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Manufacturing of the Future: ESI Speeds Up Production With 3 New Machines

Tag Archive: manufacturing

  1. Manufacturing of the Future: ESI Speeds Up Production With 3 New Machines

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    There has been a lot of speculation lately about the future of manufacturing. What will be the top trends? How will manufacturing’s contribution to the GDP change? How will jobs shift as technology becomes “smarter”?

    It’s difficult to definitively answer these questions. But one thing is for sure: the manufacturing renaissance is here, and it is sweeping the industry. Technologies like 3D printing have been commercialized, and equipment embedded with sensors can now “communicate” with each other using the Internet of Things (IoT).

    The availability of data for strategic planning, the rise automated machines, and a slew of other exciting advances are allowing manufacturers to produce units faster, smarter, and leaner than ever before.

    At Engineering Specialities Inc., (ESI), unmatched production efficiency isn’t a luxury; it’s how we do business. Recently, we added three new top-of-the-line machines to speed up production times, allowing us to get solutions to our clients faster and more efficiently than ever.

    Wire Straightening Machine: Producing Defect-Free Items, Faster

    Commitment to quality is of paramount importance in any manufacturing endeavor. But deadlines must be adhered to as well. ESI’s team helps customers contend with difficult turnaround times and urgent needs. In a bid to expedite part production even further, we have added a fully enclosed and integrated wire straightening and cutting machine to our equipment line-up.

    This machine takes round or shaped wire off a coil, straightens the wire to eliminate irregularities such as bends, and cuts it to the precisely desired length for inherently defect-free items — all in one go for better quality at a faster turnaround.

    Automated Packaging Machine: Reducing Time to Ship by a Quarter

    ESI is proud to offer end-to-end manufacturing solutions that include quality assurance, inspection, and assembly services. Proper packaging is a key component in this sequence, and manual execution is no longer efficient or effective.

    This is why we have switched over to a sophisticated automated packaging system that does the work of 20 hours in just five.

    This new packaging machine first unfolds the boxes, then loads the parts, weighs them, and packages them according to their weight. Finally, the boxes are wrapped with a pallet wrapping machine, allowing us to deliver products faster and at lower prices.

    New Metal Stamping Press: A Single Tool for Many Industries

    We’ve also introduced a 45-ton stamping press that is versatile enough to serve the progressive die stamping needs of a whole slew of industries and applications, including automotive, aerospace, medical, lighting, specialty plumbing, industrial hardware locks, and electrical connectors.

    With this new stamping press, we can now further streamline our production and speed up the time required to manufacture complicated parts.

    With 25 different presses and over 60,000 square feet of combined manufacturing space, we remain committed to constant improvement and innovation in all aspects of our work.

    Learn More

    These exciting new equipment additions are just the beginning. We believe in constantly adding to our skills and our equipment in order to best serve demanding industries, like the medical sector, with reliable custom parts — such as this high-quality spring and electronics shield we produced for vital monitoring equipment. Without the advanced manufacturing technology and the expertise needed to cut multiple part blanks at the same time, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver such a competitive budget or fast deadline for this order.

    To view more past work and further explore ESI’s capabilities, check out our gallery.

    View Our Gallery

    You can also request a custom quote to discuss options for your specific needs.

  2. How Is Technology Changing Manufacturing?

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    Over the past several years, advanced technology has come to the forefront in the manufacturing world.

    This technology not only enhances processes via automation, it has also allowed for a huge resurgence in U.S. manufacturing. In fact, data from the Institute for Supply Management showed that as of October 2017, the U.S. manufacturing industry had expanded at its fastest pace in 13 years.

    automated technology in manufacturing

    Evolutions in additive manufacturing, automation and industrial robotics are changing every step in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers are adopting robotics and technologies to collaborate with human engineers and operators, freeing them up for higher-level tasks and thereby increasing overall efficiency.

