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.

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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.

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There’s no argument that springs are everywhere; they play a major role in many items we use on an everyday basis – from our cars to prosthetic limbs.

But while we may use the modest mechanism more than you think, have you ever stopped to consider how compression springs are made?

As spring manufacturers, we’re quite well placed to answer this query, so sit back, relax, and read all about the process.

how are springs made

The Materials

Springs are generally used of hardened steel, and spring manufacturers do have the option to either use pre-hardened steel or to harden the steel in their own process.

The most commonly used materials include stainless steel, chrome silicon, chrome vanadium, music wire and oil tempered wire; all of which are ideal for several spring projects.

However, other materials can be used, such as plastic. It all depends on what the purpose of a spring is for the material required to be determined.

The Design Process

While it’s interesting to find out the scientific process of spring making, it’s equally important to remember that various mathematical equations and processes are used to design the spring needed.

Factors such as wire composition, size, diameter, the number of coils needed, force and its application all need to be considered in minute detail.

Coiling

The process of creating a spring begins with coiling. This can be done with either a heated or cold wire but the metal needs flexibility to be shaped.

Cold winding starts with a wire at room temperature and involves winding the wire around a shaft. Hot winding is more often used for wire that is thicker. The metal is heated beforehand which increases the flexibility. It is then coiled around a shaft while still piping hot.

After the wire has been coiled it is immediately taken off the shaft or mandrel so it can cool and harden to its new form rapidly.

Hardening

Whether the material has been coiled hot or cold, stress is created for the material. Heat effects the strength, so to relieve this the spring must be tempered by heat treating.

The spring is heated in an oven and held at the appropriate temperature for a specific time and then placed aside to cool down.

An example of this is a spring made from music wire; it should be heated at 260 degrees Celsius for one hour.

how are springs made from European springs

Finishing Steps

Before a spring can be used, there are usually five more steps to go through before being placed in an application.

1. Grinding. If the design needs flat ends, then these need to be ground. The spring will be mounted to a jig and held against a rotating wheel until the desired flatness is achieved. An appropriate fluid will be used to cool the spring.

2. Shot Peening. This process helps to resist any fatigue or cracking. The entire spring is exposed to many tiny steel balls that hammer it smooth and compress the material below the surface.

3. Setting. The spring will be fully compressed so that all the coils touch each other. This fixes the length and pitch firmly. Some spring manufacturers will even repeat this process several times.

4. Coating. This protects corrosion. The spring is protected by painting, plating it with a further metal, or even goes through mechanical plating. There is also an alternative process of electroplating.

5. Quality Control

Of course, this is not the end of the process for spring manufacturers, such as European Springs Ireland. The spring goes through various testing devices and quality control steps to ensure the highest of quality.

Through using specific materials and extremely advanced manufacturing processes, all our springs are uniformly strong and of a high quality. We manufacturer a variety of springs – from disc springs to clock springs, and many more.

Get in touch today to find out more about our processes and services.

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Constant force springs are ideal for many uses and are especially useful where constant force is required. For any application which needs a smooth return and retrieve, counterbalance applications, tensioning and loading applications, constant force springs are a perfect choice. Industries which make use of the constant force spring include healthcare and automotive; however, the space industry also uses these specialist springs, mainly to work with the changes of force within the atmosphere. So, what exactly does this industry use constant force springs for and how does it benefit them?

Constant Force Springs Offer:

  • High force output with very small space requirements
  • Long linear reach with minimal force build-up
  • Storage of indefinite power when extended

An extension type of constant force spring could be seen as the most basic, as it is the most versatile.

constant force1

It is usually a pre-stressed flat strip of spring material formed into a constant radius which coils around itself or on a drum. When the strip is extended or deflected, the stress resists the loading force, though at a nearly constant (zero) rate. A constant force is obtained when the outer end of the spring is attached to another spool and caused to retract in the reverse or same direction as originally wound. Due to the full load being reached after being deflected to a length equal to 1.25 its diameter, it maintains a constant force no matter the length of the extension.

Much flexibility is available with constant force springs, as the load capacity can be varied by factors and configurations such as cavity mounts, multiple spring mounts, sizes and various design specifications.

Wherever constant load is required, a constant force spring is perfect for it, whether this be a hair dryer, gym equipment or a space shuttle.

Why Are Constant Force Springs Used in Space?

Most springs are bound by the principles of Hooke’s Law (F=Kx); however, there is usually an exception to this rule, which is what constant force springs represent. The spring itself takes its name from the fact that their force of motion is always at a consistent point of exertion.

Resembling a wound coil, their independence from Hooke’s Law allows them to produce perpetual force through their deflection and gives them little to no restriction on the speed of extension or acceleration.

constant force2

Constant force springs offer an excellent mechanism where a constant load is required. The force, due to gravitational acceleration, causes massive bodies to exert a downward force on the earth. This may also be referred to as microgravity. Unlike the springs present on earth, there are varying factors and forces working against the products which are using the springs.

Any springs and components used need to be adapted to sustain the effects of the environment, especially as gravity is not the same.

Constant force springs work best when in static or more dynamic applications where space is critical, or where other circumstances such as radial or axial tolerances are tight.

Constant Force Springs from European Springs

Here at European Springs Ireland, we design and manufacture constant force springs for many industries, one being the aerospace industry. We can fit the components in numerous fashions to ensure the widest possible range of uses, and we are well aware of the requirements and tolerances of this industry.

constant force3

Our bespoke approach to our products, including our constant force springs, makes sure your project only has the highest quality of springs. Whatever your needs, European Springs and Pressings Ltd can efficiently manufacture constant force springs for you.

Simply get in touch for further information.

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