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Autocad Engineering Prototype
24 Aug,2018

The Advantages of Autocad for Your Engineering Prototype

 

AutoCAD is one of the most widely-used pieces of design software, generating a huge revenue every year.
 
It has been a pioneer of the 3D design industry, having been around for more than 30 years. During that time, it has evolved to become one of the most sophisticated design tools on the market.
 
AutoCAD’s versatile tools and brilliant consumer strategy make it one of the most valuable tools and engineer can have. That’s why you should use it to create your prototypes.
 
In this article, we’ll go over the many advantages of Autocad for designers and engineers. 
 

8 Advantages of AutoCAD

If you’re not already using AutoCAD, you should be. Here are just some of the ways it can make your design process easier.
 

1. Draw to Scale

One of the main benefits of AutoCAD is that it allows you to draw to scale.
You start by choosing the appropriate units of measurement. Then, you can draw your model at 1:1 scale.
 
This allows you to easily determine the actual size of the product you’re drawing. You can also adjust the scale to see how it would look in different sizes without having to adjust the drawing itself.
 

2. Easy Layout and Viewing

When you’re using AutoCAD, it’s easy to zoom in and out and pan to other areas of the drawing. This is particularly useful when you’re working on large or complicated designs.

The interface is easy to navigate, with various tools enabling you to view your drawing from different distances and perspectives.
 

3. Draw Accurately

AutoCAD makes it easy to draw objects accurately, with various options to set the exact size and alignment that you need.

On your screen, there’s a rectangular grid. You can click on any interval on the grid to locate the point that you need. If this isn’t accurate enough for you, you can use your keyboard to enter the exact coordinates of the location at which you want to start drawing.

The object snap tool allows you to snap to any location on your drawing. It will automatically locate points such as the center of a circle or the end or center point of a line. This means that you don’t have to measure the lines yourself to find these points.
 

4. Make Changes Easily and Reduce Risk of Error

In AutoCAD, you don’t have to go through a long process just to adjust your drawing.

You can create designs quickly and easily, using the software’s easy tools to complete tasks in a fraction of the time it would take via manual drafting.

It’s also very easy to make changes and adjustments. When you’re designing a prototype, you’re likely to go through multiple drafts or phases. This will require you to constantly tweak your drawing until you get the desired product.

Having to re-draw it every time you make a change takes far too much time. With AutoCAD, you don’t have to. You can simply adjust the original drawing instead, revisiting it to make modifications at any stage during the design or production process.

The software’s various editing tools mean you never have to redraw an object if you don’t want to. Instead, you can duplicate, stretch, trim, rotate, scale and move what you’ve already drawn.

When you’re using this software, your margin for error is greatly reduced. If you make a mistake, all you have to do is click the ‘undo’ button and start again. It’s that easy!

The interface is easy to navigate, which reduces the likelihood of errors. This speeds up the design process even further.
 

5. Identify Design Problems

With CAD, you can see a 3D image of your drawing. You can rotate it to examine it from all angles, as well as changing colors and line weight to get the appearance you’re looking for.

Visualizing your product in this way allows you to identify and solve any problems with the design before the production process starts.
 

6. Calculate Material Quantities for Production

When you draw a design in AutoCAD, you can use a scanning tool to measure the quantity of each material you’ll need to use in production.

As well as taking a job off your hands, this also means that you can control and manage the production process more easily. This is because you can get an accurate specification of what you’ll need and use it to calculate how much production will cost.
 

7. Store and Transfer Data Safely

If you have a large design team, you may need to have multiple people working on one project or file at the same time. AutoCAD allows you to do this.

The software creates a database of everything you draw, tracking every single change that is made to each drawing. Everything is stored securely, so you don’t need to worry about data loss or corruption.

You can also upload files online and share them between different parties with the click of a mouse.
 

8. Save Time and Money

One of the main benefits of computer-aided design is that it’s incredibly efficient.

All of the above factors contribute to a much quicky and easier design process. This allows you to finish a project as quickly as possible, saving you time and money.
 

Our Prototyping Services

Now that you know the advantages of AutoCAD, the next step is to implement it in your prototype design process.

However, you don’t have to do this yourself.
 
If you don’t have the time, manpower or facilities to do your own prototyping, we can help you.
 
