Success Story – Custom Fin Plates With Thin Material

Success Story – Custom Fin Plates With Thin Material

Success Story – Custom Fin Plates With Thin Material

Custom Fin Plates With Thin Material

The Situation

Heat exchangers perform best when fin plate material is thin, extrusions are high, and the plate shape is customized for the application. Those three specs can yield the thermal transfer properties, optimum airflow, and overall performance that heat exchanger designers seek.

But that thin/high/custom-shape combo is difficult to produce. Thin metal can crumple on the press, creating a costly mess. And, punching very high extrusions from thin stock can fail because there’s so little material to work with.

Finally, custom plate shapes are often specified by design engineers, but custom shapes can’t be produced on a standard fin press.  These and other considerations can make it difficult to mass-produce custom fin plates with thin material at the lowest possible cost.

The Challenge

An original equipment manufacturer assigned Ajax to produce custom fin plates for their commercial heat exchangers out of super-thin, 30-gauge (.0127”-.0187”) copper. To achieve the desired fins-per-inch specification, extrusion height would need to be extreme.

Since the OEM designed a custom plate shape to match their innovative, industry-leading design, optimized material nesting would come into play.

As always, only perfect parts could leave the plant. Project costs needed to be very competitive. 

The Success

The Ajax engineering team designed a proprietary one-hit process that pierced and formed the extrusions to the perfect height and kept the plate material perfectly flat. The Ajax team used a CNC turret press to produce the custom shape and so avoided elaborate and expensive tooling often required by standard fin presses.

The end result was a perfectly flat fin plate with very high extrusions that conformed to every customer specification. The one-hit process sped production, shortened the delivery time frame, and minimized costs. Smart material purchasing added to overall project efficiency.

With decades of experience forming custom fin plates, header plates, and casings for HVACR units, Ajax delivers virtually any size and shape using any material.

Custom Fin Plate With Thin Material
Custom fin plates with thin material - Stack of custom fin plates
Cross section of custom fin plate

With decades of experience forming custom fin plates, header plates, and casings for HVACR units, Ajax delivers virtually any size and shape using any material.

Let's Get Your Project Underway!

Ajax sales engineers are available to help you determine the most productive and cost-effective solution for your metal forming project.

High Volume Appliance Part Progressive Stamping

High Volume Appliance Part Progressive Stamping

High Volume Appliance Part Progressive Stamping

With the price of stainless steel fluctuating almost daily, alternative materials can make the difference between profit and loss in mass volume precision appliance part progressive stamping. But can you really replace 304 stainless steel in an appliance part designed to last through 500,000 cycles in a highly corrosive environment?

Ajax found an alternative to stainless steel that reduced materials costs by 50 percent with no sacrifice to quality. We even paid for the testing to prove it. Results to date: 10 MM parts produced with 0 PPM.

 

Appliance Part Progressive Stamping Specifications

  • Product Name: Water Treatment Mounting Clip
  • Product Description: Mass volume progressive appliance part stamping
  • Project Scope: Convert from 304 SST to grade 50 HRPO steel with anti-corrosion coating w/part design
  • Capabilities Applied/Processes: Prototyping; Progressive Stamping; Anti-corrosion Plating
  • Tightest Tolerance: .005 inch
  • Material Thickness: .12GA
  • Material Used: Grade 50 High Strength/Low Alloy Steel
  • Material Finish: Clear Zinc; RIE 4090 Base Coat; RIE 4010 Silver Top Coat
  • Industry for Use: Water Filtration and Conditioning Appliance
  • Volume: 800K annually
  • Lead Time: 3 days
  • Delivery Location: Midwest
  • U.S. Standards Met: 200 hrs. salt spray testing; RoHS; REACH

The video below shows a progressive stamping line with hardware insertion running on a 200-ton press.

Learn more about the progressive stamping capabilities at Ajax

Let's Get Your Project Underway!

Ajax sales engineers are available to help you determine the most productive and cost-effective solution for your metal forming project.

Grounding Bracket

Grounding Bracket

Grounding Bracket

This bracket is so tiny that we designed a vacuum system to remove it from the progressive die. It’s made from beryllium copper that is heat-treated and tin-plated. The part has to provide enough spring to ground a circuit to the enclosure. The customer tried outsourcing, but the Chinese manufacturer couldn’t produce the part to print.

Ajax produced the part to spec, and we use a Minnesota-based source for heat treating and plating. The result: the customer gets the desired quality and saves operating expenses due to a streamlined supply chain.

