Broken or failed equipment, tools, or components can significantly affect your production line and efficiency, especially if the same issue keeps occurring. For example, if you’re constantly finding that your springs are breaking or not lasting as long as you would imagine, you may be reducing their lifecycle with your work practices without realising.

 

A spring being manufactured

 

Thus, we’re taking a look into how you can maximise the lifecycle of a spring. We’ll be looking into some important factors to consider that could affect (and reduce) a spring’s lifetime, as well as the critical steps to take to ensure you’re maximising its lifecycle and getting the most out of it.

Finally, we will explore how choosing a reliable spring supplier such as European Springs is a great way to guarantee you’re getting quality springs.

 

Why is Maximising the Lifecycle of a Spring Important?

Ensuring that your springs, pressings, and metal components are carefully looked after is the first step in maximising their lifecycle – but why is this important? You may not believe that something as small as a single compression spring could affect productivity in your workplace, but this is true. For example, suppose a machine you’re using to manufacture products contains springs. In that case, just one breaking or failing could result in a broken and unusable machine, meaning production comes to a halt.

Additionally, if you are manufacturing products that contain springs, you need to ensure that these components have been treated correctly, so that you’re giving your customers a quality product. If your customers come back with complaints about broken parts, it could put your business and reputation in danger.

 

Different types of spring

 

What Are Some Factors That Affect a Spring’s Lifetime?

Several factors can affect a spring’s lifetime and reduce the quality of the spring. Let’s take a look at what some of these are:

Stress. If a spring is under a lot of pressure, it is less likely to compress as far as you need it; thus, it is more likely to break or become unusable.

Environment. If your spring has not been treated correctly for its environment, it is less likely to be functional or work to its full potential. For example, consider its temperature, magnetic field, and humidity.

Friction. If a spring is touching the sides of the hole or shaft it is placed in, then the friction between its diameter and these walls could cause permanent damage to both components.

 

How Can I Maximise the Lifecycle of a Spring?

As reliable and reputable spring manufacturers, we know what we’re talking about when it comes to producing and maintaining quality, so let’s get into what you need to consider to maximise the lifecycle of a spring.

 

Lowering Stress

Lowering the stress of a spring is one of the best things you can do to ensure you’re not overloading it and applying too much pressure. This can be done by choosing a spring with a larger wire diameter or even a lower final load which allows more room for the spring and reduces high stress. Additionally, consider reducing internal pressures on the spring by ensuring it is supported correctly.

 

A spring in a loading machine

 

Minimising Shock Loading

Shock loading is when the weight of a load on the spring is increased or sped up suddenly, for example, when a load is dropped from a height. This can result in diminished performance and even irreversible damage to the spring – meaning the repairs and replacement could be very costly. And whilst a couple of instances of shock loading isn’t detrimental to the spring’s lifecycle, the more times it happens, the more likely it is that the irreversible damage is done.

To minimise shock loading, friction devices such as an internal damper coil or a vibration dampening device can be used. These devices absorb some shock and take the pressure off the spring.

 

Keeping Temperatures Low

If a spring has not been treated correctly and is exposed to heat or extreme humidity, it could be detrimental to its performance and quality. Keeping springs cool reduces the chances of spring relaxation, which occurs in high temperatures, ultimately increasing the lifecycle of the spring.

 

Shot Peening

Shot peening essentially creates beneficial compressive residual stress, which increases the strength of a spring. It also prevents corrosion, cracks due to wear and tear, hydrogen embrittlement, and enhances fatigue stress. The shot peening method has been proven to increase the lifecycle of springs by five to ten times.

 

Choose European Springs as Your Spring Supplier

As mentioned, one of the best ways to maximise the lifecycle of a spring is to purchase your bespoke springs from reputable spring manufacturers you can trust to provide quality. We have a plethora of knowledge due to our many years of working in the industry, so we are more than equipped to provide the high quality, reliable springs you’re looking for.

We hope that this blog has been helpful and you now have a better understanding of how you can maximise the lifecycle of a spring. For more information on our products, including our compression springs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and a member of our team will be more than happy to help.

Robots using artificial intelligence in manufacturing

 

Technology is constantly evolving, particularly in the manufacturing industry. Industry professionals and tech experts regularly find new and innovative manufacturing ways, which changes and updates how the industry works. For example, one of the latest technologies to be incorporated into manufacturing is artificial intelligence. This fascinating technology comes with a long list of advantages, but some people believe it could take over, putting many workers out of a job because of its capabilities.