At SOS Engineering, we have decades of experience in design and engineering. Our team is well-equipped with the knowledge and tools required to design and manufacture the prototype you need.
 
All you have to do is provide us with your specifications. Then, we’ll use CAD software to design your prototype. Before sending it to production, you’ll be able to review and modify it to suit your needs.
 
To find out more about what we can do for you, get in touch to arrange a consultation.

media blasting
22 Jul,2018

Given that most steel objects and structures have the potential to easily last for 50 years or more, media blasting can help them last longer. Small rust spots can be removed and coated to protect a structure of product for years to come. If you’ve never used media blasting as a cleaning or repair technique, there’s a lot to learn.

Here are 5 things you need to know before you start media blasting.
 

1. You Need The Right Equipment

First things first, you need to make sure that you have the equipment to handle the job before you start media blasting.

If you don’t have a compressor to match your blaster, you’re out of luck. Your compressor will need to keep up with your blaster, so be sure that you check the ratings to ensure they match before you start working. If your compressor is rated differently than your blaster, you might not be able to get the job done.

Before you buy a blaster, be sure that you won’t have your compressor at maximum capacity while you’re running your blaster. If your compressor doesn’t get time to rest, it could begin to overheat. An overheated line will create moisture and that moisture will cause your media blaster to clog.

Make sure you have a solid air management system in place as well.

You’ll need constant high pressure for your media blaster to get the job done. If your compressor can’t give you the volume that you need, your blaster isn’t going to work correctly.

Since the industry standard for a nozzle is around 80 PSI or slightly more, your compressor should be able to deliver this easily. If you don’t have at least this amount of pressure, you’re going to have trouble getting media to do the work you want it to do.

Be careful about going higher than 110 PSI, because you might exceed the blaster tank’s pressure rating. Your media might disintegrate when it hits the material you’re using the blaster on. That will also decrease your capability for cleaning material.
 

2. Your Hose Matters

The length and shape of your hose matters when you’re working with a media blaster. Having a really long hose means that you’ll be able to get around a body shop or garage easily to get where you need to blast. What could be the downside?

Well, a few seconds of basic physics calculations will remind you that you can’t keep media moving at the same rate forever. A long hose will mean that you’ll diminish the performance of your media blaster. Over the length of your hose, media will slow down and have less of an impact on the surface you’re blasting.

Keeping your hose as short as possible will allow you to get as much power from your media as you want. Make sure there aren’t any unnecessary bends or kinks in your hose either. A curved or bent hose will diminish performance.

Every loop, bend, or snag on your hose means that pressure will drop. A hard bend could diminish your power by 10 PSI every time.
 

3. Water is the Worst

As stated above, moisture in your line will cause media to clump and could diminish your capability of getting the job done. An air separator or a dryer in your line will allow you to keep your media dry and separated. Clumps of media clog up air lines and slow everything down.

Try out a disposable air filter when you start out with a new blasting project. If you always change out your filter, you’ll ensure that the airflow is consistent and that your media is always in an ideal state.

An air filter is the cheapest form of insurance you can implement to avoid wet chunks of media from becoming a problem.

If you live in a moist climate, you need to add a dehumidifier to your shop to diminish the influence of the environment.
 

4. Adjust Your Blaster Properly

Most blasters will have the same kind of valves that block out air or media. These or “deadman” switches to stop the flow of air or media don’t need to be opened all the way each time you use them. Given that each media blasting set up will be different, each one will require a different setting.

Most people judge the air to media ratio at 90 to 10. If you try to force through too much media, the pressure will be killed by the weight of the media when it goes through the nozzle.

Do a few test runs of media and air pressure before you start trying to take any material off of your piece. Use a test piece to get a handle on the system you’ve set up.
 

5. Your Technique Matters

One of the things that people often say about media blasting is that it can warp or damage thinner materials. You could even damage a sensitive part by taking off too much material.

If you have a steady motion from side to side, you can keep the material removal even. If you stop in one area for more than a few seconds, you could warp your material.
 
Always keep an angle of 45-60 degrees to be sure that you’re keeping media moving in all directions. Direct blasting could hurt your material, so exercise the care you would with any other technique.
 

