms as well. The recoil from firing a gun is cushioned, and the energy is lessened by applying a compression spring. Without it, the recoil would make the weapon much harder to use and potentially damage it.

 

Where Have You Been Using Compression Springs?

You can find compression springs in many parts of our daily lives and not even notice. For example, the mattress on your bed will contain a lot of compression springs to help you get comfortable. Your wristwatch will have some small compression springs in them to help keep everything functioning, and even your smartphone phone can contain similar micro compression springs.

Have you ever disassembled your ballpoint pen when bored? That spring that is inside is a small compression spring. If you try and use the pen without the spring, you’ll immediately realise how important they are for even something as simple as a pen. It’s the spring that brings the pen in and out when you click it. It removes the need for a cap on the pen to keep it from drying out; retracting the pen inside the housing is enough.

An excellent example of a compression spring you will have encountered is a car’s suspension system. Combined with the shock absorbers and linkages, the spring can absorb the bouncing and deliver a smoother driving experience.

Compression springs are needed for electrical switches too. Again, it may seem trivial for something so simple as keeping the switch in either on or off, but we guarantee you’d miss it if the spring weren’t there to keep the light on.

 

A True Classic For Any Design

Our experienced team is here to help you with your compression spring design. Stocking a range of materials from simple steel to superalloys and non-ferrous metals, we can help you make the right decision. In addition, all of our compression springs are quality assured and comply with ISO:9001 standards.

To discuss our high-quality springs at competitive rates, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Cyber attack on computer

 

Nearly half of manufacturing businesses have been the victims of cyber-crime at some point. Since the pandemic, more and more companies have embraced the benefits of using the internet. There are clear advantages when using digital technology to manage your business and conduct e-commerce, but unfortunately, they now come with certain risks, namely the threat of cyber-attacks.

This article will explain cyber-crime, why it’s a threat to your business, and how to protect yourself best.

 

The Invisible Thief: Cyber-Crime

Cyber-crime has become an umbrella term for any crime committed that was either ‘Cyber-dependant’ or ‘Cyber-enabled.’

Cyber-dependant. Hacking to steal or damage a system or spreading malware for financial gain, for example.

Cyber-enabled. Committing fraud or data theft through computer networks, for example.

With the development of the first computer viruses in the early 1980s, the door was opened to attack other people’s computers. While these initially started as harmless pranks or experiments, they quickly led to harmful criminal activity as the internet grew more popular.

 

Types of Cyber-Crime

Cybercriminals are vicious and ruthless. Invading systems to take control or exploit private data are the two main goals of these criminals. Additionally, once they have what they want, they will attempt to extort money from you to fix everything. As a result, most businesses never truly recover as the attack causes permanent damage to your company’s reputation.

All of this is money leaving your pocket for no good reason; a sound cyber security system will help you keep that money where it belongs.

 

What To Watch Out For

With businesses conducting confidential business online and storing valuable information, the temptation has never been higher for cybercriminals. Given a chance, they will not hesitate to damage your system permanently.

 

Warning for a virus on computer

 

Ransomware

Is a type of virus that will prevent your workers from accessing your IT systems. As more businesses incorporate hybrid working with remote systems, this type of attack has increased. Their goal is to hold the system captive until they are paid a substantial sum.

Spyware

Any business holding customer information is a potential target for ransomware. For example, our customer database and custom spring designs are confidential. Without our cybersecurity in place, they would be a vulnerable and tempting target.

Then a successful attack would require you to hire outside experts to verify the data is still confidential or notify the people whose information was leaked.

Data Erasure Malware

Some Cyber-criminals are not in it for the money; some are known as ‘Hacktivists.’ A Hacktivist would want to get a virus into your system to cause chaos. They could erase valuable data like order histories, customer contact details or specifications. They could erase your website without your knowledge, so that it would require reconstruction.

There are many ways to achieve this once they are in, so it’s vital to maintain a sound cyber security plan to keep them out.

 

How To Protect Yourself

No business is immune to online threats, but protecting yourself from online threats may feel necessary until your luck runs out, that is. The financial cost of the disruption to your business alone is the best-case scenario, and the worst case would be far more expensive. And suddenly, you’ll wish you had taken the time to defend yourself adequately.

