For springs manufactured up to 0.75 in diameter in a cold-wound environment, two techniques can be used.

One consists of winding the wire around a shaft or arbor. This can be done on a spring-manufacturing machine, a spring lathe, even an electric hand drill with the mandrel secured in the chuck, or a hand-winding spring manufacturing machine with a hand crank.

A guiding mechanism, for example, a lead screw on a lathe is used to align the wire into the desired pitch as it wraps around the arbor

The wire may also be coiled without a mandrel. This is generally done with a central navigation computer (CNC) spring manufacturing machine.

Springs made on Automatic Spring Manufacturing Machines

Spring-tempered wire is pushed forward over a support block toward a grooved head that deflects the wire, forcing it to bend. The head and support block can be moved relative to each other in as many as five directions to control the diameter and pitch of the spring that is being formed.

For extension or torsion springs, the ends are bent into the desired loops, hooks, or straight sections after the coiling operation is completed.

Hot winding is a spring manufacturing technique used for thicker wire or bar stock. The spring material can be coiled into springs if the metal is heated to make it flexible. Standard industrial coiling machines can handle steel bars up to 3 inches in diameter, and custom springs have reportedly been made from bars as much as 6 inches thick. The steel is coiled around a mandrel while molten hot. Then it is immediately removed from the coiling machine and plunged into oil to cool it quickly and harden. At this stage, the spring steel is too brittle to function as a spring, and it must subsequently be tempered.

Scott Pitney
Katy Spring & Mfg., Inc.
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Katy Spring & Mfg. Inc.