The Complete Guide to Metal Wire Forming Processes

The Complete Guide to Metal Wire Forming Processes

The Complete Guide to Metal Wire Forming Processes

Mar 18, 2024

As manufacturers and spring fabricators, we know that metal wire forming is a critical process for producing the springs, wire forms, and other components that are essential across industries. With various metal wire forming methods to choose from, it can be challenging to determine the optimal techniques and equipment for your production needs. In this complete guide, we will provide an in-depth look at the most common wire forming processes used today. Drawing from decades of experience in spring fabrication and working with wire forming suppliers, we will break down the pros and cons of each process and discuss considerations for selecting the right wire forming approach based on part specifications, production volumes, and costs. Whether you are looking to improve existing operations or research new methods, this guide aims to give manufacturers and fabricators an invaluable technical resource for metal wire forming.

12-axis cnc wire forming machine

An Introduction to Metal Wire Forming

Spring Fabrication
As a leading manufacturer of precision metal parts, we specialize in custom spring fabrication. Springs are elastic mechanical components made of metal alloys that can store energy and exert force. Our spring fabricationl processes include compression, extension, and torsion spring manufacturing. We have the capabilities and expertise to produce springs with precise load ratings, dimensions, and performance characteristics for any application.

Wire Forming
Wire forming is a versatile process used to bend and shape wire into two- or three-dimensional shapes. Weutilize CNC wire forming machines and tools like wire bending jigs and Dies to fabricate precision wire forms inhigh volumes. Our wire forming capabilities include bending, coiling, and straightening of wire into shapes suchlas brackets, clips, rings, and wire frames. We work with various wire materials including steel alloys, copper,nickel alloys and more.

Metal Stamping
Metal stamping is a high-volume manufacturing process in which sheets of metal are cut and formed into preciseshapes using stamping presses and tooling like dies and punches.  We perform progressive die stamping,lcompound die stamping, and fourslide stamping to produce metal parts such as brackets, covers, enclosures andlbases.  Our metal stamping services provide dimensional accuracy, durability, and cost efficiency.

With decades of experience, state-of-the-art equipment, and expert tooling engineers, we are able to meet themost complex and challenging metal wire forming needs.  Our mission is to collaborate with customers to produceinnovative solutions and the highest quality precision metal parts.

Common Metal Wire Forming Techniques

Spring Fabrication
As an industry leader in spring fabrication, we utilize state-of-the-art equipment to produce compression, extension, and torsion springs of all sizes. Our spring fabrication processes include winding, coiling, and heat treating to ensure maximum strength, resilience, and longevity.

Wire Bending
Our CNC wire bending machines are capable of producing precise two-dimensional and three-dimensional wire forms in high volumes.  Wire bending involves manipulating wire stock into desired shapes and forms, including circles, squares, 'S' shapes, and complex geometries.  This versatile process is ideal for applications whereprecision and repeatability are required. Wire DrawingWire drawing uses diamond dies to reduce the diameter of wire stock and change its shape.  As the wire is pulledthrough progressively smaller dies, its diameter decreases while its length increases.  Wire drawing is oftenperformed on softer alloys like gold, silver and copper but can also be used on harder alloys by applyingadditional heat during the process.  The end result is wire with enhanced material properties suitable forapplications like electrical connections. With decades of experience and expertise in metal wire forming techniques, Janee is well-equipped to handleyour project needs.  Our processes adhere to strict quality standards and are continuously optimized to achievemaximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.  Leverage our experience and state-of-the-art facilities to realize thefull potential of your designs.  Together, we can shape innovative solutions.

Wire Drawing
Wire drawing uses diamond dies to reduce the diameter of wire stock and change its shape.  As the wire is pulled through progressively smaller dies, its diameter decreases while its length increases.  Wire drawing is often performed on softer alloys like gold, silver and copper but can also be used on harder alloys by applying additional heat during the process.  The end result is wire with enhanced material properties suitable for applications like electrical connections. With decades of experience and expertise in metal wire forming techniques, Janee is well-equipped to handle your project needs.  Our processes adhere to strict quality standards and are continuously optimized to achieve maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.  Leverage our experience and state-of-the-art facilities to realize the full potential of your designs.  Together, we can shape innovative solutions.

Benefits of Metal Wire Forming
Metal wire forming offers several advantages over other manufacturing processes. As a custom wire forming supplier, we have seen firsthand how this versatile technique provides solutions for many design and production challenges.

1. Cost-Effectiveness
Wire forming is an efficient, low-cost process compared to machining solid metal bars or sheets. Less raw material is required, and minimal material is wasted. Wire forming also reduces secondary operations like welding, grinding and finishing. This streamlined approach lowers total manufacturing costs.

2. Strength and Durability
Wire formed parts can be highly durable. The cold working of wire during forming strengthens the material by aligning its grain structure. Parts made from high-carbon spring steel, stainless steel, copper alloys or other metals can withstand high stresses and last for many cycles. Wire formed springs and clips are especially resilient.

