Reshoring Efforts and Using Domestic Manufacturing Partners

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COVID-19 has drastically impacted consumers and businesses alike. For businesses, some of the early challenges involved closing offices and getting employees to work from home, but another major concern was disruption to the supply chain. Companies that get their materials or goods from overseas were suddenly unable to operate because of a lack of supplies.

The pandemic exposed a major weakness and brought attention to the need for domestic manufacturing of our most essential supplies. Following a trend that has been occurring over the last several years, some companies have been re-shoring manufacturing operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Sourcing materials and manufacturing in the United States will give companies more control over production during challenging times.

 

COVID-19’s Impact on US Manufacturing

Some industries in the United States are served extensively by imported goods. As foreign factories closed and shipping options became few and far between in the wake of the pandemic, the U.S. saw an extreme drop in imports. In the middle of February, there was a nearly 13% decrease in clothing shipments, which is substantial considering that imports from China, Vietnam, and India represented about 53% of clothing consumption in the US in 2018. In early March, total container volume from China had declined by nearly 23% at the Port of Los Angeles.

While the United States is ranked third in the world for the quality of its manufacturing environment, it doesn’t have the manufacturing capacity of major outsourcing hubs like China. Many manufacturing jobs in the United States go unfilled because companies can’t find qualified talent.

Still, the US is poised and ready to grow as the world moves beyond the pandemic. For the last few years, companies have started reshoring manufacturing, and U.S. manufacturing began to increase again in May as aerospace and automotive companies prepare for the coming months.

At Hudson Technologies, we’re ready to help. As an essential business, we’ve been serving our customers through these challenging few months and are prepared to offer metal stamping services for a variety of U.S. manufacturing needs.

Advantages of Using Domestic US-Based Manufacturers

There are a variety of benefits provided by manufacturing in the United States:

  • Lower transportation costs. Reducing the cost of shipping of both raw materials and finished products reduces overall production costs.
  • Better for the environment. Lessening the traveling distance required for supplies and finished goods ultimately reduces carbon emissions.
  • Quicker lead times. By eliminating the need for overseas shipping, production runs ranging from prototypes or to large-volume runs may often be shorted by days or weeks.
  • Sense of community. The manufacturing facility ultimately becomes a part of the community, which helps an organization to build a positive brand. American companies also pay U.S. taxes that support their own communities.
  • Improved quality control. Manufacturing in the United States ensures that all production operations follow U.S. safety and quality standards.

Working with Hudson Technologies

As a leading U.S. manufacturer, Hudson Technologies is proud to represent domestic manufacturing. For 80 years, we’ve been offering high-quality metal stamping and custom tooling for customers in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, medical, and more. We’re committed to a safe work environment and stringent quality assurance practices, as demonstrated by our AS9100D certification.

As you re-shore your own manufacturing needs, contact us for prototypes, high- or low-volume production, or any questions you have about metal stamping.

 

Overview of Metal Pressure Transducer Diaphragms

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A diaphragm pressure transducer is a mechanical device that converts pressure changes into an electric signal, which can be measured to gauge changes in pressure. Diaphragm pressure transducers are particularly useful for low pressure applications.

How Does a Pressure Transducer Work?

Pressure levels and fluctuations are registered through deformation of a diaphragm and attached gauges. The displacement of the diaphragm and gauges is proportionally converted into electrical current. That electrical signal is analyzed to determine accurate pressure measurements.

Diaphragms for pressure transducers can be composed of either metal or non-metal materials. Non-metal diaphragms are durable but tend to be less elastic than metal diaphragms. This makes them less desirable for applications which require precise measurements with low flow volume.

What is a Metal Diaphragm?

Metal diaphragms are circular plates composed of thin, flexible metal that exhibit deformation when under pressure. Diaphragms are used for both sealing and pressure transference. Diaphragm seals prevent fluid from leaking into other parts of the system while simultaneously preventing contamination of the fluid itself. Within a pressure sensor, diaphragms isolate the system and transfer the effects of pressure changes to the gauges, where the changes are converted into electrical current for analysis.

Two Main Types of Solid Metal Diaphragms

Metal diaphragms can be specially tailored to meet the needs of a wide range of industries and applications. There are two primary metal diaphragm designs: High-Sensitivity Low-Pressure (HSLP) and Low-Sensitivity High-Pressure (LSHP).

What are High-Sensitivity Low-Pressure Diaphragms?

HSLP diaphragms are used for applications that require the diaphragm to operate with a great deal of flexibility under low-pressure conditions. They are more frequently used than their LSHP counterparts and are particularly useful for low-pressure applications that require a high degree of precision, such as food production and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

What are Low-Sensitivity High-Pressure Diaphragms?

LSHP diaphragms must be more rigid and capable of retaining their shape and position in high-pressure applications. Their durability makes LHSP diaphragms valuable as protective barriers in high-pressure equipment. They can also be particularly useful for the conversion of pressure displacement into electronic signals. LHSP diaphragms are often designed to open at precise pressures, making them useful for applications which require highly accurate pressure measurements. Pressure-based medical equipment and systems that operate in extreme environments also benefit from the use of LHSP diaphragms.

Types of Tooling for Metal Diaphragms

At Hudson Technologies, we use two highly specialized tooling methods to manufacture quality metal diaphragms. The method used depends greatly on the intended thickness of the component and expected production volume.

Metal-to-Rubber Tooling

For prototyping, sampling, and lower production volumes of less than 50,000 annually, metal-to-rubber tooling is appropriate for diaphragms with a thickness greater than 0.0015 inches. This process is less expensive than other tooling methods, and ideal for swift small-scale production of highly accurate components.

