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!
Sometimes a spun part is just that - a spun piece of metal. After laser cutting the blank, the material is formed, machined to size, washed and shipped. Other times, however, customers request assemblies. In these cases rolled and spun parts are often being welded together. For these items we rely on our expert team of welders.
E.H. Schwab is fully equipped to weld a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. This week we'll feature some of the typical aluminum welding projects that move through the shop on a regular basis.
The pictures below show aluminum cylinders which are laser cut, CNC roll-formed and seam welded on one of our two programmable Jetline automatic seam welders.
Automatic seam weld 0.090" thick 1100 series AL
Automatic seam weld 0.125" thick 3003 series AL
And, when the assembly requires multiple spun parts, our welders first match them for fit and then prep for cleanliness before welding them by hand. A well prepared surface ensures a clean weld with no open pores. This is particularly critical when the weld will be ground off during finishing.
2-piece 3003 series aluminum assembly before and after finishing
As shown above, the final product appears seamless and is as strong as if it were formed in one piece.
Tune in next week for special holiday wish from all of us at E.H. Schwab!
E.H. Schwab appreciates all our customers but sometimes it's the smaller, local businesses that bring the most interesting projects. Check out some of these Pittsburgh-based companies we've collaborated with in 2017!
In 1929 brothers Earl and Ralph Schwab founded E.H. Schwab Metal Spinning inside their garage. Despite the Great Recession their business grew and within a few short years they had moved to a small but dedicated manufacturing space in Pittsburgh's East End.
Today E.H. Schwab maintains a modern 35,000 square foot manufacturing facility equipped with the latest metal forming technology and equipment. Primary offerings include CNC and manual metal spinning, Hydraulic draw forming, CNC milling and machining, CNC roll forming, and extensive manual and automatic welding and fabrication capabilities. We work with a variety of metals although Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum and Copper are the most common. We also form Monel, Inconel and even Sterling Silver.
With 88 years of experience, E.H. Schwab is proud to stand as one of the oldest metal spinning companies in the country. We look forward to sharing stories from our past as well as exciting current projects that we are working on today as well as future endeavors. Be sure to check back for regular updates! If you'd like to contact E.H. Schwab, we would love to hear from you!
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