We’ve Always Done it That Way.
It’s one of the most rewarding things we do in this business; help a customer redesign a spring that truly has a high impact on improving their business in terms of profitability, safety, and in some cases peace of mind. It also takes a lot of courage for a customer to agree change a design and not be satisfied with the status quo that just because “We’ve always done it that way,” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best way. Change does involve risk.
There was one customer in particular that has a well-known brand and history in the U.S. who took that very risk to improve their position. Katy Spring was fortunate enough to be asked to take on the project, which we eagerly did, because assisting customers with spring design is one of the best things we do; mainly due to our “three generations of spring maker” knowledge that continues to be past on to current and future Katy Spring employees.
For this particular project, a rectangular-wire compression spring was being used for an application that was for the automotive market. The spring assisted in the braking mechanism so safety was an important factor and concern in moving forward with a design change.
The reason the design change was requested was due to the expense and difficulty involved in manufacturing rectangular-wire springs. The reason rectangular-wire compression springs are generally used in the first place; is when a lot of power is needed in a small space. In this case, the space required was not that small and there was room to use round music wire, a common, readily-available material that requires much less set-up time and run time to manufacture. The original rectangular spring turned out to be overkill in terms of force required and when we worked on a round-wire design, Katy Spring came to the conclusion that round wire will be more than adequate to do the job.
After several months of testing, the new spring design passed inspection and today, is one of this customer’s highest-volume springs used.