July 2005 Vol. 44 No.3 - Spring Manufacturers Institute



July 2005 Vol. 44 No.3 - Spring Manufacturers Institute
106 ILIL60523-1335
OAK BROOK, IL 60523-1335
Global Technologies for
Wire Forming and Spring Making
Spring Machinery
CNC Spring Coilers
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HTC continues to lead the way,
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Forming & Welding
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Spring Testing & Analysis
Whitelegg Machines Ltd. introduces
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ISO 9001:2000 certified
Springs Magazine Staff
Rita Schauer CAE, Editor
[email protected]
From Dave Weber
Lynne Carr, Advertising Sales
[email protected]
Sandie Green, Assistant Editor
Ken Boyce CAE, Publisher
here is probably not a day that passes that we do not think
about how to make our business better. We have all seen
or read the hundreds of books that tell us how to do it. Twenty
years ago, it was the book “In Search of Excellence” that told
us to emulate a group of successful companies and we would
make it. Now, the latest is from Jack Welch, “Winning.” Then
there are the countless programs like SPC (Statistical Process
Control), QFD (Quality Function Deployment), ISO (International Standards Organization) certification, Six Sigma, Lean
Manufacturing and many more.
The only thing you can say for sure is there is no “magic bullet.” In today’s
world of increasing costs (health care, raw material, fuel, interest rates, etc.), international competition and changing labor markets, each set of obstacles has a solution
for business improvement. The solution may cause problems in other areas, however.
What do you do? To do nothing may lead to even greater problems.
The answer may be hiding right in front of us. It is what we all learned back in
our eighth grade science class:
1. Define the problem.
2. Gather the data.
3. Form a theory on how to solve the problem.
4. Implement your solution.
5. Monitor what is happening as you are implementing to make sure it is going in
the right direction.
6. Be prepared for unintentional consequences.
As I indicated earlier, there are many different methodologies for solving a problem in order to make your business better. The right one is the one that works for you
and your people. It is also very important that you be consistent with the method that
works for you. You cannot expect lasting change if you change the method you use
too often (the program of the month club).
I trust that the articles in this edition of Springs will help give some ideas on
what works and what doesn’t.
I encourage you to take the opportunity to share some of your successes with
your fellow springmakers at your regional gathering, as well as the SMI national
I hope to see you at the Fall Meeting in Las Vegas this October and the Annual
Convention in Albuquerque in April 2006.
Good Luck!
Dan Sebastian, MW Industries
[email protected]
Springs Magazine Committee
Chair, Bob Herrmann, Newcomb
Spring of Colorado
Terry Bartel, Elgiloy Specialty Metals
Carol Caldwell, Century Spring
Randy DeFord, Mid-West Spring &
Ritchy Froehlich, Ace Wire Spring
LuAnn Lanke, Wisconsin Coil Spring
John Schneider, O’Hare Spring
Europe liaison, Richard Schuitema,
Dutch Spring Association
Technical Advisors
Luke Zubek PE, SMI
Loren Godfrey, Colonial Spring
Advertising sales - Japan
Ken Myohdai
Sakura International Inc.
22-11 Harimacho
1-Chome, Abeno-ku
Osaka 545-0022 Japan.
Phone: +81-6-6624-3601
Fax: +81-6-6624-3602
E-mail: [email protected]
Advertising sales - Europe
Jennie Franks
Franks & Co.
P.O. Box 33 Moulton
Newmarket, Suffolk,
England CB88SH
Phone: +44-1638-751132
Fax: +44-1638-750933
E-mail: [email protected]
Advertising sales - Taiwan
Robert Yu
Worldwide Services Co. Ltd.
11F-B, No 540, Sec. 1, Wen Hsin Rd.
Taichung, Taiwan
Phone: +886-4-2325-1784
Fax: +886-4-2325-2967
E-mail: [email protected]
Springs (ISSN 0584-9667) is published
quarterly by SMI Business Corp., a subsidiary
of the Spring Manufacturers Institute:2001
Midwest Road, Suite 106, Oak Brook, IL
60523; Phone: (630) 495-8588; Fax: (630)
495-8595; Web site www.smihq.org. Address
all correspondence and editorial materials to
this address.
The editors and publishers of Springs disclaim
all warranties, express or implied, with respect
to advertising and editorial content, and with
respect to all manufacturing errors, defects
or omissions made in connection with
advertising or editorial material submitted
for publication.
The editors and publishers of Springs disclaim
all liability for special or consequential
damages resulting from errors, defects
or omissions in the manufacturing of this
publication, any submission of advertising,
editorial or other material for publication in
Springs shall constitute an agreement with and
acceptance of such limited liability.
The editors and publishers of Springs assume
no responsibility for the opinions or facts
in signed articles, except to the extent of
expressing the view, by the fact of publication,
that the subject treated is one which merits
Do not reproduce without
written permission.
Cover designed by Rachel Galván
2 SPRINGS July 2005
7 It’s not Enough to be Good…
Practices used by some European spring manufacturers to make their
business better
By Konrad Dengler, special contributor to Springs
11 Hidden Profits: They’re Closer Than You Think
Find ways to increase your company’s net income using
your best tool – your employees
By Rudy Lederer and Howard Siegel, Horizon Advisors
17 SBA Programs Offer a Springboard to Success
By Hector V. Barreto, U.S. Small Business Administration
33 Don’t Get Locked Out of Europe
What you need to know about WEEE and RoHS
By Chris Watts on behalf of TUV Rhineland
39 Unattended Fatigue Testing
Computer-controlled equipment adds precision and takes out the hassle
By Larry Sheiman, Spring Analysis Systems
46 Shape Optimization for Helical Compression Springs
By Vladimir Kobelev Ph.D., Technology Center, Mubea
15 Checkpoint: Business Tips From Phil Perry
Joy in the Workplace – You want more profits? What a joke!
19 Motivation Management
Lessons From AT&T and Enron – Keeping entrepreneurship alive in your
company is essential for sustained success and growth
By Dean Robb Ph.D., The Resilience Group
23 Technically Speaking with Luke Zubek
A Deeper Understanding of Hydrogen Embrittlement
37 Spotlight on the Shop Floor
Spring Essentials (for the rest of us)
Part IV: The Three Diameters and Index
By Randy DeFord, Mid-West Spring & Stamping
43 IST Spring Technology
Cautionary Tales Part XXVII – Torsion Springs
By Mark Hayes
45 Be Aware: Safety Tips From Jim Wood
OSHA’s New Top Moneymakers
2 President’s Message
4 SPRINGS July 2005
51 New Products
55 Advertisers’ Index
26 Global Highlights
55 Sprung
41 Inside SMI
56 Snapshot
It’s not Enough to be Good…
Pr ac t ic es used by some European spring manufac turers to make their business better
By Konrad Dengler
Special contributor to Springs
n Germany, there is a popular saying that can be translated as, “Who takes a rest is getting rusty.” Spring
manufacturers can’t rest. They are continually confronted
with the question of how to get better. In this article,
European spring producers tell their opinions, techniques
and experiences.
dless and
an d per
en t
“How to make your business better? This is an endless topic,” says Jürgen Schlabach, managing director
of Febrotec GmbH. The company is situated in Halver,
about two hours east of Düsseldorf in the middle of one
of the centers of the German wire and spring industry.
The company is associated with the worldwide-active
Barnes Group Inc. based in Bristol, CT. Febrotec has
eight employees and is specialized in spring engineering and distribution. Indeed, the
above-mentioned question
concerns the activity of the
whole company – staff,
technical equipment, production processes, quality
management issues, the
market survey and, last
but not least, the relations
between a spring supplier
and its customers.
“The economic
success of a spring manufacturer depends on his
capability to remain up-todate, and this means to look
for improvement possibilities,” explains Gianfranco
Fioretti, managing director
of Molleficio Fioretti s.r.l.,
an Italian spring manufacturer based in Castelfidardo
“Making business better is a permanent process,”
adds Bernd Funke, managing director of Hubert Funke
GmbH + Co. KG Federn und Metallwaren in Iserlohn,
which is not far away from Halver. The company has a
work force of about 15 persons and is specialized in the
manufacture of cold-formed springs and elastic elements
made of different metals.
Th e m ar
a r k et
e t s itu
i t u atio
at i o n
The market situation of nearly every spring producer
is characterized by hard competition.
“Countries like China and India are becoming more
and more severe competitors,” says Bernd Funke. “Many
suppliers of the automobile industry go there, and many
of the spring industry’s customers follow them. And
that’s not our only problem: Since last year we have been
confronted with rising raw material prices.” In order to
steer against this development, a spring producer must try
to get better and better.
St a f f aand
n d ccustomers
u s to m e r s
It’s often said that the employees are the most
important capital of a company. Even the most sophisticated machines are worthless when there are no skilled
workers who are able to operate them. Even small spring
manufacturers train their
personnel in-house and
offer them continuing
education possibilities.
Gianfranco Fiorelli
points to training courses
offered by machine suppliers like Wafios, which
help machine operators
understand the characteristics and benefits of
the machines, and how to
exploit them. The aim of
all the training measures is
a permanent improvement
of the qualifications.
Besides a good education, it is important to
have good internal communication, characterized
by confidence and honesty.
Every member of the
company staff should be encouraged to propose suggestions for improvement and to participate in improvement
measures. There must be a sincere exchange of information between management and staff about what’s going
on in the company, about strategic aims, the present
situation and the clients, as well as about how to abolish
weak spots, intensify strong points and extend the busi-
SPRINGS July 2005 7
ness. Each employee should
the material. It can happen that a
Today, salesmen of a spring manuhave a high degree of personal
customer is used to applying heliresponsibility. To take everycal compression springs, but we
facturer very often are technicians
body seriously is one of the
find out that a disk spring would
or even technical engineers. They
pillars of a high motivation and
be a better solution. Or dependa good working atmosphere.
ing on the working conditions of
know how to design and manufacContent employees and workthe spring, we propose a ceramic
ture a spring, and are able to give
ers have a big influence on
spring instead of a metal spring
the customers reliable advice.
customer satisfaction.
and deliver it.”
Besides technical assistance
“One must be flexible, one
within the company, the sales orgamust react immediately when a
nization has become a very important tool. Today, salesmen
customer needs assistance, and one must find the optimum solution for his specific demands,” says Fioretti. In of a spring manufacturer very often are technicians or even
technical engineers. They know how to design and manushort, each employee must have a good sense of selffacture a spring, and are able to give the customers reliable
responsibility, and be able and willing to think globally
advice. “Moreover,” says Funke, “the sales network must be
and take a customer-oriented approach.
in permanent contact with the factory.”
Service and sales
Customers appreciate good customer service. SchlaInternal organization
All processes in the company must be customerbach emphasizes: “As we are an engineering office, we
oriented and effective. Electronically controlled working
can develop any technical solution and find out which
processes guarantee high quality products, precise delivone is the best for each requirement. As we belong to a
ery times and help reduce production costs. The electronic
large group with companies specialized in very different
control of the whole operation gives real-time information
materials, we can realize each solution independently of
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E-mail: [email protected] Internet: www.nimsco.com
8 SPRINGS July 2005
about each order and its production state. In industrialized countries, spring manufacturers use computer-based
systems for responding to inquiries that enable them to
produce quotations quickly.
“Of course it’s necessary to apply modern production
equipment and to ensure a certified quality management,”
emphasizes Fioretti.
“In view of the growing competitors in China, India
and other countries, a European spring manufacturer can
only survive with highly automated processes and the
production of sophisticated complex parts,” says Funke.
Quality audits realized by the personnel and by external specialists help
test the production, find weak points,
and improve processes and products.
Being good is not enough. Getting better is a must. Besides his
particular strong points, each spring
manufacturer has individual possibilities to improve his business in order
to remain competitive.
A slogan by Gutmann Aluminium Draht GmbH, one of the major
European aluminum wiredrawing
companies based near Nuremberg in
Konrad Dengler is a special contributor to Springs.
A freelance correspondent, Dengler writes about the
wire and spring industry in Europe for several industry
publications.Previously, he was editor of Draht. He is an
engineer in materials sciences and works as a technical
journalist and translator.
Readers may contact him by e-mail at [email protected]
t-online.de or by fax at 0049 9135 6982. v
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Marketing techniques
In order to get better, a spring
manufacturer must recognize as early
as possible market tendencies and
further developed production technologies. As to Fioretti, the study of
specialized media and the visiting of
trade fairs is a great help.
In order to get in touch with new
customers, Febrotec developed its
own strategy: “When we started our
spring business in 1993, there was
no customer,” remembers Schlabach.
“Now we have about 10,000 customers.” How was this possible? “We
have developed well-aimed marketing campaigns,” explains Schlabach.
“When we get in touch with a customer of a certain branch, we try to
get in contact with other companies
of his branch too, and we develop
technical solutions specially for this
branch. We are using technical journals to speak to such branches, like
machine builders, manufacturers of
hydraulic systems and woodworking
companies, for example.”
Southern Germany, is spot-on: “If you stop getting better,
you stop being good!”
SPRINGS July 2005 9
Hidden Profits
They’re Closer Than You Think
Find ways to increase your company’s net income using your best tool – your employees
By Rudy Lederer and Howard Siegel, Horizon Advisors
ost manufacturing and distribution companies have
untapped sources of net profit – often as much as 10
percent of sales (that is, $500,000 of added net profit for
a company doing $5 million in annual sales). What often
prevents them from unlocking this potential is the hesitation
to challenge the status quo.
Finding new profits calls for new ways of looking at
your business. The owners of a Midwest manufacturing
company with sales of $45 million unlocked
19 different changes to their business that
generated $6 million in new profits in the
first year.
How were they able to identify
these opportunities? They employed a
Profit Improvement Program designed
to uncover ways to positively impact
net income using a company’s best
tool – its employees. Generally,
management has its eyes fixed on the
big picture and is not in a position to
see the small changes that can make a
big difference. Who else is in a better
position to identify ways to reduce expenses or increase
revenues than those who have hands-on knowledge on a
day-to-day basis of the business? Line workers, warehouse
supervisors, customer service representatives, drivers,
secretaries and even the cleaning crew are more than casual
observers of your business.
Successful Profit Improvement
Seeing things differently means shaking things up – a
process that naturally makes most people and companies
uncomfortable. Like anything that causes change, there are
considerations that need to be taken care of up front before
even embarking on a Profit Improvement Program.
Commit to change. An organization changes from the
top down. If the CEO and other C-level executives aren’t on
board, nothing will happen. It is imperative top management
communicate to the entire company they are committed to
change. If there isn’t a change in the process, there will not
be a change in the results.
Use an outside facilitator. Change can be seen as
threatening if not properly managed. To dissipate fear and
foster an environment that encourages new ideas, it’s usu-
ally necessary to employ an outside facilitator. Outsiders, by
not being part of the company culture, offer two advantages:
their job is not at stake in the event of change (they have
nothing to lose); and they are free of sacred cows.
When selecting a facilitator, it’s vital that whomever
you choose not only talks the talk, but also has walked the
walk. The facilitator must have top level (president or CEO)
experience running manufacturing or distribution operations
in order to establish the credibility needed
to gain both management and employee
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is crucial
to success. This can’t be emphasized enough. Change represents
the unknown. Keeping employees
informed of what is happening and
why discourages rumors that can
be damaging. The goal of constant
communication is to make the process
open to everyone so they can feel like
partners in efforts to increase the longterm prosperity of the company.
Tapping Insider Knowledge - The Profit
Improvement Program
Step 1: Create a task force. A mix of people and
perspectives promotes an atmosphere where ideas can be
drawn. First, the company management must name eight
to 10 people in the organization who will constitute the
company’s Profit Improvement Task Force. This group of
eight to 10 employees, taken from all areas of the organization (other than senior management), can have valuable
insights on ways to improve the bottom line.
To make sure that this PIP Task Force can be successful, several aspects of the initiative need to be made clear:
• It’s critical from day one that management acknowledges and supports the task force’s work. The CEO or
president should appear at the beginning of the first meeting
of the group to “vest” the group with the power to recommend changes that will be implemented.
The CEO or other senior managers should not have any
further direct involvement with the task force beyond supporting the group’s efforts.
SPRINGS July 2005 11
• Every idea (profit improvement project) that is submitted by individuals on the task force is a task force idea.
Absolute anonymity is essential to the process. If they feel
their jobs are on the line or will suffer from their participation, the effort will not succeed.
• Task force members need to be reassured they will
be able to perform their core responsibilities with minimal
interruption. The PIP process should take no more than two
or three hours of their week.
• Make it clear that the members of the task force will
get all the credit for the profit improvements, not the facilitator.
There also are some rules to follow to ensure success:
• The task force will meet once a week. The meetings
will take no more than one hour.
• There will be an agenda for each meeting, distributed
to the task force members prior to the meeting.
• There will be minutes for each meeting taken and
recorded by the facilitator. Each member of the task force
is committed to be at the meetings – either in person or by
• Any and all material distributed to the task force
(agenda, minutes, profit improvement schedules, etc.) will
be distributed to top management – for their information
only. All material distributed at the meetings and discussed
in the meetings will remain confidential and must not be
“All too often, a company’s culture will resume
its original shape unless a special effort is made
to keep the discipline, excitement and dedication
harnessed during the task force sessions alive.”
shared with anyone except designated top management and
the task force members.
• Task force members found not to be cooperative can
and will be removed from the task force.