Fortunately, in our 70 years of experience as leading bespoke spring manufacturers, we have learnt some good business practices for protecting ourselves online, which we’ve shared below:

Updating your Antivirus Regularly

Taking the time regularly to make sure your software is up to date will ensure you have the most robust defence against any intrusions. Unfortunately, new viruses and hacks are being developed by criminals all the time. The best antivirus software companies will constantly update their software databases to defend against these newly created viruses, but it’s up to you to make sure your update your software.

 

Anti virus computer security

 

Additionally, it’s your responsibility to make sure the antivirus software you choose to begin with is the best on the market. You need to imagine this software like hiring a new staff member, one whose sole job is to protect you from online threats and updating your software is training your employee.

We at European Springs and Pressings wholeheartedly recommend investing in your online protection. Investing in your software as much as your staff is securing your long term future, and we believe in developing people for the future.

 

Passwords and Two-Factor Authentications

Your passwords are like the lock to your home, and you want them both to be as hard to break as possible. Using encrypted passwords will have a significant positive effect on your cyber security. Try using combinations of capital letters, numbers and symbols when possible to make it too complex to guess.

Having a solid password works for a while, but you should change your passwords often. Try doing it the same time you update your antivirus software to create a helpful routine.

Two-factor authentication is a fantastic addition to anyone’s online security and is essential for online businesses. Otherwise known as 2FA, two-factor authentication is the process of alerting a second source that someone is attempting a login. It’s a proven security measure amongst the banking industry and most online eCommerce sites. Most people will have encountered these at some point, such as inputting a code delivered directly to your phone or email.

 

Investing pays off

Being prepared for cyber threats does mean investing in cyber security, which means increased outlays. Still, as a prominent member of the Institute of Spring Technology and the leading spring manufacturers nationwide, we can attest that investing in your security and keeping it up to date will relieve you of these troubles so you can focus on your business.

We hope that this blog has been helpful and you now have a better understanding of cyber-crime and its threat to the manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our products and services, please get in touch – we’re always more than happy to help.

The manufacturing industry is constantly changing. With adaptations to reduce carbon footprints and advancements in technology, the sector is continuously tested and expected to keep up with these changes. Often, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that their workers have the latest relevant training.

 

The advantages of upskilling and training your workforce

 

That is why, in today’s blog, we’re looking into the benefits of upskilling your workforce. First, we will explore what upskilling is and discuss the various advantages this process can bring to your employees and your company.

As leading spring manufacturers in the UK, we have a plethora of knowledge on upskilling within the manufacturing industry. We are proud to have worked with and alongside many apprentices over the years, providing them with the skills and experience they needed to have a successful career in engineering and manufacturing. To learn more and discover how you can get involved with European Springs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we are always more than happy to offer our assistance and expert advice.

 

What Is Upskilling?

First of all, it’s essential to understand what upskilling means. At first glance, some may believe it is the idea of basic training, but it’s much more than that.

Upskilling is essentially continuous learning, not just an occasional training course, for example. Workplaces will provide various training programs and offer a choice of development opportunities to widen their employees’ abilities and reduce skill gaps. Often, an upskilling strategy is put in place to improve the skills required by employees to complete their current job and expand their skill sets, allowing them to advance in their roles. Additionally, this will enable them to move around the company and take on new challenges. In recent times, employers have utilised upskilling to close the digital gap and ensure that employees are up to speed with the latest technology in the manufacturing field.

Some examples of upskilling include but are not limited to:

  • Formal education such as degrees and apprenticeship schemes
  • Internal mentoring and shadowing programs
  • Virtual or online courses

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of upskilling.

 

 Woman training her employees as part of an upskilling scheme

 

Skills and Service Development

Of course, the main benefit of upskilling is that your employees will get the chance to develop their skills. This is great for everyone involved – workers get to learn something new and employers cultivate a workforce that is up-to-date with the latest training and ready to take on the next challenge. In addition, through upskilling, your employees will come to understand that the manufacturing industry is everchanging. By continuously upskilling your workers, you’re teaching them to be aware of adaptions to their working day in line with technology upgrades and industry standards.