Media Blasting Is a Great DIY Technique

Whether you run a body shop or are just a restoration hobbyist, media blasting is a great way to work on projects. You can take old rusted material and make it brand new with a little bit of media blasting.
 
For more tips on media blasting, whether you’re an enterprise or a hobbyist, contact us today.

selective plating
22 Jun,2018

What is selective plating?

Before we get into the definition, let’s take a moment to consider zinc-nickel alloys. Did you know that a combination of 15% nickel and 85% zinc provides corrosion resistance than zinc alone?

When you combine two metals to create an alloy, it can sometimes offer advantages the disparate metals alone do not have. It can also reduce your costs without sacrificing quality.

In the case above, nickel slows the corrosion process. You can use 6% to 20% nickel to produce the best outcome. Together, the metals prevent the formation of white rust for 500 hours or red rust for 1,000 hours.

The process of applying an additional layer of metal is called metal plating. This article describes the type of metal plating called selective plating. By the time you finish, you’ll know what it is and why people use it.

Electroplating and Electroless Plating Processes

Before we dive in and talk about things like selective gold plating, we need to review the basic science behind plating.

Electroplating necessitates the use of electric currents. The electricity reduces the dissolved metal cations. They’re ions with a positive charge.

The current helps cations form a thin metal coating on a submerged object in a process called electrodeposition. It changes the surface properties of an object. This increases corrosion resistance, reduces friction, and improves durability.

Similar to a circuit, the electroplating process uses electrodes to create a thin metal coating. We call the item to be plated a cathode. The metal to be applied is called the anode.

You immerse both components in an electrolyte bath which contains metal salts to help increase the flow of electricity.

When you apply the electric current to the anode, it oxidizes the metal atoms and dissolves them into the electrolyte solution. The cathode attracts these metal ions. The ions stick to the object and begin to plate together.

After you finish the process, the cathode’s chemical, physical, and mechanical properties change. We’ve already stated some of the commonly sought properties of metal plating. Others include improved strength and resistance to pressure.

Electroless methods don’t require any additional electricity. They produce what they need through auto-catalytic chemical reactions. The process requires several reactions to take place in the liquid bath in which the object to be plated is immersed.

What is Selective Plating?

Sometimes, rather than plating an entire object, you may want to plate only part of it. This process is commonly called selective plating or brush plating.

The brush is typically a stainless steel piece wrapped in cloth. It holds a plating solution and stops the body from making direct contact. An operator dips the bush in a plating solution and applies a plate to a localized area.

This spot-plating technique can repair and refurbish any part or component. It doesn’t require immersion in an electrolyte bath, but it still uses the same principles of electroplating.

In some ways, brush plating looks like welding. An operator holds the flexible brush and attaches it to the power supply.

The cathode is still the object to be plated. The anode, on the other hand, now comes in the form of a handle wrapped in absorbent material, usually cloth. The cloth sucks up the electrolyte solution during the brush plating process.

When the operator moves the anode over the cathode, it completes a circuit. This initiates the plating process. You may apply the electrolyte solution to the brush by dipping your brush or pumping in the solution.

Note: Don’t confuse selective plating for metals and selective plating for biological materials. The first adds a layer of metal to an object. The second is used by scientists to grow bacteria and viruses for study.

Blush Plating vs. Immersion Washing

When you compare these two types of plating, consider the following benefits of brush plating:

  • Requires less power
  • No need to use masks
  • Faster for smaller areas
  • Easy to perform in any environment
  • Reduces the need for high-volume chemicals
  • Perfect for large parts which don’t fit in a bath

One of the most considerable advantages of brush plating is that you can do it anywhere. This mobile service can travel just as quickly to your factory or your offsite location. You need not transport your materials to the electroplating facility.

Selective plating’s ideal for small jobs and low-volume needs.

Electroplating with an immersion bath is more suitable for large-volume projects. It can produce metal plating thicker than that provided by selective plating. It also gives a greater uniformity on the surface of the cathode.

It’s ideal for objects with surfaces which need to be painted. The metal creates the perfect surface.

What’s Selective Plating Used For?

Whether you work in the aerospace, energy, or manufacturing industry, selective plating is the perfect tool. It offers excellent flexibility and eliminates downtime. It also reduces the problems created when you take components off-site to be treated.

