Category Archive: Uncategorized

AIC on the Front Lines: America’s Builders

American Industrial Company (AIC) takes pride in being an American manufacturer with an intense focus on creating American manufacturing jobs and quality products. From our Midwestern facility in Illinois, our dedicated staff assists a wide range of customers across myriad industries with the design and fabrica

tion of metal stamped parts that meet the most stringent standards in the industry.

Whether we are inside our own manufacturing facility or working with customers across the United States, providing safe conditions for our workers and top quality products for our customers are our two highest priorities. Our ISO 9001:2015 certification speaks to our commitment to quality management and represents our pledge to our employees and customers.

Metal Stamping

The metal stamped parts we fabricate for the construction industry must be durable, able to withstand hard uses, and resist exposure to all manner of elements—from brutal weather fronts to sub-zero temperatures. Metal stamped parts must also hold up to repetitive and aggressive employ, resist wear and tear, and tolerate the impacts and lifting associated with building operations as they are implemented to support current or future populated structures.

At AIC, we have been contributing to American manufacturing, across diverse industries, for almost four decades—everything from dental offices to homes, from skyscrapers to tools.

Our metal stamping serves the needs of applications large and small, such as:

Carbon Steel Metal Stamping: Progressive Die-Stamped Wear Plate

Carbon steel is idyllic for pipelines, structural beams, axles, and gears. It is ductile and easily molded into myriad shapes that can serve a variety of purposes. At AIC, we are often called upon to produce carbon steel to an exact specifications, such as:

  • Strength
  • Hardness
  • Toughness
  • Tight tolerances
  • High levels of complexity

We were approached by a prominent manufacturer for the construction industry about designing a wear plate that adhered to a very specific set of durability requirements and difficult geometric tolerances. We developed a progressive die stamping method which enabled us to meet all of the complex bends, angles, and strength requirements of the application. Within two weeks, we designed the wear plate, fabricated 150,000 units from cold rolled tempered steel, treated the wear plates with nitrocarburizing treatment to guard against corrosion, and delivered to the customer.

Spring Steel Stamping: Shear Block

At AIC, we fabricate custom-made precision dies that play a major role in American manufacturing. These dies enable the fabrication of custom precision parts that meet a range of extremely tight tolerances requested by clients.

For example, a client approached us for a custom shear block that required coining and extruding, which means die tapping and eliminating the entire post framing process. Requirements for the finished part were 3.45- by 2.554- by 0.093-inches in thickness. Through the use of high-quality materials and advanced heat treating processes, we were able to design and fabricate a part that required no secondary finishing. This enabled us to manufacture and deliver on the order in advance of the client’s deadline.

AIC Supports the American Building Industry

American Industrial Company brings nearly four decades of key contributions to American manufacturing to the table. We are humbled to see our innovations at work every day at U.S. construction sites. American manufacturers offer advanced technologies at a great cost while providing safe environments for American workers. American-based manufacturing boosts our domestic economy, and it is through American ingenuity that productivity and innovation thrive.  

To learn more about what our team of American manufacturing experts can do for you, please contact us or download our eBook, Made in America: AIC’s In-House Capabilities.

 

 

 

 

Services of an Optimal Metal Stamping Vendor

Choosing a Metal Stamping Vendor

The U.S. manufacturing industry produces almost 20% of the world’s goods and continues to look for innovative technology and techniques. These constant updates means there are many options when choosing products, services, and associated vendors. With this variety of choices, it may seem difficult to differentiate between each company. If you’re searching for a metal stamping vendor, there are four distinct factors to consider.

Question Their Services and Capabilities

As you begin the search for a metal stamping vendor, learn what specific services and capabilities the manufacturer provides. Stamping can be one of many available processes, including coining, progressive stamping, piercing, and shallow draw stamping, so it’s important to understand precisely what services are offered. Additionally, many companies have ancillary services that can reduce delivery time and costs.

When you are talking to metal stamping companies, consider the following questions:

  • Do they have the necessary capabilities to meet the requirements of your project?
  • What specific services are offered and how might they benefit your company?
  • What are their material capabilities?
  • Is the company using the most current AutoCAD and Edgecam software?
  • What are their testing procedures for material hardness, as well as destructive and non-destructive testing?

