In 2004 E.H. Schwab partnered with a former client to form the subsidiary HK Designs, LLC. The concept was to produce a line of decorative retail products with metal spinning as the common design element.
By 2005 a full line of spun aluminum and copper tumblers and vases originally designed by Russel Wright in the 1920s were licensed and re-issued.
These products were sold in museum gift shops around the world and to individual collectors alike. While the product line is no longer available we occasionally receive photos from satisfied customers. A few of our re-issues have even appeared on Ebay selling for more than the original retail price!
Currently HK is being re-branded with an eye towards a new website and expanded product line that will launch later in the year. Stay tuned for more information.
Today's robotics and automation companies are designing and building machines that are changing our world.
Over the last 10 years Pittsburgh has grown into a world leader in robotics and related technology. No less than 4 self-driving car companies are active within the city in including Uber and Google’s Waymo. In addition, the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute is a recognized world leader in robotic development for multiple disciplines including transportation, home aid, industrial, and many more. A number of smaller companies have also sprung up in Pittsburgh designing and building robots for specific tasks.
E.H. Schwab has worked with a number of these companies as they develop and build their products. Laser cutting and light fabrication including rolling, welding and finishing are the most common requirements although some designs have also incorporated metal spinning based on the design. To learn more about a program that supports the future of robotics development in Pittsburgh, check out the Pittsburgh Business Times article below.
Multi-piece spun wheel ready for use in scooter assembly
These parts are laser cut with all internal holes before being spun on one of our 6 CNC spinning lathes. Finish machining brings the parts into final specification before they are ultrasonically washed and packed for shipment. We're proud to work with Fido and the keep the wheels turning!
In a previous post we talked about how Metal Spinning is defined as the process by which a metal disc is formed over a pattern into an axially symmetric finished part. Lower volume or prototype parts such as the item shown in the photo are spun manually. For production quantities however, parts are usually spun on CNC spinning machines.
Metal Spinning is defined as the process by which a metal disc or tube is rotated and formed over a pattern into an axially symmetric finished part. Oftentimes metal spinning is loosely compared to forming pottery. . . but on a lathe.
When E.H. Schwab was established in 1929, all metal spinning was performed manually on wooden tools machined in-house. Spinning lathes were essentially modified machine lathes and forming tools were anchored underneath a workman's arm. The raw material would then be gently pushed back and forth until it took the shape of the wood pattern.
While the basic principals remain unchanged, the practice of metal spinning, and more generally metal forming, has evolved significantly; CAD files are downloaded from customer portals, raw material is cut using fiber laser technology and tooling is machined on CNC lathes programmed with MasterCAM. The spun parts themselves are formed on sophisticated programmable CNC/PNC spinning lathes manufactured in Europe using hydraulic pressure or powerful electric drives.
Whether it's manually spun prototypes for development or high volume production runs requiring CNC capabilities, metal spinning remains at the core of what we do. Do you have a requirement for metal spinning? Let's talk!