Tooling and Fixtures Services
At Clairon Metals Corporation, we offer full-service tooling and fixtures design and build solutions all in one convenient location. From conception to completion, our team guides customers through the entire manufacturing process, including design, prototyping, testing, and production. Armed with state-of-the-art equipment—such as CNC milling and wire EDM machines, drill presses, surface grinders, and heat treatment furnaces—our in-house tooling department produces high-quality Tooling and fixtures tailored to our customers’ unique requirements.
Our capabilities include:
- Design and development (using SolidWorks, LogoPress, Prog Blank Companion, and Forming Simulations)
- Wire EDM and CNC machining (using 3D Master CAM for cutter path creation)
- Conventional machining
- Heat treatments
- In-die tapping
- Progressive and single-hit die design and fabrication
- Weld and check fixture design and fabrication
- Die protection design and installation in automated progressive tooling
- Seven partner shops for large program fulfillment
Below we discuss our tooling and fixturing capabilities in more detail.
Wire EDM and CNC Machining Services
Both wire EDM and CNC machining are subtractive manufacturing processes, meaning they remove material from the workpiece to achieve the desired shape and size. During our wire EDM and CNC machining operations, we utilize 3D Master CAM software to establish the cutting path for our equipment.
Wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) employs the use of electrical current to cut conductive material. The process involves running the current through a wire and bringing the wire toward the workpiece. If the voltage is high enough and the distance between the wire and workpiece is sufficiently small enough, a spark—i.e., a discharge of electricity—occurs between the wire and workpiece. This spark is used to gradually remove material from the workpiece to form the cut. Wire EDM operations require the workpiece to be submerged in dielectric fluid to facilitate the flow of current and mitigate the risk of thermal damage and distortion.
Compared to other manufacturing processes, wire EDM offers several advantages, including:
- Lower risk of mechanical distortion: Wire EDM is suitable for processing materials—including hard materials—without exerting high pressures.
- Smaller need for post-machining heat treatments: As the process readily accommodates a wide range of conductive materials, there is little to no need for secondary heat treatment operations.
- Higher part and process quality: Wire EDM machines are often automated, allowing manufacturers to achieve higher precision and accuracy.
Wire EDM is typically used to manufacture metal components, as the base material must be able to conduct electricity. Parts and products created through the process find application in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, and medical.
Computer numerical control (CNC) machining uses pre-programmed computer software to direct the three-dimensional motions and actions of cutting tools across a workpiece. Compared to manual machining, it allows for the higher cutting precision and accuracy. The term “CNC machining” encompasses a broad range of operations, including turning, milling, drilling, and grinding, each of which uses specialized tooling and machines to achieve their goal. CNC technology can also be integrated into other manufacturing equipment, such as plasma, laser, waterjet, and wire EDM cutters. Altogether, these CNC units allow for the production of high-precision, high-accuracy parts and products in a wide range of designs, materials, and sizes. These components are used throughout the industrial and commercial sectors.
Conventional Machining Services
Machining operations can be classified into two main categories: conventional and non-conventional.
Conventional machining processes generally require some degree of involvement from a human operator. Additionally, they necessitate direct contact between the cutting tool and the workpiece during operations. Examples include drilling, milling, and turning.
In contrast, non-conventional machining processes can proceed with little to no operator involvement as they employ the use of automated equipment. These processes also do not require contact between the cutting tool and the workpiece. Examples include EDM machining, laser cutting, and plasma cutting.
Heat Treating Services
Heat treatments involve heating and/or cooling a material—generally a metal—under tightly controlled conditions to enhance or add to its properties and performance characteristics. They are often used to improve formability, strength, hardness, and resistance to abrasion, corrosion, and impact. Some examples of common heat treatments include annealing, carburizing, normalizing, quenching, and tempering. We primarily utilize our in house heat treatment oven to harden die steels in areas of potential heavy wear to prevent material loss and galling. This improves part quality and die durability while reducing maintenance.
In-Die Tapping Services
Tapping is the process of cutting threads into a hole to facilitate the installation of fasteners. In-die tapping is utilized primarily in progressive dies where one station of the die is a rotating tapping head. The stations befor the tapping head punch and extrude a hole. The in die tapping unit then rotates on the down stroke and reverses on the upstroke to create machined threads in the hole. This adds some tooling cost but you essentially get your tapped hole for free in the parts. Compared to standard tapping, the process allows for higher production efficiency and lower production costs. It can be used for nearly any stamped product that requires tapped holes, including automotive components, construction hardware, industrial components, electrical equipment, and computer parts.
Progressive and Single-Hit Die Design and Fabrication Services
We offer design and fabrication services for progressive and single-hit dies, both of which are used in stamping operations to form and deform metal into the desired shape.
- Progressive die stamping uses a series of stations in one dieto gradually trim, shape and form then cutoff material which is coil fed into the stamping press. Each stamping station makes incremental changes to the workpiece, which is moved to the next station after each upward stroke automatically by the coil feeder which progresses the material after each stroke. The final product is ejected at the end of the series.
- Single-hit stamping also utilizes a die and press. However, it is not an automated sequence like a progressive die. Single hit stamping can be one hit or multiple hits either in one die or multiple dies, but, each hit is a separate part typically moved by an operator manually with operator stepping back and pressing the start button for each stroke of the press. . Components can be simple or complex just by adding more dies and hits.This process can be more economical than progressive die stamping. The up front tooling costs are less but the process is generally slower and has a higher operational cost. This is well suited to lower volume needs generally less than a few thousand parts per year. It is also well suited to some very complex geometry parts and deep drawing where the part design requires the part to be independent of a coil of steel to produce.
Contact Clairon Metals for Tooling and Fixtures Services Today!
Founded in 1989, Clairon Metals Corporation has since developed a reputation as a premier contract manufacturer for customers in a wide range of industries, including appliances, HVAC, household products, power tools and equipment, sports, and transportation. With 147,000 square feet of facility space, we can house the equipment and employees need to fulfill all of our customers’ needs. Our team is ready and willing to bring each project from conception to completion in the fastest time and at the lowest possible price.
To learn more about our tooling and fixtures capabilities or partner with us for your next project, contact us today.