    At ESI, we’re proud to be a part of this exciting shift. We make use of various advanced manufacturing and industrial automation technologies, allowing us to provide cost-efficient, high-quality products with extremely quick turnarounds. Take a look at some of our automated processes below to see just how much time manufacturing technology saves us — and our customers.

    3D Printing

    Time saved for prototyping jobs: Over 200 hours

    3d printer

    The use of 3D printing has dramatically reduced the amount of time needed to develop and produce prototypes, as well as the overall costs associated with the process.

    Before we started utilizing 3D printing, it could take up to two weeks to design and develop a prototype. Additive manufacturing has reduced that time to just three or four hours. And since less time is required to build the prototype, ESI can now devote more time to thoroughly testing and evaluating the part, which, in turn, allows us to more easily adjust and optimize the design as needed.

    Automated Packaging

    Time saved for packaging: 15 hours

    automated-packagingThe team at ESI also makes use of a sophisticated automated packaging machine that loads parts, weighs, and packages them according to weight. With this manufacturing technology, ESI has been able to significantly reduce the overall time and costs needed for all packaging processes.

    What used to take 20 hours with manual packaging now takes just five hours­­. This allows us to get products to customers faster, at lower rates than allowed by manual packaging.

    Vision Inspection/Assembly

    Time saved for inspection: 10 mins. per part (for million-part jobs)

    To ensure our products are of the highest possible quality, we employ an integrated vision inspection and assembly system — a unique, customized assembly machine featuring built-in technology that inspects part runs in the millions.

    This allows for high precision and nearly eliminates the risk of any defects or problems. With this technology, we’ve significantly reduced the amount of time needed to check dozens of specified criteria; now, this complex analysis can be done in just milliseconds. And since this system combines assembly and inspection processes, we can more effectively manufacture large runs of parts with greater accuracy.

    Before we started using this technology, the turnaround time for inspection and assembly was about 10 minutes per part, but now it’s just half a second! Jobs that would have been nearly impossible to complete are now easily doable.

    Learn More

    Automation and robotics deliver a range of benefits for both industrial companies and their customers. At ESI, our advanced manufacturing technology provides shorter turnarounds, faster production times, and higher-quality products, giving us more time to work with our customers to perfect part engineering, design, and functionality.

    To learn more about our manufacturing technology, or to further discuss the benefits of automation, check out our eBook on high-volume production, available in our comprehensive resource library.

    Visit our Resource Library

  3. Inside ESI: How Our Manufacturing Equipment Works

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    Committed to continual improvement, the team at ESI is constantly on the lookout for new equipment and processes that will ensure the highest-quality, fastest production — especially for the largest runs.

    ESI MachinesTo accomplish this, we’ve even custom-built a few machines of our own.

    You may have heard about our latest venture in 3D printing to expand our metal stamping capabilities and better serve our diverse clients. But this isn’t the only valuable investment we’ve made over the years.

    Below, we explore the state-of-the-art machines that have helped us solve our customers’ toughest challenges.

    State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Equipment

    • Swiss-Made Wire Electrical Discharge Machine (EDM)

    swiss-made-high-speed-EDMAdded in March of this year, the AgieCharmilles CUT 300 mS specializes in high-speed wire EDM cutting and boasts cutting tolerances of ±2 µm and surface qualities as fine as Ra 0.1 µm.

    In addition to its high precision and fine surface finishes, it also provides significant time and cost savings. What does all this mean? Higher-quality products, faster turnaround times, and lower costs for our customers.

    Read more about how our EDM machine saved a customer money while allowing for design flexibility.

    • 150-Ton Stamping Press

    Progressive die stamping provides a cost-effective way to produce metal components with complex geometries at extremely high speeds while ensuring high reliability and minimal scrap. With a bed size of 48 in. x 60 in., our 150-ton press can stamp a variety of formed and flat parts.

    Discover how our 150-ton stamping press saved one client 80% of their part order and cut their lead time from 10 weeks to four.

