Spring tangling can be a major issue for customers, not only for those using automated production lines but even hand assembly can be made substantially more difficult if the springs have become tangled.
Many springs and wire forms have the potential for tangling and become interlocked. Spending time solving this issue can be expensive, time consuming and damaging to the components.
The major problems with tangled springs are:
- Deformation – Potential to deform the original spring shape
- Production Delays – downtime sorting springs
- Damage – potential to cause damage to the production equipment
Non active coils is the inclusion of a few closed coils at the end or in the center of the spring, which allow the components to be “shaken” loose, as these non-active coils (see picture) can prevent the spring becoming interlocked.
In some circumstances, the possibility of tangling can be prevented. For some applications, Advanex can design bespoke springs which have no risk of tangling, by incorporating sections of closed coils for example. In many cases this is not possible as the spring performance could be affected but Advanex have other alternatives which can be added to the design without affecting its functionality.
Central leg is another alternative available for compression springs by adding a leg formed through the center of the spring. This leg can be “snipped” in automated assemblies and will stop the spring from becoming tangled.
Advanex has a range of products which are packaged into specially formed plastic strip with individual pockets for each component. Springs can be inserted into the strip during production or as a secondary process, and coiled into a reel providing an easy protective packaging method which can be incorporated into the customer automated assembly process.
If prevention of tangling during the design stage is not possible due to form or desired function and the component is at the manufacturing stage, then there are still many alternative packaging methods, which discussed with the customer, can be incorporated into the production. This can be done straight from the machine (such as springs looped onto wire) or as a secondary option during the packing stage (trays, tubes etc.). When designing new production equipment, our team can look to add packaging as part of a fully a automated process, removing the risk whilst providing the lowest cost components.
A common type of packaging is the use of custom designed thermoformed trays. These trays, specifically designed for the spring product, not only protect the component from damage but can be used by the end user as part of an automated assembly solution. The packing operation can be designed into the production process or carried out manually, and in most cases the trays can be returned to be recycled, reducing the cost.
Another simple form of packaging can be the use of adhesive sheets or strips. The springs are placed onto the sheet or strip and will remain in place until the customer production process. As a leading manufacturer of helically coiled inserts for the aerospace and automotive industries, Advanex produces millions of components inserted into a simple plastic strip. This plastic strip is then reeled onto a preformed plastic hub and allows the end user a simple and effective method of production.
These allow springs with closed coiled ends to be stacked end to end. This type of packaging provides an easy method for introducing springs to automated handling equipment such as bowl feeders.