• Finally, the most important rule: anonymity. No one
will know the author of any specific idea.
Step 2: Commit to measurable goals. If you can’t
measure it, you can’t manage it. At the first meeting of the
group, the task force needs to establish specific targets (what
they want to achieve and how long it will take) so they
have something to keep their eyes on. They must agree and
commit to two things:
1. A dollar amount of net profit improvement they want
to realize. This is stated as additional profit in terms of a
hard dollar amount. The Task Force must not think small.
While increasing net profits by a factor equal to 10 percent
of sales may seem like a stretch, history indicates this is
normally very accomplishable.
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12 SPRINGS July 2005
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2. A date when the profit improvement plan will be
presented to top management. This date should be between
60 to 90 days following the initial meeting of the task force.
This overall plan, ready for implementation, will contain a
series of suggested profit improvement projects (probably
25 to 50), each one having a person responsible, a plan for
implementation, specific time frame for implementation and
a measurable dollar contribution to net profits that has been
agreed to by the financial department of the company.
Step 3: Write down 10 ways to improve profits.
Make ideas definite. The task force members should be
given an assignment that is due by the end of the first week:
Each member must give the facilitator 10 suggestions for
profit improvement. The only condition is that each profit
improvement project must be specific, and the profit from
each improvement must be measurable. When you commit
to a profit improvement idea on paper, in black and white, it
transforms the shapeless into an actionable target. To get the
maximum benefit, the task force should be told that no idea
is too far-fetched. Determining each idea’s practicality will
occur later. The rule of anonymity is crucial, particularly at
this stage. No one will know the author of any specific idea.
These 80 to 100 ideas, plus whatever additional ideas
the facilitator adds to the pile, will then be shuffled and
compiled in random order by the facilitator. On the Monday
of the second week, each member of the task force will be
given a copy of the list of profit improvement ideas submitted. At its second meeting, the task force will briefly review
this initial batch of ideas and, for homework, each member
will be asked to provide five additional ideas by week end.
You should now have about 120 ideas, after eliminating those that are duplicates, combining those that logically
need to be combined and eliminating those that cannot be
Step 4: Prioritize ideas. All ideas are not created
equal. The degree of difficulty of implementation, as well
as the company’s ability to measure the amount, in hard
dollars, of profit improvement each idea can generate will
vary greatly. The facilitator along with the task force will be
responsible for giving each idea an initial ranking. The scale
used to establish a project’s “ranking” is as follows:
1 = easy to implement; easy to quantify savings.
2 = easy to implement; difficult to quantify savings.
3 = difficult to implement; easy to quantify savings.
4 = difficult to implement; difficult to quantify savings.
Step 5: Target top ideas. Focus on achievable
results. The whole point of the PIP process is to identify
and initiate efforts that reach the dollar and time targets set
in Step 2. Once the ideas have been ranked in the 1, 2, 3,
4 matrix, it’s now easy to see which suggestions should be
chosen for the initiative. Focus on the ideas that are easy
to implement and easy to quantify the savings. The idea is
SPRINGS July 2005 13
to expend resources on ideas that balance the cost and the
return within the given time frame.
Step 6: Approve and implement the final plan.
Take action. Just because a company has gone through
this process to arrive at a list of projects that, when implemented, can improve the bottom line doesn’t mean that
improvement will happen. Each project on the list must
have a specific member of the task force that is responsible
for developing a plan for the project’s implementation and
a dollar-specific measurement to demonstrate the savings
from the project’s implementation. The process of moving
the project through this stage will take several weeks – leading to the comprehensive profit improvement plan that will
be presented to top management.
At this point, the CEO and other top managers need to
step up and embrace the effort to put the plan into action. By
doing so, they truly demonstrate their commitment to change
and, of course, generate additional profit for the company.
Keep the Profits Coming
When a company undergoes a Profit Improvement
Program, one of the larger lessons it learns is that change
can be positive. However, that will take time to instill. After
a Profit Improvement Program, businesses need to guard
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against the “rubber band” effect. All too often, a company’s
culture will resume its original shape unless a special effort
is made to keep the discipline, excitement and dedication
harnessed during the task force sessions alive.
One way to ensure a culture of continual profit
improvement is to have the facilitator return on a semiannual or quarterly basis. He or she can help the company
“re-model” its behavior so that good ideas for enhancing
revenue or controlling expenses are nurtured, and profit
improvement becomes a permanent part of the culture.
A company needs to remember that a Profit Improvement Program is not a one-time fix. A business is a living
entity that must evolve in order to grow and survive. Making
a Profit Improvement Program a regular part of operations
can guarantee that the company will be in a better position
to deal with downturns in the economy or challenges within
the industry without needing to be in crisis mode.
Rudy Lederer and Howard Siegel are principals with
Horizon Advisors LLC, based in Chicago, IL. They are
consultants to management in profit improvement, interim
management and turnaround situations. Readers may
contact them by phone at (312) 474-6176 or e-mail at
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We Deliver Precision
Joy in the Workplace
You Want More Profits? What a Joke!
usiness is no laughing matter, right? That’s the common
wisdom. But managers everywhere are discovering
something else: Some lighthearted play at work can boost
the bottom line.
Humor can be a great management tool for increasing
employee morale, productivity and effectiveness in communication. It can defuse tense or sensitive situations, and relieve
the stress that often drains energy and restrains productivity.
Moreover, it can help people feel less threatened about sharing
their ideas, thus invigorating the creative process.
“I don’t think there is any question people feel
better and work better when they are happy than
when they are mad and miserable,” says Russell
Morgan, president of Houston-based Suhm
Spring Works.
Boss Clown
So humor is great for productivity and
profits. But suppose your own workplace is
more gloom and doom than laughter and light.
How can you encourage your employees to lighten
up? For an answer, look in the mirror: Workplace
psychologists say the boss plays a pivotal role in establishing a cheerful and productive work environment. Set the
example for your employees by being an individual who
employs productive, nonthreatening humor.
It’s certainly Morgan’s philosophy to take the lead in
inspiring a cheerful workplace: I always keep a good open
attitude, avoid being grouchy and am always smiling,” he says.
Consistency is important. “I keep my attitude the same every
day. This way people know what to expect.” As these comments suggest, leading by example doesn’t mean you have to
organize card games and parties. Fact is, a joyful workplace
Phillip M. Perry is an award-winning journalist specializing in the fields of business management and law. Over
the past 20 years, his byline has appeared
more than 3,000 times in publications
such as World Trade, Business, Corporate Risk Management, Human Resource
Executive and The Legal Times of
Washington. Perry’s awards include The
American Bar Association’s “Value to the
Reader Award.” Readers may contact
him by fax at (212) 226-5580 or e-mail
at [email protected]
Business Tips
From Phil Perry
often results more from a cheerful mindset than from structured
events. At Suhm, for example, there is an ongoing atmosphere
of good-natured ribbing among employees that keeps people
smiling and the creative juices flowing. This friendly banter
makes people feel “at home” when they are at work.
Electrify Your Meetings
The more unpopular or boring the workplace activity, the
greater the role productive humor can play. Take the company
meeting, for example. It can often be a dull affair dreaded by
employees. With a little effort, though, that can change.
You might start a meeting with a joke or a cartoon, or even by wearing a red clown nose.
Consider the case of Vulcan Spring & Mfg.
Co., Telford, PA, where company president
Scott Rankin had an inspiration: Why not
launch each meeting with a game?
Thus began an ongoing tradition of “hide
and seek” in which Rankin positions himself in
an unknown location and company employees
must find him before a meeting begins. The more
unusual the location, of course, the more fun this
is; and Rankin has dreamed up some highly unlikely
ones. Employees have discovered him standing atop a dumpster, on the roof of a truck, in the racks where the company
stores its steel and even in a cardboard carton in his own office.
“In the latter case, I was trying to get across the idea that I
wanted people to think outside the box,” he explains.
Other times, Rankin will start a meeting with a bit of
merry repartee. “Do you know what day it is?” he asks. Usually
someone will shout out the day of the week and Rankin rejoins
with “No, today is my favorite day. Do you know why?” Then
he answers his own question with a surprise statement such
as: “Because I am working with the best springmakers in the
world,” or “It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air.” These
approaches seem to make company meetings more effective.
“I find if I start things in a humorous way, it is easier for me
to get my points across,” says Rankin.
Take it Outside
Fun events need not always occur in the workplace.
Rankin, for example, has held barbecues in which he and
the Vulcan Spring head of operations cook hot dogs for the
employees. This kind of get-together tends to break down barriers between people. “The atmosphere at work changes for
SPRINGS July 2005 15
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quite a while after one of these
Slutsky. “A manager who uses
Becoming A Humor Being: The Power to Choose
events,” says Rankin. “Sure it’s
humor all the time will eventua Better Way, by Steve Rizzo. How to use humor in the
fun, but more than that it shows
ally not be taken seriously. It
most serious of life situations. (www.steverizzo.com) Full
that you are willing to put yourworks best when you pick and
Circle Publishing Company (2000).
self out for your employees. That
choose the most appropriate
Humor at Work, by Esther Blumenfeld and Lynne
makes a difference in how people
times to use humor.”
Alpern. How humor can reduce stress, improve comthink about your company.
Second, humor has to
munication and create a more comfortable work environAs these examples illustrate,
be of the positive kind. “No
ment. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers (1993).
employees often take job behavsexual, off-color or racial
Laughing Nine to Five: The Quest for Humor
ior cues from their bosses. “The
humor, under any circumin the Workplace, by Clyde Fahlman. How to promote
shame is that managers usually
stances,” says Slutsky. “Even
workplace humor and use it to stimulate renewal and
shun laughter,” says Steve Rizzo,
if someone is laughing on the
effectiveness. Portland, OR: Steelhead Press (1997).
Wading River, NY, a speaker and
outside, you still might have
consultant who helps business
offended them. Plus, it can be
organizations promote workplace humor. “They believe that illegal.” Don’t target other people for humor. “You should be
employees who are laughing are not getting their work done. the brunt of your jokes, not coworkers or customers.”
That’s far from true.”
Morgan agrees that everyone needs to take care. “When
kidding around you need to avoid anything sensitive, such as
Don’t go Overboard
comments about physical appearance. You don’t want to hurt
Laughter’s great, but make sure everyone stays within the anyone’s feelings.”
Indeed, some individuals may feel threatened by any overt
bounds of good taste. “Early on I’d make sure everyone knows
the rules or guidelines of what they’re not allowed to do,” cau- attempt to introduce humor into their environment. “People get
tions management consultant Jeff Slutsky, president of Street very nervous about the potential for politically incorrect, and
Fighter Marketing in Columbus, OH. “You can’t encourage racist and sexist humor,” warns Stuart Robertshaw, professor
people to use humor then reprimand them when it goes too far emeritus of psychology and education at the University of
Wisconsin-La Crosse. Not only that, but the abstract concept
and still expect them to put a humorous effort forward.”
And the rules are? First, do no harm. Too much humor of “humor” can be a difficult one for people to understand and
?PAGEVERTICALB7FINALREVPDF0can backfire. “There are many serious parts of business,” says cultivate in practical ways.
A much better approach, says Robertshaw, is to encourage
your employees to engage in behaviors that represent humor:
“Focus on laughter and joy and fun.”
One final caveat: Avoid pressuring reluctant employees
[email protected]
aboard the laughter bandwagon. “Mandatory policies
tel: 1 (800) 965 - 8378
generally fail,” says Robertshaw. “Don’t make any fun activity
or 1 (519) 737- 6330
a job requirement.” The good news is that people who resist
fun activities often come around over time.
Productive Employees
The tips in this story should help you establish a more
joyful workplace. The greatest benefit of humor, perhaps, is
the improved morale that helps your employees work together
more enthusiastically, deal more productively with customers
and develop creative solutions to problems.
Consider this bonus: Humor will help you and your
employees deal with the inevitable crises that occur in business.
“The most important thing in the workplace is how you cope
with challenge,” says Allen Klein, president of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, Princeton, NJ. “If
you can find something to laugh about in a situation, you get
a different perspective and do your job better. Humor can help
you maintain balance when the going gets tough.”
By doing all these things, workplace humor frees people
to make real contributions to their companies.
“If you are introducing humor just to have fun you are
missing the point,” says Rankin. “Humor helps people feel
comfortable about opening up and communicating their ideas,
which can lead to real innovation.” v
SBA Programs Offer a Springboard
to Success
o be a small business owner is inherently American. The root of our
country’s economic strength has always been our entrepreneurs. They flourish
By Hector V. Barreto
here because our free society encourages innovation and production.
U.S. Small Business
Small firms produce two-thirds to three-quarters of America’s net new jobs. And
they enrich our communities by providing goods and services — and neighborhood
leadership — with a personal touch and local flavor.
Supporting this essential element of American life and prosperity is the purpose of
the Small Business Administration. We work to level the playing field so that the size
of a small business does not hinder finding credit, or federal contracts. We also help
mitigate regulatory red tape, provide relief from natural disasters and offer good, solid
business advice.
Far too many promising businesses close their doors. Very often, business failures
that are mistakenly attributed to poor cash flow, bad location or shoddy advertising
actually result from inadequate business practices. Solid management practices and
financial planning are just as necessary for success as the technical skills to produce
the company’s product or deliver its service. Fortunately, the SBA is available to help
existing and prospective U.S. business owners navigate through these sometimes
rocky waters.
For businesses in the idea stage, SBA provides all the resources necesLoans
sary to building a strong and lasting foundation at www.sba.gov. Click on
FY00: 7(a)
“Starting Your Business.” Here you will find resources dedicated to helping
you write a business plan, protect your ideas, estimate costs and find capital.
It will also walk you through the basics of managing your finances and marMicro
keting your product or service.
43,699 $10,561,274,440
The 7(a) small business loan guaranty program is our best-known
program. The SBA 7(a) loan allows high-risk small businesses to receive
FY01: 7(a)
financing for a variety of business purposes. Last year alone, the SBA
guarantied more than 74,800 loans worth $12.55 billion to small businesses
across the U.S. Loans can be used for working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and building, and leasehold improvements.
44,529 $10,584,545,630
Under special circumstances, proceeds can even be used for debt refinancing. FY02: 7(a)
45,642 $10,650,016,000
The 7(a) loan works like any other loan and, like most loans, is actually
delivered by local commercial lenders. The difference is that with a 7(a)
loan, the SBA assumes a large portion of the loan’s risk, giving local lenders
an incentive to take on a loan they might otherwise have passed over. Thoutotal
52,918 $12,873,906,200
sands of lenders throughout the U.S. participate in this program.
FY03: 7(a)
The 7(a) loan program, like any other loan, requires that certain specific
criteria be met: The business applying for financing must be a for-profit
company and meet the size standards for being a small business. AdditionMicro
ally, the proceeds must be used for the purposes outlined above.
68,614 $12,801,393,730
Another important factor considered by the SBA is repayment ability,
as measured by the cash flow of the small business. However, good characCDC
ter, management capability, collateral and the owner’s equity contribution
are also taken into account as the SBA considers loan applicants.
The Certified Development Company (CDC) program, often known
85,398 $16,503,129,970
as the “504 program,” is another primary SBA loan program. It operates
specifically to deliver long-term, fixed-rate financing for fixed assets, such
Notes: 7(a) is the guaranteed loan program.
as land, buildings, and machinery and equipment. As with 7(a) loans, most
CDC is the Certified Development Company, or
companies that qualify as small businesses can qualify for a CDC/504 loan.
504, loan program.
The 504 project has the following three components:
Micro is the Microloan program, which started
1. A direct commercial loan from the private sector covering 50 percent
lending in 1993.
of the project and secured by a senior lien.
SPRINGS July 2005 17
2. A loan secured with a junior lien from the CDC
covering up to 40 percent of the cost and backed by a 100percent SBA-guaranteed debenture.
3. A contribution of at least 10 percent equity from your
Beyond financing, SBA-sponsored counseling and
training programs offer the advantage of highly trained
and experienced business professionals. Two exceptional
SBA-sponsored organizations are the Small Business
Development Centers (SBDC) and SCORE, counselors to
America’s small business.
SCORE brings together more than 10,500 retired
executives in 389 locations to offer entrepreneurs in-person
education and counseling on the formation and growth of
small businesses nationwide. SCORE also operates an active
online counseling initiative for business owners who find
that more convenient. You can find information on all of the
SCORE resources at its Web site: www.score.org.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
provide management and technical assistance to small businesses. They are located in every state and U.S. territory at
1,100 service locations. I highly recommend their low-cost
continuing education courses on subjects from business
startup to marketing on a budget. More detailed information
on the SBDC program can be found at the SBA Web site
under technical assistance, at www.sba.gov/sbdc/.
The Business Matchmaking program, an SBA
innovation introduced last year, creates additional contract-
ing opportunities for small businesses. These events bring
together small businesses and procurement representatives
from federal, state and local governments, as well as major
corporations, that they would not otherwise have occasion
to meet. So far 25,000 one-on-one appointments have been
made, resulting in over $29 million in contracts. Business
Matchmaking events have been scheduled in Los Angeles,
CA, and Milwaukee, WI, over the next few months. You
can sign up to attend at www.BusinessMatchmaking.com.
I encourage you to take advantage of any and all SBA
programs, whether it is dropping by a local SBA office to
ask a quick question, starting a relationship with one of the
counselors at SCORE, applying for an SBA-backed loan or
taking advantage of our technical assistance.