This type of plating helps to eliminate build-up on essential bearings and bushings. You can plate a localized area near those with close tolerances or thick walls. Also, some metals give unique advantages for soldering and welding.

Furthermore, metals that offer a greater strength increase the strength of your components’ joints. You can even choose metals which give you enhanced conductivity. In a full immersion bath, these metals may otherwise be cost inhibitive, as they are usually precious metals.

Some components are also too large or unwieldy. They’re unsuitable for immersion baths. When you use a brush, you can quickly plate said components.

Common Metals Used in Plating

Operators can use both metals and complex alloys when plating your goods. Each offers its own chemical, mechanical, and physical properties. In some cases, it comes in the form of a clean, bright shine. In others, it’s the reduction of wear and tear.

These are the metals most commonly used in plating:

  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Nickel
  • Gold
  • Chromium
  • Silver
  • Cadmium

Note: this is not an exhaustive list. The metals here represent the most common ones used.

What’s Next?

Well, did you learn all you need to learn about selective plating? If not, we’ve at least laid the groundwork for what you need to know.

If you need to learn more, don’t hesitate. Jump over to our contact an expert page and fill out the form to get in touch with us. Do it now, while it’s still fresh in your mind.

So long and good luck!

Advantages of CAD
23 May,2018

Computer Aided Design: The Advantages of CAD

If you’re looking for a custom engineering and design company, you want one that specializes in computer aided design. CAD has a whole host of benefits both to you and your design company. Learn more about the advantages of CAD right here.

Advantages of CAD & benefits of CAD

 

With manufacturing still comprising around 10% of all U.S. jobs, the roles and responsibilities in the industry are changing. Many firms are growing up and becoming more contemporary by seizing the advantages of CAD. Designers and manufacturers alike feel more empowered to make strong decisions and stick to them.

 

Rather than having the design process segmented from manufacturing, you can bring the two closer together with CAD software.

 

If you’re interested in a few reasons why your designers might like to use CAD software, here are 6 reasons why.

 

1. A Streamlined Design Process

 

When a designer is working with CAD, they can take advantage of the way the software smooths out bumps in the design process. They can more easily visualize the final product that’s being created and all of the little constituent parts that are involved.

 

With most CAD software, animation can be added so that designers and product managers can get an idea of how the product will work in the real world. It can be seen moving and interacting with the rest of the elements it’s meant to be paired with.

 

As the designer works with CAD, every step of the design process will be documented, allowing everyone to synthesize and analyze the process. This can help to increase productivity by lowering the amount of error that will be made during the design. Shorter project design and completion times are pleasant news for everyone.

 

You’ll be happy with the results that come from having your designers work in CAD. You’ll see a higher profit margin, a lower rate of error, and generally more satisfaction from any team member who relies on the designer to finish.

 

2. Better Quality Design

 

Design quality suffers when the project is arduous and when it’s difficult to see the finalized product. With the tools that are available when designers are working with CAD, they can analyze the engineering process and can predict how to carry it out. CAD systems are deadly accurate and allow error figures to drop drastically.

 

When you minimize the margin of error, you only get a better design. So long as your design teams and project planning staff are communicating, the results of your CAD design should yield products with fewer issues. CAD systems can run all kinds of scans and tests to ensure that the product can bear the weight it purports to and withstand the pressure you need from it.

 

Good design can also help the manufacturing process. The fewer draft productions and wastages that your manufacturer reports, the cheaper and faster your products will be in the end. Faulty design can become a thing of the past with a strong CAD system.

 

3. Simplify Communication

 

When you design with CAD, you can communicate more clearly with supervisors and anyone working with or adjacent to you. With detailed drawings that are made in a standard format, the whole process can be simplified. When you’re talking to a supervisor, they need to have a simple explanation in front of them.

 

Your CAD drawings can act as a roadmap for how they’ll understand the project. When you have great documentation of the design like you do with CAD, communication can come naturally. The better you understand one another, the better your products will be in the end.

 

4. Plenty of Documentation

 

One benefit of using a CAD program is that it automatically generates documentation. When you have documentation, you have both justifications for design decisions and simple explanations that can keep people from asking silly questions.

 

By listing the details of the product, you can allow other teams make sure that the materials work together before you have prototypes built. You can also share the documents so they’ll ensure your component fits into their idea of the product.

