Spring designs are not all the same and different situations require different spring solutions. 60 plus years of experience have given us the unique position to solve spring application issues for our customers. Over the years we have seen more designs and unique applications than most design engineers will see in a lifetime.
A few years back one of Titan’s customers was experiencing a high failure rate with his springs and asked us to help. When Titans engineering staff viewed the way the customer was using the spring the problem was obvious.They were using the wrong type of spring in their high speed fruit labeling machine.
The machine looked like an old movie projector with a reel on top containing labels on tape. Another reel on the bottom coiled the tape as the machine removed the labels sticking them onto the fruit. A torsion spring as pictured below was being used with the small arm anchored to the machine body. The large arm with the loop instead of rotating toward the coils the way torsion springs work it was moving away. The large arm controlled the device sticking the labels to the fruit. Because of the poor spring application it was traveling so far it was over stressing the spring causing spring failure. This resulted in unlabeled fruit and a irritated customer.
Titans engineers suggested using an extension spring which is better suited for the application.
One end was still anchored to the body of the machine. The other end traveled with the moving part of the machine on a vertical plane in a very low stress application.
Spring Problem Solved
Substituting the extension for the torsion spring extended the working life of the spring virtually eliminating the failures. The customer was ecstatic with the solution but the down side for Titan was he never ordered any more replacement springs.
Motorcycle Springs are not something that we normally get involved in because we are an aerospace and defense company. Having said that we get referrals from happy customers who we have solved problems for.
One case in particular was one form a company that made exhaust systems for racing motorcycles. They mounted the systems to racing bikes used at Daytona race track and other road racing tracks. The problem was that the motorcycle springs they were buying were breaking during the races. Not good especially at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. They came to titan in search of a solution and after some discussion we came up with a custom spring for them.
The exhaust was mounted to the bike using a typical extension spring allowing the pipe to bounce up and down slightly.
The problem arouse because the pipe also moved torsionally which created stress on the hooked ends. The twisting motion created stress at the base of the hook. This resulted in a crack which led to the spring breaking.
In order to accommodate the travel of the spring vertically and torsionally we made a 3 piece spring. It consisted of a coiled body and two separate hooked ends. The ends have a formed eye opposite the hooks. The eye ends were inserted into the body of the spring. We then did a necking operation to taper the ends of the coiled body. This insures that the hooks would not come out. The hooks could twist and rotate eliminating the stress on the hook end while still allowing the spring to move vertically.
Christmas is a special time for everyone at Titan Spring Inc. For each of the last 11 years we have challenged our employees to submit an entry into the Christmas Ornament contest. They compete for cash prizes based on a theme selected by Titan’s management team and must be made from scrap parts. The winners are announced and the prizes given at the company Christmas party.
The Aerospace Spring industry is encountering delivery problems with outside processing and raw material deliveries for the products we provide our customers. I am sure you are experiencing this issue with your other suppliers as it is industry wide.
Outside processing such as coatings or heat treating for example have experienced a considerable increase in demand. This is based on President Trumps Defense buildup. In most cases we are very limited to approved sources by either your customer or your customers customer. For instance if the drawing requires processing to a Boeing specification by a Boeing approved supplier. We can only use those approved sources. This creates a bottleneck at those approved suppliers beyond our control based on their capacity and backlog. We are forced to wait for them to process our parts.
Raw materials like wire we use for springs has availability issues based on two factors. The first of which is the 2008 / 2009 economic downturn. The lack of growth in the following years caused raw material warehouses to downsize. They reevaluated their inventory exposure to remain solvent. The result was a dramatic reduction in floor stock based on inventory turns. What once was available from warehouse stock now became special order with variable lead times. The sequester program the government allowed especially impacted Aerospace Spring Industry especially with DFARS material that was already an availability issue before 2008.
The second issue with raw material is with steel mills which are limited in number domestically. They are running at capacity based on the improved economy. In many cases they sell to redrawing mills who draw the wire down to the size the warehouse ordered. This means two sets of lead times before we can get our hands on the wire we need.
In some cases, the delivery problem is exacerbated by material being available when we quote your requirement. But, when your order is placed it has been sold to someone else.
When this happens, we are forced to scour the world for acceptable material. In some cases we are forced to buy minimum quantities of material that exceed what is needed for your order.
Unfortunately there in no relief in sight as the steel industry has no plans to increase capacity anytime soon. The cost is significant and the current demand may subside before the added capacity is realized.
We are doing everything in our power to deliver on time. We continue to seek viable solutions to material and processing issues.
This helmet clip is another example of Titan being a trusted source for solving our customers design challenges even for non aerospace customers. This bracket assembly required some challenging bends in order to hold a flashlight on the firefighters helmet.
FIREFIGHTER HELMET CLIP ASSEMBLY
The helmet clip is screwed onto the firefighters helmet rim using the slot and screws on the left. The black center know is used to adjust the angle of the lights beam.
The mounting bracket on the left side has simple bends and threaded holes to accommodate the mounting screws. There are also threaded holes on each part where they are joined using the center adjustment knob.
The difficulty of this part is the compound bends on the right hand side one of which can be seen to the right of the black knob. You can see there is a bend just before the radius of the clip is formed. The purpose of the first bend is to angle the light across the firefighters line of sight.
The flashlight is not the ones purchased for home use as it has a special bulb. The bulb produces a beam which pierces through thick smoke. It is not so much what the firefighter sees as it is they be seen in the event the become incapacitated. Imagine a firefighter laying unconscious on their back as others are searching the smoke filled room for them. The helmet light produces a bright beam easily seen through the smoke indicating the stranded firefighters location.
Titan has come to our customers need for over 61 years and have been an integral part of the aerospace and defense industries since we started. We were right there as the United States Space program was launched by President Dwight Eisenhower in the late 1950’s.
We were proud then and prouder now building satellite components for Boeing.
Precision tight tolerance springs for the aviation, defense, and space industries for over 60 years.