Hector V. Barreto was a small business manager/owner
for many years and is now the 21st administrator of the
Small Business Administration.
Barreto’s experience in the world of entrepreneurship
began at a young age. He helped his parents by working in, and later co-managing, a family restaurant, an
export/import business and a construction company in his
home town of Kansas City, MO. Immediately before being
nominated to his current post by the president, Barreto was
himself a business owner, as well as being vice chairman
of the board for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Readers may visit the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov to
locate their local SBA office.
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Lessons From AT&T and Enron
Keeping entrepreneurship alive in your company is essential
for sustained success and growth
By Dean Robb Ph.D., The Resilience Group
ore than ever before, sustaining success in today’s
experiment and openly express. It requires internal divermarketplace demands that every company build
sity as a source of learning, innovation and growth. It also
capability for sustainable entrepreneurship. Yet this caparequires ongoing questioning of traditions, strategies, values
bility seems to be extremely elusive. Why? When studied
and everything else. All of these go deeply against the grain
from the right perspective, some real lessons can be gained
of upper-left zone organizations.
from looking into the failures of AT&T and Enron. Enron
This zone describes AT&T to a tee. When divestisaw itself as an entrepreneurial enterprise, but it collapsed.
ture (and the seeds of deregulation) began in 1984, AT&T
AT&T is a very old, bureaucratic company that has been
had a very long history; a deeply embedded tradition; a
struggling – with little success – to become more entresteeply hierarchical, bureaucratic organization; and a rigid
preneurial ever since divestiture of its local operating
monoculture. Overcoming this legacy would have required
companies in 1984.
a revolutionary, charismatic and powerful CEO with a
Each company illustrates a very different kind of
genuinely new vision and the power to carry it out – someproblem. However, both failures can be understood using a
one like Jack Welch. Instead, AT&T chose Bob Allen, a
simple model of societies and organizations developed by
caretaker/manager type – a true son of the tradition – who
anthropologists and sociologists
lacked real leadership skills, a
(Figure 1, right). The model
compelling vision or any sense
also provides some critical
of innovation. Allen led AT&T
insights into how to create
down the wrong path for quite a
sustainable entrepreneurial
long time and eventually into a
real no-win situation, structurThe model is based on:
ally. They’ve been stuck there
1. The degree to which
ever since.
members of a society or orgaEnron’s story is different
nization have a sense of group
because it fits more into the
belonging and are interconlower-right zone – the complete
opposite of AT&T. In fact, our
2. The degree of diversity,
whole economy fits into this
individuality and expression
zone right now. In this zone,
that’s acceptable in that society.
societies and organizations
Figure 1: Sustainable growth is achieved by organizations that
The upper-left zone
are characterized by exaggerfoster group belonging as well as diversity and innovation.
describes societies and orgaated individualism, low social
nizations with a high level of group belonging, but a low
cohesion, unpredictable changes in markets, and constant
tolerance for internal diversity, individuality or expressive
organizational restructuring, downsizing and closings. The
freedom. Such groups always form into hierarchies with
rules change constantly. Since there is low group belongcentralized power and control, for the purpose of perpetuating, people are thrown back on their individual wits and
ing an embedded tradition and protecting the status quo.
resources. Operating in this environment is somewhat like
In such organizations, all actions and expressions must be
living in a chaotic jungle or swimming in a pack of sharks.
considered carefully; they must be in sync with prevailing
This zone breeds charismatic personalities, hucksters
expectations and the culture. There is little room for inde– even companies – that play opportunistic, short-term
pendent action or spontaneous expression. This is the zone
business games with the environment. These individuals
of “keeping up appearances” and the “stiff upper lip.”
and companies manipulate and exploit emerging, short-term
Such organizations operate well in stable or slowly
structural or market discontinuities to their own advantage.
changing environments, but operate poorly in dynamically
The model is one of “thriving on chaos” or “day trading”
changing environments. Furthermore, it is in their very
on a huge scale. Enron is a case in point. Enron played this
nature to stifle the entrepreneurial spirit; they can’t help
game, and played it well, for a while.
themselves. Entrepreneurship requires freedom to explore,
SPRINGS July 2005 19
But Enron collapsed. Its business practices practically guaranteed it. Continuously finding and successfully
exploiting short-term discontinuities and opportunities is
extraordinarily difficult to sustain over any significant period
of time. This “business model” is fertile ground for the
growth of unethical financial and accounting games necessary to paper over the inevitable misreading of constantly
changing environmental rules. If a company manages to gain
a series of big wins, hubris can easily take root and get out
of control, like a gambler who has a string of big wins and
begins to think that he or she can’t lose. Inevitably they do
lose, however, and if they bet the farm, they go down the
tubes. Enron is a quintessential example of this phenomenon.
“Thriving on chaos” is a myth. Can it be done for a
short time? Yes, absolutely. Can it yield sustainable business
growth over the long-term? The odds are extremely poor.
In changing times, the most effective strategy for
sustainable entrepreneurship is to move into the upper-right
corner of the model by building enterprises that are highly
inclusive, and embrace high levels of diversity, individuality and expression. This zone is “primed” for high levels
of organizational experimentation, learning, creativity,
innovation, change and growth. This zone breeds highly
innovative, entrepreneurial organizations and enterprises
that can grow relatively rapidly, but not chaotically. Such
enterprises are capable of creating, and recreating, internal
order within a turbulent external environment. It is a zone of
rapid evolution, not revolution or chaos.
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Here are two reasons why: First, embracing internal
diversity and individuality overcomes the conformity and
perpetuation of the status quo endemic to traditional bureaucracies. The other reason is more subtle: One of Enron’s key
problems is that its internal, social environment mirrored the
“pool of sharks” dynamic of the external environment. Just
like the external market, Enron’s internal world was one of
individualistic opportunism and exploitation. This is a huge
mistake. When the external environment is fragmented, the
internal social world of a sustainable entrepreneurial enterprise should be coordinated and act with an organic, focused
unity. That requires a high sense of internal belonging,
interconnectedness and coherence.
Our ingrained belief is that it’s impossible or unrealistic
to build organizations with both high belonging and high
diversity. This belief system devastates all possibilities for
creating sustainable growth in turbulent times. It’s also a
defense mechanism. The truth is that it is possible to build
highly inclusive and diverse workplaces. If we are honest
with ourselves, we will recognize that the real problem is that
many of us simply are not willing to make the transformational changes needed to do it. We want to hang on to our old
ways, but get different results. Somebody once told me that
this is a working definition of insanity. If we can get past our
resistance, the model provides insight into the path forward.
Enterprises in the “entrepreneurial zone” have low
differentials in power and status between the top and the
bottom of the organization. In other words, they are relatively flat. Traditional command-and-control practices are
replaced by an emerging partnership model based on adultto-adult (peer) relationships.
Traditionally, organizational alignment is gained
through subtle (or not-so-subtle), coercive cultural pressures, and through extrinsic, social rewards like power and
status. The goal is behavioral compliance. These methods fit
firmly into the “AT&T zone,” and they don’t work anymore.
In entrepreneurial enterprises, community alignment
is gained by building individual-level,
authentic commitment. Each enterprise member is managed uniquely by
tapping into individual, intrinsic motivations and strengths, and leveraging
those for maximum enterprise advantage. As opposed to the bureaucratic
“cog in the machine” model, employees
feel – and act – like valued enterprise
The entrepreneurial spirit is “activated” by constructively harnessing
internal variety and differences as the
raw fuel for continuous experimentation, innovation, learning and growth.
We instinctively resist this because
allowing internal differences to surface can initially seem like a descent
into chaos. However, while repressing differences might feel comfortable
and “safe,” it is actually a dangerous
strategy in a changing world. It yields
only stagnation, loss of innovation and
potential extinction.
On the other side of perceived
chaos is a vibrant, dynamic and diverse
community of employees, each of
whom is valued as a unique individual
and encouraged to contribute and
create. To get there, new leadership and
management practices are required that
foster safety, trust, honesty, integrity,
accountability, mutuality and partnering.
This calls for a more sophisticated
level of leadership and management
competency, wisdom, and maturity.
This is the real reason why creating
diverse, inclusive enterprises is resisted.
It’s hard work, and it falls outside of
the traditional business leadership
“comfort zone.” It calls upon leaders
to significantly “ratchet up” their level
of interpersonal, relational maturity.
Knowing the business side alone is
insufficient to build sustainable enter-
prise entrepreneurship. The key to a future of sustainable
growth lies in combining business acumen with communitybuilding skills.
Dean Robb Ph.D. is president of The Resilience Group.
For over a decade, he has been helping domestic and
foreign business leaders build high-performing, innovative,
entrepreneurial enterprises. His expertise combines 16 years
of practical, real-world corporate experience with in-depth
doctoral research in human and organizational systems.
Readers may contact him by e-mail at [email protected]
up.com or phone at (908) 757-4721. v
SPRINGS July 2005 21
Wire and Strip Forming
All Around
Spring Machine
Okuno Machine Co.
Wave Springs and Wave Washers
Flat and Round Wire Rings
CNC Coiling
A Deeper Understanding of
Hydrogen Embrittlement
spring was put into service and fractured after a few
weeks of service. Short service failures like this always
cause great concern among spring users, especially when the
spring is plated. The first question that comes to mind is, “Was
there hydrogen embrittlement?” The likelihood of hydrogen
embrittlement is increased by many factors, like material type,
microstructure and processing. Many of the more common
causes of this phenomenon have been discussed in previous
Springs articles. This column will discuss some of the less
obvious mechanisms.
The most general rule for hydrogen damage correlates
the level of hydrogen, the type of metal and the magnitude
of stress present to the degree of embrittlement. Yet there
are many subtle variations and additions to this rule that may
apply in various operating conditions. Consider the following
statements concerning hydrogen embrittlement:
True or False
1. Steels tend to be most susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement around room temperature.
2. A fine-grained pearlitic microstructure tends to be more
forgiving to hydrogen damage than a quenched and tempered
microstructure of the same hardness.
3. In high strength steel, elements like sulfur, phosphorus
and tin tend to promote the formation of intergranular fracture
in the presence of hydrogen.
4. Hydrogen damage can be initiated by moisture.
5. Operating environments absent of oxygen tend to promote the progression of hydrogen embrittlement.
6. Slower strain rates can be more detrimental to the
performance of steel charged with hydrogen than higher
strain rates.
Luke Zubek PE is the technical
director of the Spring Manufacturers
Institute, providing failure analysis
services, technical assistance and
educational seminars to the spring
Prior to that, he was a metallurgical engineer at Ispat Inland Steel
for 10 years. He holds a master’s
of materials and metallurgical
engineering degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a
bachelor’s in metallurgical engineering from the University
of Illinois at Chicago. Readers may contact Zubek by phone
at (630) 495-8588 or e-mail at [email protected]
with Luke Zubek
7. A spring can fail prematurely due to hydrogen contamination even though it was never exposed to any obvious
source of hydrogen.
8. A metal can be damaged by hydrogen and still have
a ductile fracture surface with microvoid coalescence (MVC)
at the fracture origin.
The answers to all of these questions are “true” as
explained below.
Statement 1: Steels tend to be most susceptible to
hydrogen embrittlement around room temperature. Curiously enough, this statement has been demonstrated to be
true in many alloy systems. Although no specific reason for
this phenomenon has been produced, it has been speculated
that the cause is related to two different hydrogen transport
mechanisms. One mechanism relieves embrittlement at high
temperature and the other at low temperature. This temperature
dependence is shown graphically in Figure 1, below [1].
Statement 2: A fine-grained pearlitic microstructure tends to be more forgiving to hydrogen damage than a
quenched and tempered microstructure of the same hardness.
Martensitic microstructures tend to be the most susceptible
to hydrogen embrittlement. Martensitic microstructures that
have increased amounts of alloys, like chrome silicon grades,
tend to be especially prone to hydrogen attack. In general, as
the hardness of the steel increases so does the susceptibility
to hydrogen embrittlement. But this tends to be an over-simplification of the mechanism. Fine grain size also promotes
Figure 1: Notched tensile strength of high strength steel vs.
temperature showing the dependence at three different strain
rates [1]. Note also the trough near room temperature.
SPRINGS July 2005 23
embrittlement resistance. Cold drawing refines the grain size
and thus further improves the resistance.
The following microstructures, in order of increasing
sensitivity to hydrogen, are presented: hard drawn pearlitic,
austempered or bainitic, and then martensitic. Additionally, body-centered cubic (magnetic) steels tend to be more
susceptible to hydrogen damage than face-centered cubic (nonmagnetic) steels, most likely due to the higher diffusivity of
hydrogen in the latter matrix [2].
Statement 3: In high strength steel, elements like
sulfur, phosphorus and tin tend to promote the formation of
24 SPRINGS July 2005
intergranular fracture in the presence of hydrogen. These
elements tend to promote the charging of active or atomic
hydrogen in some aqueous solutions [3]. There are two sources
of hydrogen embrittlement: internal, or originating from the
processing of the steel; and external, or originating from the
environment. Some high quality spring steel is “degassed” in
the liquid state to reduce the harmful residual elements, like
hydrogen and sulfur, in the steel. It is not uncommon to have
hydrogen levels in steel that are in the range of 4 to 9 ppm.
After degassing the liquid steel, the steel can attain hydrogen
levels of less than 2 ppm.
Statement 4: Hydrogen damage
can be initiated by moisture. The hydrogen potential arising from water is very
low, but studies have shown that even
extremely low levels of hydrogen can
cause dramatic embrittlement in high
strength steels. It is widely accepted
that the hydrogen source comes from
the reaction of the water with the steel
surface [4]. Hydrogen levels as low as 1
ppm have been shown to cause delayed
fracture in steel.
Statement 5: Operating environments absent of oxygen tend to promote
the progression of hydrogen embrittlement. Cracking induced by gaseous
hydrogen can be stopped by the presence
of small amounts of oxygen. Theories
suggest that the oxygen reacts with the
hydrogen diffusion at the crack tip [4].
Statement 6: Slower strain rates
can be more detrimental to the performance of steel affected with hydrogen
than faster strain rates. Embrittlement
is related to the diffusion and mobility
of the atomic hydrogen. Higher strain
rates may outpace the atomic mobility,
and fracture may proceed without the
complete degradation from the hydrogen present. Figure 1, page 23, shows
the effect of different strain rates on the
notched tensile strength of high strength
steel vs. temperature [1].
Statement 7: A spring can fail prematurely due to hydrogen contamination,
even though it was never exposed to any
obvious source of hydrogen. Hydrogen
can originate from the steelmaking operation, when the steel is in the liquid state.
On alloys that are especially sensitive to
hydrogen embrittlement, like chrome
silicon grades, high performance applications may greatly benefit from using
“degassed” steel with reduced hydrogen
levels. A comment about determining
the hydrogen content of solidified steel: At best it is very
difficult and costly. The hydrogen content can be measured
accurately and more cost effectively while the steel is in the
liquid state.
Statement 8: A metal can be damaged by hydrogen and
still have a ductile fracture surface with microvoid coalescence
(MVC) at the fracture origin. The answer to this question is
true, depending on the properties of the steel in question and
the amount of hydrogen present. For high strength steels,
hydrogen embrittlement typically initiates in an intergranular mode and progresses to a more ductile appearance. Low
strength steels that are only minimally exposed to hydrogen
may not have an intergranular fracture appearance; they may
originate the fracture in a ductile manner by MVC or cleavage.
In these steels, the presence of hydrogen serves to promote
void formation [5].
Most springs will never experience some of the scenarios
mentioned above, as these situations tend to represent some of
the more extreme operating conditions. However, the purpose
of this article is to review some of the exceptions to the general
rule of hydrogen embrittlement.
1. Craig, Bruce, Hydrogen Damage, ASM Handbook,
Volume 13A Corrosion: Fundamentals, Testing, and Protection, Editors: S.D. Cramer and B.S. Covino, Jr., ASM
International, 2003, p. 372.
2. P. Lacombe, M. Aucouturier, and J. Chene, Hydrogen Trapping and Hydrogen Embrittlement, Hydrogen
Embrittlement and Stress Corrosion Cracking, Editors:
R. Gibala and R.F. Hehemann, ASM International, 2002,
pp. 79-80.
3. Craig, Bruce, Hydrogen Damage, ASM Handbook,
Volume 13A Corrosion: Fundamentals, Testing, and Protection, Editors: S.D. Cramer and B.S. Covino, Jr., ASM
International, 2003, p. 370.
4. H.H. Johnson, Keynote Lecture: Overview on Hydrogen Degradation Phenomena, Hydrogen Embrittlement and
Stress Corrosion Cracking, Editors: R. Gibala and R.F. Hehemann, ASM International, 2002, pp. 12-14.
5. J.P. Hirth, Theories of Hydrogen Induced Cracking of
Steels, Hydrogen Embrittlement and Stress Corrosion Cracking, Editors: R. Gibala and R.F. Hehemann, ASM International,
2002, pp. 30-31.
If you could only own
one design reference,
this would be it.