 

The geometry and dimensions of the products and the material specifications are going to be unique no matter what software you use. Every designer will put their own flourishes. CAD software documents every step of the way and every draft that occurs.

 

5. A Manufacturing Database

 

The design process more or less helps to outline the manufacturing process. You can start a list of materials that will be needed and make recommendations based on your own experience with design.

 

Materials will be required for certain components because of restrictions, temperature, and the conditions where you use your product. The responsibility of your staff and interns is to hang on every word that the designers list when they talk about what they need for a project. Manufacturers need to be brought back down to earth on a regular basis when they try to recommend design ideas.

 

The CAD design will be like a recipe for manufacturers. It will explain why more complex manufacturing might be necessary and eliminate points of conflict.

 

6. Design Data Saved

 

When you hire or outsource designers, you might not end up with permanent access to your design data. Passwords can change, users get locked out, and those people may move on. When you use CAD software that you have a subscription to, you can get copies of everything for later.

 

Whether you’re designing in-house or outsourcing, you want to be sure that you can go back and revisit your design later. You want to be able to manufacture more, make small changes based on new components added, or just tweak it. When you use CAD software, you get to keep every design you make.

 

Your manufacturing team, who has to go through, archive, and make changes to legacy or ancient projects, will thank you.

 

There Are Even More Advantages of CAD

 

Your designers, prototyping team, and project managers will all be pleased when you embrace the advantages of CAD. You’ll complete more projects on time and with fewer errors than teams that don’t use CAD. Check in with your team regularly to ensure they’re getting the most from the tools they’re using.

 

To learn about the kinds of CAD design we offer, click here to find out more.

 

Swiss Screw Machining
23 Apr,2018

The Value of Swiss Screw Machining

 

Swiss screw machining offers a variety of capabilities, from prototyping through high quality production.

 

Swiss screw machining and how a screw machine works

 

The process of creating parts that can be turned is deceptively simple. Screw machines provide a valuable form of automation. For one, they provide a quick mass production need. They also fulfill very precise and custom orders.

 

Screw machines come in two different styles: turrets and Swiss screw machines. Turrets can also be referred to as Brown and Sharpe, the original screw machine model. Despite is more rudimentary form, turret screw machines are still widely used, but they cannot accommodate micro-sized units.

 

If you want the most precise proto-typing or custom assembly, then Swiss screw machining is the only way to go. If you’re unconvinced how much of a difference that Swiss machine can make, keep reading. We’ll explain how a Swiss screw machine works and how your assembly can benefit.

 

Different Types of Swiss Screw Machining

 

You can find Swiss screw machines in two categories: automated and CNC. The differences aren’t so obvious as the names suggest. Automatic machines use a disc cam, this hands off the tools into the bay where work begins.

 

A collet stabilizes the work piece itself, while the disc cams rotate and level the headstock for precision. This whole process happens quickly and tightly, preventing common flaws created by debris coming in contact with the work piece.

 

CNC Swiss machines may look the same at first glance, but they operate much differently. The CNC adjusts on the fly and dictates the direction of the turning machines. This also allows for more tooling options for the manufacturer.

 

 

The CNC is perfect for multi-step tooling needs, as it can switch operations as needed and get all the work done in one sitting. Yes, automatics can do this, too, but the CNC moves much faster and more accurately. They are rated at 10,000 revolutions per minute and a precision of up to 0.0002 inches.

 

Savings with Swiss Screw Machines

 

We’ve gone over the differences between the two Swiss machines, but both offer more cost savings, depending on the project. This is for two reasons: the unparalleled precision and the reduction of oversight needed. Once set, these machines are so reliable that only one supervisor really needs to be present.

 

The only potential drawback may be in the time needed to program and prepare the machines for each project. It might take over an hour to set up, so if the work is only for a short run, it might look like an expensive investment. It’s easy for outsiders to overlook its advantages when it’s not as readily apparent on paper.

 

How Does a Screw Machine Work?

 

The reason why Swiss screw machining takes so long to setup is that programmers have to re-learn machine behaviors and functions. For instance, a CNC Swiss screw machine moves along the Z-axis via the stock, rather than the tool. This runs contrary to most lathes, where the stock is offset by a set length.