Supplier Capacity

You should also think about the overall capacity of the metal stamping vendor. Some suppliers only serve large volume customers, so if you’re a hobbyist or inventor looking for limited production, it may be harder to find a vendor that can meet your needs in an efficient and timely manner.

When investigating supplier capacity, ask the vendors:

  • At what capacity do you primarily perform?
  • Is my project a good fit for your capacity?

Look for High-Quality Practices

When selecting a vendor, make sure they are committed to the quality of their output. Suppliers who are focused on this will have specific programs in place, such as capacity studies, statistical process control, and quality assurance systems.

To better understand what steps a vendor is taking to ensure quality, ask:

  • Do you know the industry standards required for manufacturing my part?
  • How often do you perform tooling maintenance?
  • What quality assurance measures do you have in place to prevent mistakes or defects?
  • How do you test the parts you produce and how do you document your testing?

Delivery Track Record

Once you have found a vendor that meets your quality and capacity expectations, ask about their delivery record. A reputable company will have documentation to show they meet the timeline requirements of their customers.

Questions to ask:

  • Do you have documentation that shows you can deliver on time?
  • What will you do to ensure on-time delivery if there are disruptions to your supply chain?

 

A Metal Stamping Vendor for Your Project

American Industrial Company has been serving customers for over 33 years. Our goal isn’t just to meet your metal stamping needs; it’s to exceed your expectations.

To learn more about picking a metal stamping vendor for your project, download our eBook, What to Look for in a Metal Stamping Vendor.

 

 

 

Key Benefits of Working with a U.S. Manufacturer

The old saying “you get what you pay for” still holds true today––particularly when it comes to manufacturing. For those looking to get the best value for their money in a manufactured product, you should look no further than your own backyard. While the allure of cheaper products may be drawing many companies to look abroad for manufacturing partners, there is tremendous advantage in using a domestic-based manufacturer instead––especially when it comes to quality.

There’s a reason American manufacturing has been known for its high quality for more than a century. In the United States, there are many standards and regulations in place to ensure that manufacturers are selling their customers the highest-quality products. American manufacturers are also known for using advanced technologies in high-grade facilities to produce consistent products supported by exceptional customer service.

When working with a manufacturer in the United States, you can rest assured knowing that the workers making your product are working in a safe environment with the proper amount of labor protection. Unlike many other nations, the United States enforces strict labor laws and safety requirements to protect workers operating in potentially hazardous work environments. The United States also has more intellectual property laws in place than many other nations, helping to safeguard your ideas and trade secrets against competing companies.

One of the greatest benefits, however, is the proximity that you’ll have to the manufacturing process. Because your product won’t need to be shipped halfway around the world, you can be sure that it will get to you much sooner­––and at much less cost. With less travel time required, there is also less chance that your product could be damaged during transit or become lost or displaced.

Should an issue arise, the closeness of a U.S. manufacturer means they’ll be able to inform you of the problem much sooner and rectify it before it causes significant delays. If the manufacturer is close enough, you may even be able to visit their facility to see their operations for yourself and weigh in on the finished product before it ships.

Maybe most importantly, working with American manufacturers helps support local companies and provide jobs––providing an overall boost to our domestic economy.

About AIC

At American Industrial Company (AIC), we pride ourselves on being an entirely American-based manufacturer. Our facility is located in the heart of the Midwest in Gurnee, Illinois. It is here that our talented team designs and manufactures all of our parts, ensuring that each product meets the highest of industry standards. Within our facility, we demonstrate an ongoing commitment to providing a safe and comfortable work environment for our team with our current ISO 9001:2015 certification.

We are experienced in providing a number of manufacturing services for our customers with a commitment to satisfaction and quality. We work closely with our clients throughout the entire manufacturing process––from initial design to final product––to ensure that everything we produce not only meets customers’ desired requirements, but exceeds them. Our in-house capabilities include metal stamping, laser cutting, prototyping, design and engineering, tooling services, and other value-added services.

