What is the hardest shape in wireforming?

Wire forms with compound bends typically are the most challenging. A compound bend is a feature within the wire form that has two adjacent bends or generations with no straight length tangent to the beginning and end of those radii.
Marlin Steel wireform 00804001Forming wire is done in a progressive manner, which means when a bend is started, a portion of straight length is required to begin. Typically, 1 to 1.5 times the respective wire diameter is required. There are always exceptions and it must be defined on a case-by-case basis, but this is generally the rule of thumb.
The ability to form a difficult shape ultimately comes down to the operator knowing the machine, its programming capability and the tooling. A skilled operator, for example, can use a grinder to create a little more clearance between compound bends.


Source: Constantine Grapsas, Matt Lisnich, AIM Inc. (Automated Industrial Machinery Inc.)

How robots create jobs here: Let us count the ways

incFrom Drew Greenblatt’s latest column in Inc. magazine on the connection between automation and job creation:

… A dozen robots on our shop floor form steel wire baskets at the rate of 20,000 bends an hour, or about five per second. The precision is light years beyond what we were capable of before, with tolerances measured to the thousandths of an inch. That craftsmanship allowed us to expand beyond bagel baskets into industrial containers for sensitive material for clients in automotive, aerospace, military, and health care. And with robots tacking the most brutish work, our employees’ well being has dramatically improved as well: Our last lost-time accident occurred during the Bush administration, more than 1,500 days ago. (And workers now get health insurance.)

That doesn’t mean we don’t need people. The argument by some, including on a recent “60 Minutes” segment, that robots rob jobs is overly simplistic. It echoes the old adage that generals are always prepared to fight the last war–to use old tactics to win new battles. Without robots our company would be out of business. Here are six ways robots have created jobs at Marlin Steel Wire Products … Read more