Metal-to-Metal Tooling

Metal-to-metal tooling is ideal for production volumes that exceed 50,000 components annually, and for diaphragms with a thickness less than 0.0015 inches. This type of tooling can be relied upon to produce highly accurate components within tight tolerances for burr height, part configuration, and durability.

Applications and Capabilities of Metal Diaphragms

Metal diaphragms are highly versatile and have a broad range of uses in mechanical and industrial equipment, medical devices, and pressure transducers. Common uses of metal diaphragms include:

  • Pressure regulators
  • Conversion of movement into electrical signals
  • Protective fluid barrier
  • Flexible membrane for fluid pumps
  • Protective barriers and failure points

Due to their combined durability and flexibility, metal diaphragms can endure repetitive cycling for millions of strokes and are capable of operating accurately in extreme environments where they may be exposed to broad temperature fluctuations, corrosive materials, and extreme pressure.

Working with Hudson Technologies

Hudson Technologies is a premier provider of metal diaphragms for industries around the world. We are pleased to provide top quality diaphragms for:

  • Aerospace equipment
  • Military and defense applications
  • Energy storage equipment
  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Oil and gas production
  • Semiconductor equipment
  • Commercial manufacturing and production

Our engineering and manufacturing capabilities are second to none and our highly trained staff is committed to the accurate production of superior metal components from the initial design through prototyping and final production. Our quick-change tooling allows us to produce a variety of products simultaneously for quick turnaround and reduced lead times.

We specialize in the analysis and design of metal component solutions to meet the varied needs of our customers. Read more about us to learn about our commitment to innovative solutions.

For more information on our metal pressure transducer diaphragms and other quality metal components, contact us today or request a quote.

 

History of Titanium and Its Applications

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The history of titanium stretches way back to 1791 when it was discovered by a pastor in Cornwall, England. However, it wasn’t until 1910 that it became prominent on the manufacturing scene when metallurgist Matthew A. Hunter began producing it in the United States. As the ninth most abundant element on earth, it can be found in minerals like rutile and sphene.

As strong as steel but only about half as heavy, titanium alloys are used extensively in the aerospace and automotive industries, not only for its lightweight strength, but also because titanium is durable and not susceptible to corrosion. This versatile metal also is used for bone setting, artificial hips, and other medical implants for the human body.

History of Titanium

It wasn’t always called titanium. Originally, it was known as gregorite—named after the Reverend William Gregor who discovered it in 1791. The good pastor was an amateur geologist in his free time, and he had been analyzing some magnetic black sand when he realized he’d happened upon a new metal. Two years later, it was “discovered” again, this time by a German chemist who called it titanium, a nod to the strength of the Titans from Greek mythology. In 1797, he realized his titanium was the same as the aforementioned gregorite, but it still took more than 100 years before titanium was successfully isolated and put on its path to be used in all the products you can find it in today.  Now the 22nd element on the periodic table, titanium is useful in a wide range of industries due to its strength, corrosion resistance, and compatibility with the human body. 

History of Titanium

Titanium Applications

Titanium is popular in any situation where it’s important to maintain a high tensile strength to density ratio, such as automobiles, airplanes, spacecraft, naval ships, and motorcycles. It’s also valuable in these uses because it improves durability, fuel efficiency, and safety. You’ll find titanium across the aerospace, industrial, medical, and architectural industries as well as in a variety of consumer products, like tennis rackets, golf clubs, helmet grills, lacrosse stick shafts, and bicycle frames. It’s used in surgical instruments and medical implants, wheelchairs, crutches, and more in the clinical setting. 

When compared to steel, titanium is equal in strength but lighter in weight. When compared to aluminum, titanium is somewhat heavier, but twice as strong. Depending on the situation, it can be an ideal alternative for either of those materials. 

Let’s look more closely at the uses for titanium in two major industries: aerospace and medical.

Titanium in Aerospace and Medical

In the aerospace industry, common uses for titanium include:

  • Rotors
  • Compression blades
  • Hydraulic system components
  • Armor plating
  • Naval ships
  • Spacecraft
  • Missiles
  • Structural parts
  • Landing gear
  • Helicopter exhaust ducts

The Grade 5 Titanium alloy or 6AL 4V (6% Aluminum, 4% Vanadium) is used in nearly 50% of all aircraft applications, from engines to frames, valued for its corrosion resistance, heat resistance, maintainability, and lightweight strength. 

Titanium is biologically compatible with the human body, meaning that the body does not try to reject it. It also has the natural ability to integrate with the bones in the body to create a permanent structure. This makes it useful for a wide range of medical device components including medical and dental implants, medical instruments, and beauty supplies:

  • Heart valves
  • Plates, pins, rods, and cages surgically implanted in the body
  • Hip and knee replacements
  • Needles, surgical tweezers, scissors, forceps, etc.
  • Tooth implants
  • Hearing aids
  • Spinal fusion cages

Read more about the benefits of titanium in the medical space.

Ask Hudson Technologies About Your Titanium Needs

At Hudson Technologies, we work with titanium and other metals in a variety of manufacturing processes, serving the aerospace, defense, energy storage, medical, semiconductor, and oil and gas industries. We offer customized solutions within our numerous capabilities:

  • Deep drawing
  • Shallow drawing
  • Stamping
  • Progressive die
  • Forming
  • CNC milling and lathes
  • Wire EDM
  • Wire, sinker and hole puncher
  • Spot welders
  • Spinning
  • Surface grinders

Our skilled team is experienced with the complex processes designed to give you high-quality, cost-effective metal components while meeting all international standards, maintaining our status as a green manufacturer, and providing quality customer service for all your custom orders. We work with top-of-the-line tools and equipment, and are committed to quality control from start to finish in a safe working environment. From prototypes to large production runs, we can work with you to deliver what you need, when you need it. 

Request a quote, and you’ll hear from us within two business days with more information and pricing. We look forward to working with you on all your titanium needs.