If you’re looking for an American-based manufacturer who offers a large selection of customization options, a full range of in-house capabilities, and a demonstrated commitment to quality and reliability, consider working with AIC.

To learn more about what our team of American manufacturing experts can do for you, download our eBook today!

Common Applications for Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, and Non-ferrous Metals

Metals, collectively, provide a versatile and adaptable range of construction materials for countless applications. They are widely available in different compositions with various physical and chemical attributes. However, what makes metals unique is the ability to customize their properties by combining them with other metals to create alloys. Specific properties can be intentionally modified to make them fit for environments that would otherwise be unsuitable.

Each metal or alloy comes with its own unique set of benefits and limitations that lend themselves to different ideal uses. Selection of the most appropriate metal is, therefore, of utmost importance to achieve the best results for a particular metal stamping project.

In this article, we will look at typical metals used in the metal stamping industry, their most common applications, and their primary weaknesses.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is the most common type of steel used today. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) defines carbon steel as steel with a carbon content of up to 2.1% by weight. It may also contain traces of other elements such as chromium, cobalt, nickel, and titanium, among others.

One of the most desirable properties of low-to-medium carbon steel (0.05% to 0.6%) is its malleability and ductility. It can be easily bent, cut, twisted, and welded to create a wide range of shapes. This makes it ideal for auto parts, pipelines, structural beams, axels, and gears. High carbon steel (0.61% to 1.5%) is considerably stronger, and is commonly used for metal and woodcutting tools such as axes, drills, saws, and knives.

Low carbon steel, however, possesses a relatively low tensile strength, making it unsuitable for applications where the material will be subjected to high levels of stress. On the other hand, while the yield strength of high carbon steel is significantly higher, it is difficult to weld and susceptible to brittle failure.

Stainless SteelCommon Applications for Carbon, Stainless, and Non-ferrous Metals

Stainless steel is a carbon steel alloy with at least 10.5% of chromium by mass. Stainless steels are renowned for their superior corrosion resistance, which increases with increasing chromium content. This steel alloy is usually combined with other elements such as molybdenum, and nickel to further enhance corrosion resistance.

Due to its excellent balance of strength and corrosion resistance, stainless steel is used in numerous sectors, including the food and beverage, medical, automotive, and aerospace industries. It can be rolled into sheets, bars, and wires to be used in cookware, cutlery, surgical equipment, kitchen appliances, and sanitary piping fixtures.

One of the main disadvantages of stainless steel is its considerably higher cost when compared to carbon steel. This extra cost is usually due to the addition of alloying elements.

Non-ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals are a subdivision of metal elements and alloys that do not contain iron. Examples of non-ferrous metals include titanium, aluminum, tin, lead, zinc, chromium, copper, and brass. Unlike ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals do not rust when exposed to atmospheric conditions.

Non-ferrous metals possess several desirable properties such as a light weight, electrical conductivity, non-magnetic properties, and corrosion resistance. Depending on the actual metal used, these metals can be used in a wide range of applications, including electrical circuits and wiring, aerospace components, jewelry, and automobile parts.

Although the price of non-ferrous metals varies according to the specific metal, they are generally more costly than ferrous metals. Also, even though their light weight can be advantageous in some situations, they are typically excluded from use in applications where strength or heft is required.

Learn MoreCommon Applications for Carbon, Stainless, and Non-ferrous Metals

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of various types of metals can help in predicting the overall quality and effectiveness of the material in a given environment, which can ultimately save time and money in your metal stamping application.

To learn more about how we can assist you in selecting the optimum material for your unique application, download our eBook, Key Strengths & Applications of Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, and Non-ferrous Metals or contact us today.

A Closer Look: How Metal Stampings Work

Metal stamping is used across a huge range of industries. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) typically utilize metal stamping to produce parts in situations in which casting would be too expensive. Metal stamping is much more cost-efficient, as sheet metal is easily recyclable.

OEMs, especially those in the automotive, appliance, and aerospace industries, often drive the need for metal tooling. Some OEMs produce their own stamped metal parts onsite, while others outsource to Tier 1 suppliers. These suppliers build the dies for stamping down the line.