SMI Handbook of
Spring Design
order online at www.smihq.org
or call (630) 495-8588
SPRINGS July 2005 25
Wolfgang Hermann (pictured) has replaced long-time
Verband der Deutschen Federnindustrie (VDFI) general secretary Horst Dieter Dannert,
who is now the general secretary of
the European Spring Federation
(ESF). Dannert’s e-mail address is now
[email protected] Hermann,
before accepting his current post at the
German spring manufacturers association,
was a manager of a cold-forming spring
company for many years. His e-mail
address is [email protected]
At wire 2006 in Düseldorf, Germany, April 24-28, 2006,
companies will have the option to exhibit in a North American Pavilion or to exhibit individually. The North American
Pavilion will be organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America
(MDNA) and co-sponsored by the Wire and Cable Industry
Suppliers Association. Companies are provided with a fully
equipped booth designed according to the exhibitor’s specifications. Technical work, setup and dismantling are included.
Hostesses and translators will be provided, if needed. MDNA
helps participants make all overseas arrangements from customs clearance and freight forwarding to travel arrangements
and hotel accommodations. For information, contact MDNA
by phone at (312) 781-5180 or Web site at www.mdna.com.
Terra Nostra Resources Corp., Vancouver, BC, Canada,
has announced joint venture activities in Shandong, China.
Terra Nostra has fulfilled joint venture agreements with Shandong Jinpeng Copper Co. Ltd. to complete, among other
projects, the construction of a stainless steel production facility.
The facility is targeted to commence production in 2005 and
reach full production capacity of 180,000 tons/year of stainless steel products in 2006. Donald C. Nicholson has been
appointed corporate secretary and interim president. Nicholson,
B. Comm and Donald G. Burrell have been appointed to the
board of directors to replace the existing board, and additional
board members will be announced shortly.
The Mahr Group, Providence, RI, parent company of
Mahr Federal Inc. has acquired a majority interest in Optische
Koordinatenmesstechnik GmbH (OKM) of Jena, Germany.
Mahr’s stake in OKM will expand its horizontal length metrology portfolio and complement the company’s line of optical
measurement tools. The new entity will operate under the name
Mahr OKM. OKM is a provider of universal length measuring machines. Mahr Federal is ISO 9001:2000 certified and
manufactures a variety of dimensional metrology products.
26 SPRINGS July 2005
Ulbrich Precision Flat Wire LLC of Westminster, SC,
has opened a new production facility, Ulbrich Precision
Metals Ltd., in Gort, County Galway, Republic of Ireland.
Wire is available in widths
as narrow as 0.0025 in. and
in thicknesses starting at
0.0003 in., with tolerances
of ± 0.0003 in. for widths,
and ± 0.0001 in. for gauge.
The products will be precision rolled and tempered to
achieve the desired torque,
column strength and multiple
curve capabilities required for these applications. In addition to
stainless, starting materials will include carbon steel, copper,
copper alloys, aluminum and high performance alloys.
The materials are suitable for medical applications,
including surgical probes, guidewires, stents and cardiac
rhythm-managment devices. In 2006, the Ireland facility will
begin producing ribbon for solar energy applications; specifically buss and interconnect ribbon for photovoltaic panels. The
phone number of the new facility is 353 (0) 91 630 290.
Ulbrich Precision Flat Wire is also adding wire forming
and soldering lines at its Westminster, SC, plant to increase
capacity for producing solar-grade wire materials.
Overseas Events
Sept. 13-15, 2005: CWTP Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany, www.CWTPstuttgart.de.
Sept. 20-22, 2005: wire Singapore 2005, The All-Asia
Wire & Cable Trade Fair, Singapore, Messe Düsseldorf, (312)
781-5180, www.wire-singapore.com.
Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2004: Metal-FC Ukraine 2005, Kiev
Ukraine; Metal-Forum Ukraine, fax +49 (0) 2166-310 883,
Oct. 14-17, 2005: AWIA Conference 2005, Queensland,
Australia. Australasian Wire Association, www.wireassociation.
Oct. 24-25, 2005: Wire 05 Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, IWMA, fax 44-1926-314755, www.iwma.com.
Nov. 2-4, 2005: Wire Asia, Beijing, China; Mack Brooks,
+44 (0) 1707 278 200, www.mackbrooks.co.uk.
Dec. 6-8, 2005: FabForm05, Nuremberg, Germany; Mack
Brooks, +44 (0) 1707 278 200, www.mackbrooks.co.uk.
April 24-28, 2006: wire 2006, Düsseldorf, Germany,
Messe Düsseldorf, +49 (0)211 45 60 01, www.wire.de.
North America
Bazz Houston Co., Garden Grove, CA, has announced
the opening of its latest manufacturing facility in Mexico. This
new plant will initially concentrate on springs and value-added
work. This will include compression springs, extension springs,
torsion springs, assembly, welding and special packaging. The
new facility’s e-mail address is [email protected]
The phone number is (714) 898 2666, Ext. 255.
Perfection Spring & Stamping Corp., Mount Prospect,
IL, celebrated its 50th anniversary in April under the leadership of the second generation of ownership, David and Joshua
Kahn. Louis Kahn, its founder, remains on the Board, and he
recently celebrated his 78th birthday.
After many years in Chicago, Capitol Coil Inc. has moved
to 821-B Albion Ave., Schaumburg, IL 60193. The new phone
number is (847) 891-1390 and the fax is (847) 891-3177.
The springmaking business continues to rev up the activity as three out of every four spring companies that responded
to the first quarter 2005 SMI Key Business Trends survey
indicate that business continues to increase. This is the second
straight quarter that the business activity has improved so
markedly. Only 14 percent of the respondents indicated that
business has declined. “Despite the robust level of activity,
the business still seems rather fragile,” explains Ken Boyce,
SMI executive vice president. “The cost of steel remains high
and many springmakers cannot pass along the increases. That
means sales are good but profits are lagging.”
According to research from the Industry Week/
Manufacturing Performance Institute (MPI) Census of
Manufacturers, facilities that invest in human resource
programs experienced lower turnover and higher gross
profit margins than those that don’t. But in the quest for cost
reductions, the study found, many manufacturers ignore the
value of the organization’s human capital.
The report identified a group of 29 manufacturing plants
from the 2004 and 2005 studies that reported significantly
better performance than other plants in several key areas. They
reported lower turnover, 20 percent higher gross profit margins
and higher operating equipment efficiency. The study identified six specific HR programs that can drive the bottom line:
recruiting and hiring; performance management; employee
development and training; leader/supervisor development
and training; teaming; and safety and health programs.
Joseph D. Downes Jr. has been promoted to senior vice
president of Leggett & Platt, based in Carthage, MO. Downes
has served in several capacities in the company’s Wire Group
since 1980. He became a vice president of the company and
president of the Wire Group in 1999. He was named president
of the Industrial Materials Segment in 2004. He will now be
a senior vice president of Leggett & Platt and president of the
Industrial Materials Segment.
FabEnCo. Inc., Houston, TX, is celebrating its 40th
anniversary. The company manufactures Self-Closing Safety
Gates. To demonstrate its commitment to keeping jobs in the
U.S., the company launched a “Support America” program,
which offered a discount to U.S. manufacturers on gates in
2004. The company has extended its program in 2005 by
absorbing the surcharge on the rising cost of raw steel and
fuel surcharges.
A coalition of business organizations, educators, and civic
leaders launched a nationwide grassroots campaign aimed at
attracting young adults into manufacturing jobs, and expanding
training opportunities to meet a growing shortage of skilled
employees. The “Dream It. Do It.” awareness and economic
development campaign is a joint effort of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute,
Monster, the American Association of Community Colleges
and the College Board, partnering with local organizations to
address a looming U.S. skills shortage. If current trends continue, experts estimate that the U.S. could face a shortage of
13 million to 15 million qualified employees by 2020.
The campaign seeks to foster economic growth and the
skilled work force necessary to create it. To do this, Dream It.
Do It. (www.dreamit-doit.com) will help young people identify
what they are passionate about, utilize career resources and
find fulfilling careers in manufacturing, where the average
salary is $54,000 – 20 percent higher than the average job.
The campaign also seeks to broaden awareness of today’s
manufacturing careers.
The New England Spring and Metalstamping Association (NESMA) has announced that 2005 is the final year of
annual Table Top Expos. Henceforward, the expos will be held
in alternating years with the Chicago Association of Spring
Manufacturers’ Spring World show. The next NESMA Table
Top Expo will be held in April 2007. There will be a NESMA
dinner or social event on even years. The board is considering
sponsoring nationally recognized speakers on topics of interest
to the members and vendors.
The wire and cable industry showed signs of improvement at Interwire 2005, held May 14-19 at the Georgia World
Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. The event, sponsored by the
Wire Association International (WAI), included a trade
show, annual meeting,
technical education
program and WAI 75th
anniversary celebration. The show drew
5,200 attendees, up
12 percent from 2003,
and included about 500
exhibitors. Cosponsors of the event were
the American Wire
Producers Association, Powder Coating
Institute, Society of
Plastic Engineers, and
the Wire and Cable
Industry Suppliers
Association. The Australasian Wire Industry Association and
the Asociación National de Transformadores de Acero were
educational allies.
Continued on page 30.
SPRINGS July 2005 27
Continued from page 27.
Reell Precision Manufacturing, St. Paul, MN, a maker
of custom and standard wrap spring clutches, constant-torque
hinges and precision-wound springs, recently received the
Outstanding Supplier Award from Porter Engineered Systems
Inc. of Westfield, IN. Porter is a supplier of seat adjustment
mechanisms to the automotive industry.
According to the April 2005 reports from 145 members
of the Tooling & Manufacturing Association, the overall
business evaluations for April 2005 compared to January 2005
have increased from 46 to 50. Overall, the three-month projection index decreased from 62 to 61. Order backlog increased
for 37 percent of respondents, while it remained the same for
40 percent, and 23 percent experienced backlog declines. On
April 1, 2005, the average tool room workweek was 47.0 hours,
up one hour from Jan. 1, 2005. TMA represents Chicago area
companies that provide manufacturers worldwide with tools
and dies, molds, jigs and fixtures, special machinery, automation equipment, machining, turned parts, metal stampings and
fabricated metal parts, plastic molded parts, die cast parts,
subassemblies, plating, engraving and heat treating services.
The National Association of Women Business Owners
(NAWBO) has nominated Mary Bresnahan, president of the
Bresnahan Group, Wheaton, IL, for its annual Pioneer of the
Year award. The Pioneer Leadership Award recognizes an innovative, creative, inspiring and visionary member who causes
individuals and organizations to move forward by encouraging
and pursuing new ventures. The Bresnahan Group is a service
company that has helped business leaders focus on workplace
responsibility and accountability for more than eight years.
SMI Hosts International S
SO Technical Committee membership, rate tolerancing
and spring terminology were chief items of discussion
when Spring Manufacturers Institute (SMI), European
Spring Federation (ESF) and Japan Spring Manufacturers
Association (JSMA) representatives gathered in Dearborn,
MI, May 3-5, 2005 for the International Standard Conference for Springs. Hosted by SMI, the meeting focused
on the trilateral group’s current work on an international
compression spring standard, as well as tasks for each association to complete in the coming months.
The meeting’s Dearborn, MI, location also provided
participants the opportunity to tour Ford Motor Co.’s
famous Rouge assembly plant and visit Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village and Museum.
Seeds of the ISO spring standard project were sown
in 1994 when SMI past president Pete Peterson proposed
that the JSMA, ESF and SMI consider developing a set of
international specifications for springs. Given the increasing globalization of a once-regional spring marketplace, the
three associations decided to undertake the project. In 1998,
Spring associations debate tec
By Rita Schauer C
the group chose the compression spring standard as a logical
starting point.
Through consensus building; overcoming barriers of
language, distance and culture; and reconciling subtle technical differences among the national spring standards, the
trilateral group has completed many parts of an international
compression spring standard and is now working on the rate
tolerance component.
The spring rate tolerance is still in the testing and datagathering stages. SMI members tested springs according
to the proposed rate tolerance and presented their results
to the group. Based on these tests, SMI prepared a matrix
of allowable tolerance schemes to prevent customers from
over-tolerancing springs, with the caveat that tolerance combinations not shown on the matrix should be negotiated with
the spring manufacturer. The ESF
and JSMA are in the process of
conducting similar tests and will
present their findings, as well.
The collective data will then be
compared and the proposed rate
tolerance adjusted as needed.
The standard is being
compiled into ISO format by the
Institute of Spring Technology
(IST) and, per ISO requirements,
will be translated into French then
submitted to ISO for approval
International standardization group representatives (top row) Tsuguhiro Maeda, JSMA
past president; Dave Weber, SMI past president, Dan Sebastian, SMI president; Hansand implementation.
Jochem Steim Ph.D., VDFI president; (bottom row) Ken Boyce, SMI executive vice
In addition, the three
president; Luke Zubek, SMI technical director; Horst Dieter Dannert, ESF general secreassociations are preparing a comtary; Kazuhiko Kato, JSMA president; and Shigeo Aiba, JSMA
30 SPRINGS July 2005
The United Steelworkers of America and the Paper,
Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers (PACE)
have merged. The new union will be called the United Steel,
Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy and
Allied Industrial and Service Workers Intl. Union or the
USW for short. The combined union will have over 850,000
active members in over 8,000 bargaining units in the United
States, Canada and the Caribbean. It will be the largest industrial union in North America.
Harry Ericson, president of Byron Lambert LLC
announced the purchase of Barrett Tool and Die, Addison,
IL. Barrett is a tool and die job shop manufacturing four slide
and multislide parts. Barrett has been in business for 30 years.
Plans are to move Byron Lambert into Barrett’s building in
Addison from the present location in Des Plaines, IL.
Techalloy Co. Inc. Mahwah, NJ, was acquired by Central Wire Canada from the Arcelor Group, a Luxembourg
based carbon and stainless steel producer. This purchase by
Central Wire creates the largest redrawer of stainless steel and
nickel alloy wire in North America. With manufacturing locations throughout North America, the new group will provide
a wide range of stainless and nickel alloy wire products to the
North American and global marketplace.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported that manufacturing lost 8,000 jobs in March 2005
and that only 110,000 new jobs had been created, less than
half the number predicted by many economists. Textile and
apparel lost 7,000 in March while job losses in air transportation continue to mount, bringing to 127,000 the number
of positions lost in that sector in the last four years. Many
al Standards Conference
technical and structural issues
auer CAE, editor
Each spring association has a somewhat different
relationship with its national standard-setting organization.
Some national spring associations are members of their
country’s standard organizations, and some governments
provide funding to support such participation. In the U.S.,
the establishment of commercial standards is generally a
private concern. SMI is not currently a member of ANSI.
The SMI executive committee is researching the issue and
performing a cost/benefit analysis to determine the best way
to proceed. For further details, see “Inside SMI,” page 41.
In the business plan prepared by the JSMA, the objective of ISO/TC 227 is “to develop international standards
which are expected to be accepted widely among stakeholders in the field of spring business.” The goal is to “complete
a series of international standards relating to spring terminology and the systematic classification of springs by 2008.
The standards of tolerances, inspection/testing methods,
and process technologies will follow; however, the pace
of development will be affected by a trend in the spring
market.” v
prehensive catalog of spring terms, definitions and symbols
used in practice by their countries’ springmakers. Once this
comprehensive listing is completed and translated into the
various languages, the group will determine which ones to
use consistently throughout the standardization process.
Meanwhile, the structure of the meetings and the
groups’ participation continues to evolve. JSMA immediate
past president Tsuguhiro Maeda proposed that the trilateral
group take a more formal approach to international spring
standards. Last fall, JSMA hosted a meeting in Tokyo at
which it was decided that an official ISO Technical Committee should be established. Thus, ISO/TC 277 was born.
Under this structure, each spring-producing country is
represented by its national standard organization, which
is the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) in Germany,
the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS)
organization in Japan and the American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) in
the U.S. Each country that is a participating (P) member of the ISO TC is allowed
one vote. Countries that are observing (O)
members of the TC are allowed to monitor
and comment but have no vote. Currently,
seven national standard organizations are
P members of ISO/TC 277. They represent
Germany, France, Italy, the UK, China,
Republic of Korea and Japan. Seven
additional national standard organizations
are O members of the TC, representing
Canada, Brazil, Poland, Slovakia, Spain,
JSMA, ESF and SMI representatives visit the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, MI.
Switzerland and Thailand.
SPRINGS July 2005 31
economists were predicting large job gains for March, with a
consensus of around 200,000. However, the actual March job
figures reflect an increase in the percentage of people who say
jobs are hard to find, the Conference Report said.
Automated Industrial Motion (AIM) has moved from
Muskegon, MI, to 5627 Airline Highway, Fruitport, MI. The
new phone number is (231) 865-1800 and the fax number is
(231) 865-1802.
According to a study by Info-Tech Research Group,
manufacturing is 50 percent more likely than other industries to decrease IT spending in 2005. The study finds that
21 percent of manufacturing companies plan to decrease IT
spending this year, compared with an average of 14 percent
for other industries. Another key finding is that companies
with less than 50 employees spend 20 times more on IT per
employee than companies with more than 500 employees. The
study suggested that there are efficiencies and economies of
scale available to larger companies that cannot be leveraged by
their smaller counterparts. For information, contact Info-Tech
Research Group by Web site at www.infotech.com.
