Operating at pressures up to 11,600 psi (800 bar), the two Quintus Technologies Flexform presses installed at F&B Manufacturing can form parts page4image60259712 in a variety of tough materials and thicknesses to tight tolerances with minimal thinning. (Photo: Quintus Technologies)
With the installation of two hydroform deep draw presses from Quintus Technologies, F&B Manufacturing has elevated both the capacity and capabilities of its Phoenix, Az., facility. The presses' flexible forming technology allows F&B design and development engineers to offer more options to serve customer production streams, while also addressing new applications and markets.
"Producing complex shapes and assemblies has set F&B Manufacturing apart since our founding in 1923," says Brian Morris, the company's General Manager. "Hydroforming is at the core of our success. Our two new Quintus presses replace decades-old hydroform presses that did not fit with our expansion plans. With this investment, we are elevating our capabilities and partnering with a well-established OEM. We're now in position to get the most for our investment for decades to come."
Both presses are the Quintus model QFM 1.1-800 Deep Draw Press, featuring a modular dual-tray shuttle system that allows F&B to draw up to 10 inches (254 mm) deep and accept blank sizes up to 43.1 inches (1095 mm) diameter, a 25 percent increase over previous capacity. Using high isostatic pressure up to 11,600 psi, parts can be formed in a variety of tough materials and thicknesses to tight tolerances with minimal thinning. Both presses offer the versatility to form with a programmable, movable punch, with the added capability to form with single-half cavity, block, and expansion tooling.
"Not only can we support larger parts, we have the flexibility of three forming operations in a single press, consistent with our goal of being a fully integrated supplier and a one-stop source for our customers," says F&B Sales Manager Misty Reynolds.
Long-term OEM partnership key to press selection
Before selecting the Quintus Flexform presses, F&B spent months conducting multiple reference visits and extreme vetting of several press manufacturers. "Machine build and proven performance were of course key in our evaluations, but supplier longevity and resources were equally important," says Mr. Morris. "At every step, Quintus proved to be the best choice. They were the most prepared to offer a long-term partnership."
To cement this partnership, F&B supplemented its order with a long-term Quintus Care Program, a rigorous agreement that ensures flawless production, press operation, and equipment maintenance. The program provides for application support, high availability of spare and wear parts, and guaranteed and prioritized technical support. It also includes annual press inspections, training, and recertification of F&B personnel to maintain and elevate their skills.
"We may be experts in deep draw hydroforming, but we shouldn't need to be experts in presses too," Mr. Morris notes. "With the Quintus Care program, we shorten the learning curve, have predictable operating and maintenance costs, and an arrangement that supports ongoing collaboration."
To further strengthen collaboration, F&B and Quintus also negotiated a promotional agreement where F&B is a preferred supplier for the cooperative advancement of hydroforming applications. "F&B's Phoenix facility is an excellent demonstration site for continuing R&D with Flexform technology and to showcase their versatile production capabilities," says Ed Williams, General Manager – Americas, Quintus Technologies. "In addition, our companies will cooperate in joint marketing activities including trade shows, open houses, and contract manufacturing referrals."
"We are very pleased to be working with F&B as it elevates its sheet metal forming capabilities," Jan Soderstrom, CEO of Quintus Technologies, comments. "There is much innovation taking place in the production aerospace engine parts, and having designed, built, and installed more than 200 fluid cell presses for major manufacturers worldwide, Quintus has much expertise to share."
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