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Bead Electronics Awarded Grant to Improve Swaging Dies

Posted by Jill Mayer on Apr 1, 2013 11:42:00 AM

Bead Electronics was recently awarded a $75,000 grant through the State of Connecticut's Manufacturing Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) to help develop a more efficient method for producing swaging dies.   The work will be conducted in collaboration with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), and the success of the program will make Bead more competitive and help us win new business for the future.  

This project will consist of several phases:

  • Phase 1 – Bead will provide an optimized new die for CCAT to reverse engineer.  CCAT will develop a CAD file by scanning the die on their structured light scanning system and using the commercial scanner.  Bead will analyze and optimize the optically generated CAD file.
  • Phase 2 – CCAT will create a CNC program from the Bead optimized CAD file using MasterCAM and a machining strategy for optimized surface finish.  CCAT will select appropriate tool paths, tooling, feeds and speeds with input and will rough and finish machine the die cavity from A2 tool steel in its soft state (prior to heat treat).  CCAT will scan the finished die using its structured light scanning system and the commercial scanner.  Bead will heat treat, straighten and run the die "as built" and provide feedback.
  • Phase 3 – CCAT will create a CNC program from the Bead optimized CAD file using MasterCAM and a machining strategy for optimized surface finish.  They will then rough machine the die cavity from A2 Steel in its soft state (prior to heat treat) as above and return the roughed die to Bead for heat treating and straightening.  Bead will return the hardened die and CCAT will finish machine the die in its hardened state while trying to achieve the best surface finish possible.  CCAT will then scan the finished die and return it to Bead for production testing.  Bead will run the die and provide feedback.
  • Phase 4 – CCAT will EDM rough form the die cavity and finish form the secondary die features such as mounting and guide pin holes directly in hardened A2 tool steel.  CCAT will scan the die to document the geometry at this stage of fabrication. They will then finish machine the die in its hardened state while trying to achieve the best surface finish possible, scan the finished die and return it to Bead for production testing.
  • Phase 5 – CCAT will fabricate a die using whichever method produces the best results.
  • Phase 6 – CCAT will fabricate a die using whichever method produces the best results using the alternate material resulting from the IMS wear analysis in Phase 1A.

Watch a Video About Our Process

Topics: electronic pins, contact pins, custom contact pins, bead electronics, swaging