H&R Parts Company, Inc. (Wichita, KS) has been supplying sheet metal components and assemblies for the aerospace and defense industry since 1955. Their 34,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Wichita is dedicated to fulfilling orders for the U.S. government, as well as commercial customers and local business partnerships. They are ISO9001:2015 and AS9100D certified and boast an 89 percent on-time delivery rate. They have awarded a contract to Beckwood Press Company (St. Louis, MO), a leading manufacturer of custom hydraulic presses and automation systems and the Triform line of precision forming equipment, to manufacture a Triform model 24-5BD fluid cell sheet hydroforming press.
With a 24 in diameter forming area and 5,000 psi, this new Triform system will support aluminum aerospace part production. During the fluid cell process, a pressurized rubber diaphragm filled with hydraulic oil shapes sheet material against a single tool. This evenly-distributed pressure results in net shape part production, virtually eliminating the need for hand-finishing. Due to the universal nature of the diaphragm, which conforms to any shape within the forming chamber, the need for expensive mated male/female dies is eliminated. Additionally, multiple parts can be formed in a single cycle, as long as the tools and blanks fit within the forming area.
Utilizing a stationary blank holder in conjunction with a single tool, H&R will be able to form parts with closed corners and severe curves in 20 seconds or less without the need for secondary hand finishing. “We have several orders with the DOD, and the majority of those parts previously required rubber pad and hand forming. One specific part took well over an hour to form complete with these methods,” explained Lon Legleiter, the president of H&R Parts. “Thanks to the Beckwood team, we can now form this same part in less than one minute on our new Triform. With this press, we will be more competitive on future bids as well.”
The advanced engineering and unique pressure containment system on the 24-5BD significantly reduces the press size and weight without sacrificing structural integrity or durability, and the compact flush-floor design uses minimal floor space without any pits or special foundations. “The forming area available typically allows users to form a large majority of their parts,” notes Caleb Dixon, a Triform sales engineer. “This compact model is ideal for those new to the sheet hydroforming process and provides value to existing hydroform users, allowing them to offload many parts from their older hydroform tray machines. Both new and existing hydroform customers are amazed at the ease of operation and maintenance.”
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