North American Events
Inconel X750 ●
Inconel 600 ●
Inconel 601 ●
Inconel 625 ●
Inconel 718 ●
Incoloy 800 ●
Incoloy 800HT ●
Incoloy 825 ●
Incoloy A286 ●
Monel 400 ●
Monel K500 ●
Nimonic 90 ●
Nimonic 80A ●
Nimonic 75 ●
Nickel 200 ●
Nickel 201 ●
Nickel 205 ●
Nickel 212 ●
Nickel 270
Nispan / C902 ●
Nilo 36 ●
Nilo 42 ●
Nilo 48 ●
Nilo 52 ●
Nilo ‘K’ ●
Hastelloy B-2 ▲
Hastelloy B-3 ▲
Hastelloy C-4 ▲
Hastelloy C-22 ▲
Hastelloy C-276 ▲
Hastelloy C-2000 ▲
Hastelloy G-30 ▲
Hastelloy ‘X’ ▲
It is with deep regret that Springs magazine announces the
passing of Diane Grace, wife of John Grace, SMI’s 20th president, and mother of Kevin Grace, current SMI board member
and CEO of SEI MetalTek in Dallas, TX. Diane died March
14 after a brief illness. Her husband, John; daughter, Cindy
Witte; sons John Robert and Kevin D.; daughter-in-law, Beth;
and five grandchildren survive her. v
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Haynes 214 ▲
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Titanium Grade 1
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Beryllium Copper
size range .800” - .001”
quantities from 2 lb
Unit 317C, 205 Hallene Rd, Warwick, R.I. 02886
Call Toll Free: 1-866-48-ALLOY
Fax: 401-384-6757
email: [email protected]
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Haynes International ■Imphy Ugine Precision ✝SPS Technologies
General Electric inc
Sept. 19, 2005: Road Show Workshop: Nonferrous
Wire Technology, Pittsburgh, PA, WAI, (203) 453-2777,
Sept. 27, 2005: Machine Guarding online seminar, SMI,
(630) 495-8588, www.smihq.org. Instructor: Jim Wood.
Oct. 20-23, 2005: 11th Annual Manufacturing in
Mexico Summit, Offshore Group, San Carlos, Mexico, (520)
889-0022, Ext. 164, www.offshoregroup.com.
Oct. 31- Nov. 4, 2005: Leading the Revolution, best
practices conference, Boston, MA, AME, (847) 520-3282,
Ext. 226, www.ame.org.
Nov. 1-3, 2005: Mastering Shot Peening and Blast
Cleaning, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, Electronics Inc., (800) 8325653, www.shotpeener.com.
Nov. 3-4, 2005: Basic Spring Design Seminar, Naperville, IL, SMI (630) 495-8588, www.smihq.org. Instructor:
Chuck Pepka.
Nov. 13-16, 2005: Fabtech International 2005, Chicago;
SME (800) 733-4763, www.sme.org/events.
Nov. 14, 2005: Nonferrous Wire Technology Road
Show Workshop, Newark, NJ, WAI, (203) 453-2777,
Civil Aviation Authority
32 SPRINGS July 2005
ISO 9001:2000
Don’t Get Locked
Out of Europe
What you need to know about WEEE and RoHS
By Chris Watts on behalf of TUV Rhineland
cross the globe, governments are starting to take
steps to limit the amount of waste and pollution
generated by electronic equipment and other materials.
The first test of this new type of legislation will be the
WEEE (Waste of Electrical & Electronic Equipment)
and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances)
initiatives that go into effect in late 2005 and 2006 in
the European Community. For companies that wish to
export their products for sale or use in one of the EC
member countries, it will be mandatory to comply with
these initiatives. Those that don’t will be shut out of
one of the largest markets on the planet.
“While both initiatives have been in the works
for many years, most companies are lagging behind
in adapting their products to meet the directives
before they go into effect,” says Geoffrey Bock, an
engineer with TUV Rheinland of North America, a
company helping North American companies certify
their materials for the upcoming standards. “There is
still a lot of confusion about what WEEE and RoHS
mean, who will be responsible for the costs and
how they will affect exports. WEEE is set to go into
action on August 13, 2005 and RoHS takes effect
on July 1, 2006.
Companies that haven’t
gotten their products in line with the regulations will
find the doors to Europe shut at that time. This could
be catastrophic, considering that the weakness of the
dollar is causing a lot of companies to look to the EC
to increase profits.”
WEEE electronics recycling
By mandating the recycling of electronic waste,
WEEE aims to reduce the amount of landfilled waste,
estimated at 12 million tons by 2010. Items that are
regulated by WEEE fall under 10 broad-based product
categories: large household appliances, like stoves or
microwaves; small household appliances, like toasters
and vacuums; IT and telecommunications equipment,
like computers and printers; consumer equipment,
like radios and televisions; lighting equipment, such
as fluorescent lights; electric tools, such as table saws
and sewing machines; toys, and leisure and sports
equipment, like video games; medical devices, such as
cardiology testing machines; monitoring and control
instruments, like thermostats; and automatic dispens-
Springs and WEEE/RoHS
So what specifically does WEEE/RoHS mean to the spring industry? It means it’s time to do some planning and
possibly make some changes. But there isn’t a need to panic. If manufacturers perform their due diligence, they should
still be able to export to Europe.
WEEE – If you are supplying springs that are used in electronic devices, you should start now to make sure your
agreements with manufacturers don’t leave you responsible for recycling your springs when the product reaches its
end of life. Chances are the spring will be recycled by the manufacturer or landfilled, but this has to be spelled out. If
the procedure isn’t drafted up thoroughly ahead of time, then your company could be left with the responsibility and
the costs of recycling.
RoHS – This regulation could present a problem to you, if your company is using any of the materials covered by
RoHS in your springs. These are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and
polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). If so, you will have to change the way you manufacture these parts, or they
will not be able to be sold or used in Europe.
Even if you don’t use any of the regulated materials, you will have to provide documentation showing that your
products are clean and can be used for applications in Europe. If you do not have this type of documentation, then
companies exporting to Europe will not use your company as a vendor. v
SPRINGS July 2005 33
ers, such as ATM machines. Virtually anything that
can be controlled by less than 1,000 volts AC or 1,500
volts DC and isn’t an industrial tool or implanted
medical device falls on the list.
“When the time comes for the piece of equipment to be disposed of, consumers will place the item
either in a recycling bin, just like newspapers or glass,
or return it to the store. It will then be hauled off to
some kind of centralized recycling facility for sorting
and distribution back to the original manufacturer,”
says Bock. “The tough news for companies is, under
WEEE, the producers are held responsible for the
recycling costs. This means that either the component manufacturer or manufacturer of the item made
up by the components will have to state what needs
to happen to their product when it is returned by the
For example, if a computer needs to be recycled,
there are two ways that the item would be broken up
once it makes it to the recycling sorting facility. One
way is the maker of the computer would take responsibility for the recycling of the product. Under this
plan, the computer manufacturer would take the entire
system back, and sort it out for recycling and disposal.
Alternatively, the computer would be broken down
into components, such as the CPU, the power supply
and cables. The manufacturer of each piece would then
be responsible for the recycling. It depends upon how
the agreements are worked out between the computer
manufacturer and the component suppliers. This is a
very important consideration for component manufacturers to keep in mind when negotiating deals for
products to be sold within the EU.
“The biggest challenge for any manufacturer is
going to be developing a plan to meet the requirements
of WEEE. The company must draw up a plan detailing the life cycle of its products, and then register its
products and plan with the EU,” says Bock. “In order
to meet the requirements of WEEE, the company must
state what needs to happen to its products once they
arrive at the recycling site. These instructions must
be posted on the product, in the original paperwork or
online. As you can imagine, this is going to be a major
undertaking for both the EU and companies selling
RoHS hazardous material limits
The RoHS requirements piggyback on the WEEE
initiative. Since many of the materials mandated for
recycling under WEEE are significant contributors
Figure 1: Use this chart to determine if your product is subject to Europe’s WEEE regulation.
34 SPRINGS July 2005
to pollution from lead, mercury and other materials,
recycling will help take these substances out of the
waste stream. However RoHS goes a step further,
requiring all products falling under the 10 categories
of WEEE to be certified as not exceeding levels of six
known pollutants: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and
polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE).
“The RoHS standards, like WEEE, have certain
exceptions, but on the whole, companies that make
products containing these types of heavy metals must
make changes or risk being shut out of the European
market,” says Bock. “Even those that don’t have these
substances in their products must now show certifications that their products are free of these pollutants.
There are many ways to conduct the tests, but the EC
wants a mechanical sample of a homogenous part; that
is a unit that cannot be mechanically disjointed into
single materials.”
For example, if a company exports calculators to
Europe, there are a number of parts that will have to be
tested and certified, including the keys, the LCD display, the springs and the CPU. Because of this, Bock
says now is the time for companies to start examining
their supply chains to weed out any possible problems.
“RoHS compliance should be part of any purchase
conditions your company has with suppliers, and
your company should be setting up testing and
certification at the earliest stage possible to avoid
problems down the road,” says Bock. In the future,
Bock sees the WEEE and RoHS regulations
becoming stricter and more far reaching. Other
countries and states have already begun to adopt
similar legislation.
“In addition to WEEE and RoHS, you have
programs like Japan’s Green Procurement plan,
China’s Agenda 21 scheme, and California’s SB20
regulations. Manufacturers who think that WEEE/
RoHS will only be a temporary problem are missing the boat,” says Bock. “Companies will need to
seriously start developing plans for recycling and
reuse of their products, and start eliminating certain hazardous substances from the supply stream.”
While there are short-term challenges
presented by WEEE, RoHS and the other environmental initiatives, there will be long-term benefits
for everyone involved. The regulations should spur
improvements and innovations in manufacturing.
There will be a cost savings as a result of the reuse
of obsolete parts. Eventually the cost of waste
collection for municipalities will be reduced due
to the electronic pieces being diverted away from
the landfills. Additionally, one could expect to see
increases in jobs in the recycling industry.
“Any company that is hoping to do business with Europe must start organizing itself to
comply with the WEEE regulations by August 13,
2005 and RoHS standards by July 2006. They must
formulate a plan to finance the recycling and collection
of WEEE, mark the equipment, provide instructions
as to what should be done with the waste, and have
systems in place to provide reports showing evidence
of collection and recycling,” says Bock. “It will be a
fundamental shift in the way companies do business,
but those companies that resist will find themselves
shut out of the European market.”
Chris Watts is a freelance writer from Bloomfield,
CT. He is a former editor for the Associated Press in
Washington, DC, and bureau chief for MetroNetworks
in Hartford, CT.
TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. (TRNA),
headquartered in Newtown, CT, is a subsidiary of TÜV
Rheinland Group, Germany, a worldwide complianceengineering, testing and certification company. TUV
Rheinland of North America has offices in 10 cities
across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The company
offers Web seminars, in-house training and a white
paper on WEEE/RoHS.
Readers may contact TUV Rheinland by phone at
(888) 743-4652 or Web site at www.us.tuv.com. v
SPRINGS July 2005 35
casmi salutes you!
all the
of the
and wire
Your special talents of productivity,
quality and efficiency effectively
supply all segments of manufacturing with the highest level of
productivity, quality, and customer
service. With dedication, skill and
inspired innovation, SPRING
WORLD 2004 exhibitors supply
the equipment, materials and
services that make it possible
for the industry to maintain its
world-class competitive edge.
CASMI members appreciate the
opportunity to host so many industry
members at CASMI shows for the
past 45 years culminating at
SPRING WORLD 2004. Thanks to
the support of the key industry
suppliers who are exhibitors, attendees see vital new equipment
actually feeding, straightening, coiling, bending, twisting, grinding and
heating wire and strip. Other exhibits
feature tooling, test equipment, wire,
strip and other critical products and
services essential to the industry.
We invite the industry to return to the
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center for
SPRING WORLD 2006, October 18, 19 & 20
resuming the three-day schedule the
show has enjoyed in past years.
P.O. Box 1144 • Highland Park, IL 60035 • Phone (847)433-1335 • Fax (847)433-3769
Website: www.casmi.org • Email: [email protected]
Spring Essentials
(for the rest of us)
Part IV: The Three Diameters and Index
on the
Shop Floor
By Randy DeFord
e have learned the basics of spring theory over the last pieces of information, we can find out how tightly the spring
few months. Some of those concepts are:
is coiled. To do that, we need to know all the diameters.
1. A spring is a torsion bar.
A spring has three diameters: the I.D. (inside diameter),
2. A torsion bar can be twisted or bent.
the O.D. (outside diameter) and the “mean” diameter. The
3. The spring Rate is determined by the cross-section word “mean” refers to an average. The “mean” diameter is the
and length.
average diameter of the I.D. and the O.D. (Figure 2). There is
4. A spring is a torsion bar wrapped into a helix, or spiral. more than one way to calculate the mean, but the easiest way
is as follows:
5. To make a spring stronger, make
wire being
1. If you know the I.D., add one
the bar shorter (remove coils).
wire size.
6. To make a spring weaker, make
poin moves t
the bar longer (add coils).
inds & arbo oward
or o in
arou r and
2. If you know the O.D., subtract
7. As a spring approaches solid
nd a
one wire size.
height, it will lose coil and the Rate will
Using our previous example, we
increase due to the lost material.
coiling point
coiling arbor
know the O.D. and the wire diameter.
So far, the focus has been only on the
The O.D. was 2.780 in. and the wire
bar. Now we will discuss a spring property
coiling point groove where
diameter was 0.250 in. The “mean”
that has an impact on many other factors.
wire is formed around the
arbor into a circular shape
diameter is the 0.250 in. wire diameter
This is the spring “index.”
subtracted from the 2.780 in. O.D.
When a spring is coiled, it is wrapped Figure 1: The coiling point holds the wire
Mean diameter = 2.780 in. – 0.250
into a circular shape. The springmaker in place as it coils around the arbor.
in. Therefore, the mean diameter of the
will use a tool called a “coiling point”
looking at the end of
spring is 2.530 in.
to form the diameter of the spring. A simple coilthe spring
The mean diameter is important because it is
ing point is a tool with a groove that holds the wire
the diameter used in most spring calculations. It is a
in place as it coils around an arbor (see Figure 1).
calculated diameter and cannot be measured directly
The wire is forced between the coiling point and
with a pair of calipers; it must be found mathematithe arbor into a circular shape. The coiling point is
cally. The O.D. and I.D. are measurable diameters
held in a tool holder and can be moved in or out as
and can be measured with standard calipers.
needed to adjust the body diameter of the spring.
The “index” of a spring describes how tightly
To make the spring diameter larger, the coiling
or loosely the spring is wrapped. This information
point is moved away from the wire; to make the
is very useful to the spring engineer because it gives
spring diameter smaller, the coiling point is moved Figure 2: Spring
clues to some possible problems with a design. The
closer to the wire. The wire is, literally, sandwiched mean diameter.
“index” is found by dividing the mean diameter by
between the coiling part and the arbor.
Let’s assume we need to make a spring that calls for a the wire diameter. In spring design, the “mean” diameter is
2.780 in. O.D. with 0.250 in. wire diameter. With just these two symbolized with an uppercase “D” and the wire diameter is a
lowercase “d.” Index is a capital “C.”
So … index = mean diameter / wire diameter
Randy DeFord is the engineerOr … C = D/d
ing manager at Mid-West Spring &
Using our known mean and wire diameters:
Stamping in Mentone, IN. He has
30-plus years in the spring indusC = 2.530 / 0.250
try, and believes that educating
C = 10.12
both customers and associates is
This means the “wrap” of the coils is about 10 times
the key to great customer service.
greater than the wire size.
Readers may contact him by e-mail
Next time around, we’ll explain why the index is so imporat [email protected] or phone
at (574) 353-7611.
tant to both spring designers and springmakers. v
SPRINGS July 2005 37
From equipment breakdown coverage to risk management
programs, our in-depth knowledge of the metalworking industry
allows us to offer you the tailored, comprehensive coverage you
need. To find out more, visit mb.thehartford.com/metal.
Always thinking ahead.®
©2004 The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Unattended Fatigue Testing
Computer-controlled equipment adds precision and takes out the hassle
By Larry Sheiman
Spring Analysis Systems Inc.
ore often nowadays, OEMs are requiring fatigue testfeature of the oscillating-motion machine is a simple fatigue
ing of their springs. The motor industry has required
cycle counter. This is normally attached to the oscillating
this type of test for many years for the obvious reason
crosshead and measures complete cycle strokes. Since a cur– extended product liability. With the cost of an individual
rent common practice of OEMs is to request spring fatigue
spring in the engine of a motor vehicle (for example) being
tests from a batch of manufactured springs in multiples, the
of the order of a few cents, the motor industry cannot afford
number of springs simultaneously fatigue tested is generally
one or a few springs, in batches of even a few thousand
from two to six or more.
springs, failing as a result of fatigue. The astronomical costs
Typically, the springs are loaded onto the base plate of
resulting from motor vehicle recalls and the potential for
the fatigue tester. The oscillating crosshead is set up such
danger to human life have meant that fatigue testing is both
that the stroke induces the required deflection, causing the
a required process as well as a necessary measure of the
required fatigue stress during crosshead oscillation. The
long-term durability of the spring subjected to high loads
fatigue cycle counter is zeroed, and the motor is turned
on. Now the more tricky part of the process is played out,
More precisely, the fatigue test reveals flaws in the
namely, the speed of oscillation with respect to the oscilmakeup and structure of
lating cycle stroke and the
the wire, including those
oscillating-motion machine’s
flaws introduced in the
natural frequency. “Why
coiling, grinding and other
tricky?” you may ask. Well,
springmaking processes.
the answer lies in the desire
Traditionally spring
of every springmaker to get
manufacturers, through
the fatigue test over with as
the development of insoon as possible.
house “oscillating-motion
The problem of a “jumpmachines,” have themselves
ing Jack” oscillating-motion
undertaken the process of
machine is soon realized,
fatigue testing. In essence,
especially when the cycle
the manufacturer builds
rate matches the natural frea frame with a motor and
quency of the fatigue tester.
flywheel, and eccentric
(The approximate natural frepin, which is adjustable on
quency of the fatigue tester
Load cells placed under each spring.
the flywheel to achieve the
can be determined by noting
desired stroke (spring deflec- Figure 1: Arrangement of load cells under each spring, LST-1200.
the maximum vibration of
tion). One more essential
the unit as the cycle rate is
Figure 2: Example of a cycle count report for fatigue load.