Metal Stamping Components and Processes

A metal stamping operation involves a metal being cut and formed into a desired shape or profile. Three basic items are essential: the metal from which the part is to be made (typically steel, though all kinds of metals can be used, including golds and advanced super alloys), the stamping press, and the stamping die. During metal stamping, a flat metal sheet, also known as a blank, is pressed between a die and a punch to achieve the desired shape.

These parts comprise the press:

  • Blank — The portion of the metal that is punched through the die
  • Die — Defines the outside shape of the part
  • Punch — Defines the inside shape of the part
  • Ram — Component that presses down on metal with upper die pattern
  • Bolster plate — Stationary lower part of the die
  • Blank holder — Holds the blank for control during stamping

As blanks are punched out of the sheet metal, they come through the die, which is built with a slight angle so blanks don’t get stuck inside. Punch presses are powerful machines. It takes about 71 tons of pressure to cut a 10” circle out of 0.125” sheet metal. Modern presses range from 10 tons to 50,000 tons of force.

There are a number of workers involved in the metal stamping process. A machinist cuts die components to correct dimensions. A diemaker tests dies for consistency and assembles stamping tools. A maintenance technician repairs and maintains stamping dies, correcting any problems.

Some parts require further work after stamping. During deep drawing, for instance, a flat blank is slowly drawn over a forming die to achieve the desired shape. Excess material is cut from the deep drawn metal. The metal might then need to be flanged.

Metal Stamping Services From American Industrial

American Industrial’s metal stamping services include progressive die stamping, coining or shallow draw stamping, blanking, piercing, laser cutting, bending, and forming.

Our manufacturing operations are designed for forming of a wide range of materials. Some of the most common materials we work with include stainless, cold/hot rolled and galvanized steels, aluminum, brass, copper, and high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel.

Metal stamping is used to create a huge range of products, including many everyday items. Common household products, such as washers and dryers, are made using a sheet metal stamping process. The flatware we use for eating, the pots and pans we cook with, and the soda cans we drink from are also manufactured partially with metal stamping.

Learn More

Ready to learn more about the uses of benefits of metal stamping? Read more about American Industrial’s metal stamping capabilities, or contact us today to discuss your specific needs with an expert.

3 Steps to Sourcing Materials for Manufacturing

Sourcing materials is essential to ensuring a project runs smoothly and cost-effectively. Vendor qualification serves as an important step to ensuring a successful sourcing process. Each project requires a different set of standards and can determine a vendor’s ability to match your needs. For example, your thermoforming vendor will be quite different from your precision metal stamping vendor.

material sourcingBy qualifying vendors, a company gains product and service consistency to its desired requirements. Going forward, they also have a tried-and-true choice to source materials from.

1. Set a process

Initiating and maintaining a process for vendor sourcing allows for consistency and proper analysis of vendor selection each time. First determine material specifications. Know what your goals are and be able to interpret these to the potential vendor. This will allow you to properly evaluate the validity of a sourcing partnership.

Next, establish fee restrictions, as well as any service requirements. Once you evaluate risk, set up and send out questionnaires to potential vendors. Within these steps, material failure evaluation is crucial. Understanding the risk associated with a vendor and their supplied materials helps prevent catastrophic failures in manufacturing.

2. Customize a questionnaire

Beyond the general and informative questions, include questions that are specific to the type of vendor you are looking for. A customized questionnaire will help to ask questions specific to the manufacturing process that could impact your project’s timeline.

While it’s great to get specific with your questions, avoid invasive questions. Asking about a manufacturer’s backend finances may deter the vendor from completing the qualification questionnaire. Treat the questionnaire as an introduction to what vendors can expect from working with your sourcing company.

3. Track and EvaluateMetal Stamper Must-Haves

If you have a set process and questionnaire in place, it only makes sense to have a set evaluation process, as well.

Recording capabilities, certifications, quality assurance, equipment, referrals and more lets you put the data side-by-side. Each candidate will have to stack up to your standards at the very least, with one prevailing above the rest as the vendor for your project.

