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Stamping

Stepping up

By Lynn Stanley

Above: Nidec Minster’s servo press technology allows HSI to run a variety of metals while boosting throughput and minimizing die wear.

Servo presses with large bed sizes raise throughput, reduce die wear and deliver tight tolerances

July 2021 - Henderson Stamping & Production Inc. has been making decorative and non-decorative parts and assemblies for carmakers and appliance brands for 40 years. On any given day, 20 production lines hum with presses (110 tons to 1,375 tons) stamping everything from small automotive brake components to deep drawn cook tops out of stainless, carbon, high-strength and aluminum steels. Three plants total 165,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space. Plant 1 also houses a tool room and a five-stage powder coating system. Plant 3 is used for warehousing and value-added assembly processes.

The family-owned business is based in Henderson, Tennessee, where it maintains an International Standard for Automotive Quality Management Systems (IAFT 16949) certification and practices Six Sigma and lean manufacturing techniques. Medium- and high-volume stampings have continued to boost growth, but the intrinsic value of the relationships the company has built keeps it grounded.

When Jimmy and Betty Porter incorporated HSI in 1981, they purchased a 4,000-sq.-ft.building and a couple of small presses to run an assembly operation. “My dad was a tool and die maker by trade,” says Clay Porter. “It was his dream to build a stamping business based on his expertise. But he also understood the value of good, solid customers. We attribute our growth and longevity to that. We try to form partnerships. If we can show our customers how to save money, we will. We are firm believers in collaboration.”

FFJ 0721 stamping image1

The Arisa (above) and FX2 feature large bed sizes and give HSI capacity to grow and diversify.

FFJ 0721 stamping image2

Changing direction

Growth and the need to diversify put HSI in the market for a new press. “When we visited Nidec Minster Corp., I went there thinking we were getting a mechanical press,” says Porter, president of HSI. “A servo press was not in our budget. But they invited us to watch a demonstration on their servo. I haven’t thought about a mechanical press since then.”

Porter purchased a Nidec Minster FX2 600-ton servo press with a 60-in.-by-168-in. bed size. “We actually ordered the FX2 in 2018 and then started building Plant 2,” Porter says. “Nidec Minster was gracious enough to store the equipment for us until we were ready.”

The servo press was installed in HSI’s new plant in 2020. The company is currently using the FX2 to produce parts for automotive seating and exhaust as well as some appliance components from HSLA, stainless and galvanized steel. “We have seen a significant increase in throughput and die wear has been reduced,” says Porter. “It’s a whole different ballgame.”

“The FX2 was engineered for higher acceleration and deceleration rates,” says Joel Wuebker, North American sales manager for Nidec Minster. “The machine’s low inertia drive creates a faster response through each press stroke. That allows the FX2 to deliver higher throughput.”

A Production Management Control (PMC) allows the operator to program multiple profiles for improved output, part quality and tool life. Superior parallelism, BDC accuracy and minimal backlash allow the stamper to produce parts with tight tolerances.

In 2019, HSI ordered an Arisa 1,250-ton servo press with a 72-in.-by-240-in. bed size and a Wayne Trail transfer system. Nidec Minster acquired Spanish press manufacturer Arisa, S.A., as part of the Nidec Press & Automation Group in 2015. The addition helped Nidec Press & Automation expand its reach and servo technology capabilities with Arisa having developed its first servo press in 2008. The acquisition allows Nidec Press & Automation Group to provide straightside servo presses ranging from 63 to 4,500 metric tons.

Tool tryouts

“Bed size was a primary determining factor in our purchase of the two servo presses,” Porter says. “Large bed sizes aren’t that easy to find, and Nidec Minster was willing to work with us.”

HSI is using the Arisa servo press, also installed in 2020, to run cook stove components with a Class A surface requirement. CHS, a Nidec Press & Automation Group company, provided the feed lines for both presses as part of a single-source integrated solution.

The ability to test and try out tooling is another key feature both presses support.

HSI’s skilled toolmakers evaluate each project and provide input on manufacturing, material selection and tooling design. Coordinate measuring machine technology, multiple CNC machining centers and EDM wire machines support die precision and accuracy.

Approximately 30 percent of HSI’s work portfolio is automotive. Appliance, heavy truck and HVAC make up the balance. For Porter, who grew up running a press, stamping and toolmaking, value-added assembly work is in his blood. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” he says. FFJ

Sources

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