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Connecticut Spring & Stamping Collaborates with Electronics Manufacturers to Achieve Design Objectives
FARMINGTON, Conn.--Connecticut Spring & Stamping (CSS), a manufacturer of precision parts for the aerospace, medical, firearms, and defense industries worldwide, also manufactures a substantial range of springs and stampings for the electronics industry. For 40 years, CSS has worked as a trusted partner with major electronics manufacturers, collaborating in product development, prototyping, and all the way through high- or low-volume manufacturing. The company's involvement in the industry goes back to its development of a design for stamped D-shells still used in computer connectors.
Today, the company manufactures and assembles stampings and springs used in circuit breakers, sensors, controls, and computer connectors. Components for these applications include pressure release valves, spring regulators, and plunger return springs, as well as wire forms, clutch springs, and actuator and backup rings. Major customers of CSS are reported to include General Electric Corporation, TE Connectivity (Tyco), Eaton Corporation (Cutler-Hammer), and Parker Hannifin Corporation.
Steve Dicke, vice president of sales and marketing at CSS, emphasizes that CSS specializes in collaborating with electronics customers to achieve their design objectives. He says that the company's engineers are experts in assisting customers with part design for manufacturability and consistency. "Our strength is early engineering involvement," Dicke said recently in an interview. "It's really about our engineers talking about the part up front with our customers, to try to steer the design into a very manufacturable part."
Not all dimensions on a drawing are critical, according to Dicke. "We want to find out what dimensions on a part are critical to a customer, and then we want to know what they can 'give' on," he continued. "If a critical dimension is the inside diameter of a particular spring, for example, can they give on the free length? Then we know what we can hold critically, and what we can give on. So it's important to talk about these issues up front, because then we can make the parts easy to manufacture and repeat. "Sometimes, when we come into the design process late and the prints are already developed, there's not much dialogue and we will just quote to the prints," he adds. "They may have some tolerances that are extremely tight, which we can hold, but of course, everything comes at a cost."
Connecticut Spring & Stamping (www.ctspring.com) prides itself on extremely rapid turnaround time capabilities. For one recent innovative circuit breaker application, designed for areas where space is at a premium and the ability to upgrade electrical systems is critical, CSS consulted on the wire sizes, loads, and spring designs. The company then provided prototypes and engineering samples on a fast-track basis to meet the customer's product launch timetable. Under its consignment program, CSS manufactures and ships parts directly to a customer's warehouse; the customer is not invoiced until the parts are actually used.
"One of the reasons we have such good turnarounds on parts is because we have duplication of a lot of our equipment in the plant," says Dicke. "When we have to run something on a particular work center, it's not as if we have just one or two machines--we might have five or six in any given area. So, it allows us a lot of flexibility in how we can schedule in production."
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