 

Employee Motivation

Another fantastic benefit of upskilling is the motivation it will give your employees. Through upskilling, you engage your workers and encourage them to excel in their current role whilst potentially offering them other opportunities in the company. When an employee feels demotivated and stuck in their position, unable to see where it leads them, they are much more likely to leave the company. By upskilling and ensuring they have plenty of opportunities, there is a much higher chance of employee loyalty, meaning they will remain with the company for longer. Motivated and happy employees are more likely to enjoy their job, so as their employer, you must be doing what you can to guarantee this.

 

Increased Productivity

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that upskilling leads to increased productivity in the workplace. As employees are happy, motivated, and satisfied with their role, they are more likely to succeed. This, of course, directly affects the company’s overall productivity and triumph.

By gaining knowledge, skills, and experience in multiple areas, they will become more confident and complete given tasks successfully and to a higher standard. Additionally, these extra skills learnt through training mean less time is spent researching and learning in the long term. If a specific task needs some training, implementing upskilling for the entire workforce will benefit you as the employer. Everyone will then have the knowledge and skills required to complete the task. And more time available means a more productive workforce.

 Team of happy employees

 

Customer Satisfaction

When we look at the benefits explained above, it is clear that each one leads to customer satisfaction. If your workforce has a team of employees with a high and developed skillset, there is a higher chance they will be able to satisfy your customer’s needs. If your employees are happy and motivated, they will offer better customer service than workers who are unsatisfied with their job and demotivated by their lack of opportunities. A productive workforce means tasks will be completed quickly and to a high standard, which is fantastic for customers.

There is no better time than now to begin upskilling your team. We hope this blog has been helpful, but these are only some of the benefits on a long list of reasons to develop your employee’s skills and services. To stay updated with the latest industry news, please head over to our blog, where we post regular content for industry professionals, apprentices, customers, and clients. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating and ever-changing world of manufacturing. Finally, please feel free to contact us with any questions about our spring manufacturer services including tension springs, torsion springs and die springs, and ask for our advice on upskilling your company.

As the manufacturing landscape continues to change and adapt to the current climate, it becomes increasingly apparent that university isn’t the only route to a successful career in engineering. Therefore, your workforce needs to be adaptable and think critically about not only programming and tools but digital processes and new technologies.

Here at European Springs & Pressings, we take on apprentices every year, and there are many benefits to having this development plan in place. It helps us stay competitive in our sector, and the time we spend upskilling, training and reskilling is a much more valuable investment than an ongoing recruitment drive.

This blog focuses on engineering apprenticeships, what’s involved, the increased demand for engineers, and why apprenticeships are beneficial to the industry.

 

What is an Engineering Apprenticeship?

Engineering apprenticeships are courses that provide apprentices with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience of a qualified engineer. The program is typically broken down into modules or skills which combine classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

 

European Springs apprentice

 

Gain Hands-on Experience

Apprentices learn trade skills from the more experienced staff members and learn to take responsibility and accountability for day-to-day tasks. They are a fantastic addition to your workforce as they can bring a fresh perspective on current processes and operations within your business. Here are a couple of examples of what to expect when you’re training to be an engineer:

 

  • Shadowing – qualified engineers will teach you different aspects and methods of completing their work through shadowing. You’ll be able to learn first-hand the correct way to do things and ask questions in real-time.
  • Supervised Work – gradually, you will be able to complete tasks under supervision, grow your confidence and take responsibility for key aspects of projects. In addition, supervisors will provide you with clear instructions and feedback on these tasks.
  • Studying – apprenticeships will give you access to the physical nature of the job, as well as classroom-based theory surrounding the topic. This could be a couple of days a week at college or in-house with your fellow coursemates.
  • Assessment – for the duration of the apprenticeship, you will have a supervisor who will check in regularly and answer any questions you may have. Your supervisor will be responsible for assessing your skills and knowledge on the job, and you will also complete practical exams and coursework throughout the program.

 

Earn While You Learn

Throughout the apprenticeship training programme, you will be working toward gaining a nationally recognised qualification. The company will pay you for the work you complete, and the amount will depend on your age and how long you have been training. Typically, apprentices can take between 1-4 years to become fully qualified (depending on prior experience and knowledge of engineering).

 

Female apprentice at European Springs

 

Our Managing Director Stuart McSheehy speaks about the importance of our apprenticeships: “not only is this a fantastic achievement for personal development, but it also inspires the next generation of engineers and spring makers. With the challenges of 2020 behind us, we are all very proud to present our latest apprentices with their qualifications.”