As metal stamping experts, our staff at American Industrial Company created a helpful guide for choosing a metal stamper. Access our Metal Stamper Must-Haves Guide for useful information on sourcing companies and vendor selection. For more on selecting the right vendor, especially for metal stamping, get in touch with our team today.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Work Together: A Message from Dave Dunn to Injection Molders

One of our most important goals is to grow our business — I’m sure that’s one of your goals, too. Every business wants to grow, but what’s the best way to make it happen? In the case of metal stampers and injection molders, the answer is very simple: Let’s work together. If we pool our resources, we can get more done by better serving our customers as we expand our businesses.

Meeting the Challenge

Many of today’s most highly sought-after components contain metal, plastic, and rubber elements. At American Industrial Company, we want to forge partnerships with injection molding companies to give our clients complete turnkey solutions for their toughest projects. Working together not only helps our mutual businesses to grow, but it also provides our customers with convenient solutions that are completed in one go.

Latch AssemblyWe’ve already tried this solution, and we know it works. Take our recent latch assembly project, for example. We put all of our capabilities to the test to fulfill our customer’s specifications — but the work didn’t stop there. A partner in the injection molding field then manufactured the rubber component to fully complete the client’s part.

We all know the frustration that comes from turning down jobs because they require capabilities we can’t provide. For example, as a metal stamping company, we can’t help clients who need injection molding and metal stamping for the same part without engaging in a partnership. It’s the same for rubber and plastic companies without in-house metal stamping — a customer may need a part that is both injection-molded and stamped. Without metal stamping skills or a partnership, the potential business opportunity has to be turned down.

Working togetherJoining forces through partnerships doesn’t just benefit our customers and our businesses; it also helps American manufacturing to grow. As our company expands, we are proud to bring more manufacturing jobs to Chicago and beyond. Bringing our resources together will help us to do this — and will help to improve our local economy, job by job.

Help Us Do More, Together

Do you want to expand your business capabilities and reach new clientele at the same time? You can help by uniting your talents with ours.

American Industrial is looking for an injection molder in the Midwestern region to join our Injection Molders Partnership Program. Let’s work together to help more clients. Contact us today for more information or to apply.

Join American Industrial's Injection Molders Partnership Program

Motorcycle Innovations: Introducing the Amphibious Motorcycle

Since its advent, the motorcycle industry and its engineers have never ceased to continue developing and evolving. As time has progressed, so have the capabilities and features of the technology used to help the industry evolve. With the recent development of the amphibious motorcycle, it’s evident that a new and exciting level of automotive innovation has been achieved.
amphibious motorcycle
The amphibious motorcycle is a new vehicular concept with the ability to operate on both water and land, transitioning between terrains in a quick and simple manner. When operating in water, the amphibious motorcycle – which resembles both a jet ski and a small motorcycle – raises its wheels and is guided by jets on each side of the wheel.

Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc., the manufacturer of the Biski, Triski, and Terraquad amphibious motorcycles, employs a 55-horsepower twin cylinder engine in their vehicles. The unique motorcycles can offer speeds of up to 80 miles per hour (mph) on land and 37-45 mph on water. Switching modes between terrains typically takes a mere matter of seconds.

At this rate, the future of the automotive industry appears seemingly limitless. The development of the Biski, Triski, and Terraquad amphibious motorcycles illustrates unparalleled advancements within the automotive market, accompanied by the promise of continued innovation to develop even more distinct vehicle designs and capabilities.

At American Industrial, we have years of experience working with the automotive and vehicular industries. As the premier resource of precision metal stamping and die cutting services, we are dedicated to providing manufacturers of vehicular equipment with the highest quality services and parts available.Motorcycle on the road

Our chromate-plated custom brackets serve a wide range of purposes within the automotive industry. Metal stamping is employed in the production of rear-view mirror plates, foot pegs, steering wheel components, track brackets, and more. They are also used to secure floor mats within an automotive application and are essential during prototyping processes.

Our team recognizes how important it is to select the proper metal stamper for your project. Our team of seasoned experts will work closely with clients to create a list of factors for consideration when choosing a suitable metal stamper. Our catalogs and eBooks also provide in-depth information about our high quality stampers.

Contact us today to discuss your automotive and/or motorcycle industry needs. Learn more about how our team of experts can assist your next project, by reviewing our Guide to Working with American Industrial.