    • Custom Vision Inspection Machine

    laser-sensor-inspectionTo ensure reliable quality, ESI designed a proprietary vision inspection machine that can inspect parts based on dozens of criteria — in milliseconds.

    A laser sensor triggers a camera, which captures an image of the part as it drops through a window in the machine. These quality inspections are faster and more accurate than human inspection and allow us to deliver millions of parts at a quicker turnaround, with zero defects.

    To get an inside look at how this groundbreaking technology works, download our eBook, “High Volumes, Zero Defects: How It Works” or see it in action here.

    • Automated Assembly

    In addition to our metal stamping capabilities for complex parts, we also offer assembly services. Through our automated assembly and inspection services, we can increase production rates while reducing your costs and turnaround times.

    See for yourself how we were able to increase productivity and decrease defect rates for one of our recent customers.

    • Automated Packaging Line

    As an extension of our automated assembly services, ESI’s automated packaging line weighs and counts bulk parts to precisely fill cartons, allowing for speedy and accurate packaging before delivery.

    automated-packaging-line

    About ESI Precision Metal Stamping

    Here at ESI, we pride ourselves on our precision metal stamping expertise and one-on-one personal service. With a variety of high-quality metal stamping machines, we can work on projects of any size, for any industry — from aerospace and medical to military and automotive.

    We invite you to visit our cutting-edge facilities in North Branford, Conn., where we have 57,000 square feet of manufacturing space. To see our equipment in action. Contact us today to schedule your visit.


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  4. Thinking Green: ESI Supports Environment with Solar Panels

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    Solar power usage saving CT manufacturer gas, money, and emissions

    Earth Day is just as important in the manufacturing field as it is in the private realm — especially for local metal stamper Engineering Specialties, Inc. (ESI), which saves one hundred tons of CO2 per year with its building’s solar panels.

    esi-facility
    More than two years ago, ESI worked with Independence Solar to install one of the area’s largest photovoltaic solar panel arrays. The completed project, which required a total of 494 solar panels on the roof of ESI’s 30,500-square-foot metal stamping and machining facility, has a maximum power generation capacity of 124 kilowatts (kW).

    “We are happy and excited to be doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint,” said ESI President Ron Delfini. “The energy efficiency we’re achieving is a large aspect of our mission to be a responsible, environmentally-friendly manufacturer.”

    Originally anticipated to fulfill about 65% of ESI’s electrical requirements, the system has been performing above expectations — to date, the system generates an average of 70% of ESI’s requirements.

    In two years, ESI’s solar panel array has generated over 340,000 kW hours (kWh) of electricity. This amounts to a 250-ton reduction in their carbon footprint. To put it another way, the panels’ energy output is the equivalent of over 28,000 gallons of gasoline — enough to drive 50 cars for a year.

    And the solar panels are saving more than just energy.

    “Between energy savings and incentive payments, we generate approximately $41,000 a year,” Delfini said.

    By generating their own electricity, ESI mitigates spikes in energy prices. Keeping a significant operating cost stable allows them to focus on investing in high-end equipment and technology for the benefit of their clients.

    solar-panel-monitoringAs an added bonus, ESI’s solar panel program also benefits the local Connecticut community. On sunny days, any surplus energy not used by the building is fed back into the grid, helping to keep their neighbors’ energy supply stable and affordable.

    ESI’s solar power progress is available online to the public. Numbers, including current and past solar generation, kilowatt hours produced, tons of carbon saved, and more information can be viewed at Live.DeckMonitoring.com/?id=esi.

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  5. Cutting Labor Costs with Automated Assembly

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    When Henry Ford first introduced the assembly line concept in the early 1900s, it was a serious game-changer — revolutionizing not just the automobile industry, but the entire manufacturing industry virtually overnight.

    custom-assemblyAfter more than a century since Ford’s innovation, the manufacturing landscape is now facing a similar manufacturing revolution: automated assembly.