SPRINGS July 2005 39
increased. At the natural frequency, the largest amplitude of
vibration will be experienced.)
So, the springmaker has two choices, and the first is
normally made for him:
1. Reduce the speed of oscillation so that the natural
frequency of jumping Jack is not excited.
2. More frighteningly, increase the speed of oscillation
so that the excitation frequency passes the natural frequency
of jumping Jack and Jack appears to “run better.”
Well every springmaker probably knows that Jack tends
to break quicker at those higher oscillating frequencies, so
that is why the first choice is normally the only choice.
Now that Jack is running, and two to six springs (and
Jack) are becoming fatigued, the only other small problem
is to determine which spring fails and at what cycle count.
Every springmaker has his or her own “Jack watcher”
(member of the quality control department who picked the
short straw). This person would obviously prefer doing the
normal quality control tasks rather than baby-sit Jack every
15 minutes (by noting which spring has failed and at what
cycle count).
To add a touch more misery to this whole exercise,
some springs are designed very close to their fatigue life
at rated stresses. Therefore, missing a few thousand cycles
because the sampling interval of springs failed vs. a too-long
cycle count means that maybe the first spring that failed just
met (or not) the fatigue life cycle requirements.
By now, I assume that the point is either understood, or
you’re nodding your head saying, “Been there, done that,
and how can we make the whole process a more pleasant
Enter the PC, some electronics, software and load
cells. By placing a load cell under each spring (Figure 1,
page 39) and monitoring the real-time loads experienced
by each spring individually, the whole fatiguing experience is reduced to a silent yawn. By programming the PC to
monitor the fatigue loads, the precise point of failure (within
a few cycles) can be recorded with unattended instruction
(Figure 2, page 39). The onset of crack growth propagation
can be determined specifically for those spring geometries
and material combinations that exhibit slow fatigue failure
(reduction in spring rate with respect to cycle count).
Moreover, the fatigue tester can be placed in a soundproof environment, and the interface PC wired to the factory
network for remote access to the status of the fatigue test.
This all goes toward improving the working conditions
of springmaking personnel. Users can program the PC to
stop the test when one or all springs fail, or when a certain
number of cycles or time is reached. This makes the quality control task manageable with minimal quality-control
personnel resources.
The LST-1200 fatigue tester by SAS Inc., shown
in Figure 1, includes the full implementation of all the
concepts discussed in this article. The unit is able to simultaneously measure the real-time fatigue cycle loads of up to
six springs. The PC controlling the motor is able to shut the
unit down when a pre-programmed condition of any one of
the following events occur:
1. The springs have reached the required cycle count.
2. One spring has failed.
3. All springs have failed.
4. A defined number of hours has elapsed.
The fatigue test can be stopped at any time and then
resumed, without loss of cycle data or disposition of failed
springs. The unit also includes stroke and base height displacement transducers for precise stroke definition.
Larry Sheiman is a founder of Spring Analysis Systems
Inc. He holds a master of science degree in aeronautical
SAS Inc. developed an entire line of PC-controlled testers, which include the compression/extension CT series and
the T series servo-driven torsion testers. The product range
has been further increased, and now includes fatigue testers
and optical inspection systems using high-speed high-resolution digital cameras.
SAS is represented exclusively in North America
by Forming Systems Inc. Readers may contact Forming
Systems by phone at (269) 679-3557 or e-mail at [email protected] v
40 SPRINGS July 2005
GE Reveals How Suppliers are Selected
Words right from the source.
Some may not agree with the doctrine according to GE’s
Jack Welsh, but he and the company did many things right.
Over the past several years, springmakers have perceived
multinational customers almost as adversaries, as corporations
shift their manufacturing and sourcing to low-cost countries in
Asia, China, India and other Pacific Rim nations.
Chief among the multinationals is General Electric, a fabulously successful colossus of a corporation with tentacles in
many business ventures throughout the world. GE wrote the
book on profitability and management style.
During the recent SMI Annual Convention, Tom Lazzaro,
GE’s sourcing general manager, shared the basic principals
behind the decision-making process of sourcing. The method
that GE uses to evaluate sourcing should become a “how to”
manual for those springmakers attempting to build a strong
and varied customer base.
GE’s guiding principles are:
• Features: Does your product help sell mine?
• Differentiate: Does your product stand out from your
• Green: Is your product environmentally friendly?
• Creative: Do you develop ideas to improve my product?
There’s no doubt that each of the four questions places
greater responsibility on the supplier. However, it appears that
is the way of the world in this century.
On the other hand, GE’s four issues, if properly confronted, can be a means of combating the problem of springs
seen as commodities. The successful springmaker who answers
these four questions could lift his springs from commodities
to another level.
I would be naive to suggest that price, although not listed
among the four factors, is not a consideration.
Furthermore, I have to wonder if each of the four questions
must relate only to the product itself. Certainly, each springmaker brings a different set of abilities into the marketplace.
Those that heed Lazzaro’s words may find a market that is
open and available to them.
It won’t be easy. But this is the type of message that every
component manufacturer must hear and heed. Fortunately, this
message was delivered during the recently completed Annual
Convention, so our springmakers heard it firsthand.
This message may have been worth the time and distance
involved with attendance at the convention. Congratulations
to the Education Committee for bringing Tom Lazzaro’s wise
words to SMI members.
Future Role in International Standardization Undetermined
After two days of meetings with representatives of the
Japanese Spring Manufacturers Association (JSMA) and
the European Spring Federation (ESF), SMI officers and
members determined that much remains to learn before serious consideration can be given to further participation in the
development of an international rate tolerance, which will be
included in the compression spring standard that is soon to be
forwarded to ISO.
Luke Zubek, SMI technical director, and Robert Stone of
MW Industries, presented a tiered tolerance system that restricts
the usage of the proposed rate tolerance, thus avoiding the possibility of a customer “overtolerancing” a design. The tiered
tolerance system provides guidance on what combination of
tolerances can be feasibly applied to a design. Other participants
will review the SMI data and comment at a later time.
Ken Boyce is the executive vice
president of the Spring Manufacturers
Institute. He brings more than 20 years
of association management experience
to the institute and has achieved the
Certified Association Executive (CAE)
designation of the American Society of
Association Executives. Readers may
contact him by phone at (630) 495-8588
or fax at (630) 495-8595.
While the ESF representatives were skeptical of the accuracy of the proposed rate tolerance formula developed by the
JSMA, it was SMI that provided actual shop floor data that
compared the proposed tolerance to actual shop floor measurements. As a result, both the ESF and JSMA will consult
with their springmaking members to develop similar studies
and determine the reality of shop floor capabilities with the
suggested rate tolerance specifications.
Eventually, the compression spring standard, including
the rate tolerance, could be submitted in some form to ISO
for acceptance as an international standard.
The JSMA has been instrumental in the formation of ISO
Technical Committee (TC) 227. JSMA has attracted seven “P,”
or participating members, of the TC: France, Germany, China,
Japan, Italy, Korea and England. “O,” or observing countries,
are Thailand, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil and
Canada. The U.S. and SMI will make a decision whether to
participate actively on the TC pending receipt of a formal
budget and supporting documentation on the rate tolerance
system from the JSMA and ESF.
Besides the rate tolerance, the JSMA offered a glossary of
spring terms that it hopes to propose to the international body
through ISO. Through a recommendation from the ESF, only
those terms that have a recognized symbol would be included.
Where a spring term is recognized as valid but without a
SPRINGS July 2005 41
symbol, a symbol would be devised and included in the glossary. In addition, the ESF recommended that manufacturing
terms should not be included, so as to avoid a customer making
recommendations about the manner in which the spring is made
rather than its design. Originally, the glossary included more
than 400 words and symbols that relate to springmaking, but
that number was reduced to about 120 when the glossary was
cleansed of terms not critical to spring design.
Much remains to be decided before significant progress
can be accomplished on international standardization. At this
writing, SMI has not yet committed to joining the ISO TC 277,
pending receipt of budgets; rate tolerance test measurements;
and the adoption of an annual, rather than biannual or triannual,
international meeting schedule, with routine communications
performed electronically. (See related story on page 30 in
Global Highlights.)
SMI Welcomes New Member Spring Company
Mubea Inc.
Location: Auburn Hills, MI
Primary Contact: Wayne Kosowski, sales manager
Phone: (734) 324-7979
Web site: www.mubea.com
“Steel springs comprise a wide and complex field. We are
a competent partner to the international automotive industry
for the solution to all kinds of problems. This is due to the
fact that our springs and assemblies are developed with the
Mubea know-how.”
2005 SMI Board of Directors
President, Dan Sebastian, MW
Vice President, Maurie
Johnson, Precision Products
Secretary Treasurer, Reb
Banas, Stanley Spring &
Immediate Past President,
David Weber, A.V. Weber
Executive Vice President,
Ken Boyce, SMI
Tom Armstrong, Duer/
Carolina Coil
Dennis Backhaus, Spiros
Gerald Baker, Michigan Spring
& Stamping
Ron Banas, Stanley Spring &
S.J. Banas, Stanley Spring &
Kevin Grace, SEI MetalTek
Terry Bartel, Elgiloy Specialty
Mike Betts, Betts Spring
42 SPRINGS July 2005
Tim Bianco, Iowa Spring
Russ Bryer, Spring Team
Ron Curry, Gifford Spring
Jay Dunwell, Wolverine Coil
Linda Froehlich, Ace Wire
Spring & Form
Bud Funk Jr., Fourslide Spring
Bert Goering, Precision Coil
Kevin Grace, SEI MetalTek
Greg Heitz, Exacto Spring
Bob Herrmann, Newcomb
Greg Milzcik, Associated
Steve Moreland, Automatic
John Petry, Sandvik Steel
Scott Rankin, Vulcan Spring &
Rick Richter, R-R Spring
Chris Wharin, Bohne Spring
Ted White, Hardware
Cautionary Tales
Part XXVII: Torsion Springs
By Mark Hayes
hree separate case histories have been related to IST
recently in which torsion springs have given disappointingly low fatigue lives. In each instance, a fault with the raw
material was suspected as the primary cause of the shorterthan-expected fatigue life. One of the springs was made from
music wire, another from oil-tempered silicon chrome and the
final one was made from 302 stainless steel, but metallographic
examination showed that all three wires were of good commercial quality.
However, IST observed that there were a number of
common factors with these failures. All were definitely
fatigue failures initiated at the outside surface of the spring.
The fractures were at 180° from the point of load application.
None of the springs had an effective mandrel to support the
coils in use. CAD programs predicted that the springs should
not have been at risk of fatigue failure at the given operating
deflections. Often it is the interaction between the spring and
its mandrel that leads to uncertainty about the fatigue life of
torsion springs, and the need to test to accurately evaluate
fatigue life.
Computer-aided design programs for torsion springs
assume that torque is proportional to stress, which is correct
when a mandrel is in place. Without a mandrel, the lever length
is significantly longer for a given torque, and so the stress
without a mandrel can be as much as twice as high, as shown in
Figures 1 and 2, right. The lever length is the distance between
the applied force and the position of maximum stress.
The top figure represents a torsion spring with external
radial legs, which is not supported on a mandrel. The stress is
related to the induced moment within the body of the spring.
The moment is equal to the product of the applied force
multiplied by the distance from the point of application of
the force to the position indicated as “Position of maximum
Mark Hayes is the Senior Metallurgist
at the Institute of Spring Technology
(IST) in Sheffield, England. Hayes manages IST’s European Research Projects,
the spring failure analysis service, and
all metallurgical aspects of advice and
training courses given by the Institute.
Readers are encouraged to contact him
with comments about this column, and
with subjects that they would like to
be addressed in future installments, by phone at (011) 44
114 252 7984 (direct dial), fax at (011) 44 114 2527997 or
e-mail at [email protected]
stress.” This distance is equal to the radial leg length added
to the outside diameter of the spring. Note that double torsion
springs that operate without a mandrel should be treated as
single torsion springs. Furthermore, torsion springs that are
supported externally, often in a round housing, should also
have stress calculated as if there is no mandrel.
The bottom figure represents a torsion spring with external
radial legs, which is fully supported by a mandrel. The stress
is related to the moment within the body of the spring. The
moment is equal to the product of the applied force multiplied
by the distance from the point of application to the force to
the position indicated as “Position of maximum stress.” In this
case, this distance is equal to the radial leg length added to the
radius of the spring.
For this case, the fully supported spring will have approximately half the stress of the spring without a mandrel. The
explanation for the shorter-than-expected fatigue lives, the
moral of this Cautionary Tale, is quite clear. v
applied force
position of maximum stress
applied force
Figure 1, top: Torsion spring with extermal radial legs, not
supported on a mandrel. Figure 2, bottom: torsion spring with
external radial legs, fully supported by a mandrel.
SPRINGS July 2005 43
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© 2005 Haldex/Garphyttan Wire Company
OSHA’s New Top
Safety Tips
from Jim Wood
ach year we try to keep you abreast of OSHA’s activities and where the agency’s efforts have been concentrated. OSHA’s
fiscal year ending September 2004 was much like past years with two exceptions: The agency has increased the number
of inspections by nearly four percent, and penalties have also increased.
The following table lists the 25 most frequently violated standards last year for general industry within the NAICS 331
group, which includes metal stampings, wire forms and springs.
Hazard Communication – Written Program
Machine Guarding – General
Hazard Comm. – Lack of Employee Info.
Machine Guarding – Point of Operation
Personal Protection – Eye Wash
Grinders – Guard Adjustment
Guarding Floor Openings, Platforms
Lockout/Tagout – Procedures
Electrical Wiring Methods
Lockout/Tagout – Written Program
Hazard Comm. – Lack of Employee Training
Respiratory Protection Program
Hazard Comm. – Lack of MSDS
Respiratory Protection – Medical Evaluation
Guarding – Belt and Pulley
Lockout/Tagout – Lack of Training
Electrical Wiring – Isolation
Power Industrial Trucks – Operator Training
Hazard Comm. – Labeling Containers
Grinders – Operating without work Rest
Lockout/Tagout – Periodic Inspection
Hazard Comm. – Maintain MSDS
Compresses Air – Excess Pressure
Electrical – Approved Use
Personal Protective Equipment Assessment
OSHA also used the General Duty Clause 1,293 times
with an average penalty of $2,688.
The penalties listed above reflect the initial fine prior to
negotiated settlement. For detailed information on any of the
above standards, contact Jim Wood at SMI.
Jim’s Regulatory Tip
As reported in Be Aware No. 76, March 2004, Lockout/
Tagout is fast becoming OSHA’s No. 1 moneymaker. Recently
I have heard of several cases within the spring industry in
which OSHA is insisting on lockout during setup on all
machinery. This would involve written setup instructions on
all machines.
Jim Wood is an independent
regulations compliance consultant
to the Spring Manufacturers Institute (SMI). A certified instructor of
the OSHA Out-Reach Program, Wood
conducts seminars, plant Safety
Audits and In-House Safety Training. These programs help companies
create safer work environments,
limit OSHA/Canadian Ministry of
Labor violations and insurance
costs, and prepare for VPP or SHARP
certification. Readers may contact Wood by phone at (630)
495-8597 or e-mail at [email protected]
SPRINGS April 2005 45
Shape Optimization for Helical
Compression Springs
By Vladimir Kobelev Ph.D.
Technology Center, Mubea
or reducing impact events in railroad cars, primarily,
and some heavy trucks, helical, or coil, springs are used.
In some vehicles, torsion bars are used instead of the coil
springs. The reduction of weight of the suspension springs
causes the decrease of unsprung mass of the axle, and has
a positive influence on the comfort, traction and steering
properties of the car. The development of modern passenger
cars has highlighted a trend toward reduced package space
for suspension components in order to maximize package
space for occupants and loads. Such requirements lead to
reduction in spring dimensions and wire cross-section. The
efficient design procedures for spring elements are based on
the modern simulation and optimization methods.
Key words: helical springs, design optimization, shape optimization.
1. Introduction
Helical springs, studied in this article, are formed by
wrapping wire or rod of uniform cross-section around a
cylinder. We take as a reference frame cylindrical polar
coordinate system (r, θ , z ) . The axis z of the cylindrical
polar coordinate system is aligned with the axis of the
cylinder. A fixed distance between the successive coils of
a spring is maintained, so that the axis of the wire forms a
helix. When the distance between coils is small, the spring
is called a “closed-coil spring.” The governing equations for
the closed-coil helical spring were developed using semiinverse Saint-Venant method by Michell [1]. Approximate
expressions for rectangular and circular cross-sections were
delivered by Wahl [2] and Göhner [3]. The standard design
formulas for helical springs [4] are based on these results.