Take a look at the stories of our most recent apprentices who have successfully achieved either CITY & GUILDS or BTEC qualifications following a nationally recognised manufacturing apprenticeship framework.

 

The Increased Demand for Engineers

Our sector is facing the largest skills gap in over 30 years. As pressing manufacturers, we have to act and create both short and long term solutions to the problem. The skills gap is widening due to employees retiring faster than the rate of new talent joining the industry.

Businesses with experienced workforces should spend time upskilling and retraining. Automating basic processes will also give you the option to expand in areas such as software and machine learning development. However, it’s important to consider that while investing in this equipment is a positive move, you should also focus on training employees with the skills needed to operate new machinery.

 

Team of European Springs apprentices

 

European Springs Developing Engineers for the Future

As leading spring manufacturers, we prioritise upskilling our workforce as it allows us to build on new and existing team skills, increase productivity, and streamline work processes. When you spend time identifying gaps within your team, you can use the data to plan for development, taking into account the equipment or resources you need.

Not only can you inspire the next generation of manufacturers with attractive apprenticeship opportunities, but you can highlight the need for skilled young people in our industry. If you would like any more information about any of the services or products including tension springs, compression springs and disc springs that we provide, contact European Springs with your enquiry. Our experienced team will be happy to answer your questions.

A buckling spring is a specific type of keyswitch mechanism that became widely used for keyboards — following the success of International Business Machines Corporation’s (IBM’s) keyboards for the PC, PC/AT, 5250/3270 terminals, PS/2, and other systems.

The name ‘buckling spring’ refers to the coil spring that is fixed between the keycap and the buckles. The mechanism provides tactile and auditory feedback as the person typing on the keyboard pushes it down. When it buckles, the hammer pivots with the motion of the spring and makes electrical contact, registering the keypress.

So, in this article, we will explore buckling springs, a type of compression spring that is specifically used in keyboards. 

Buckling Springs in Keyboards

The buckling spring keyboard was one of the first keyboards ever released, and its design still has an influence on the modern layout of the keyboards we use today. 

The name ‘buckling spring keyboard’ describes how the piece of equipment functions — using a key switch mechanism (as mentioned above). Every time you press down on the keycap, the spring is compressed inside.

Using Simple Mechanisms to Complete Everyday Tasks 

Buckling spring keys are much taller than modern-day keyboards and, because of this, you have to press down a little harder on the keys to register typing. However, buckling springs are very reliable, and once you get into a flow of pressing keys with the right amount of downward force, it will register that you are typing. Not only this, but many people prefer buckling spring keyboards because of the sound they make. Some say it is satisfying, and the sound alone can motivate you to type faster or get into a rhythm.

Many typists prefer to use traditional buckling spring keyboards. However, some people claim that they find using these keyboards tiring — possibly due to the frequency of using modern keyboards or tapping on phone screen keyboards.  

The most common and best technique for operating a buckling spring keyboard is to allow your hands to float over it so that when you press down on the keys, force is also exerted from your hand. If you prefer to type with your wrists fixed on your desk, then you may find you will get tired quicker when using this style of keyboard.

With the shift to home working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are now working from home on computers with a buckling spring keyboard — though new technology is just as popular. 

Springs Used Throughout a Variety of Industries 

We’re compression spring manufacturers, and our products are produced in a range of different materials, from stainless steels and non-ferrous metals such as phosphor bronze and beryllium copper to superalloys like inconel, hastelloy and nimonic, so we’re able to create some of the finest springs in the whole of Europe.

We take great pride in ensuring that we are capable of meeting all of our client’s requirements. Whether you’re looking for specific body size, force, length or pitch or wire diameter, as one of the best European spring manufacturers, we’re able to provide you with a range of spring dimensions from 0.1-65 millimetres for your individual use. All of our compression springs are quality assured and comply with ISO:9001 standards.

We hope you learned something new about buckling springs in this blog. As experienced spring manufacturers, we see many uses for our springs throughout a wide range of industries. 

Take a look at our stock catalogue for more information on our range of springs and forms including tension springs, torsion springs and die springs. Alternatively, get in touch with us directly at info.bec@europeansprings.com – we’d be happy to hear from you.