    Automating certain manufacturing processes, particularly advanced assembly processes, can carry a number of benefits:

    Quicker Turnaround Time

    Smart, efficient use of automation reduces turnaround time for projects. With automation, it is easy to combine a number of assembly capabilities or production steps into a single step. ESI’s custom assembly machine with vision inspection, for example, assembles and compares dozens of part dimensions simultaneously in just seconds.

    See how it works in the video below, or download the case study for the full story.

    This combination of steps not only saves time, but also saves space in a facility. With one piece of automated equipment performing multiple steps, the individual work stations for each of those steps can be eliminated.

    Higher Quality

    Automation also enhances production quality. While some tasks, such as aligned press fits, are often difficult to perform manually, they can be made much more efficiently and accurately through automation. Automated assembly also allows for a high degree of conformity across pieces, another manufacturing aspect that is typically difficult to accomplish manually.

    Further, quality assurance steps can be implemented into an automation system in the same way that multiple production processes can be incorporated. ESI, for example, incorporates cutting edge vision-based inspection technology into all of our automated processes. This allows us to deliver assemblies with virtually 0% defect rates.

    Reduced Labor Costs

    One of the most important benefits of automated assembly is the opportunity for both direct and indirect labor cost savings. Directly, the reduction in cost of labor is clear. Every step that can be automated is a step that an employee no longer has to perform; this frees time for other tasks that can’t be automated.

    However, indirect labor savings achieved through automated assembly are often easily overlooked. Automation can reduce:

    • — Material handling and component orientation time
    • — In-process inventory, when replacing batch operations
    • — Finished product inventory
    • — Scrap
    • — Defective pieces
    • — Personnel training

    All of these reductions help to keep the cost of assembly low, but are often not considered in cost savings calculations.

    Learn How ESI Can Cut Costs on Your Next Project

    To learn about ESI’s automation capabilities, visit the Automated Assembly page of our website. To learn how ESI assembles and inspects more than 500,000 parts per week, download our new case study.

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  6. ESI Adds Swiss-Made Wire EDM Machine to Connecticut Facility

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    Engineering Specialties, Inc. (ESI) is excited to announce the addition of a new high-speed wire EDM cutting machine to its line of innovative equipment.

    The introduction of the AgieCharmilles CUT 300 mS, the most versatile wire EDM machine on the market, will exponentially expand upon ESI’s precision machining capabilities and services.

    swiss-made-high-speed-EDMSpecializing in high speed wire EDM cutting, the CUT 300 mS features a large 22” x 14” x 16” cutting area with X, Y, Z travel capabilities, and wire diameters ranging from .076 to 0.33 mm. The machine’s outstanding precision can achieve a cutting tolerance of ±2 µm and surface quality as fine as Ra 0.1 µm, as well as taper cuts at full height up to 45 degrees.

    This high standard of precision is maintained by the CUT 300 mS’ active thermo-stabilization system, which is capable of maintaining water temperature within +/- 0.2 degrees Celsius. The machine’s numerical controls, 3D setup, smart threading, and intuitive human-machine interface allow for high speed data transmission and facilitate quick adjustments during and between jobs.

    With these state-of-the-art capabilities, the CUT 300 mS cuts pieces with the highest precision while providing both time and cost savings in a variety of ways. Finally, this high-speed wire EDM cutter is built for long lasting precision, so customers will never have to worry about a decline in quality.

    For ESI customers specifically, the addition of the CUT 300 mS means they will receive better quality products thanks to optical communication lines delivering high accuracy and the finest surface finishes. The versatility of this machine opens up ESI’s capabilities in manufacturing a range of different types of projects, applications, and industries.

    About ESI

    Engineering Specialties, Inc. (ESI) has delivered custom engineering and manufacturing solutions for over two decades. ESI utilizes cutting edge technologies to cut costs and improve quality for its customers’ most time-sensitive and safety-critical jobs. For more information about ESI’s design and machining services, including its new wire EDM cutting capabilities, please visit the website today.

