A few weeks ago, I was taking a customer through the shop, and as we were observing compression, extension, torsion, flat, and other springs being manufactured, I started to share a story or two of some of the early days of Katy Spring.
This customer, who uses compression springs in their valve components, got a kick out of one story I told about the first time we received half-inch chrome silicon spring wire for a draw-bar spring assembly job. This customer suggested I share this story with our other spring customers, so as I think of them I will share them.
Eleven years ago Katy spring & Mfg. had only been in business for a little over a year. We have spring lathes that can cold wind springs up to .625 spring-tempered wire diameter. The draw-bar spring required .500 inch diameter spring material so no problem, except most spring manufacturing requires support equipment. Spring lathes use wire reels for larger-diameter spring wire to contain and safely feed the wire into the spring lathes and we did not have one, because the largest diameter spring wire we previously ran was .250.
When we received the chrome silicon spring wire, we unloaded the roll of wire, and like a lot of spring manufacturing, started to get creative. The spring wire roll was banded with metal bands and if we were to just cut the bands with no reel, it could be very dangerous as the spring-tempered wire roll would unravel like a mad octopus of spring wire, damaging or injuring anything in its circumference.
So we drug the roll of wire out to the yard with a fork truck, wrapped it with rope, cut the metal bands (the rope held the roll togetherâ€¦ thank goodness) threw gas on the rope, lit the rope, ran way, and a few minutes later we had a heap of half-inch spring wire. We took a torch out and cut the wire into its developed lengths and ran the draw-bar spring job.
Soon afterward, we got a spring lathe reel, and today no worries.
It’s just another example of â€œdoing whatever it takes at Katy Spring.
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