2. Common design formulas for cylindrical
springs with circular cross-section
2.1 Stiffness and stresses in a spring formed from
circular wire
The analysis of a cylindrical helical spring is based on
the following conventional spring formulas for springs.
The quantities defining a specific design of a spring are
d , D, n, L0 , where n is the number of active coils and L0
is the free length of the spring. Ignoring at first other certain
complexities of spring technology, we can write simplified
basic relations for spring analysis. This simplified analysis
considers spring ends as “plain,” so that only active coils are
The spring stiffness, or spring rate, is the force required
to produce a unit deflection. For close-coiled helical springs,
46 SPRINGS July 2005
the force-deflection characteristic (rate) is approximately
linear and can be calculated from the geometry and shear
modulus G of the spring material:
8 D3 n
One must differentiate between the ideal and corrected
shear stress in the spring with an axial load P. The formula
for ideal stress τ , or uncorrected stress, is obtained by dividing the torsion moment acting on the wire:
MT = P D
by the section modulus in torsion, WT = πd / 16 , giving:
M 8D P
π d3
The corrected stress τ corr is calculated by multiplying the initial uncorrected stress τ by the correction factor
k = k ( w ), such that τ corr = k τ .
The ratio of mean coil diameter to wire diameter
w = D / d is known as the “spring index.” A low index
indicates a tightly wound spring (a relatively large wire
size wound around a relatively small diameter mandrel,
giving a high rate). The correction factor accounts for
stress concentration due to curvature of the spring as
well as direct shear. The correction factor due to Bergsträsser is k = ( w + 0.5) ( w − 0.75) . The Wahl factor
k = ( 4 w − 1) ( 4 w − 4) + 0.615 / w is also frequently used for
stress correction.
2.2 Stiffness and stored energy
The total spring travel from installed length L1 to
final length L2 is s = L2 − L1 . Solid length Lc is the height
at which the coils of the compressed spring close up. The
energy capacity of the linear spring could be expressed in
terms of either spring travel or spring force:
Ec = ( L2 − L0 ) − ( L1 − L0 ) =
P2 2 − P12
and is equal to the work of applied forces on the
total spring travel EW = ( P1 + P2 )s / 2 , where P1 and
P2 are the spring loads at lengths L1 and L2 , such that:
Pi = c ( Li − L0 ) , i = 1.2
The volume and the mass of the spring material of a
cylindrical spring with constant, round cross-section is given
V = π 2 d 2 D n , m = ρV
where ρ is the density of the spring material.
2.3 Fatigue life and damage accumulation criteria
If the spring is to operate a definite, prescribed number
of times through a deflection s, it must be designed so that
the material does not fail in fatigue. A fatigue criterion for
compression spring design is usually assumed to be [5]
⎛τ m +τ a τ a ⎞
+ ⎟Sf ≤ 1
τe ⎠
⎝ τw
where τ m = (τ 1 + τ 2 ) / 2 is the mean stress in operation;
τ a = (τ 2 − τ 1 ) / 2 is the alternating stress; τ w is the working
stress (strength); τ e is the endurance limit for completely
reversed stress; and Sf is a factor for safety. The safety factor
Sf for simplicity is assumed to be 1. Both τ w and τ e usually vary with wire diameter in a manner approximated by
C / d α , where C and α are given constants for the material
and differ, of course, for τ w and τ e . Finally, both τ w and
τ e have maximum values for a certain small wire diameter.
The fatigue life of springs is also frequently based on
the damage evaluation from the Smith-Topper rule [6] or,
sometimes, Landgraf [7]. According to the Smith-Topper
rule, the governing parameter for damage characterization is
a product of total strain range and maximum stress. For discussion regarding applicability of the Smith-Topper rule to
automotive applications see [8]. During spring deformation
the wire undergoes torsion, where the pure shear stresses
predominate. Applying this approach to shear deformation,
the Smith-Watson-Topper parameter transforms to
pSWT = Gγ aτ m ,
where γ a = τ a / G is shear strain amplitude. The damage
parameter is plotted vs. number of reversals, so that damage
per range between two reversals is a function of damage
parameter. The accepted damage for a selected material
during fatigue life of the spring is characterized by the
pSWT ≡ τ aτ m ≤ pSWT .0
The prescribed constant pSWT.0 depends on material
properties and accepted damage level for the application
under consideration.
The fatigue behavior of the springs depends highly
upon the surface treatment, mainly the shot peened layer on
the surface. The highly inhomogeneous stresses in the shot
peened layer are responsible for crack arrest due to compression stresses. The simulation methods must adequately
describe the stress origin and depth variation of shot peening
stresses. Cold-formed springs also preserve another kind
of residual stress due to coiling. The influence of residual
surface stresses on damage accumulation must be accounted
for in fatigue calculations concerning the operational life of
the spring.
ies for weight and volume, and what parameters must be
changed for further weight reduction. We allow the mean
diameter of the spring body together with the wire diameter
to be the functions of the polar angle along the spring wire
(Figure 1, below) so that:
D = D(θ ),
d = d (θ ),
θ = 0.2 π n (3.1)
For analytical treatment, we constrain ourselves to the
following optimization problem:
Minimize the mass of the spring m → min D, d assuming the spring rate c = C and the forces at installed height
P1 and full stroke P2 are prescribed, the fatigue conditions (2.6), (2.8) fulfilled, and the ideal stress at full stroke
τ = MT / WT ≤ τ w is limited.
The study of this optimization problem requires some
generalization of the design formulas, accounting for the
variability given by (3.1).
3.2 General formulas for non-cylindrical springs with
circular cross-section
The formulas for stiffness and spring rate for a general
non-cylindrical spring with an arbitrary variable cross-section are derived below for completeness. The elastic energy
stored in the spring is:
Ec =
1 MT 2
2 ∫l G IT
Here l is the total length of the spring wire. Substituting in (3.2) the expression for the torsion moment in the
cross-section with the polar angle θ and the expression for
the element of length dl = D(θ )dθ / 2 , we get the following
representation for elastic energy:
2π n
2π n
MT 2 D(θ )
1 ⎡ D(θ ) ⎤
Ee =
dθ =
2 0 G IT 2
2 0 G IT ⎢⎣ 2 ⎥⎦
Comparison of this expression with (2.4) delivers the
general expression for spring rate of helical, non-cylindrical
2π n
1 ⎡ D(θ ) ⎤
= ∫
G IT ⎢⎣ 2 ⎥⎦
3 Optimization of helical springs with variable
coil diameter
3.1 Restricted optimization problem
The spring designer deals with the problems that require
minimum weight or volume of the spring material because
of space limitations or material cost limitations. Established
formulas express minimum volume and weight in terms of
the given requirements. The designer obtains the boundar-
Figure1: Helical spring with variable wire diameter and
non-cylindrical form.
SPRINGS July 2005 47
The volume of wire with variable cross-section is given
by the integral of the cross-sectional area over the wire
length, so that the mass of the spring is:
m = 12 ρ
∫ A(θ ) D(θ )dθ
For springs with a circular cross-section with diameter
d, substitution of the values I p = πd 4 / 32 , A = πd 2 / 4 into
(3.3) and (3.4) leads to formulas for the spring rate:
⎛ 2πn
c = π G ⎜ 4 ∫ D 3 (θ )d −4 (θ )dθ ⎟
⎝ 0
⎠ (3.5)
and spring mass:
m = 18 πρ
∫ d (θ ) D(θ )d
3.3 Optimization of non-cylindrical helical springs with
circular cross section for maximal stress
Consider at first the practically important case of noncylindrical springs with variable circular cross-section: The
stress at solid height must be less than τ w to protect the
spring from inadvertent damage. This restriction, applied to
the ideal shear stress at solid height:
8 P D(θ )
τ ≡ c3
≤ τ w , Pc = c( Lc − L0 )
π d (θ )
From this restriction we immediately get the expression
for the lowest possible diameter of wire, d (θ ) ≥ d1 (θ ) . The
optimal diameter of wire:
⎛ 8 P D(θ ) ⎞
d1 (θ ) ≡ ⎜ c
⎝ πτw ⎠
is just the solution of algebraic equation τ = τ w with respect
to d(θ ).
Rewrite the formula for spring rate (3.5), taking into
account that for all possible cross-sections the stress conditions require that d (θ ) ≥ d1 (θ ) :
⎛ 2πn 3
⎛ 2πn 3
C = π G ⎜ 4 ∫ D (θ )d (θ )dθ ⎟ ≥ π G ⎜ 4 ∫ D (θ )d1 (θ )dθ ⎟
⎝ 0
⎝ 0
Substitution of the expression (3.7) for the optimal
diameter of wire into the last expression reduces the stiffness requirement to the following inequality
⎛ Pc ⎞ ⎛ 2πn 5 / 3
C ≥ 4πG ⎜
⎟ ⎜ ∫ D (θ ) dθ ⎟
⎝ πτ w ⎠ ⎝ 0
Otherwise, the expression (3.6) for the spring mass after
the substitution (3.7) results in the second inequality
⎛ 2πn 5 / 3
⎛ P ⎞
D (θ ) dθ ⎟
m ≥ πρ ⎜ c ⎟
⎝ πτ w ⎠
⎝ 0
⎠ (3.9)
It is well known that inequalities of the same sign can
be multiplied. The multiplication of (3.8) and (3.9) results in
a final estimation:
2 ρ G Pc2
mC ≥
τ 2w
48 SPRINGS July 2005
This important inequality establishes the exact lower
boundary for springs of arbitrary variable shape and variable
circular cross-sections, designed to fulfill the stress condition at solid length:
2 ρ G Pc2
m ≥ m1 =
τ 2w C
3.4 Design for fatigue life
The spring is to operate a definite number of cycles
through a deflection measured as additional compression
from L0. The application of a similar optimization procedure, as applied above, for the fatigue condition (2.6) leads
to optimal wire diameter:
⎛ 8 D(θ ) ⎞
d2 (θ ) = ⎜
⎝ π ⎠
1/ 3
⎛ P2 P2 − P1 ⎞
2τ e ⎠
1/ 3
and mass lower boundary:
m ≥ m2 =
2 ρ G ⎡ P2 P2 − P1 ⎤
C ⎣τ w
2τ e ⎦
Hence, these expressions determine the optimal spring,
acceptable from the viewpoint of fatigue life criterion (2.6).
Instead, when the accumulated damage according to the
Smith-Topper rule (2.8) is the measure for fatigue life, then
the optimal wire diameter is:
1/ 6
1/ 3
⎛ 8 D(θ ) ⎞ ⎛ P2 ( P2 − P1 ) ⎞
d3 (θ ) = ⎜
⎝ π ⎠ ⎜⎝ 2 pSWT
.0 ⎠
Accordingly, the mass of the spring, designed to
comply with the Smith-Topper rule, satisfies the condition:
2 ρ G ( P2 − P1 ) P2
m ≥ m2 =
2 pSWT
3.5 Spring quality parameter
Combining the optimization results previously listed,
we obtain the expressions for the optimal wire diameter:
⎛ 8 D(θ ) ⎞
dopt (θ ) = ⎜
⎝ π
1/ 3
and absolute lowest mass of the spring:
2ρG 2
mopt =
⎡P ⎛P
P − P ⎞ P2 ( P2 − P1 ) ⎤
F = max ⎢ c , ⎜ 2 + 2 1 ⎟ ,
2τ e ⎠
2 pSWT
⎥ (3.18)
⎢τ w ⎝ τ w
is a spring quality parameter, which accounts for different
fatigue and endurance limits.
Thus it is proved that the optimal wire shape (3.16),
determined from the certain equal stress condition, guarantees the lowest possible mass of the spring (3.17). This mass
depends only on the ultimate allowable stress for the spring
material, the load at full stroke and the spring stiffness.
4 Springs with noncircular cross-sections
In the case of coil springs made of circular wires,
the shear stresses are distributed unevenly over the wire
circumference. Coil springs with noncircular ovate wire
cross-sections were first mentioned in Fuchs [9]. To achieve
a better utilization of the material, the design task was
equalizing the shear stress on the surface of the wire. The
assumed cross-section of the wire was precisely investigated
and improved (Niepage, Grindel [10]). The particular case
of “quasi-elliptical” cross-section [11] is demonstrated in
the present section. This case generalizes the Saint-Venant
torsion problem of elliptical straight solid or hollow rod for
the case of elastic coil.
For closed-coil helical springs, the complete analytical
solution extends the known solution of torsion problems
for straight cylinders with circular and elliptical cross-sections. The line of action of the force P is coincident with the
z axis. Any segment of the coil is in equilibrium under two
opposite axial forces P with the same magnitude. The shear
stress in cylindrical coordinates has nonzero components
τ rθ , τ θz . The quasi-elliptical form of cross-section (Figure 2,
right) is given by the following equation:
Z ± (r ) = ± Z0
− r 2 r 2 − R12
5 Conclusion and Summary
Herein R1 and R2 are respectively the inner and outer
radii of the coil. The volume of the complete coil with the
cross-section (4.1) is :
V = 1 π 2δ R 2 − R 2
where δ =
file at the point
Z 0 R22
) is the maximum height of the pro= (R + R ) / 2 .
The force P in the axial direction is given by integration
of the shear stress τ zθ over the cross-section. The spring
rate for one coil is:
( R2 − R1 ) 3
Gδ 3
2 2
4( R2 + R1 ) ( R2 − R1 ) + 2 d 2 ( R12 + R22 )
The shear stresses in the cylindrical polar coordinate
system (r, θ , z ) are:
4 P ( R1 + R2 ) 3 z
πδ 3 R2 − R1 r 2 ,
4 P ( R1 + R2 ) R12 + R2 2 − 2 r 2
πδ ( R2 − R1 )3
τ rθ =
τ zθ
Figure 2: Cross-section of a spring with a quasi-elliptical
cross section.
It is proved that the optimal wire shape, determined
from the certain equal stress condition, guarantees the
lowest possible mass of the spring. This mass depends only
on the ultimate allowable stress for the spring material, the
load at full stroke and the spring stiffness.
This is an important milestone for comparison of different spring designs and spring materials. As the density
and shear moduli are almost the same for all spring steels,
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One can rewrite the expressions (4.2) and (4.3) in a
form more familiar to the spring designer, introducing the
mean diameter D and the mean radius ρ of the spring:
R1 = D / 2 − ρ , R2 = D / 2 + ρ
The expressions of the volume of one coil (4.2) and the
spring rate for one coil (4.3), in terms of mean diameter and
mean radius are:
D ρδ
2δ 3 ρ 3 G
D d D + 4 D2 ρ 2 + 4d 2 ρ 2
P.O. Box 603 • 97 Ronzo Road • Bristol, CT 06011
Tel: (860) 583-1305 • Fax: (860) 583-6553
SPRINGS July 2005 49
the spring quality parameter can serve as the benchmarking
property for spring design.
The usual additional requirements for the spring design
include, among others, several practically important requirements: the outer diameter of the spring D + d is to be no
greater than Dm; the total stored elastic energy in the spring
is prescribed by Ee = E0; the certain natural frequency of the
spring ω is limited. Some investigations were conducted
into minimization of spring volume and weight, using other
technological requirements. The full mathematical treatment
of the design cases is too complex for analytical treatment
and requires the application of numerical optimization methods. (For details see a survey [12].)
The shape optimization of the cross-section was mainly
based on finite element methods and numerical optimization algorithms. The spring elements from steel exhibit
large-displacement nonlinear deformation, together with a
high amplitude of stress variation. The problems of stress
distributions for arbitrary cross-sections and non-helical
spring forms, together with shape optimization, were studied
with the application of numerical methods of finite and
boundary elements (Nagaya [13] and Kamiya, Kita [14]).
The demands for mass and cost reduction in automotive
applications has lead to reduction in spring dimensions and
wire cross-section for helical springs, and particularly valve
springs (Muhr [15]).
50 SPRINGS July 2005
Vladimir Koblev Ph.D. is a CAE specialist at the
Technology Center of Mubea, an automotive spring manufacturer in Attendorn, Germany. In addition, he is a lecturer
at the University of Siegen, department of mechanical
engineering. His lectures and classes include Computer
Simulation in the Automotive Industry, Applied Mechanics of
the Automobile, and Introduction to ADAMS. Readers may
contact him by phone at +49 (0) 2722 62 9503 or e-mail at
[email protected]
1. Michell J.H., “The uniform torsion and flexure of
incomplete torus, with application to helical springs,” Proceedings London. Math. Soc., 31 (1899) p. 130-146.
2. Wahl A.M., “Stresses in heavy closely coiled helical springs,” Trans. ASME, Journal of Applied Mech., 51
(1929) pp. 185-200.
3. Göhner O., “Die Berechnung zylindrischer
Schraubenfedern,” Zeitschrift des VDI, 76, (1932) pp. 269272.
4. Zylindrische Schraubendruckfedern aus runden
Drähten und Stäben. Berechnung und Konstruktion. Teil 1.
Druckfedern. European Standard. EN 1306-1:2002 (D).
5. Spring Design Manual, 2nd Edition, Society of Automotive Engineers Inc. (Warrendale, PA) (1996).
6. Smith K.N., Watson R., Topper T.H. “A stress-strain
function for the fatigue of metals,” J. Materials (JMLSA), 5,
4 (1970), pp. 767-778.
