Thinking about getting a spring prototype made before going into full production? If you need a proof of concept or anticipate design iterations, a prototype is the best place to start.
Whether you know exactly what type of spring you need or have no idea where to begin, spring prototyping provides a great opportunity for collaboration. Customers share their design or describe issues with an existing spring, and we offer our expert recommendations. It’s a chance for us to iterate together and make sure the part can be manufactured effectively and efficiently at higher volumes.
Here’s what to expect when you contact Gifford Spring for prototype spring manufacturing services.
Gifford Spring’s Simple Process for Manufacturing Spring Prototypes
Step 1: Share your design, sample, or idea with us.
Before manufacturing spring prototypes, we first aim to understand exactly what a customer’s needs are. The process begins with reviewing a design, a sample, or even an idea.
Do you have a fully developed drawing of the part?
Do you have a sample of the part that you’ve successfully used in its intended application? What about a sample that’s almost perfect but needs some design adjustments?
Are you starting from scratch, and all you have so far is an idea?
We can work with whatever you give us, but we provide the fastest turnaround on a quote when we receive a fully developed drawing. No matter where we begin, we’ll always want to discuss your part with you to better understand critical considerations, such as:
- the application for the spring
- the forces that will be applied to the spring
- how often the spring will be used
- design criteria like material selection and plating processes
- physical constraints of the spring and allowable tolerances
Step 2: We review your design and communicate our recommended changes.
During design review or while reverse engineering a sample part, we may recommend design revisions to help improve the functionality of your prototype. A common issue we encounter in spring design assistance is that springs can be overstressed. When a spring is overstressed, its properties change over time, leading the spring to not function as planned or ultimately, to fail.
In addition to correcting functional issues, we may also recommend a different material based on the end use of the part.
Is the spring going to be used in a wet environment? We’ll suggest a material with rust-resistant properties.
Will the spring be used in a high-heat environment? You’ll need a material that can withstand high temperatures.
Before implementing any of your design changes, we’ll clearly communicate our recommendations and send them over to you for review.
Step 3: You approve changes and confirm the order.
At Gifford Spring, we believe that the original designer or engineer is the true expert at assessing end use criteria for part functionality. It’s important for us to give our customers the final say before we proceed with a prototype. As soon as we receive your official confirmation and order, we’ll prepare to run your spring.
Step 4: We run the spring and send it to you for testing and approval.
Once we receive your order, we build a custom setup on our coiling or wire forming machines. We produce the spring in our Garland, Texas custom precision spring shop. The part moves through our QA process, where we verify all critical dimensions. You can provide an application or fixture for us to test your prototype as well.
Once we verify that the spring meets all specifications, we pack it and ship it to you. Depending on the type of spring and your requirements, we may select custom packing methods. For instance, if you have a spring that’s fragile or tangles easily, we’ll pack it accordingly so it won’t get damaged during transit.
We encourage customers to be absolutely certain that their spring prototype functions as intended in its application. If the part isn’t perfect, we can do additional rounds of prototyping. It’s always better to get your spring right in the prototype phase before jumping into a big order!
Spring prototyping is an easy, collaborative way to get the part you need with all the right requirements before making a big investment in a production order. If you need spring prototyping services, get in touch with Gifford Spring today to request a quote!