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change. Soft tooling is utilised for most prototype orders. Soft tooling refers to simple form tools and standard items likely to be found in a tool maker’s tool box drawer. Mounted in small die sets, the soft tooling can be used to produce prototypes in smaller numbers, before making the more sizeable investment in production tooling. This is frequently the best method for getting to the production phase. In some instances, a customer may commission low volume production tooling to help develop the prototype. If a significant number of parts is needed to bridge the lead time of full production tooling, bridge tooling may be used to produce parts for a short run. Bridge tooling refers to using low cost but accurate tooling to make low volume production. One example is a large medical device


company, for whom CSS produces a stamped flat spring located underneath the water tank of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system used to treat sleep apnea. Working with the company, CSS developed an initial prototype, and worked through several design iterations before settling on a good design that could meet the requirements. A short run of 2500 proved the design, and more than 750,000 of the machines have since been manufactured. www.ctspring.com


Pete Marut and Dale Pereira are with CSS


High accuracy springs for high temperatures


proven Heli-Cal technology to provide predictable, guaranteed elastic properties for temperatures up to 750°C. The springs made from Inconel X718 and X750 can be created with integral end attachments to meet the requirements of the application and are integrated to create a one piece flexure product that saves weight and space. Spring rates meet the design


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requirements and are linear. Double start designs offer parallel faces during compression so eliminating bending moments. Abssac says the springs are ideal for down hole wire line probes and oil exploration products. www.abssac.co.uk


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bssac now offers bespoke machined springs for high temperature applications. These springs utilise the


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