Buell Automatics, an IATF 16949 registered company, has been providing solutions to complex problems since 1966. Assisting clients throughout every step of the manufacturing process — from initial design, production planning to shipping finished product. To better illustrate how we work with customers to craft high-quality, customized solutions; we’ve outlined a case study below.
A new program for the most popular truck in America required a complex threaded insert with an OD and ID thread in a low carbon steel. The ID thread was going to be a challenge due to the material grade. This grade is an unleaded grade and is not easily or consistently threaded into a blind hole.
There was a significant push to eliminate leaded materials and also provide a product with no impact on cost. Buell was up for the challenge.
We first needed to create an engineering layout that utilized our coolant through drilling technology. This would free up tooling positions to add other tools necessary to meet the complexity of the insert. Although this simplified the process, it didn’t solve the issue related to the ID thread.
Our planning team reviewed the possibilities of using different tap designs and styles but instead decided to look elsewhere. We surmised the reason this couldn’t easily be tapped was the lack of coolant in the blind hole. What if this wasn’t a blind hole but a through hole? What if we tapped these secondary?
We first tested the idea and found the threads looked beautiful! Next sought out vendors who could build an automatic tapping machine that met the intent of the program and could keep up with the over 5 million pcs. per year required.
Using all of our resources we, we were able to get designed and built a dual headed servo tapping machine. The machine is bowl fed and has lights-out capabilities. Although the upfront cost was high, the length of the program and commitment from our customer assured us the return on investment would be worth the effort.
The results were overwhelming. We were able to get tap life over 6 times what we would of the screw machine, reduced downtime and a thread that consistently exceeded our expectations for fit and function.
The throughput was also not an issue as this equipment has the capacity to handle over 12 million pieces per year if needed.
At Buell Automatics, no job is too small for our expert team. If you’re looking to get started on your next small part manufacturing project or just want to learn more about our services, reach out to us today. We’re on hand to answer any questions you may have.