Metal grinding as part of the surface treatment process

 

Each step is essential to ensuring a quality result during the metal component manufacturing process. From an initial design idea to the maintenance and upkeep of materials and everything in between, high-quality care and a well-thought-out strategy is key to a successful project. Surface treatment is one of the most vital stages of the manufacturing process as it provides the metal components with additional properties, such as durability.

That is why, in today’s blog, we’re providing you with everything you need to know about surface treatment and its importance. We will explore what surface treatment is, the various methods and processes, and the benefits of the different techniques.

Additionally, as expert spring manufacturers with over 70 years of experience in the springs and pressings manufacturing industry, we will offer advice on how our surface treatment services can benefit you and your project here at European Springs.

 

What is Surface Treatment?

Surface treatment is when metal components are prepared for their individual usage. How a metal component is treated before use differs from how it operates – this is because the metal is primed during the surface treatment process to provide it with additional properties.

There are several surface treatment techniques that offer a range of additional properties depending on the desired use of the metal component in question. Here at European Springs, we are proud to provide a list of these treatments so you can get the desired usage out of your metal elements.

For example, we offer:

  • Plating
  • Heat treatment
  • Barrelling
  • De-Burring

As mentioned, each method allows for different results, for example, rust prevention, heat protection, or increasing the strength and durability of the component.

 

Aerospace metal components lined up

 

Why is Surface Treatment Important?

Surface treatment is an essential part of metal component manufacturing as it protects the pieces from many factors, including rust, heat, weathering, and pressure. These additional features contribute to the longevity of the component, meaning that with the proper surface treatments, you are less likely to need to replace your parts. Similarly, this also means that the maintenance and upkeep of your components will reduce with the correct surface treatment.

Additionally, this process improves the functionality of the metal and is often used for aesthetic purposes. For example, metal can be treated in preparation for painting and coatings depending on the desired look of the components.

 

The Various Methods of Surface Treatment

Here at European Springs, we offer a range of surface treatments for a variety of different metal components: Plating, Heat treatment, Barrelling, and De-Burring. Let’s look at what each of those entails and how you can use each method differently to add a range of additional features to your metal.

 

Plating

Metal Plating is a process that involves coating a metal component with a thin layer of metal. There are various reasons why someone would choose plating as their surface treatment, as it provides many benefits. For example, plating increases a metal component’s heat resistance, particularly if you prefer silver to coat the metal. As you’re adding another layer of metal to your part, plating also increases the durability and endurance of the end product. Metal plating is also chosen for its aesthetic benefits, as you can completely change the colour and texture of your component with this technique.

 

Heat Treatment

There are various types of heat treatment, all resulting in a different end product. As an overview, it is the process of heating and cooling metal to achieve the desired result. First, the metal is heated, kept at a specific temperature, and then cooled down – with different results occurring depending on the length of time the metal is heated and then cooled down. For example, heat treatment can strengthen, soften, relieve stress, or change grain structure. The most common heat treatments include:

  • Annealing
  • Normalising
  • Hardening
  • Ageing
  • Stress relieving
  • Tempering
  • Carburisation

 

Metal components after surface treatment from European Springs

 

Barrelling

Barrelling is often used for a large number of small metal components. This process removes the previous processing residues from the part. It effectively eliminates impurities and imperfections on the pieces, preparing them for further treatments and applications. Barrelling is also used for aesthetic reasons if it is the final step in the surface treatment process.

 

De-Burring

De-burring is similar to barrelling, as it involves removing imperfections and perfecting metal components. However, this process is more specific to eliminating sharp edges and smoothing out the pieces. In addition, this process is often done after other surface treatments, which may have left sharp edges or burrs.

 

Contact European Springs Today

We hope this blog has been helpful, and you now know a little more about the importance of surface treatment for metal components. We’re experts in our field and are more than equipped to help you with your surface treatment requirements.

Additionally, we have a wide range of other services available, so if you’re looking for bespoke pressings for your project, we can assist. So please explore our website, look at our blog, or get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about what we can do for you.

We design and manufacture a complete selection of constant force springs that can be used for various applications, across virtually every industry, from healthcare to aerospace and within general household items.

