Waukesha Metal Products wins productivity award

December 6, 2011

Waukesha® Metal Products, a provider of precision tools, stamping, fabrication, value-added services, and assembled components in Sussex, Wis., has received the 2011 Zierick Mfg. Corp. Productivity Award for its efforts to reduce significantly the price of and increase productivity for high-volume stainless steel cassettes that hold dental instruments. The award is part of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Awards of Excellence in Metalforming.

To meet cosmetic and burr-free requirements on the brushed-finish type 304 stainless steel, the company manufactured the cassettes using a labor-intensive, seven-step fabrication process that included sanding, removing PVC protective coating, using protective film, and taking extreme care to ensure scratch-free surfaces.

Waukesha's engineering staff came up with a way to produce the parts complete in a progressive die — a procedure previously thought impossible. The cassettes were requoted using a full progressive-die process with no additional steps involved for removing scratches or burrs before the final electropolish process.

The completed tool incorporates nonmarking form details and coin stations to remove burrs completely from cutting. Sensor technology built into the tool includes short feed/long feed, part out, and stripper sensors on each corner. Waukesha also tested several tool coatings to find the optimum combination of steel type and coating for the form details.

These features, combined with the ability to program the servo press ram speed during forming, have yielded burr-free finished parts stamped complete in a progressive die without any visible wipe/form marks.

The Productivity Award is one of eight Awards of Excellence in Metalforming presented annually by PMA. Sponsored by Zierick Manufacturing Corp., Mount Kisco, N.Y., the award recognizes outstanding achievement by a manufacturing company in the development and implementation of programs, processes, and use of assets that lead to significant improvements in productivity.

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