Implementing processes to become a leaner manufacturer has many benefits. Not only can your business maintain high levels of productivity, but you can remain efficient at all times when producing quality products to make a profit. 

As spring manufacturers, we understand it can be hard to prioritise processes and manage in a streamlined way. However, when you start to become leaner in your working methods, you can become more proficient by eliminating waste without compromising on quality or disrupting the productivity of your facility.

Our well-equipped manufacturing plants allow us to offer a wide range of custom products and services. We train our experienced engineers and invest in the latest automated equipment, which means we can repeatedly meet the ever-changing requirements of our customers and the market we operate in.

The overarching goal of Lean manufacturing is to simplify the processes within your working environment. This blog will look at the different ways in which you can modify and improve your manufacturing operations.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing covers the application of Lean practices, principles, and tools used to develop and manufacture physical products. The term originates from the Japanese manufacturing industry, specifically the Toyota Production System who are recognised as one of the most successful automotive manufacturers. The system requires less human labour, less factory space, and reduced timeframes while still providing customers with top-quality products.

Below are five fundamental principles that define the process:

  • Specify value – the desired value of the customer.
  • Identify the value stream for each product – review unnecessary steps.
  • Flow – the product flow should be continuous through value-added measures.
  • Pull production – introduce pull steps so continuous flow is possible.
  • Pursue perfection – the number of steps and time required should be continuous.

The process is based on the intention of continuous and incremental improvements to remove redundant activities. Those activities or processes that do not add value to the customer are considered ‘waste’, which can apply to skill, money and time. Instead, you should focus on the design and flow of your current processes with a vision of creating a system with more value and reduced waste. 

‘The Toyota Way’ outlines seven types of waste:

  • Overproduction
  • Waiting
  • Unnecessary transport/conveyance
  • Overprocessing (or incorrect processing)
  • Excess inventory
  • Motion
  • Defects

By eliminating all forms of waste, Toyota can apply a long-term structure of continuous flow and avoid overproduction. Let’s look at some more examples of how you can implement this system into your manufacturing processes.

Eliminate Waste and Reduce Un-Used Materials

Removing waste is the core principle of lean manufacturing, and this doesn’t just apply to material waste. We’d recommend using a value stream to highlight wasteful activities, which will allow you to make decisions on improving added value to your production line.

By effectively implementing a value stream into your processes, you can turn customer requests into a tangible value then analyse each step of the process to see where waste occurs.

One of the most significant critical waste points identified by The Toyota Way is overproduction. Using materials and components efficiently should never mean compromising on quality. You should make use of every resource available (where possible) and use only what you need to optimise storage space — reusing materials where appropriate.

Shorter Production Times with In-Depth Analysis  

Reducing the time it takes to make your products is one of the great benefits of lean manufacturing processes. Our fully equipped toolroom includes the latest WEDM machines and in-house 3D CAD. Investing in the latest technology enables us to reach a production capacity of up to 400,000 units a day. The automated nature of these machines means that you don’t have to be concerned about downtime or halting production, which can be costly.

Investing in high-quality equipment, we can work toward faster and more efficient production times. Another benefit is that we can increase product quality and experience fewer errors in production. Halts in production can be detrimental to your productivity. So you should put contingency plans in place to avoid this where possible, such as regular machine maintenance and employee training. 

Continuous Improvement 

Lean manufacturing practices require continuous improvement across many areas. It is a journey that should be regularly measured and analysed. You can use your value stream map to visualise your priorities, which will help you understand how the learning process affects operations — measuring your performance and evaluating waste is an effective way to see the bigger picture.

Whether you decide to implement a formal practice or a looser set of guidelines, you should focus on integrating continuous improvement into your business to make a meaningful difference over time. 


Here at European Springs & Pressings, we’re continuing our focus on an automated and Lean manufacturing approach. As reputable spring manufacturers, we’ve seen the benefits of investing heavily in automation, upskilling our employees and using the best technology in the business. We’re optimistic about our vision and plans for growth in the future.

Keep up to date with our blog page and be the first to see the latest information on the manufacturing industry, as well as expert sector insights. You can also take a look at our extensive spring range including tension springs, compression springs, torsion springs and many other spring and pressing types.

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