This blog will look at what a constant force spring is, common applications and how we design these widely used mechanisms.

What is a Constant Force Spring? 

Constant force springs (or constant torque springs) get their name because their force of motion is at constant exertion. The load is determined by the width and thickness of the material and the diameter of the coil.

The tightly wound roll works in a linear movement and does not obey Hooke’s law (F=kX) but constantly produces force throughout its deflection.

These springs provide a smooth range of motion and a constant load in extending or retracting. The full load of the spring is reached after being deflected to a length equal to 1.25 times its diameter and it can sustain a constant force regardless of the extension length.

Constant force springs can be fitted in a variety of ways and extended either partly or completely, which allows them to be used for a range of applications because of the lack of limitations on extension speed and acceleration.

Fitting a Constant Force Spring 

The fitting can be completed in a number of ways. For long extensions, the spring must be laterally guided to prevent movement in a sideways direction — suitable play on each side is 0.5 – 1.5 mm. 

When fitting on a bearing or conduit, the spring can be located using its own force providing that sufficient strip length remains on the bearing. If there is no operating extension limit in the application, we recommend that a screw or rivet is used to secure the inner end of the spring.

Our standard springs and slide bearings are normally supplied separately. Fitting is done by loosening the outer end of the spring and winding it onto the bearing (securing it if necessary), after which the complete spring is wound onto the bearing.

Constant Force Spring Applications  

A constant force spring is an excellent device for applications where a constant load is required. The many benefits of these springs make them suitable for a number of applications. 

The spring itself has a small space requirement which allows it to provide a smooth range of motion. With no inertia to overcome, constant force springs are very versatile and can mount to existing hardware, as well as create a counterbalancing effect. 

Constant force springs are widely used across the medical and healthcare industries to improve surgical devices. They are also used regularly in aviation to deploy and retract aircraft doors and efficiently counterbalance aeroplane windows.

You will also find constant force springs in many day-to-day applications, such as door closers, hairdryers, gym equipment, electric motors, cabinet furniture components and much more.

Innovative Design and Technology 

We’ve been designing springs for over 70 years, and so our range is exceptionally varied and technologically advanced. Besides our standard range, we can provide customised solutions using design capabilities that feature our advanced, proprietary spring design software.

Our software package has been developed in-house and we can simulate any type of application, which enables us to calculate the force required for your particular design. 

Our regular constant force springs are wrapped on a drum with the free end attached to the loading force. However, your preferred mounting method will impact the way we design your spring.

Our skilled design team can help by determining a suitable method to rule out any problems, even if you haven’t decided upon the exact specifications.


As an experienced spring manufacturer, we have the expertise to create a whole host of springs perfect for any application within any industry.

Take a look at our stock catalogue for more information on our range of springs and forms. Alternatively, get in touch with us directly at info.bec@oldeuropeansprings.sqsite.co.uk, we’d love to hear from you.

As bespoke spring manufacturers, we see many uses for springs throughout various industries, and it’s fair to say that the world would be a very different place without them.

The versatility and number of applications make springs and bespoke pressings particularly popular in the fitness industry. 

Springs play an essential role in a wide range of machines and equipment you’re likely to use at the gym. So, let’s take a closer look at how and where springs are used.

Resistance Training and Machinery 

Springs have an important job of creating resistance, as well as safeguarding machines during a workout.

When resistance is created with wiring or bands, it’s a form of spring. For example, when you pull on a machine and the weights lift, they reach a ceiling. High-quality machines will have springs built around the ceiling, which protect the machine so that the weights naturally push off of the spring.

Springs have an important job of creating resistance

The use of long coiled springs for resistance training can also be applied to more traditional forms of equipment, such as the spring rowing exerciser or leg foot spring exerciser.

Multi-Station Trainer  

A multi-station trainer is a form of strength and resistance training that incorporates lockable gas springs to increase pressure. 

This reliable piece of gym equipment is popular as it offers an intense full-body workout, allowing you to build muscle in various ways.

Chest Pull Expander 

Chest expander cables are an effective exercise for building strength. This versatile piece of equipment works by applying resistance to a variety of areas on the body through a simple pulling motion.

Depending on your pull’s strength, the elastic rubber cables in the chest expander provide variable resistance. 