That is why, in today’s blog, we’re looking into the use of artificial intelligence in the manufacturing industry. We will explain what artificial intelligence is and the various types and the different services for artificial intelligence in the manufacturing industry. We will also look at the advantages of its use and the drawbacks in an attempt to see how this incredible technology could one day take over the manufacturing and engineering industries.

 

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Firstly, we need to look into what artificial intelligence is. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is an area of computer science concerned with smart computers and machines capable of completing tasks that a human typically completes. There are various types of artificial intelligence. We use some in our day-to-day lives, for example, our voice-activated virtual assistants inside our smartphones like Siri or Alexa, and smart intelligence within Netflix recommendations.

Other, more advanced artificial intelligence is used to help build machinery and perform instant calculations, for example, those used within the manufacturing industry. Let’s take a look at what these are.

 

Examples of Artificial Intelligence in the Manufacturing Industry Today

AI can be seen in many manufacturing stages and is often used in areas that require checks and calculations to ensure no human errors are made. Here are some examples of where you might find artificial intelligence:

During quality checks. Minor flaws in products and machinery might be difficult for humans to pick up, so AI is often used to quality check and eliminate human error.

 

Artificial intelligence in robotics

 

Supply chain management. For example, in warehouses, AI is used to monitor the process of manufacturing, from production all the way through to delivery. From here, it can be organised and analysed to ensure the warehouse runs smoothly.

Forecast product demand. Using smart technology similar to the AI that Netflix uses to predict what you might want to watch accurately, manufacturers can use artificial intelligence to analyse trends in product demand and forecast future demand.

Robotics in manufacturing. AI is used in robotics within manufacturing to do repetitive, tedious jobs. With the support of human workers, these AI robots can perform efficiently and without error, speeding up the manufacturing process.

These are just a few examples. In fact, artificial intelligence can be used at almost every stage of the manufacturing process – but what are the advantages to using this technology?

 

The Advantages of Using Artificial Intelligence in the Manufacturing Industry

There are many advantages to using artificial intelligence in the manufacturing industry. For example, you can have a 24/7 production line by implementing robotics with AI capabilities. Humans cannot be expected to work without breaks, but robots can continue working quickly and efficiently without stopping.

Another advantage of this technology is that they eliminate human error. They can complete calculations and perform tasks seamlessly, quickly, and at a speed that the human brain cannot match. It’s because of this that they are used for quality checks. For example, as spring manufacturers, we could use this technology to quality check our compression springs and ensure they are suitable to be distributed.

Finally, they have a low operational cost. While artificial intelligence may be expensive to implement into your business, it has the potential to complete tasks quicker and to a higher standard than humans and doesn’t have to be paid a wage as people do. Of course, there are maintenance expenses, but the work they can produce often equates to much more than this expense.

 

The Drawbacks of Using Artificial Intelligence in the Manufacturing Industry

Of course, there are also some drawbacks to using artificial intelligence in the manufacturing industry. Some people don’t agree with the concept of AI as they believe it is taking away potential jobs for humans. In some cases, this is true, and robotics have replaced many people’s jobs. However, it has also opened up a completely different area of manufacturing and provided engineers and computer scientists with more career options, working to develop and maintain this technology.

 

Woman studying artificial intelligence in manufacturing

 

Another potential drawback of artificial intelligence in the manufacturing industry is that it constantly evolves and can be difficult (and expensive) to keep up with. Suppose you implement AI into your factory, for example. In that case, you may find that in a few months, your technology is outdated and a new version with more advanced capabilities is available. This goes hand in hand with the fact that you will need an expert to help with this technology. As it’s an ever-changing industry, it can be challenging to find an AI expert, which is why many businesses avoid implementing the technology in the first place.

 

Will Artificial Intelligence Eventually Take Over?

This is difficult to say, as although AI has fantastic capabilities and can out-perform humans on many levels, it cannot do everything or be creative. Whilst it can suggest a movie it has decided you might like, this isn’t because it knows you, cares about you, or thinks you will enjoy it. This “decision” is based on what you have watched previously and your ratings for those movies or TV shows.

This is the same with manufacturing. AI can help produce items, yet it cannot suggest new items. But, again, this is something that only humans can do, and this creative side to people is needed in manufacturing just as much as the data checks and rapid production.

Whether this will happen in the future is unclear, but nothing is truly impossible with the rapid evolution of technology.

 

How Can We Prepare for the Future?

If you’re involved in manufacturing, it’s a great idea to stay one step ahead and keep updated with industry news. You can do this by reading our blog, which we frequently update with articles.

As spring suppliers, we’re fascinated by artificial intelligence and its potential for the manufacturing industry. We’re always interested in expanding our technologies and implementing new ways to provide our customers with the best springs and pressings available on the market.