 

This means instead of the turning tool moving independently, the stock is in motion, so deeper cuts and passes need to be programmed as a negative, rather than a positive command. For those who aren’t familiar with programming, this isn’t a difficult adjustment, however, it does require retraining your brain.

 

Order of Operations

 

Not only is the motion of the machining process flipped upside-down, the order of cuts is totally different. Standard lathe is rough, or first turn, the finish turn, then your threading and OD grooves. Swiss machining adds in some more steps and reverses the order, essentially.

 

Each step progresses in quarter-inch increments, from the guide brushing size. OD groove, machining, and then OD turning, and back to guide brushing. The guide brush has to be the perfect size for all these steps to work seamlessly.

 

What the guide brush is made out of also needs to be taken into account. Swiss carbide tooling is among the best for most projects. The right guide brush gives highly precise cuts that don’t risk tool marks or poorly refined edges. This is especially true for small objects with thin margins and intricate tooling.

 

Productivity can increase greatly because the machining can be sped up without fear of ruining consistency. Prototypes can be manufactured on a short notice and in high volumes.

 

Oil Over Water

 

The reason a Swiss machine is able to maintain higher speed and precision is due to using superior lubricant. Instead of water, it uses oil as the cutting fluid. The benefits are many, including more fluid motions and anti-bacterial properties. This reduces the level of maintenance on the machines.

 

Oil is a double-edged sword on operating and supervising, though. While it is great at speeding things up, it’s not as effective at cooling things down. Water dissipates heat much faster, so a Swiss machine will generate a lot more heat in the center of the work area.

 

While this should not be considered a deal-breaker, safety precautions must be in-place. Fire-proofing and training supervisors is a must. I guess you could say that is one perk of using traditional screw machines.

 

Swiss Machined Parts

 

Now that you have an idea about how Swiss screw machines operate, are you ready to see the difference? Our screw machines can handle virtually any material–and we control the entire process from start to finish. High volume production is handled with precision and custom assembly.

 

Multiple parts can be created in the same cycle. Ask about our selective gold plating options, for those who need something a little extra. From hundreds of units to tens of thousands, our team of experienced engineers will work with you to meet your design requirements.

 

Contact us today for more information on how to save money without compromising on quality.

 

selective gold plating
23 Mar,2018

5 Industries That Benefit from Selective Gold Plating

Curious about what selective gold plating can do for your company? Here are five industries that benefit the most.

Selective Gold Plating

 

It’s no secret that gold is one of the world’s most valuable materials. A mere ounce of the stuff is worth over $1,000 (depending on the current market, of course).

 

And it’s more than its shiny gleam that makes gold valuable. Gold has properties–such as its resistance to corrosion and its insulation against heat–that make it essential in many different industries.

 

Because gold is so expensive, these industries usually use gold-plated materials rather than pure gold. But, selective gold plating is still an incredibly powerful tool.

 

Read on to learn more about five different industries that benefit from selective gold plating.

 

Selective Gold Plating in the Electronics Industry

 

Your laptop, your tablet, and your phone are chalk full of gold-plated components. Gold plating is so important to electronics that the electronics industry uses a whopping 320 tons of gold a year.

 

Gold isn’t cheap. So why are electronics manufacturers packing so much of it into their products?

 

It turns out that gold has remarkable properties not found in other metals. These properties make it an essential component in any well-functioning electric circuit.

 

Perhaps the most important of these properties is gold’s resistance to corrosion. In other words, gold lasts a long time without breaking down, even in extremely harsh conditions. This is the same property that makes gold a great store of value and a great material for jewelry making.

 

In electronics, this property is important because an electronic device can only last as long as its internal circuits. By coating components with gold, you protect the interior metals (usually nickel and copper) from corrosion.

 

Furthermore, gold is a great conductor of electricity. That means gold coated components work as well, if not better, than gold-free components.

 

This doesn’t mean that every piece of an electric circuit should be covered in gold. You should focus on gold plating components that will be exposed to harsh conditions.

 

Gold plating is especially important for electrical connectors. These are electrical parts that are connected and disconnected from other electrical parts. These electrical connectors are frequently exposed to air, which makes them a perfect candidate for gold plating.