These cables/bands became popular in lockdown due to their affordability and effectiveness in promoting ligament and tendon strength.

Personal Trampolines 

Springs are used in trampolines to provide rebound and bounce. Exercise trampolines allow you to incorporate fun into your workout, boost cardiovascular health, as well as relieve tension and improve endurance.

springs trampolines rebound and bounce

Generally, the cost of the trampoline will reflect the quality of the springs and materials used. For example, high-quality springs are manufactured at an increased cost to be longer-lasting and provide a smoother stretch, ultimately giving you a better bounce. 

Hand Forearm Grip 

Hand forearm grips are ideal for building resistance and endurance in your fingers, as well as strengthening your wrists and forearm muscles. 

Like the chest pull expander, these handy grips work by applying pressure with your hand around a resistant spring. Through resistance, you can build forearm strength and improve other muscles, like biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

Shock Absorption Treadmills 

There are plenty of shock absorption treadmills on the market, each containing springs in the belts, decks and shock systems. 

The shock absorption treadmill operates in the same way as a traditional machine, however, it is built to absorb any severe pressure increases. The springs and shock absorbers work to ensure that the rebound holds less of a negative impact on your joints.

It’s important to choose a quality shock absorption treadmill if you wish to protect your joints and reduce the risk of injury or pain in the long term.

Shock Absorption Treadmills

Shock Absorbing Running Shoes 

It may not seem obvious at first, but some shoes also use a traditional spring to protect your foot from continued heel strike — heel striking can lead to additional strain on your knees.

Many shoe manufacturers are now incorporating springs into their design, with some having been accused of “technological doping” in the world of athletics.

In particular, Nike has received scrutiny over their Alphafly running trainer. Athlete Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, and he did so in a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%.

The World Athletics President commented, saying that “It is not our job to regulate the entire sports shoe market, but it is our duty to preserve the integrity of elite competition by ensuring that the shoes worn by elite athletes in competition do not offer any unfair assistance or advantage”.

While this is fascinating stuff for the use of springs in technology and the fitness industry, regulations have now been brought in due to revolutionary new foams and the development of shoes containing carbon fibre plates.


With over 70 years of experience as a spring manufacturer, we have the expertise to create a whole host of springs from compression springs and tension springs to torsion springs. Take a look at our brochure (PDF) or contact our experienced team today to discuss your next project with us. We’re here to help!

With many businesses in the manufacturing and engineering sector heading back to work in recent weeks, there has been some trouble getting back to normal working practices for some. With social distancing measures a requirement within the workplace, it has been challenging for many in the sector to maintain high production standards.

Businesses who had previously invested in robotics and AI technologies prior to the outbreak have found the transition a much smoother process, and in this article, we will explore some of the reasons why. We will also take a closer look at how robotics are already being used within a number of industries around the world to minimise the risk of infections.

Manufacture robot

Robotics Leading The Way In Deep Cleaning Practices

One of the main ways that robotics is helping to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak is by assisting in deep cleaning methods in premises throughout the world. In some areas, it is simply too dangerous for humans to go in and deep clean all areas of a premises, and this is where robots come in.

Danish manufacturer, UVD Robots, has seen a huge spike in the number of machines being ordered across Europe and in China. The company specialises in ultraviolet-light-disinfection robots, which are capable of replacing cleaners in many settings. There is obviously worldwide demand for robots with cleaning capabilities, as they are far more likely to maintain more rigorous cleaning regimes than their human counterparts; all of which is required in a pandemic such as this.

Outside of manufacturing, American retail giant, Walmart, are using robots to scrub their floors instead of humans during the coronavirus outbreak. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that many other industries and companies around the world will adopt similar measures in the coming months to reduce the chances of cleaners coming into contact with harmful bacteria on a daily basis.

With robots now capable of leading the way when it comes to deep cleaning practices, employees can rest assured that each day after they finish their shift, a robot will have effectively cleaned up their workspace by the next morning. This will give all employees peace of mind that they are working in as safe an environment as possible, whilst also giving employers confidence they are continuing to abide by social distancing and cleaning best practices during the coronavirus pandemic.

