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Hynes Blog

Metal Fabrication Tips for a Better Yield at a Lower Cost

by Rob Touzalin on October 25, 2016

With any new metal fabrication project comes plenty of planning, challenges, critical decisions and efficiencies to strive for.

Before you budget your next fabrication project, it’s important that you have a full grasp on the different manufacturing factors to consider, and how you can optimize each step of the process for cost reduction, timeliness and efficacy.

To help narrow down the field of many, we’ve listed the four main factors of your metal manufacturing project and tips to optimize each:

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Roll Forming or Stamping: 5 Factors To Drive Your Metal Sourcing Decision

by Rob Touzalin on October 11, 2016

To roll or to stamp—that is the question.

Your mission is to source a high quality, custom steel part to be manufactured efficiently at a relatively low cost.

As you well know, there are a variety of different metal forming techniques when sourcing a new project. But how do you choose between two popular methods, roll forming and stamping?

How you will manufacture your custom steel part is an important decision that requires you weigh and prioritize a variety of factors.

To help, we’ve listed five main factors to consider when making your metal sourcing decision: 

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Manufacturing Engineering: How to Reduce Design Complexity

by Rob Touzalin on August 30, 2016

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

- Steve Jobs

In some iteration or another, you’ve heard of the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

The KISS principle was developed in the mid-1900s by Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, a former Lockheed Martin advanced aircraft development engineer, who believed that systems performed best when they had simple designs rather than complex ones.

Maybe Mr. Johnson was onto something. Many years later, the KISS principle is still used by manufacturing engineers and software designers, where the threat of scope creep can make projects unmanageable over time.

Image Credit: Brennan via Flickr

There are many different factors that can affect your part or product design, including cost, material, project scope and time to market. Below are three rules based in simplicity to help manufacturing engineers reduce design complexity.

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4 Roll Forming Design Considerations

by Mike Giambattista on August 16, 2016

Designing for roll forming is in many ways a different process compared to other metal fabrication design methods. Roll forming removes some of the challenges other fabrication methods present, creating design opportunities for:

  • Products requiring edge conditioning,
  • Parts with complex geometry,
  • Long parts,
  • Redesigned aluminum extrusions and more.
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3 Ways Engineers Can Break Free From Tired Designs

by Randy Myers on July 16, 2015

When designing, or re-designing, a metal fabricated product, engineers strive to keep it simple, lightweight and cost-effective while still maintaining strength and integrity.

In order to achieve those goals, you may need to challenge traditional notions about how things should be done.

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Why It Is Important To Expand Your Engineering Knowledge

by Randy Myers on July 8, 2015

Knowledge is like a muscle. You have to focus on and exercise it if you want it to grow.

When knowledge plateaus, it can negatively affect output. An engineer’s knowledge is his or her greatest asset. Engineers who lack knowledge of alternative production methods can inhibit a product’s cost efficiency, and in turn, hinder profitability. 

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Time to Redesign: Now What?

by Randy Myers on April 21, 2015

When prioritizing products or parts for a redesign, consider: 

  • The weight of the part or product. If a product is heavy, there is probably an opportunity to reduce weight, and with it, production, inventory and shipping costs.

  • The complexity of the part of product. Evaluate the part’s design complexity and whether it requires multiple steps to fabricate, or to assemble.

  • Overall production costs. Is the part or product is expensive and inefficient to produce? Flag it for a redesign.   

Once you have identified the components to be evaluated, there are multiple ways to approach the process. For engineers, this is a step in the process that allows us to flex our design muscles and create a more efficient solution.

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3 Tips for Successful Prototyping and Product Refinement

by Randy Myers on March 25, 2015

Before a manufacturer makes a large investment in tooling a new project, engineers must make sure the new designs they propose work perfectly. The best way to test and ensure new designs work as desired is through prototyping and product refinement.

As sections become more complex and tooling costs increase, it is more important than ever for engineers to get prototypes right before production begins. How can engineers make the most of the prototyping and product refinement phases of production? That’s the big question this post sets out to answer. 

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Work to Live: 3 Tips for Engineers to Improve Work-Life Balance

by Randy Myers on March 18, 2015

Do you work to live or live to work?

I imagine many engineers struggle with this question. We’d like to work to live, but external forces such as rapidly evolving technology, shorter product lifecycles and new product capabilities have us living to work. 

Engineers across industries are stretched. Forced to do more with less time and money, and pulled in different directions by competing priorities. Because of this, work-life balance can quickly become an illusive dream rather than a reality.

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Characteristics of a Valuable Engineering Partner

by Randy Myers on January 28, 2015

When you hear or see the word “valuable,” what comes to mind?

We tend to look at the Merriam-Webster definition of valuable and view it as something or someone who is: 

  • Very useful or helpful.
  • Important and limited in amount.

A valuable engineering partner is useful in creating effective production solutions and important to the overall strength of your business. Below are an additional five key characteristics every engineering partner should possess.

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