If you’re interested in our springs, pressings, or metal components, please feel free to get in touch, and a member of our team will be more than happy to help.

With 5G set to revolutionise the manufacturing industry, there is much speculation on the importance of manufacturers adopting the technology as early as possible. Here, we will consider the benefits that 5G is likely to bring, when it will be rolling out, and what this means for manufacturing.

5g concept on mobile phone

What Is 5G?

5G is the latest upgrade to mobile data. If you have used 2G, 3G or 4G on your phone, then you can imagine that, but much, much faster. While the general consumer only handles 3G or 4G for sending and receiving social interactions on their mobiles, there are significant repercussions for its fine-tuning for technology, including for those working in the manufacturing sector.

Mobile data works using radio waves, and 5G data will be transmitted over a section of the available bandwidth. It will be transmitted via phone masts and similar, with greater coverage occurring initially in cities where higher numbers of people can make use of the technology. As 5G becomes more popular and more technology is created that can use it, it will spread throughout the nation until it becomes the new normal.

What Are the Benefits of 5G?

This new mobile data is substantially faster than its predecessors, offering substantially faster download and upload speeds. Not only is this a great asset for downloading movies, but it will have a significant impact on the future of important society-changing technology, such as the development of driverless cars.

For an insight into the speed of 5G, it is ten times faster than 4G. Where is would previously take fifteen minutes to download a film on 4G, it will take you three minutes on a 5G connection.

wi-fi symbol on vehicle on the road

When Will 5G Be Here?

5G is already here! In the UK, EE and Vodafone were the first to introduce a 5G plan back in May 2019. Since then, all major phone service providers have rolled out 5G packages; however, for consumers to make use of their package, they must have access to a phone compatible with translating 5G waves into data.

The same goes for smart technology and the internet of things. To make use of this improved speed, your technology may need updating or replacing. As such, 5G has already arrived in our country, but it is still gaining traction with industrial, commercial, and domestic users.

How Will 5G Affect the Manufacturing Industry?

The main ways in which 5G will affect the manufacturing industry is through improving the developing technology used in industry 4.0. Through 5G, smart machines will be able to communicate more information with each other, faster. This has great implications for the predicted efficiency of this technology but will also increase the amount of data that they can process, analyse, and report on.

If you are struggling to envision what this will really mean for your factory, then try to visualise your production line as a series of solitary, hygienic machines, communicating statistics to each other and your staff. For example, if machine A is running out of material, it will communicate to machine B to order in new materials. Machine A might then calculate the speed at which it will completely run out of materials to make your product and to warn staff in your office when to expect a new material shipment.

In the case that the material shipment runs late, machine A could be programmed to request machine check-ups during its downtime, ordering in parts and relying on human engineers to repair any burgeoning problems.

One of the primary roles of your staff in this situation will be to oversee the machines’ performance, to study the data they send back, and to formulate plans which will help to improve your business’ productivity. With technology like this, your staff will likely be able to work fewer hours for better pay. The evolution of the smart factory is good news all round.

smart machine in factory

We are spring manufacturers with decades of experience. Our smart machines help us to engineer precise parts of consistent quality for other businesses and industries. We can supply springs for household appliances to aerodynamic vehicles. With the introduction of 5G technologies and industry 4.0 being the inevitable future of manufacturing, we look forward to seeing how our productivity, and ability to provide for our customers’, changes.

Contact us for more information about our current practices and what we can do for you.

The decline of our planet’s overall health and sustainability is a growing problem, and many businesses ask themselves whether they are doing enough for the environment. We think that there is always more that businesses could be doing to reduce their carbon footprint, so instead of trying to find a finish line where you stop thinking about eco-friendliness, we ask that businesses and corporations strive for constant improvement.

In this article, we are tackling the difficult question of how the manufacturing industry in 2019 has been reducing its carbon footprint to become more environmentally friendly. Perhaps you can apply some of these smart ideas to your business?

Improve Your Energy Efficiency

This is, of course, a key aim for any manufacturing business, as reducing energy costs by any means possible leads to a higher profit, but it isn’t always clear how to manage this. To begin with, you need to able to obtain a thorough understanding of your business’ current energy consumption and where that energy is source.

By carrying out an energy audit, you can identify the areas where your business could save money (and the planet’s resources). It may turn out that replacing your overhead lighting could make a bigger difference than you were originally expecting.

Flip the Green Switch

The majority of power plants worldwide still rely on fossil fuels, but where possible businesses should support clean fuels. Britain is working hard to produce more of its energy through solar, wind and geothermal, but we need businesses to support these goals if we’re going to make a difference.