Concept of a Robot that vacuums digits on the floor. 3D illustration. Isolated. Contains clipping path

Robotics Helping Businesses Prepare For The Future

With social distancing measures set to stay in place for the foreseeable future, with some experts stating they could roll over well into 2021, robotics is set to play a vital role in manufacturers getting back to normal operational levels in the coming months. AI technologies have long been used within the engineering and manufacturing industries, but now is the time to review existing processes and identify opportunities for machines to take on some of the more menial tasks normally carried out by humans in the workplace.

One of the main way’s robotics can help businesses in the short term is by taking on the role of some employees, to aid with social distancing measures in the workplace. If manufacturers are able to ensure that robots successfully carry out repetitive tasks that were once carried out by employees, they can reduce the need for as many employees in the business at any one time. This is a vital step for employers to take, and could help minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus within the workplace.

It’s also worth noting that manufacturers who already have robotic technologies integrated within their existing business model will have a kickstart when they get back to work. All tasks that were originally carried out by robots can continue to be carried out right away, meaning that no social distancing measures are required to be put into force. Productivity can pick up exactly where it left off for some components, whilst managers focus their attentions on enabling employees to come back to work in a safe environment.

At the Factory: Automation Engineer Uses Laptop for Programming Robotic Arm. New Era in Automatic Manufacturing Industry.

Here at European Springs & Pressings, we have been fortunate enough to continue working safely throughout the entirety of the pandemic thanks to a combination of forward planning and robotic technologies we have invested in over the years. Our team have adapted well to working under new social distancing guidelines, whilst continuing to provide vital components for a variety of healthcare equipment, such as ventilators.

As one of the country’s leading spring manufacturers with over 70 years’ experience in the industry, we realise just how important it is to continually invest in the very latest technologies to continue expanding our output capabilities on a consistent basis. That’s why we have always taken steps to purchase the very latest manufacturing equipment and robotic innovations that are capable of assisting us with manufacturing processes, which has allowed us to be in the position we are in today.

With the recent release of the IDC report “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2018”, the team here at European Springs couldn’t help but think about what the future holds for the industry. When this firm conjured up its predictions they examined experiences and ecosystems, greater intelligence in operational assets, processes, data and convergence of IT.

While many of these predictions consisted of a change in digital transformation on a wider scope, there will be many impacted technologies; a prominent one being the evolution of cloud-based technologies. With this in mind, what are some of the notable changes and developments we will see, not just in 2018, but beyond?

modern factory building and wireless communication network

  1. Enhancing Investments Through Digital

One of the predictions is that by 2020 a huge 60% of top manufacturers will be relying heavily on digital platforms to enhance their systems. It is said that these platforms will support as much as 30% of their entire revenue.

The main system to become prominent is thought to be cloud-based. Employees, customers, suppliers and partners can all benefit from the easy information exchange and simplified connectivity, whilst still ensuring high-security levels. It is also said that by 2019, 50% of manufacturers will be collaborating through cloud-based crowdsourcing.

  1. Dependent on Embedded Intelligence

It is predicted that by 2021 20% of the biggest manufacturers will depend on a secure backbone of embedded intelligence using IoT, blockchain and cognitive which will allow them to automate processes on a larger scale and speed up execution by up to 25%.

Most manufacturers will look for ways they can automate processes, mostly using embedded intelligence. Most will find the outcome through intelligent ERP systems with integration into the IoT. These systems will also make use of cloud technologies.

  1. Industry Cloud and Data Contributions

A third amazing prediction for the industry is again cloud-related. By 2020, 75% of all the manufacturers in the industry will be a part of industry clouds, however, one-third of these only will be monitoring their data input.

Industry clouds are an appealing option for many businesses due to their sharing and analysing capabilities. Manufacturers will also look to them for sourcing and supplier management.

Cloud Computing Paper Cutout Stickers BYOD Devices Network

  1. Analytics-Driven Capabilities

By the end of 2020, a third of all supply chains within manufacturing will be making use of analytics-driven cognitive capabilities. This is thought to increase the efficiency of costs by 10% and further increasing service performance by 5%.

The data gained from utilising this technology will help to create a supply chain that accounts for all kinds of data, including environmental, seasonal and economic as well as being able to predict inventory and logistics requirements accurately.