Grounding Bracket Specifications:

  • Product Name: Grounding bracket
  • Project Scope: Material selection; strategic sourcing
  • Product Description: Grounding bracket for circuit board
  • Capabilities Applied/Processes: Progressive stamping
  • Tightest Tolerance: .004 inch +/-
  • Material Thickness: .010 inch
  • Material Used: C17200 BeCu
  • Material Finish: Heat-treated; tin-plated
  • Industry for Use: Electronics
  • Volume: 23K annually
  • Delivery Time: Kanban
  • Delivery Location: U.S.
  • Standards Met: Customer supplied print and 3D model
  • Product Name: Grounding bracket
  • Project Scope: Material selection; strategic sourcing

Let's Get Your Project Underway!

Ajax sales engineers are available to help you determine the most productive and cost-effective solution for your metal forming project.

Residential HVAC Header Plate

Residential HVAC Header Plate

Residential HVAC Header Plate

Redesigning a residential header plate project from a turret press to progressive metal stamping resulted in $50,000 in annual savings and a new relationship with a satisfied client. Progressive metal stamping made from engineered aluminum alloy of slit coil eliminated the scrap that the turret press left behind.

The progressive stamping reduced both scrap costs and extra labor, and produces the part 2 to 3 times faster than the turret press.

Header Plate Project Specifications 

  • Product Name: Residential HVAC Header Plate
  • Project Scope: Process redesign, material and labor cost-out
  • Design Work: Progressive tooling, manufacturing process
  • Product Description: Mass volume progressive HVAC stamping
  • Capabilities Applied/Processes: Convert turret press to fully progressive coil-fed stamping. Cost-out scrap and labor expense.
  • Tightest Tolerance:.002″ (Hole location)
  • Material Thickness:.050″
  • Material Used: 3003 aluminum with 1.5% zinc
  • Material Finish: None
  • Industry for Use: Residential HVAC
  • Volume: 30,000 parts annually
  • Lead Time: KANBAN
  • Delivery Location: Southern U.S.
  • Standards Met: 200 hrs. of salt spray testing; RoHS; REACHRoHS, REACH

 

 

Let's Get Your Project Underway!

Ajax sales engineers are available to help you determine the most productive and cost-effective solution for your metal forming project.

Architectural Bracket For Miami Marlins Baseball Stadium

Architectural Bracket For Miami Marlins Baseball Stadium

Architectural Bracket For Miami Marlins Baseball Stadium

How do you keep the retractable roof of a gigantic baseball stadium opening and closing smoothly, day after day, letting the sunshine in and keeping the elements out? Ajax stepped up to the plate and provided the solution.

No Room For Error: Architectural Bracket Solution

This client had a design for the new, high-profile Miami Marlins Major League Baseball park, LoanDepot Park, but needed help with the fabrication of the large sheet metal roofing components for the new ballpark. The concern: any shape variations in the finished components would likely result in leaks and subsequent water damage. The requirement, therefore, was very tight seals, both to mating parts and to the overhead weather seal. Ajax quickly went to work to engineer a better way to form the high-tensile material required for this application.

“We had the project quoted by a couple of vendors. Ajax wasn’t the cheapest, but they were the quickest to respond with workable answers for our more difficult questions about tooling and bends,” reported the structural engineer on the project.

In particular, an 8-foot landing piece needed to be bent in three locations, then overlap the adjoining piece. “That was the piece nobody else seemed to be able to make,” the client said. Then, when the client realized the pieces would flatten during shipping, Ajax devised customized shipping containers that protected the formed pieces without adding significant cost. “Ajax provided the solution by the end of the day,” he said.

By providing complete in-house tool and die services, Ajax gives our customers greater production efficiency, faster delivery, and the best possible quality control.  Plus, third-party tooling costs can be avoided. Ajax uses only the latest CAD/CAM technology for die design and tool building.  We provide solutions that range from fully progressive, high volume to low-cost, short run jobs. We maintain tools on the spot to avoid production interruptions. And we require very thorough training and qualification programs among all our tooling experts. The Ajax press brake was also used for this project.  

 

  • Project Scope: Manufacturing design and build large components for weather seal on a retractable roof
  • Design Work: Designed manufacturing offset to create a weather-tight seal of components
  • Product Description: Retractable Roof Seal Components
  • Capabilities Applied/Processes: Engineering Design; Prototyping; Custom Tooling; Compound Bending; Protective Shipping Components
  • Tightest Tolerance: .020
  • Material Thickness: .179 inch (7 GA); .164 inch (8 GA); .134 inch (10 GA)
  • Material Used: Grade 50 HRPO steel
  • Material Finish: Unfinished
  • Industry for Use: Architectural sheet metal stamping and forming
  • Volume: Short run
  • Lead Time: 3 weeks
  • Delivery Location: Miami, Florida
  • Standards Met: LEED

    Read more about the LoanDepot Park retractable roof here.