Green energy is more than just sustainable; it’s sensible. Stay ahead of the competition by switching to the technology of the future now.

Vector concept of energy saving. Flat style. Turning off a light switch on a green background

Careful Planning

With some careful management, businesses can make their time and resources far more efficient. This may involve upgrading your current management system to a program which embraces the internet of things style of approach, whereby huge swathes of your business are quickly monitored and analysed using improved data management technology.

If you start a long-term plan for your change to greener energy, you will be more likely to see staff acceptance of your changes, as well as efficient and worthwhile savings in your company.

Conceptual 3D render image with depth of field blur effect. Compass needle pointing the green word strategy over natural paper background.

Using Recycled Materials

Creating a bigger market for recycled materials will help the recycling industry to grow, so it is important to source and purchase recycled materials where possible. On a similar note, you should also aim to educate your employees on the importance of recycling by carrying out training and sticking to green policies. Ensure that as little of your waste goes to landfill as possible by sourcing companies or charities that will recycle your difficult materials when the government cannot. You may want to start your research by looking into Terracycle; a company which aspires to make the most of difficult plastics and very useful for any company which needs to dispose of a lot of plastic packaging.

Regular Maintenance

This should be standard practice anyway, but keeping your equipment well maintained can add a lot to your business. For example, if you take good care of your machinery, then you may be able to sell it on so it can be re-used once you are ready to upgrade. Good maintenance will also help to prevent the sudden breakdown of your equipment, which can slow progress and output as well as putting tension on the remaining working machinery.

Did you know that when air conditioning units get dusty, they soak up more power? You may have machinery or equipment that functions similarly, draining more power to try to overcome an obstacle and therefore becoming less efficient. This can be avoided or reduced by keeping your company clean to stay green.

Eco-friendly Building Designs

If you’re thinking of moving your business, you should think about moving to an eco-friendly location. Think of the energy costs you could cut back on by moving your staff to a workshop that receives a lot of natural light and uses a sophisticated and efficient heating system.

Education

One of the greatest steps towards an eco-friendly business is giving your staff and employees education in eco-friendliness. Once they know what to look out for and what needs to change, your staff may be able to suggest thoughtful, targeted improvements for your business. It could be little things like arranging a staff carpool or arranging for company recycling boxes, or it could be something bigger and better. Either way, getting your staff working towards a common goal will help with team bonding and could even boost morale.

Discussing recycling efforts

You should be focusing your business towards a greener future today. We’ve covered some brief examples showcasing how you might improve your output by making it greener, with a lot of emphasis on careful planning and staff involvement across the board. As forward thinking spring manufacturers, we have had a lot of success implementing green initiatives at our premises across the UK, and we’ll be wishing you the best of luck in saving the world with us by going green.

People may not notice just how much of a role springs play in our day-to-day lives. Everything from your coffee maker to your car brakes, your toilet to your remote control – all these everyday products rely on the humble spring. The history of this revolutionary technology dates back longer than you might think.

Everything from tools, such as hammers and spanners, to small components, such as springs and hinges, are just as important

Early Spring Technology

What do we classify as a ‘spring’? The helical shape of a compression spring (a coiled spring) is well recognised as the ‘standard’ spring shape. However, this design was not humanity’s first introduction into this life-changing technology.

An early example of spring technology is the bow and arrow. This prehistoric weapon works using a simple non-coiled spring, in the same way as a modern-day tension spring. When the bow’s string is pulled back, it tightens and creates a bounce when released; this is considered a ‘spring’. Given that bone arrowheads have been discovered dating as far back as 61,000 years ago, this suggests that this form of spring technology is at least this old.

Coiled springs, on the other hand, are a much more modern invention, appearing as late as the 18th Century.

Bronze Age

Springs began to take on a more sophisticated form in the Bronze age, shown through the spread of tweezers in many cultures during this time. A type of chariot created in 1333 BC, which was popularised by Tutankhamun, featured an early suspension system designed with leaf spring shock absorbers. This type of spring technology was also used during the Roman era for their chariots.

The Renaissance

Leonardo Da Vinci was the mastermind behind springs being employed into the design of pistols. In 1493, Da Vinci discovered that the use of a small spring would allow a pistol to be shot using just one hand, completely altering the way firearms were used.

Hooke’s Law

Hooke’s Law, devised in 1676 by British physicist, Robert Hooke, is a physics principle which states that the extension of a spring is proportional to the load applied to it, so long as this load does not exceed the material’s elastic limit.

The force is equal to the ‘spring constant’ in Newtons per metre, multiplied by the extension in metres. This equation was, and still is, paramount in the creation of objects that use springs.