  7. Is Your Metal Stamping Supplier Using the Latest Automated Technologies?

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    The business world runs on technology — it always has, and it always will.

    Companies in the medical, aerospace and automotive markets work with state-of-the-art technology every day, and their business rely on high standards with no room for error. Thus, they look for manufacturers who also utilize state-of-the-art technology to produce high quality parts.

    Advanced vision systems, for example, are able to inspect dozens of different part characteristics in milliseconds. Manufacturers with this technology, such as ESI, can deliver millions of parts with virtually zero defects — promising flawless quality with quick turnaround.

    Below are four videos taken in our facility, each of which highlights a different aspect of our detailed production process.

    Metal Stamping & Assembly

    Where some component companies focus solely on producing a single part, ESI is capable of providing a full suite of automated assembly capabilities, reducing costs and production time. To better serve a variety of applications, we utilize both progressive stamping and fourslide stamping techniques.

    Sophisticated Assembly for Complex Products

    We’ve provided quality metal stamping production for more than two decades. We built application-specific automated assembly technologies that incorporate precision vision inspection on every single part. ESI deals with many different volumes and material types, so we’re confident in our ability to handle any and all client requests.

    Production Machining

    While you can expect to experience cost savings when you partner with ESI, you will never encounter a drop in product quality. Our advanced equipment ensures the high quality production machining of even the most exacting parts, and our knowledgeable team has the experience needed to seamlessly execute projects to your company’s liking.


    Automated Assembly + Advanced Inspection

    Our advanced machine vision systems use imaging software to inspect multiple parts at the same time, guaranteeing that customers receive their parts to print on time, every time. These machines have allowed ESI to manufacture projects greater than 100 million parts, without a single part per million defect.

    If your current supplier is not employing the latest technology to produce your parts, contact ESI to learn more about what we have to offer.

    Want more information about how ESI has virtually eliminated high-volume metal stamping defects? Access our latest eBook, 3 Solutions to Eliminate High-Volume Metal Stamping Defects.


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  8. 3 Ways to Address High-Volume Metal Stamping Defects

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    A common need in today’s business and manufacturing world is the production of large quantities of complex parts – with quick and accurate results.

    Finding a cost-effective metal stamper that can meet the required time frame also isn’t easy. There are a few challenges that can slow production time or quality.

    Combatting Defect Rates

    prevent-metal-stamping-defectsDefect rates are one of the most common challenges that come with high-volume runs. These types of runs can incorporate numbers as large as millions or even hundred-millions. With this many parts, inspection of each piece becomes quite challenging.

    ESI’s team created a solution for the high-volume inspection process to help prevent potentially defective parts from reaching the customer.

    Our solution involves using multi-part fixturing that allows multiple parts to be inspected simultaneously. This special inspection method involves coordinate measuring machines, or CMMs, which use a probe to do a tactile inspection of each part, coupled with machine vision systems inspecting parts using imaging software.

    ESI’s multi-part fixtures allow us to measure and compare hundreds of part dimensions in only a few minutes. Not only is the process time-sensitive, it also guarantees quality and fidelity of the parts we manufacture at any size run. This ensures that no defective parts are sent out to valued customers by maintaining quality assurance across all orders.

    Other Challenges

    3-solutions-metal-stampingThe multi-part fixture is simply one solution to various problems associated with metal stamping high-volume runs. Our latest eBook addresses two other challenges commonly faced with such runs, such as when a process does not output the part as it was designed, and when a high-volume production wears down tools, resulting in eventual delays.

    To learn more about potential challenges in high-volume runs of metal stamping, as well as further solutions to these issues, download our free eBook, 3 Solutions to High-Volume Metal Stamping Defects.

    Click here to access the eBook or select the button below.


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