Sometimes a successful product launch can hinge on an equally successful prototype run. Prototyping affords engineers the opportunity of learning more about the application requirements, customer expectations, or design flaws of their products before engaging in any large volume production.

If the part is of poor quality, or if a vital design aspect was overlooked, parts can be rejected; this results in depletion of time, labor, and money. Prototyping can be a low-cost, straightforward process that can help improve the quality and the characteristics of your specified part or component.

We work closely with our clients — and have done so effectively for over 80 years — to provide the highest quality prototyped parts; one method we utilize for prototyping is the process of metal spinning.

Learn More About Metal Forming for Your R&D Process

Our Metal Spinning Process

Metal spinning provides several advantages for prototyping runs. Metal spinning is a versatile process that can yield results via CNC machining or hand shaping; CNC controls bring higher levels of speed and accuracy to the process, while hand shaping affords lower tooling costs and quicker setup time.

In addition to saving you time and money, metal spinning is ideal when using lighter gauge materials; this process is also ideal for creating round, metal parts — such as wheel rims, filter baskets, and soup cans — of various sizes and geometries.

To program our equipment, Helander utilizes computer-assisted machining (CAM) software in addition to “teach” modes. CNC programs can be easily validated using 2D simulations, and teach modes can record and duplicate movements from a manual spinning process; these duplicated movements can enable automatic prototyping of your desired volume.

We utilize the PNC 120, a powerful 80”diameter spinning lathe capable of forming spun parts up to 36” between centers. The support structure of the 22 ton lathe enables rapid production with low friction and tight tolerances.

We can produce parts with a maximum height of 48” with a maximum diameter of 100”. The thickness of the part varies with the metal used; part thicknesses can reach 0.250” for stainless steel(s), 0.375” for carbon steel(s), and 0.750” for aluminum(s). The typical tolerance for our formed parts is ± 0.030”, but for specialty applications, tolerances of ± 0.005” can be achieved.

Our metal spinning lathe is equipped to handle blanks that can reach diameters of 2,000 mm. With a longitudinal slide travel of 1,000 mm, the PNC 120 lathe can produce small scale and large scale to quickly suit your exact needs.

For prototyping projects, we have the capability to produce one-off parts, which can save on production costs, time, and labor. Metal spinning can also eliminate the need for secondary finishing operations in many instances.

Metals Used In This Process

In metal spinning, almost any ductile metal can be successfully spun. We are capable of spinning several types of metals for limited or small production runs. Some of the typical metals used include:

  • Stainless Steel(s)
  • Carbon Steel(s)
  • Aluminum(s)
  • Titanium
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Inconel®
  • Hastelloy®
  • Brass

Industries Served

We offer prototyping services for many industrial applications: satellite communications, commercial food equipment, automotive components, aerospace and defense, alternative/green energy, waste storage, and others.