Subharmonic vibration technology helps fabricator solve distortion problems
Peninsula Metal Fabrication, San
Jose, Calif., manufactures advanced
precision assemblies, with expertise
in welding frames, chassis, and sheet
The company recently received a
request to quote some new business
and discovered that the request for
proposal specified vibratory stress
relieving during the welding process.
Peninsula did not have a current
system to provide this type of stress
relief. On occasion the company sent
out parts to be heat-treated, but that
process was time-intensive and
expensive and did not occur during
the welding process.
In addition, the company was having problems with distortion control.
“We’re a large frame manufacturer
and the bulk of our work is stainless
steel,” explained Paul Eischens, weld
manager of Peninsula Metal
Fabrication. “We tend to get a lot of
distortion and squareness issues.”
To be eligible for the quoting process,
the company called Bonal
Technologies Inc. to test its Pulse
Puddle Arc Welding® (PPAW) unit.
The technology uses a subharmonic
vibration technology to provide
vibratory stress relief during the welding process.
It creates a pulsating weld puddle
while the liquid metal is deposited.
The process allows for an optimum
energy level to pulsate the weld puddle, which in turn creates a finer weld
grain structure and a homogeneous
mix with few columnar structures.
Fewer columnar structures helps
improve the weld metal’s mechanical
properties by making the metal more
ductile (up to 400 percent) while
increasing its impact strength up to
75 percent, resulting in better crack
“The quality of our welds is so
much better, it is like night and day,”
said Eischens. “We have less straight-
ening time after the weld because the
frame is stress-relieved while welding.
We have 15 to 20 percent faster welds
because of the better penetration.”
With the increased weld speed,
the company also reduced overtime
by 10 percent to 15 percent and
decreased production costs by 2 percent to 3 percent per frame.
In addition, the cost to outsource
heat treating has been eliminated.
The technology also allowed
Peninsula to cut down on chamfering
and grinding of the base metal and
still get the same amount of weld
Bonal Technologies Inc., 1300 N.
Campbell Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067,
248-582-0900, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.
Tube fabricator uses ultrasonics for parts cleaning
For many manufacturers parts cleaning traditionally calls for dedicated
labor and toxic solvents, which often
require special handling and disposal.
Eaton Aerospace of Jackson, Mich.,
was no different.
The company produces stainless
steel, carbon steel, and titanium tubing for conveying air, oil, water, and
coolant in aircraft and marine vehicles. Straight tubing arrives at the factory in diameters from 0.75 in. to 3 in.,
and then the tubing is fabricated into
complex shapes. Tube sections are cut
to length and bent with lubricated
mandrels, which are inserted into
tubes to prevent kinking. After the
tubes are bent, oils and tube bending
lubricants must be removed.
“People are fussy about how their
tubes look,” said Bud Greener, Eaton
Aerospace’s manufacturing engineer.
A clean, well-fabricated product is
needed to meet manufacturers ’ tough
For many years Greener and his
team cleaned tubing with mineral
spirits and Stoddard solvent, a petroleum mixture that requires special
storage, usage, and disposal. The company wanted a more cost-effective
and environmentally friendly parts-cleaning process.
“Prior to the ultrasonic systems,
we cleaned tubes manually. Now we
put them into the cleaning systems,
adjust the settings, and walk away to
do something else while the parts are
being cleaned,” Greener said.
At the WESTEC tradeshow, Greener
and his supervisor discovered ultrasound products. Impressed by what
they saw, they commissioned Omegasonics to retrofit two 300-gal. tanks
for ultrasonic cleaning of tubing.
Omegasonics also supplied generators
and other components, as well as
floor model machines.
Eaton Aerospace’s tanks use specialized, environmentally friendly
cleaning solutions, heat, water, and
ultrasonic sound waves for cleaning.
Not only has the tube fabricator
experienced labor savings with the
new cleaning approach, it also has
found that the system does a more
effective cleaning job because of the
liquid’s cavitation properties. It can
reach areas human hands and other
devices can’t reach.
Enter code FC338 at www.ffid.net
Omegasonics, 330 E. East St., Suite
#A, Simi Valley, CA 93065-7523,
The FABRICATOR | An FMA Publication
www.thefabricator.com | March 2007