 

But corrosion isn’t the only reason to apply gold plating to connectors, gold also has a remarkably low contact resistance. That means that the electrical resistance between two adjacent gold pieces is extremely low. That’s exactly what you want out of connector material.

 

Selective Gold Plating in the Dentistry Industry

 

This one probably doesn’t surprise you. You’ve most likely seen someone with a gold plated filling, and you might even have one yourself.

 

Dentists use gold-plated fillings for more than their aesthetic flair. It turns out that gold is an extremely biocompatible material. Biocompatibility means that gold can be used within the human body without causing infections or an immune response.

 

Gold plating is also used in other aspects of dentistry, including as a material in dental instruments.

 

Selective Gold Plating in the Medical Industry

 

Gold’s biocompatibility also makes it a very useful material in the medical industry. Pacemakers and other internal medical devices are often coated in gold. This protects the device from the patient’s body and the patient’s body from the device.

 

In addition, gold is radiopaque, meaning that it blocks radiation. So gold-plated instruments are highly visible in x-ray images. This property allows doctors to monitor the instruments without undergoing invasive procedures.

 

Selective Gold Plating in the Aeronautics and Defense Industries

 

Few materials are more resilient to harsh conditions than gold. And few industries deal with harsher conditions than aeronautics and defense.

 

The internal machinery of a plane or a weapon will experience extremely high amounts of heat. It’s also possible that this machinery will be exposed to the extreme cold or even corrosive chemicals and gases.

 

It is essential that this machinery continues to function as it’s meant to, no matter what the conditions. Otherwise, lives may be lost.

 

Furthermore, gold is an easily solderable material, so using it in mechanical settings is very practical and easy.

 

Selective Gold Plating in the Architecture Industry

 

This one might be the most surprising on the list. Sure, gold-plating can be used to beautify the outside of a building, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the gold-plating of exterior windows.

 

Normal windows allow pretty much all light and heat through, so buildings with a lot of external windows will often end up overheating. This leads to unhappy residents and high air-conditioning bills.

 

Here, gold’s ability to insulate against heat and light pays big dividends. By coating the windows in a very thin layer of gold, the architect or engineer can keep out a high percentage of heat without blocking the view.

 

Currently, coating windows in gold involves an expensive process known as vacuum deposition. In vacuum deposition, gold atoms are essentially deposited one at a time onto the surface. But research is being done on ways to leverage nano-technology to make this process cheaper.

 

Making this process affordable and accessible will save tremendous amounts of energy the world over.

 

Selective Gold Plating for Your Company

 

As you can see, gold plating comes with a lot of benefits. Even if your company doesn’t work in the above industries, you still may benefit from using gold-plated components.

 

We’ve developed a precise and customizable selective gold plating technique. We’d love to help you get started today.

 

And if you have any additional questions about gold plating or any aspect of engineering, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.

 

Spring Loaded Contacts
14 Feb,2018

11 Advantages of Spring Loaded Contacts

Before you consider using spring loaded contacts, make sure you have all of the information you need. Click here for the six key advantages.

Spring loaded contacts

 

If you’re not using spring-loaded contacts, you’re missing out on one of the best inter-connect components out there. With such a wide variety of interconnect components to choose from, there are plenty of reasons to love this particular component.

 

Spring-loaded contacts, or SLC’s, consist of a body, plunger, end cap, and a spring. These form what is one of the most popular inter-connect components available today. The diversity of available designs and the opportunities for its application make this component stand out from the rest.

 

SLC’s have become a favorite amongst engineers because they offer many advantages. And you could be benefiting from them, too. Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about SLC’s and what their advantages are.

 

The Advantages of Spring-Loaded Contacts

 

1. Solderless Inter-Connections

 

Spring-loaded contacts are ideal for solderless inter-connections between mating modules. Cutting out the process of soldering helps to reduce assembly cost.

 

Taking this route still provides a high-grade innovative solution that meets your design requirements without sacrificing quality.

 

2. Easy Integration into Systems

 

Regardless of which industry you’re working in, whether it’s aerospace, telecommunications, medical, high-tech electronics, automation, or otherwise, spring-loaded contacts work wonders to meet your needs.

 

The versatility of SLC’s mean that they can integrate into any system as needed.