Industrial Revolution

The original coil spring was patented in 1763 by R. Tradwell; it was considered revolutionary since, unlike the leaf spring, it did not need to be lubricated or spread apart. It was during this era that new forms of spring technology began to crop up, such as balance springs, clock springs and mattress springs. They were more accurate and inexpensive to replace, which led to the mass production of metal springs.

Today

The advancement of spring technology came on leaps and bounds as time went on. Now springs can be found everywhere, from bikes and cars to watches, toys, door locks, trampolines and even jet skis. Here at European Springs Ireland, we work with a wide range of different springs, including clips, torsion, tension, compression, gas, motor and more – all of which can be used in a number of industries.

If you would like to speak to us about how our springs could be used in your next project, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will be more than happy to advise you.

[button url=”/contact-us/” class=”scbutton”]Enquire Now[/button]

The world of engineering has impacted the way we work in our everyday lives. Everything we take for granted was invented by successful individuals and did not exist once upon a time. Can you imagine if we now lived without some of the world’s greatest inventions, such as the automobile? From ancient tools to the latest digital advances, humans have been inventing and engineering items which have been transforming our lives since we can remember.

Here are just some of the engineering inventions that have not only changed the way we live our everyday lives but have shaped the entire industry and have paved the way for a greater future.

The First Airplane

If it wasn’t for the invention of the first ever plane, would we now be able to travel across seas, venture to new countries or even carry soldiers, assist the injured and rescue mountaineers? On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first ever powered, sustained, and controlled plane, which has been evolving and changing ever since.

While these flying contraptions have been more than an idea ever since da Vinci’s time, the Wright brothers were the ones to make it a success! It’s fair to say that these siblings kickstarted the foundation for modern aeronautical engineering.

On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first ever powered, sustained, and controlled plane

Compass

The invention of the compass can’t be traced back to a specific date; however, the earliest compasses were most likely invented by the Chinese around 1050 BC. Created for spiritual and navigational purposes, the first compasses were said to be made of lodestones as this is a naturally magnetised iron ore.

With the advancement in technology and the invention of the electromagnet in 1825, the compass was then developed into what we know today. If it wasn’t for the engineering marvel that is the compass, modern navigation wouldn’t have received the push it needed.

The first compasses were said to be made of lodestones as this is a naturally magnetised iron ore

Automobile

Although the basic foundations for the car were laid early in 1866 by German engineer and inventor Karl Benz, cars didn’t become widely available until the early 20th century. Mass production techniques for automobiles were invented by well-known engineer Henry Ford and are now standard practises with Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and more.

This evolution reflects a worldwide effort – it influenced other technological advances such as petroleum refining, steel making, plate-glass manufacturing, and other industrial processes.

Empty car body shells on production line

Light Bulb

Indoors right now? There’s most likely a light bulb powering the room. The energy we use today and use to light up our offices and homes with was a bright idea from way over 150 years ago. Pioneered by Humphry Davy, he set off on his journey in the 1800s and ended up being one of the most influential and greatest inventors of all time. While Davy began this invention, the first light bulb was patented by Edison and Swan in 1879 and 1880. The invention of the lightbulb electrified new business and led to numerous exciting breakthroughs such as electric transmission lines, home appliances and power plants!

The energy we use today and use to light up our offices and homes with was a bright idea from way over 150 years ago

Small Tools and Components

We may consider planes, trains, and automobiles to be some of the greatest accomplishments from the world’s engineers, but do we ever stop to think about the smaller parts? Everything from tools, such as hammers and spanners, to small components, such as springs and hinges, are just as important, perhaps even more! The first ever coiled spring was invented by R. Tradwell in 1763 and was a British patent.

This stems from the research British physicist Robert Hooke carried out in 1676 on Hooke’s Law, which explores the force which a spring exerts.

When you think about how many products, machines, and household items we couldn’t have if it wasn’t for the nuts, bolts, wire forms, screws and springs, we would have very empty homes and businesses!

 Everything from tools, such as hammers and spanners, to small components, such as springs and hinges, are just as important

This list is by no means comprehensive; these are just a few of the marvellous inventions which have shaped everything we do in our day-to-day routines. You are probably reading this on a PC or phone; both which wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for an engineer or inventor who conjured up the idea.

As spring manufacturers, we are in awe of these engineers – and, of course, the ones we haven’t been able to mention. If you would like to know more about our products and services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with European Springs Ireland today.

[button url=”/contact-us/” class=”scbutton”]Enquire Now[/button]

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

    Fields marked with an *are required

    This form collects your name, email, company name, phone number and your enquiry so that one of our team can communicate with you and provide assistance. Please check our Privacy Policy to see what we'll do with your information.