7. Landgraf R. “Cumulative fatigue damage under complex strain histories,” ASTM STP 519, Cyclic Stress-Strain
Behavior, ASTM,(1973), pp. 212-227.
8. Fuchs H.O. et al. “Shortcuts in cumulative damage
analysis.” In: Fatigue under complex loading. Analyses
and Experiments. Society of Automotive Engineers Inc.
(Warrendale, PA) (1977), pp. 145-161.
9. Fuchs H. O., “High efficiency coil springs with
equalized stresses,” Metal Improvement Equipment Co.,
Los Angeles (1959).
10. Niepage P., Grindel P., “Ventilfedern mit
Drahtquerschnitten, die von der Kreisform abweichen,”
Draht, 42, 7/8 (1991) pp. 1-14
11. Kobelev V. “An exact solution of torsion problem
for incomplete tore with application to helical springs,”
Meccanica, 37, 3 (2002) pp. 269-282.
12. Kruzelecki J. “Optimal design of helical springs.”
Mechanika teoretyczna I stosowana. pp. 1-2, 28 (1990).
13. Nagaya K., “Stress analysis of a cylindrical coil
spring of arbitrary cross section. (1st Report),” Bulletin of
JSME, 29 (1986) pp. 1664-1678.
14. Kamiya N., Kita E., “Boundary element method
for quasi-harmonic differential equation with application
to stress analysis and shape optimization of helical spring,”
Computers and structures, 37 (1990) pp. 81-86.
15. Muhr T.H. Zur Konstruktion von Ventilfedern in
hochbeanspruchten Verbrennungsmotoren, Ph. D. Thesis,
RWTH Aachen, Aachen, 1992. v
CNC Coiler
HTC has added a new
model to its line of CNC coiling machines: the nine-axis
CNC 12 mm HTC 120CU
spring coiler. This machine
can coil wire ranging from 5
mm to 12 mm (0.197 in. to
0.472 in.). Total servo control, and straight or rotating cutoff
features are standard on the 120CU. Individual hydraulic feed
roller pressure is also provided for each set. For information,
contact Forming Systems Inc. by phone at (269) 679-3557 or
e-mail at [email protected]
Testing Equipment Web Support
Instron, a provider of testing equipment for evaluating
mechanical properties of materials and components, has
introduced its Web Support Agreement (WSA) that provides
expanded support for users during and after the warranty period
of their products. Organized around remote, Web-based delivery of information, as well as one-on-one personal support,
the WSA provides members with a customized Web site. The
WSA features include access to 24-hour online help desk,
online calibration certificates and exportable service history
for all WSA equipment. It also includes a technical library featuring material testing information, technical manuals, insider
testing tips and solutions for common testing issues, as well as
a searchable database of FAQs, technical literature and informational links. For information, contact Instron by phone at
(800) 473-7838 or e-mail at [email protected]
Automatic Fatigue Tester
Spring Analysis Systems Inc.
has introduced the LST 1200 automatic fatigue-testing machine. This
totally computer controlled tester
provides for testing of one to six
springs at a time. Cycles and failures are monitored and recorded
as they occur. Precise cycle count
to the point of failure is recorded
automatically. The LST 1200 will
cycle until one spring fails, all
springs fail, the specified cycle
time is reached or the specified
cycle is reached. Trend reporting
is provided, accurately determining the onset of fatigue failure.
For information, contact Forming Systems Inc. by phone at
(269) 679-3557 or e-mail at [email protected]
Industrial Cleaners
Permatex Inc. has developed two cleaner degreasers
designed to tackle industrial cleaning applications. Trounce
Super Strength and Fast Orange Citrus Cleaner Degreasers
remove grease, lubricants, tar, wax, food stains, grout and
mildew stains, ink, mud and more from industrial surfaces,
materials and components. Trounce Super Strength Cleaner
Degreaser is non-toxic and phosphate free and can be diluted
with water to provide an economical cleaner for a wide range of
surfaces. Fast Orange Cleaner Degreaser has an orange aroma
and is biodegradable, non-toxic and phosphate free. Both are
safe for aluminum and contain an antifoaming agent for use
in pressure washers. For information, contact Permatex Inc at
(860) 543-7541 or Web site at www.permatex.com.
Marking System
Kwikmark Inc. has introduced the
Kwikmark, a self-contained marking
system for product identification of
any type of product or material. Date
coding and serializing, along with the
ability to mark graphics and logos, is
possible without having to learn new
software or tying up CNC machining
time. Plug in the included keyboard,
press one button, and begin typing the
information you wish to mark. No other
setup is required. There is no limitation to line size or file size
to mark. The embedded processor features dual memory and
includes enhanced functions such as step and repeat and a history display for tracking production. For information, contact
Kwikmark Inc. by phone at (815) 363-3524 or Web site at
Touch Marking System
Dell Marking Systems has introduced a contact marking
system. The system is used for marking critical inspection areas
of parts and assemblies.
It ships complete and
ready to assemble.
Two marker tip sizes
are available: 1/4 in. and
5/ in. diameter. They are
suited for manual and
automatic applications.
The valve-action tip
produces a round color
spot on any smooth, dry
work piece. The markers are quick loading and long lasting.
To replace a marker, the user pops the empty one off and
pops a new one on. Plus, there is no handling of fluids. Each
compression feeds the right amount of ink to the spring-loaded
tip. Standard Dell Marking Ink colors are: yellow, red, green,
blue, and white. Dell inks are approved by the major automotive manufacturers. Dell also offers a free part/print evaluation
service. For information, contact Dell by phone at (248) 5477750 or fax at (248) 544-9115.
SPRINGS July 2005 51
Reference Book for Continuous Improvement
ASQ Quality Press has published the second edition of
The Quality Toolbox, which includes an additional 34 tools
and 18 variations. Among the “tools” discussed in the book
are methods of generating, organizing and evaluating ideas,
analyzing processes, determining root causes, planning, and
basic data handling. Written by Nancy R. Tague, The Quality
Toolbox is a 558-page reference of 148 quality tools and variations, with step-by-step instructions and examples.
A chapter on quality improvement stories now includes
detailed case studies from the Malcolm Baldrige Award
winners. A new chapter, “Mega-tools: Quality Management
Systems,” puts tools into two contexts: the historical evolution
of quality improvement and the quality management systems
within which the tools are used, including overviews of ISO
9000, the Baldrige Award, benchmarking, Six Sigma and lean.
For information, contact ASQ Quality Press by phone at (800)
248-1946 or Web site at http://qualitypress.asq.org.
Spring Materials
The InterWire Group has added SAF 2205 and 2205SH,
and improved Bezinal to its line of spring materials.
Sandvik’s SAF 2205 and 2205 SH are optimized for corrosion resistance, formability and fatigue properties, allowing for
high load cycles. Sandvik’s new drawing technique allows for
high tensile strength with no change in chemical composition.
SAF 2205 is available in sizes ranging from 0.008 in. - 0.315
in.; 2205 SH is offered in 0.008 in. - 0.039 in. sizes.
Bekaert’s improved Bezinal offers users higher quality
wire with more consistent cast and helix. Bezinal’s coating
and drawing processes are designed to provide uniform thickness and enhanced corrosion resistance, eliminating the need
for post-coating operations. It is chromium free, offers better
coilability than redrawn galvanized wire and is and available
in sizes ranging from 0.0230 in. - 0.225 in.
For information, contact InterWire by phone at (914) 2736633 or Web site at www.interwiregroup.com.
Book About Preventing Defects
The Crosby Co. has published a book, The Crosby Principles, illustrating seven principles of why mistakes happen
and how to prevent them in the work produced by the people
you lead. It’s not a handbook for quality professionals and has
nothing to do with Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Six
Sigma, ISO 9000 or Total Quality Management. It’s a book
that sets down the seven principles that a leader must know
and understand to prevent defects.
For information, contact The Crosby Co. by phone at (815)
431-9159 or Web site at www.qualitynews.com.
Precision Adjustable Shim
Pinpoint Laser Systems Inc.
has introduced a precision adjustable shim called the “Microshim.”
It is used in production plants,
machine shops and other industrial
facilities where machinery must
be precisely adjusted or leveled. Some applications include
positioning large machine tools, and leveling extruders and
injection molding equipment. The user adjusts a stainless steel
lifting bolt to raise or lower the machine. Height adjustments
of 0.001 in. are possible, and each Microshim will lift and
support 10,000 pounds. The shim is milled from a solid block
of aluminum, and protected by a hard anodized coating. All
lifting hardware is fabricated in stainless steel.
For information, contact Pinpoint Laser Systems by phone
at (800) 757-5383 or Web site at www.pinlaser.com.
Software for Metals, Wire and Cable Industries
Axis Computer Systems Inc. has released version 4.6 of
the Axiom Enterprise Resource Management System. The
software delivers capabilities to support metals producers,
processors and service centers, as well as wire and cable
manufacturers. The software is designed to simplify production control and reporting; more effectively manage production
allocations across customers; better manage costs; more easily
meet ISO 9001:2000 requirements; and more easily comply
with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. New or enhanced capabilities include: tag scheduling; sales contract management;
non-conforming material tracking; slit order processing;
outside processing management; automated freight accrual
calculations; and security management. In addition, release
4.6 delivers numerous enhancements requested by Axis users
in the metal, wire and cable user community. For information,
contact Axis by Web site at www.axiscomp.com.
52 SPRINGS July 2005
Industrial Spill Solutions
New Pig Corp. has introduced the Pig Build-A-Berm
Barrier (pictured) to contain leaks and spills around machinery without building expensive cement curbs, or cutting and
installing angle iron. Constructed of pliable closed-cell foam,
the Barrier springs back
into shape after being
walked on or wheeled
over with equipment. Its
durable, bright-yellow,
vinyl covering resists
oils, coolants and most
New Pig has also
introduced the Pig Clear
Spill Kit for absorbing non-aggressive spills. The Spill Kit
contains enough absorbent Pig mats and socks to absorb up to
five gallons of non-aggressive spills, and the clear bag allows
users to quickly inventory the availability of contents. Disposal
bags are included for removal of used absorbents. Kits can be
used at multiple locations where spills are likely to happen,
and the compact size makes it ideal for stowing in vehicles.
For information, contact New Pig Corp. by phone at (800)
468-4647 or e-mail at [email protected]
Summer Tech Camp Web Site
Your Virtual World has launched a new Web resource at
This page features a comprehensive list of science and technology summer camp opportunities on the Web. The mission
of Your Virtual World is to inspire 21st century youth, who
will some day help solve worldwide problems. The Web site
targets eight to 13 year olds and the adults who play leadership roles in their lives. They will find streaming video, role
models, entertaining learning material, free software, scholarship help, advice, and other resources to help youth interested
in pursuing technical careers. For information contact Your
Virtual World by phone at (810) 836-1551 or Web site at
shunt calibration resistor. Calibration is traceable to NIST
and is performed in PCB’s laboratory, which is ISO 17025
accredited by A2LA for most services. For information, contact
the Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics Inc. at (888)
684-0004 or e-mail at [email protected]
High Capacity Motorized Force Tester
Mark-10 has introduced the High Capacity Motorized
Force Tester, the TSFM500, designed for compression
and tension testing of springs, packaging, metals and other
items requiring up to 500 lbF of force.
Generous clearance and throat depth
accommodate a broad range of sample
shapes and sizes.
The TSFM500 features a remotecontrol unit for added safety during
testing. A digital travel display and
set of limit switches are available as
options. The tester’s durable and rigid
column minimizes bend, making it well
suited for precision spring testing. The
operator can select from a wide speed range, from 0.2 to 5.5
in./min. Stepper motor design eliminates speed variation
with load for accurate and repeatable results. The TSFM500
is compatible with Mark-10 digital force gauges and gripping
fixtures. For information, contact Mark-10 Corp. by phone at
(888) 627-5836 or e-mail at info[email protected]
Small Capacity Reaction Torque Sensors
The Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics Inc. has
introduced a series of small capacity, strain-gage reaction
torque sensors for torque
measurements in applications
such as lubricant studies, torsion testing, bearing friction,
small motor dynamometers,
stepping switch torque and
starter testing. Series 2308,
2309 and 2508 reaction
torque sensors feature high
torsional stiffness, flange
mounting, 2 mV/V output
sensitivity, and are available in capacities from five to 1,000
in./lb. FS (0.56 to 115 n-m FS). Units are supplied with a
SPRINGS July 2005 53
70 Years
1935 - 2005
,/ 3 ! . ' % , % 3
Accord Kev
++886 2 26763391
/ 13
Admiral Steel
(800) 323-7055
/ 40
Alloy Wire International
(866) 482-5569
/ 32
Asahi Seiki
(630) 784-1737
Chicago Association of
Spring Manufacturers Inc.
(847) 433-1335
/ 36
Elgiloy Specialty Metals
(847) 695-1900
/ 18
Fenn Technologies
(860) 594-4331
/ 21
Forming Systems Inc.
(877) 727-3676
/ inside front cover
Gibbs Wire & Steel Co. Inc.
(800) 800-4422
/ inside back cover
Haldex Garphyttan
(888) 947-3778
/ 44
The Hartford
(800) 424-2825
/ 38
HSI/Forming Systems Inc.
(877) 727-3676
/ 28
HTC/Forming Systems Inc.
(877) 727-3676
/ 29
Industrial Steel & Wire Co.
(800) 767-0408
/ 54
InterWire Products Inc.
(914) 273-6633
(800) 726-8378
/ 53
JN Machinery Corporation
(630) 860-2646
/ 35
Kiswire Trading Inc.
(201) 461-8895
Larson Systems
(877) 780-2131
/ 50
Link Engineering
(734) 453-0800
/ 42
Maguire Machinery
(609) 266-0200
/ 22
The Mapes Piano String Co.
(423) 543-3195
/ outside back cover
Moyer Companies
(260) 665-2363
/ 12
(563) 386-9590
/ 8, 24
Precision Steel Warehouse
(800) 323-0740
Proto Manufacturing Ltd.
(800) 965-8378
/ 16
Pyromaitre Inc.
(418) 831-2576
/ 25
Radcliff Wire
(860) 583-1305
/ 49
Shinko Machinery Co., Ltd.
++ 81 6 6794 6610
Simplex Rapid
(563) 386-9590
/ 10
Spring Manufacturers
(630) 495-8588
/ 25
Tool King
(800) 338-1318
/ 52
Ulbrich Stainless Steels &
Special Metals, Inc.
(800) 243-1676
/ 14
United Wire Co., Inc.
(800) 840-9481
/ 20
Varland Metal Service
(513) 861-0555
/ 20
SPRINGS July 2005 55
Terry Bartel
Elgiloy Specialty Metals
Occupation: General manager of wire and director of
engineering at Elgiloy Specialty Metals in Elgin, IL.
Nickname: Dr. Pepper (because of my love for hot, spicy
foods and growing a variety of hot peppers).
Birthplace: Benton Harbor, MI, in the southwest corner of
the state.
Current home: Genoa, IL
Industry affiliations: SMI, Associate Advisory
The Bartel family: Terry, Cheryl, Erik, Kerrie and
Committee chair and board member; National Association
Isabelle (inset).
of Corrosion Engineers; ASM International, past SW MI
Chapter president; Wire Association International, past
Ferrous Technical Committee chair; Society of Automotive Engineers; The Metallurgical Society; and ASTM International.
Family: Wife (of 35 years) Cheryl; son, Erik, and his wife, Kerrie; granddaughter, Isabelle (born May 12, 2005); and
Cavendish, a pet cat that thinks he’s a jungle cat.
What I like most about being a wiremaker: The constant challenges that make you grow and give you the satisfaction of
accomplishment (and the challenges never seem to end).
Favorite food: Cornish pasties, Cincinnati chili (five-way), curries and baltis.
Favorite authors: Isaac Asimov (The Foundation Series) and Frank Peretti (move over Stephen King).
Favorite songs/musicians: Yellow Submarine (Beatles); The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot).
Hobbies: Reading, fishing and woodworking, especially wooden boatbuilding.
Favorite places: Paradise, MI (it does exist in the upper pennisula of Michigan on Lake Superior).
Best times of my life: When I married Cheryl, the birth of our son, Erik, and when we became grandparents.
A really great evening to me is: Spent in the company of family and/or good friends.
The one thing I can’t stand is: People who lie (are deceitful) and those who do not listen to what you have to tell them.
My most outstanding qualities are: Honesty, willingness to help and ability to work with people at all levels of an
organization to help them solve their problems.
People who knew me in school thought I was: An athletic geeky, nerd.
I knew I was an “adult” when: The day I passed my qualifying exams for the doctoral program and my wife called me to
tell me that she was pregnant (I dropped the phone).
If I weren’t working at Elgiloy, I would like to: Be building wooden boats on the shores of Lake Superior.
The most difficult business decision I ever had to make was: The decision to leave and move on after building 20+
years of relationships.
I wonder what would have happened if: I had pursued a career in mathematics instead of metallurgy.
Role models: My parents who raised me to be honest and to treat all people equally and with respect.
I would like to be remembered in the spring industry for: Ask me again in 10 years; I’m not done yet and I’ve got a lot
of projects in the works.
But people will probably remember me as: A good source for information.
56 SPRINGS July 2005

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