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Architectural design is a field bursting with creativity. In a custom designed house nearly everything is a one-off. Counter tops, trim pieces, light fixtures, doors, railings, staircases, even house numbers—everything is designed to give the house a special look that reflects the style of the architect and the character of the homeowners.
Our capabilities here at Harvan are perfectly suited to undertake the meticulous manufacturing of each and every one of these components. We’re used to manufacturing to tight tolerances for military applications, so we’re well equipped to handle complex designs. Our waterjet cutter enables us to work with marble and granite, even enabling us to inlay the marble with metal. Along with our laser cutting equipment, we can form and shape sheet metal into any number of items, from back splashes to bed frames.
Architects have a penchant for coming up with some truly weird and wonderful ideas. We can help make those ideas reality, and offer advice on manufacturability while we’re at it.
The old mantra about not putting too many eggs in one basket is an important tenet in manufacturing. As some industries experience highs, others suffer lows. The key to being a successful manufacturer is working with multiple industries in order to avoid being hit too hard by the lows of one or two. In keeping with the idea of spreading our eggs throughout multiple baskets, there are a number of industries that we’re seeking to do more work with in 2013.
The enthusiasm for going green seems to grow by the day. As this enthusiasm swells, wind and solar companies are forging ahead with new technologies that increase the financial viability of these energy sources. These advances are creating a burgeoning industry from a historically small market sector.
Waste management is all about reducing baseline costs. By lowering the volume and grade of waste a company produces, that company can save on the cost of shipping that waste to landfills. Here too companies are hard at work creating new equipment to maximize the efficiency of waste management systems.
These are just two examples of markets we’re hoping to work more with in 2013. Their common theme is innovation. Here at Harvan we work well with innovative clients. Getting an idea down on paper and then turning that into a physical product can be a difficult process. We work with our customers to hone their ideas, correcting defects and enhancing quality until the product in their hand matches the idea in their head. If you’re trying to bring something to life, Harvan can help.
A little while back we attended the Performance Racing Industry Show. The show saw a smaller turnout than it had in previous years, but we still received quotes which we promptly got to work on. The needs of the performance racing industry are a great fit for what we do best: low volume, high precision custom parts.
As you can imagine, the high stresses and high loads put on every single component of a race car are incredibly demanding. The requirements of the performance racing industry are similar to those demanded by the military industry. We submitted a quote for torsion bars for high performance vehicles to one of the contacts we made at the show, and we were able to draw on our experience from similar military projects we had completed in the past.
Often times race teams require difficult parts that other shops simply won’t do. As a result many of these teams have invested in small pieces of manual machining equipment and started making their own parts. We can get tolerances tighter, and make parts nicer looking and more resilient.
Racing is about constant improvement. When our customers come to us with ideas they want to try out, our team is ready to get to work. We can tweak heat treating and material selection, and modify designs to make stronger, longer lasting parts.
From torsion bars and steering rack parts to electric vehicle components, we’re excited to bring our expertise to more performance racing projects.
Many of our customers in the valve industry have customers of their own in the nuclear industry. Our customers supply a range of valves including pressure release valves and control valves. As the title of our blog says, we often spline the actuator shafts for these valves.
Components operating in nuclear operations have to be built to withstand some harsh conditions. Drastic shifts in temperature, high pressures, high heats and corrosive chemicals all make for a tough environment. To combat these conditions we use a variety of Hastelloy® alloys that are well suited for the task.
These alloys contain high amounts of nickel, which makes them difficult to cut. To get the job done we use carbide tipped cutters. We also slow down the speeds and feeds of our machines in order to get a clean, smooth finish, and to keep tolerances tight.
One of the most import aspects of working on nuclear applications is keeping track of every last bit of material. Between ultrasonic and x-ray tests, materials are thoroughly examined to make sure they’re internally strong with no folds or flaws. If we buy the material, we make sure the Certified Material Test Report (CMTR) has all the information our customers require. After all of these steps have been taken, the last thing anyone wants is for material to be subbed out or lost track of. Here at Harvan we have meticulous ISO 9001:2008 certified documentation systems in place. Our computer system tracks where each piece of material is at any given time.
From material management straight on through product fabrication, we uphold the highest quality standards for customers who require nothing less. So if you need actuator shafts, or any other component for use in high stress nuclear applications, you can count on Harvan Engineering.
When tackling any project, quality manufacturing goes hand in hand with having the right processes in place. Our certifications are proof of our commitment to always deliver the highest level of service.
Controlled Goods Program (CGP) – This certification is equivalent to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and it allows us to supply products to the United States Military. It’s not a certification earned lightly. We have security plans in place to control military documentation and products. These plans include security screening of all employees and suppliers, as well as physical security at our building. Recently, the requirements were made even more stringent. To meet them we further developed our processes for vetting employees and suppliers. That’s part of what makes us unique: When a new requirement comes out, we set about meeting it right away.
ISO 9001:2008 – ISO certifications signify quality standards recognized the world over. To earn this certification we developed various procedures such as document control, process control, training requirements and equipment calibration protocols. We audit ourselves regularly to make sure we are constantly enacting these procedures. What that means for our customers is quality products, and meticulous documentation so that the forms you need and the answers you’re looking for are on hand at all times.
Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Division 3 – The Canadian Welding Bureau has its equivalent in the American Welding Society (AWS). Our CWB certification means that not only are our welding processes certified, but our welders are as well. Every two years each of our welders is recertified, making sure that we’re always at the top of our game. Top class welders are essential to our business, as welding comes into play during most of our projects. Most shops support their welding with machining. We’re primarily machinists utilizing high end equipment, with expert welders to back us up. Welding complicated machine assemblies and achieving low tolerances are challenges we meet head on.
Our certifications are proof of the quality service we provide, and of our commitment to always provide top-of-the-line manufacturing for our clients.
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.