 

3. Designed for Durability

 

SLC’s are designed with constant use in mind. Unlike most other contacts, these are able to withstand above and beyond 10,000 mating cycles.

 

Because of their durability, this makes them the perfect choice for use as test points on boards. This is an environment where they can endure frequent application. SLC’s continue to thrive long after most other contacts give out from the constant use.

 

4. Misalignment Accommodation

 

As movement occurs in the system, contacts often develop connectivity issues. This is due to misalignment as boards shift at different angles, and contacts can no longer reach the mating surface.

 

Spring-loaded contacts have the ability to maintain contact between boards despite becoming misaligned. Since SLC’s can reach variable distances, they are able to keep a reliable connection even when the mating boards are not parallel to each other.

 

5. Consistent Contact

 

Because SLC’s have the benefit of being spring-loaded, this allows them to work well when mated with an uneven surface. SLC’s maintain a firm and consistent contact across varying degrees of distance.

 

Even in cases where other contacts are able to maintain some sort of connection despite misalignment, the connectivity suffers. This issue is resolved completely with SLC’s.

 

There is still an optimal distance for maintaining a consistent connection when using SLC’s. But even when performing with an undesirable connection, it still outperforms comparable components.

 

6. High Vibration Tolerance

 

A typical connector will lose connectivity over time or even become damaged because of shock and vibration to the system. Spring-loaded contacts have a much higher vibration tolerance.

 

This is because they don’t need insertion when connecting between mating modules. They only need to make contact with a gold plated surface. The springs absorb the shock and vibration and adjust for any misalignment that occurs in the system.

 

With other inter-connectors, the shock and vibration to the system would cause damage to contacts. They would break, bend, become misaligned, and lose connections altogether.

 

7. Easy Mating with Other Components

 

Mating using an SLC is much easier when compared to using other contacts. That’s because the mating surface is usually larger than the plunger of the SLC. This helps to avoid potential component damage and gets rid of misalignment issues.

 

In cases where the SLC is unable to maintain an optimal distance of contact with the mating surface, another gold-plated mating surface can be added to reduce the interconnection distance for optimal connectivity. This is not an option that is achievable with another kind of inter-connect component.

 

8. Perfect for Blind Mating

 

SLC’s only need to be in contact with a gold-plated mating surface for a connection to occur. This makes blind mating a very easy process.

 

Because of the visual restrictions of blind mating, pins often become broken, bent, or damaged. This results from misalignment with the receptacle. SLC’s eliminate these issues because you don’t need to see exactly where the pin connects to the receptacle to form a connection.

 

9. Self-Cleaning Components

 

The movement of the spring-loaded contact means that it is also self-cleaning. As the component moves due to shock and vibration, it dislodges and removes any buildup that may have developed on the connection.

 

This helps to reduce or eliminate any connectivity issues that generally develop with contacts due to buildup over time.

 

10. Excellent for Cable Termination

 

Are traditional cable connections just not making the cut? Then cut the cables and switch to spring-loaded contacts! Ending cables into an SLC gets rid of all the hassle of a cable connection and gives you all the benefits of SLC’s.

 

This is especially ideal for applications that require a quick connection and blind mating situations. The durability of the connection is also better able to hold up to the shock and vibration that often results from handling cables.

 

11. Diversity of Design

 

The two main designs of SLC’s are a through-hole design, and a surface mounted design. But the design options for these contacts extends far beyond just that.

 

Our team of engineers offer more than a hundred years of experience. They can provide you with a wide range of solutions to meet your specific design requirements for spring-loaded contacts.

 

We’ve Got You Covered

 

Every design has its own specific requirements, and we can craft the SLC’s that you need to make your design come to life.

 

We know spring-loaded contacts better than anyone in the business because we specialize in precision machined components. We provide you with the products you need for your specific design requirements.

 

Whether you need high volume production, need proto-typing, or have another need, we are the industry leading experts who you can trust to give you exactly what you’re looking for.

 

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can provide you with the components you need.

 

 

precision drilling
14 Sep,2017

Selective gold plating has become a very cost effective way to plate your electrical connnectors because it uses less gold without reducing the functionality of the contact.

SOS Engineering has developed new selective plating techniques that allow you to specify the plated areas. If you’d like to learn more about how selective gold plating can help your bottom line, please give us a call.