The following case studies describe challenges presented by customers and the solutions provided by Norwalk Powdered Metals.
Case Study #1
A customer of NPM was buying a gearbox from Taiwan. The case and cover were die castings. There were three powdered metal gears inside and one outside. The customer was having strength problems with the gears breaking.
NPM engineers evaluated the materials that the gears were made from and recommended different materials where needed. Then, they redesigned the gearbox to be produced utilizing powdered metal technology. Finally, assembly of the completed gearbox was performed by NPM.
Case Study #2
A customer specified a heat treated part that needed plating afterwards. In order to plate a P/M part, the porosity in the part must be filled or sealed to prevent the plating solution from bleeding out after the parts are plated. A heat treated part, even after tempering, still has some residual oil left in the part. This causes problems when trying to seal the part before plating. Was there an alternative process?
NPM engineers recommended a material that would harden in the sintering furnace, thereby eliminating the need to remove the quench oil from the heat treating, and enabling the part to be sealed and then plated. This saved an operation and shortened the lead time. Consequently, it saved the customer time and money.
Case Study # 3
NPM was producing a lock part that required two machining operations. The process was extremely costly. The customer was looking for ways to eliminate waste and save money.
Norwalk Powder Metals developed a process whereby the piece was made in two parts. The two parts were assembled and sinter bonded together. This eliminated the need for any machining. As a result, both quality and lead times improved, and the customer realized significant cost savings.