As providers of customized manufacturing solutions, we at Harvan Engineering are heavily involved in all aspects of our clients’ projects, and we are constantly working very closely with them from start to finish. In that aspect, we can be considered a one-stop-shop.
This means that sometimes we are asked to prototype parts, and sometimes we are prototyping without actually being aware of it. How so? A client might bring us a drawing and ask us to fix any problems and make it work, and we create a solution and are the first to actually make the part. In basic terms, this is prototyping, but for us, it’s just what we do to ensure our clients’ needs are fully met.
Oftentimes when we receive drawings, we see mistakes in the design—perhaps the tolerances don’t meet the overall dimension, or several design details mean something isn’t actually feasible. Perhaps with the tooling that is commonly available, something can’t be made as specified, or the material selection won’t work for how the part is made. Sometimes the standards don’t make sense; there can be different standards for the bar, sheet, and rod, and these details must be correct for drawing clarity.
Our job is to make the part manufacturable and to do so in a way that meets all of our customer’s needs and specifications. We draw upon over 25 years of experience and expertise in materials and manufacturing, so we can look at a drawing and help contribute to the design, giving solid solutions. We know that what is on paper has to be able to be manufactured, and that you can’t leave things open to interpretation. The TDP (total drawing package) needs to explain how a part is made.
Through our help in this process, we can save both time and money, ensuring no mistakes are made and that everything is easily achievable. Different departments within our company all have a role in reviewing the drawings and making sure everything makes sense, providing a complete, hands-on solution backed by true expertise.
We know that at the end of the day, time is precious and your product’s design must be flawless. Our experience and commitment ensures both your time and design’s integrity will be saved.
As we have already alluded to our capability to take an idea and make it a reality in a quick and efficient manner in a previous blog, it should come as no surprise that we are highly skilled at every level. In order to better understand just what we do at each production step, here is a complete breakdown of our manufacturing process:
Stage 1: Prototyping
At times as a first step, we get requests from client for prototyping work. With our in-house 3D printer, we take the design and print it out for the customer – according to their drawing and specifications. Then the customer can take the printed prototype and “interference fit” it into the assembly, to make sure it performs the job that they want it to do.
Harvan will sometimes find issues with the drawings that make it unmanufacturable or difficult to manufacture (adding to the cost), so Harvan engineers will make suggestions for modifications to the drawing/part in order for it to work from a manufacturing aspect.
Suggestions to remove details that add costs without changing the part’s function can be a part of the first step of prototyping.
Stage 2: Manufacturing Quote
The engineers then prepare a quote. They go out to source the material and then find good pricing for the material and incorporate that into their quote. Of course, the time to manufacture the part is factored into the final quote on the product.
Harvan will develop a “Bill of Operations” which is a detailed listing of what steps that it takes to make a part. Harvan uses Activity-Based Costing – each activity will have a particular cost associated with it based on the expense of the equipment used and the skill of the employee using that equipment.
Stage 3: Manufacturing the Part
Once the order is received, the quoted method of manufacturing is again looked over by Harvan’s engineering staff to ensure that all the materials being used are the proper ones based on the TDP. In addition, the manufacturing process is also reviewed to again make certain it is correct before going to production. This is a second line of quality control put in place in order to make sure all the specs are adhered to before the work order goes forward into production.
After engineering has a look, the engineers will qualify any welding to the standards recommended by either the Canadian Welding Board (CWB) or the American Welding Society (AWS).
Stage 4: Quality Control Checks
First off Inspection – we run off one piece, and the machine operator will have someone other than the operator review to make certain it is correct. Afterward they do a 10% Inspection – so that every 10th part is inspected to make certain that the tolerance remains in place or if the machines need to be readjusted to meet the drawing. Finally, before the part is shipped to the customer, there is a Final Inspection to make certain the part meets the client’s full requirements.
Whatever your application or part may be, we want you to be assured that our engineering staff will piece together the perfect parts from beginning to end. We leave no step behind!
In today’s hectic business and manufacturing world, there just isn’t any time to waste. Being the best is not good enough anymore; now you also have to be the fastest and most cost-effective. At Harvan Engineering, we know a thing or two about being the best, being timely, and getting the job done for the right price. However, it is important to understand that the process that one must go through to bring a product from idea to creation to delivery can be tricky.
To start with, there is getting all the right forms filled out, quotes delivered, and materials picked out. With the expertise of our team, we know what can go wrong, like hard to reach subcontractors, and take care of all of these obstacles for our clients. It is important to know that Harvan handles massive projects from the world’s biggest military contractors, so putting together even the most complex quote is part of our daily routine.
Once we get you all settled in, the prototype stage comes next. Our Spectrum Z510 3D printer is perfect for creating quick and accurate prototypes. We know the prototype stage is a great opportunity to work closely with our customers to make sure all of their needs and demands are met. It gives you the chance to put your prototype through its paces. Many of our larger government customers have to go through tens, if not hundreds, of different tests on top of an often-exhausting approval process. Harvan is there to make sure nothing enters the manufacturing stage unless it is perfect. This attention to detail saves our client’s both time and money wasted on mid-production changes.
After everything is in place, Harvan has finishing (including in-house lapping, burnishing and grinding) and assembly capabilities for the final touches. Our production facilities can handle everything from 1 to 10,000 products a year and when combined with our highly skilled work force, you know the job will be done right, on-time, and on-budget.
No matter what industry you excel in, be it defense, agriculture, or industrial valves and controls, if you need to take a product quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively from idea to completion, you know you can count on our team.
3D printing is a fascinating technology. It works in much the same way as the inkjet printer at your home or office: it moves back and forth, each pass building on what came before to make real an idea you had in your head. Except instead of laying down ink to form 2D words, a 3D printer layers plastic resin to construct an object you can hold in your hand.
The benefits of 3D printing are numerous. If you have an idea for a part, and you already have the mating part that goes with it, you can draw your idea in CAD, print it out and see how it mates. You can check for thin walls, or the interference of internal holes. These things are hard to see on a flat piece of paper. But once your idea is tangible, you can really evaluate the pros and cons and hone your design to perfection.
3D printing can handle incredibly complex parts. We’ve included a picture of a toy in the shape of a dodecahedron with interconnected shafts and gears. If you turn one part the others move with it. There’s no way to build it that doesn’t involve a welded joint somewhere—except for 3D printing. And 3D printed complex designs are special for another reason: they take exactly the same time to manufacture as simple designs of the same size. No matter how intricate, the process is still the same and it moves at the same speed.
But the speed of 3D printing is still somewhat slow. Coupled with the fact that it’s only possible to work with plastic resins right now, 3D printing is typically limited to the manufacturing of prototypes. But it’s a technology that’s evolving every day. Researchers are working right now to improve the speed, and to make printers that work with metal powders. If they succeed, it will be possible to print a finished metal part. As it stands now, steel has to be made in a mill, poured, rolled into a bar or sheet and formed or subjected to a subtractive process like cutting or grinding to get it into the desired shape. Because 3D printing is an additive process it will result in less scrap. And one 3D printer could potentially take the place of several machines, saving floor space in factories.
If researchers are successful at making 3D printing a viable option for finished production, it will revolutionize manufacturing as we know it. Until then, we’re having fun printing prototypes for our customers, and seeing the many inventive creations that people come up with. We even got wind of a 3D printer that can print itself.