This will not only help with managing inventory, but it also helps with customer demand and can reduce overall supply chain operation costs while increasing service levels.

  1. The Gig Economy and Augmented Reality

Independent contracting became more common because of the 2008 recession as full-time workers were replaced with part-time or temporary work. The ‘gig economy’ has now become a sizable portion of the global workforce, especially in countries which have digital infrastructures. After all, it enables talent accessibility.

It is predicted that by 2020, augmented reality and mobile devices will drive the transition to the ‘gig economy’ in the service industry with ‘experts to hire’. Beginning with durables and electronics, this is predicted to replace 20% of dedicated customer and field service workers.

In the manufacturing industry, an increase of ‘experts for hire’ is predicted as customer demand increases. This can not only save costs through a variable workforce but can help with customer demand and customer service. This is all made possible by mobile devices and augmented reality.

Smiling manual worker in blue helmet gesture thumb up

Technology is surely progressing, and springs will be a part of it all. We are proud to be a part of such a growing sector and we look forward to what the future holds for further development in technology and intelligence. If you would like further information about our range of springs you can simply get in touch with our highly skilled team at European Springs.

[button url=”/contact/” class=”scbutton”]Get in Touch[/button]

 

Springs are a fascinating creation which are used throughout the world on a daily basis. One of the great things springs offer is their functionality for numerous industries, from engineering, to automotive and healthcare. Springs are hidden in many medical applications, contributing greatly to our health.

At European Springs, we care about our customers health, and following on from part 1, here are how springs help with your health.

Senior Male Patient Working With Physiotherapist In Hospital

Stents

A stent is incredibly similar to a spring, and they are used to help clear blocked arteries and treat coronary conditions. This procedure is known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which is used to restore normal blood flow in arteries.

Stents can be used for numerous applications, such as for the heart of those who have suffered a heart attack. A heart stent is a tiny metal, mesh tube which is inserted permanently into the artery. Stents can also be used for urinary purposes; urinary stents are used to aid the passing urine if an individual is suffering from a kidney stone or inflammation of the prostate.

Stents are incredibly important in medical procedures as they help to ease pain and stress in the body.

Illustration of a stent used to open blocked artery on a white background

Spring Loaded Stairs

Today, springs can be found everywhere, even in your stairs! A group of American medical engineers have developed ‘energy-recycling’ stairs which helps to save energy when both climbing and descending. When an individual descends, the spring-loaded stairs save 26% of that person’s energy as it dampens the impact. When climbing, the stored energy from the springs boosts an individual’s step by 37%.

This is an incredible invention for the healthcare sector, as those who have weak or troubled knees, ankles and other associated joints issues can find stairs easier to navigate, as the stairs ease pressure on each step. Offering various health benefits, these stairs can be helpful for many individuals, including those who are recovering from treatments and surgery amongst pregnant women.

Three young friends running on the steps of a building

Artificial Pacemakers

An artificial pacemaker is a medical device which uses electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart. It is used for individuals who suffer from slow heartbeats (bradycardia) or fast heartbeats (tachycardia). Springs are used as a part of the design in pacemakers, contributing to the many thousands of lives that are saved.

Springs are used to ensure the leads connecting the electrical circuits to the heart do not become disconnected. This is crucial in pacemakers, as a disconnected or dislodged lead can result in damage being inflicted on the heart.

Eighty year old man with a pacemaker

Toenail Clippers

Springs are used in a wide variety of medical tools, which includes helping to relieve the stress of those suffering from ingrowing toenails. Springs are vital to the continued function of clippers; when applying pressure on the handles, the clippers cut through the nail, and when released, the spring allows the clipper to return to its original state.

Tools of a manicure scissors on a white background

 

[button url=”https://www.europeansprings.com/contact” class=”scbutton”]Get In Touch with European Springs[/button]

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?







If you would like to send drawings with your enquiry, please email us directly with your enquiry and drawings attached to info.bec@europeansprings.com

This form collects your name, email, company name, phone number and your enquiry so that one of our team can communicate with you and provide assistance. Please check our Privacy Policy to see what we'll do with your information.