At Engineering Specialties, Inc. (ESI), we believe engineering a successful component requires understanding how it works in its intended application. Equipped with three decades of experience designing and manufacturing parts for a wide range of applications, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide highly engineered solutions for virtually any customer need.
Over the years, we’ve engineered a variety of unique products for customers across a diverse set of industries. Recently, we completed a project that involved engineering electrical busbars for use in multiple applications. Interested in learning more? Below, we highlight what the products are, how we manufacture them, what applications they are used in, and other important information.
What Are Busbars?
Busbars (also stylized as bus bars) are metallic bars or strips used to conduct electricity and connect electrical components and equipment in power distribution and storage systems. They are generally incorporated into switchgears, panel boards, and busway enclosures.
How Are Busbars Typically Made?
Busbars typically require a two-step manufacturing process. First, the strip metal would be stamped first, then sent to be machined separately. Using two different manufacturing processes like this often slows down the part’s turnaround and/or can incur additional costs.
ESI found a faster, cheaper way: our busbars are made from tin-plated, high-purity copper strips or rectangular wires. We process the material using progressive die stamping equipment, which employs a series of dies installed across a set of stations to progressively form it into the desired shape and size at very high speed and precision. We can produce busbars with square, radius corner, or full-round edges to suit different application requirements.
Why Use Progressive Die Stamping?
The main advantage of using progressive die stamping over other methods to manufacture our busbars is high speed, high precision, and the process allows for in-die tapping. The stamping dies accommodate a tapping head, which threads the parts as they are being stamped. As this eliminates the need for a separate tapping operation after the completion of the stamping operation, it saves us significant amounts of time and money across high-volume production runs. These savings can then be passed on to our customers.
Why Use Copper?
Busbars can also be made from aluminum to cut costs. However, the material is not as conductive as copper. This quality is critical for electrical and electronic operations, which is why we choose to make our busbars from copper. We also tin plate the components to improve their corrosion resistance and solderability. We can make busbars from aluminum if the customer requires this alloy.
Applications of Busbars
Busbars find use in the electrical and electronic devices and systems of numerous industries. Typical applications for these components include:
- Automotive fuses
- Electrical vehicle batteries
- Industrial equipment
- Marine electrical systems
ESI: Your Expert and Partner for Highly Engineered Products
At ESI, we’re always looking for ways to cut costs and accelerate turnaround time — this project is just one example of many that exemplifies our capabilities in this regard. Check out our case studies page for more examples. If you have a unique product engineering project you want to discuss with our team, contact our experts today.