Long Term Commitment Creates Wire Forming Success Story

The email began in the same way as many that we receive: “We are looking for a wire forming company to help us develop a component to be used in our end product.”

The customer, a manufacturer of industrial containers, wanted to improve the features of an existing component, a structural brace made of extruded aluminum.  The part needed to have a collapsing feature added, increasing the piece’s complexity.

The manufacturer was considering switching to wire for its high strength to weight ratio and rounded surface. The parts would be encased in a coated fabric, and the customer did not want rough edges or corners to snag the fabric.

The product design engineer needed our assistance in specifying, developing and producing the brace components. The requirements for the wireform included:

  • Light weight
  • Durability
  • Ease of use

The proposed wire assembly consisted of three simple pieces that would be folded flat and then snapped open to a maximum of 90 degrees.  Once deployed, the brace needed to withstand a wind force of 40 mph and pressure of 12 inches of water or fluid without bending or collapsing.

After reviewing the existing design and part, our engineers recommended an appropriate wire diameter and material composition. We also suggested simplifying the initially unwieldy design and adding a stamped, metal hinge clip

As the wire forming project went through several rounds of design changes, we created each set of samples on our CNC wire forming equipment, which minimized tool expenses and allowed our development technicians to run a variety of component styles for testing.

At each change, we provided input and samples for customer testing and review.  Eventually, after a year of numerous design changes, the customer revised the project into an assembly consisting of three wire components and a plastic molded hinge block.

Based on test results from the wire forming samples we provided, the customer changed the material from powder-coated steel to stainless steel.  The parts would be used in a moist or wet environment, and stainless steel would eliminate any possibility of the brace rusting in the field.

Further changes to the wire forming project included a switch to two wire components and additional dimensional modifications.

Initial production parts were shipped in March 2011.

The new wire forming design benefited the customer in a variety of ways:

  • Increased ease of use 
  • Decreased labor costs related to assembling and disassembling units onsite 
  • Improved safety (fewer trip hazards when the assembly is retracted) 
  • Extended life and usage of the end product, due to reduced nicks and tears in the framework

Contact us now for assistance with your next wire forming project.