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Archive for March, 2007

Houston-based Companies Using Springs are Becoming “Leaner”

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

“Lean Manufacturing” or “Lean Business Practices” our a common buzz word in the world of manufacturing these days. Recently, a Houston based valve manufacturer hosted a supplier conference, addressing some lean principles applied to their business and sharing these principles with their suppliers which among many, included spring manufacturers.

Lean methods is an efficient way to run a business, in most cases it boils down to running a business (a spring manufacturing business), with good old-fashioned common sense. A supplier conference is an excellent venue for spring and other manufacturing companies to get together and share ideas. Some of the ideas can be very simple as one vendor demonstrated how they applied using lean principles for buying toilet paper, which previously was bought in 6 month supply quantities. There were also manufacturing methods shared in which tools used on certain equipment were attached to the equipment, minimizing the set up time and time wasted going back and forth from the machine, to the operators tool box. In fact, this particular manufacturer did away with tool boxes entirely.

Every company is unique, so whatever lean methods are applied should be applied with caution to ensure that the change is right for one’s unique company needs.


Katy Spring Manufacturers and Compression and Extension Springs

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Many times customers try to purchase compression and extension springs “off the shelf”.
There is a perception that “off-the-shelf” springs allow for cost savings. To some extent this is true. And for this reason, Katy Spring offers a large selection of compression springs ( approximately 11,000 part numbers) as well as extension springs (approximately 7000 part numbers) for customers looking for something that is readily available. The springs can be found on the Katy Spring website;, by clicking on the large yellow star burst found on the home page. Searching the data base is simple and for people who like to web browse, this method of finding springs may be ideal.

In many cases, the time spent looking for just the right spring to serve an application simply doesn’t make sense. A customer may get so caught up in looking through several different catalogs that they end up spending more time looking for a part that already exists instead of providing the spring manufacturer with what they need from the start, loosing time and money.

Katy Spring and spring manufacturers can be very helpful in helping customers select a spring when a customer provides the spring manufacturer with as much information as they know about their unique application and let the spring manufacturer do the leg work. It’s also o.k. to ask the spring manufacturer to check the availability of a stock spring first, or provide any other information that will help save time and money.

So before embarking on a journey to save a few bucks on a compression, extension, or any other type of spring, ask a spring manufacturer for help – it’s what we do.


Katy Spring Houston Texas tech talk: Presetting Springs

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Compression Springs and Conical Springs are sometimes preset. Sometimes springs designed to be over-stressed and when deflected, do not return to their original free length. These types of springs are said to have reached a point of deflection beyond their elastic limit. Another term for this is “taking a set”.

Some compression springs are designed to take a set which reduces stress and the chance of breakage. Springs may also be preset to ensure loads are met after the initial deflection.

Highly stressed springs are typically designed to be used in an environment where the spring will travel a short distance. Compressing these types of springs to solid should be avoided as this may cause the spring to not be functional.

It’s more cost-effective for a customer to preset their own springs during assembly whenever possible to avoid additional labor costs incurred by a spring company presetting the springs.