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Stamped Prototypes

A research study conducted by Precision Engineered Products (PEP) asked representatives from 161 companies to reveal the number one challenge they faced in manufacturing. The most frequent answer was “lead times,” i.e. finding more and better ways to shorten the product development cycle.

PEP Brainin is committed to doing whatever is reasonable to shorten lead times. Engineers guide customers to the results they are looking for in the shortest possible time by providing fast and comprehensive stamped prototyping services.

Other processes, etching for example, may deliver prototypes for “look & feel” analyses a little bit sooner. However, stamped prototypes, parts that closely resemble the finished component, help design engineers resolve critical functionality and manufacturability issues in the early stages of product development. This reduces costs and lead times in the long run. When the design is approved, the component is production-ready and the end product goes to market faster.

The idea that stamped prototypes are inherently more expensive is actually a misconception. Material lead times are not typically an issue, as PEP Brainin handles thousands of materials annually, many of which are in inventory. When a special material does have to be ordered, tooling can be made ready and prototype parts produced without further waiting.

PEP Brainin has a dedicated prototyping shop, complete with many punches and dies that can be readily adapted to any prototyping requirement. The shop’s staff specializes in expediting the customers’ design validation requirements and then working with PEP Brainin production engineers to transition validated components smoothly into production.

Here are some examples of how customers benefit from PEP Brainin’s prototyping expertise.

Medical Drug Delivery Device: A drug delivery device manufacturer was having structural integrity issues with a design it was hoping to assemble from eight molded parts. Deep into the product development cycle, the engineers concluded that one of the components, a plastic retention sleeve, should be replaced by a stamping to more securely anchor the other parts. It was looking as if the development cycle for this design was going to slip, until a stamped prototype sleeve produced by PEP Brainin resolved the issue.

PEP Brainin met the design intent requirements on the first prototype iteration. Getting it right involved several discussions between the customers and PEP Brainin engineers to ascertain why some very precise dimensions were absolutely critical while others could be relaxed somewhat to make the stamping more manufacturable.

Automotive Air Bag Component: A critical burst pressure cup mounted on an air bag inflator ensures that the device reaches a specific pressure prior to inflation of the air bag. The stamping has to maintain exceptionally tight dimensional tolerances over-all and a wrinkle-free surface along all the edges to provide a leak-free seal. To keep the thin edges of the cup from wrinkling PEP Brainin engineers developed a special double striking manufacturing process. Several iterations of the cup prototype were delivered to the customer over a short period of time so that PEP Brainin could dial in quickly on the application requirements and keep the project on schedule.

The engineers in PEP Brainin’s prototyping shop are committed to delivering stamped prototypes that help resolve functionality and manufacturability issues and get better components into production sooner.

For more information about PEP Brainin prototyping services, visit pepbrainin.com or email us at info@pepbrainin.com.