Pushing Metal to the MAX - Fastener & Fixing Magazine

Sep 24, 2009
National Machinery's new Met-MAX Innovations division is focused on pushing foward metal forming technology with a goal of creating more efficient process designs.

Tom Hay – Senior Vice President of R&D
Jerry Bupp – Vice President of Sales Operations & Marketing

The current world economic turmoil is cause for many to re-evaluate their business direction and strategy. What is a basic component of success both now and in the future for any company? INNOVATION

National Machinery has a new division called Met-MAX Innovations to help meet that customer need. Met-MAX stands for “Pushing Metal to the Maximum”. This dedicated group of process engineers, development and production personnel are focused on pushing forward the technology of metal forming. Their goal is to create more efficient process designs that can eliminate secondary operations, speed up production, and make tighter tolerances, even if looking to convert from processes such as powdered metal, stamping or screw machining.

Met-MAX team
The heart of any quality R&D area is people. Met-MAX has an available staff of nearly 30 engineering and manufacturing personnel that are focused on finding ways to save costs in the metal forming world. The team is ready to find better methods of producing your new or existing metal part shapes with their combined 600 years of metal industry experience.

Our facility is completely integrated to support the Met-MAX design, development, and production process. We offer a complete tool manufacturing group with full production and re-work capabilities along with part production equipment. In particular, we provide 4 development machine units, exclusively for Met-MAX use. These unique machines are truly special with no match found anywhere in the world, including more forming stations and features than ever thought possible in the metal forming industry.

Research & Development
Need to produce or improve a part but don’t have the capability to really move forward? Maybe you don’t really know what is even possible? Our experienced group of design engineers, complemented with the latest software, have the ability to analyze metal flow, die tooling stress, material stress, and flow stress. This type of analysis is critical in determining the feasibility of a part shape or configuration. Met-MAX R&D resources and capabilities cover a large range of materials and sizes – basically anything metal related can berotator-parts-021 evaluated.
No venture can be successful without the proper resources. The Met-MAX engineering team consists of an assigned group of 15 design and development engineers. This critical resource has historically produced over 210 process patents and has multiple patents currently pending. The combination of hands-on industry experience and degreed professionals creates a powerful force that facilitates this group in producing significant results in parts forming. Their focus is to develop new process technology for new or existing part shapes. Tools available to them during this creative process include DEFORM simulation software, measurement instruments, and decades of part progression examples.

The existing human capital is bolstered by both a full tool manufacturing department that can quickly make detailed tooling components to support development, and by any of our multiple production machines. PPAP(Pre-production approval parts) can be made to prove the part dimensions and manufacture. Production can be extended to verify production tool life and even make longer batch runs as required. The machines have a wide range of unique technology capabilities and die configurations that are “one of a kind”.

Possible product applications include a full spectrum of engineering components for industries such as aerospace, construction, automotive, electronics, agriculture, industrial and specialty. The main criteria for an application is that it is made of a formable metal material.

The capability that Met-MAX brings to any application is the potential to make the part to a better shape or more efficiently – saving money in the manufacturing process. There is a proven track record of cost savings and innovation found through Met-MAX projects with customers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. While most of the current/recent development projects are confidential, we can offer a window to what is possible.
Figure 1 is a brake fluid fitting that was developed by Met-MAX and has a patent pending. This part utilizes operations such as backward extrusion and very high reductions in area with specific Met-MAX technology concepts such as blank rotator for forming in the vertical plane and high pressure lever technology which dramatically improves forming capabilities with segmented inserts. These concepts literally “push metal to the maximum”. With 5 patents currently pending for tooling process related technology, and a roller bearing patent recently granted, Met-MAX is the option for companies that truly want process innovation.

What part do you need formed net shape? Visit the new Met-MAX website at www.met-max.com or www.nationalmachinery.com for more information.