3. Precision and Repeatability
Modern wire forming equipment and tooling deliver tight tolerances and consistent results. CNC wire forming machines can produce high volumes of identical parts with precision. This repeatability ensures that multi-part assemblies fit together properly. Quality control measures like in-process inspections help achieve precision standards.

4. Versatility
The wire forming process is very versatile and able to produce a wide range of part geometries.  Straight wire canbe bent and twisted into circular shapes, loops, hooks and spirals.  Wire can also be pre-shaped by machines thatbend, stamp or roll it before the forming process.  There are many options for end terminations including loops,hooks, pins, and mounting tabs.  This versatility allows wire formed parts to serve diverse applications. In summary, metal wire forming offers significant benefits that make it a preferred manufacturing solution forproducing resilient, precision parts cost-effectively in high volumes.  When expertly applied, wire forming cansolve complex challenges and push the boundaries of part designs.

Applications of Formed Metal Wires
At Janee, we leverage our expertise in precision wire forming to produce springs and wire forms for various industrial applications. 
Spring clips and retaining rings are circular wire forms designed to securely retain components. We fabricate retaining rings to fasten parts together in a manner that allows convenient installation and removal.  Our spring clips provide strong retention force in a small space. 

Battery contacts and terminals
Formed wire is an ideal material for battery contacts and terminals due to its conductivity and springiness.  We produce wire forms to connect batteries to electronic devices and to join batteries in a series.  Our battery contacts and terminals are precisely engineered to withstand high currents while maintaining a secure connection. 

Electronic connectors
Electronic devices require robust yet miniature connectors to transmit power and signals.  We manufacture wireformed electronic connectors including plugs, jacks, and pin connectors. These wire forms meet exacting specifications for size, shape, and conductivity to ensure reliable performance in electronic equipment. 

In addition to wire forms, we also fabricate compression, extension, and torsion springs using high-grade metal alloys.  Springs serve a variety of purposes such as providing resistance, vibration dampening, and storing mechanical energy.  We work with clients across industries to design and produce custom springs for their specific applications.

Other applications
Formed wire and springs have many other specialized uses, including in medical devices, automotive assemblies, and aerospace mechanisms.  At Janee, we have the technical capabilities and expertise to create precision wire forms and springs for the most demanding applications.  We work closely with customers to understand their needs and specifications in order to deliver high-quality, custom solutions. Through decades of experience, Janee has become adept at manipulating metal wires into the forms and springsrequired for diverse industrial purposes.  We take pride in our role providing critical components that enabletechnologies and improve products throughout the world. 

How to Choose the Right Wire for Your Needs
When selecting wire for a project, several factors must be considered to ensure you choose the right material andgauge.  As an ISO 9001:2015 certified wire forming supplier with over 20 years of experience, we have expertisein understanding how to best match wire properties to your application requirements.

Diameter (Gauge)
The diameter or gauge of the wire determines its strength, conductivity, and flexibility. Larger diameters indicatea thicker, stronger wire, while smaller gauges are more pliable. For most applications, we recommend:
  • 22 to 18 gauge: Smaller diameters suitable for craft projects, wiring, and flexible springs. 
  • 16 to 14 gauge: Mid-range sizes good for residential electrical work and moderately stressed springs.
  • 12 gauge and below: Larger diameters for high-stress springs, structural applications, and industrial wiring.

Coating (If Applicable)
In some cases, a coating or plating is applied to improve certain properties like conductivity, lubricity or corrosion resistance. Common options include zinc, nickel and copper plating. The coating thickness and purity will depend on your performance requirements.

By understanding the properties of different wire materials and diameters, you can determine the right wire for your particular needs. As an experienced wire forming supplier, we are available to provide guidance on the best wire for your application based on factors like environment, required shape, and mechanical stresses. With the proper selection, we can then fabricate high-quality precision parts to suit your requirements.

Design Considerations for Metal Wire Forming
When designing parts for metal wire forming, several factors must be taken into account to ensure high quality results.  As manufacturers, we consider the following:

Material Properties
The type of metal selected depends on the application and properties required.  Materials commonly used include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and brass.  The metal's hardness, ductility, and tensile strength will determine how well it can be formed into the desired shape.  We choose a material that can withstand the forces applied during the forming process without breaking. 

Part Geometry
The shape and dimensions of the part determine which wire forming technique will be used, as some are better suited for certain geometries.  For example, spring coiling works well for circular shapes, while wire bending can produce more complex forms.  We design parts with geometry that can be realistically achieved through wire forming, avoiding sharp corners and extreme angles that could cause breakage.

Tooling Design
The design of the tools, dies, and machines used in the process must match the part geometry precisely. Welldesigned tooling that firmly grips the wire without damage is key to producing high quality parts with tight tolerances. At the same time, the tooling must allow the wire to flow smoothly into the desired shape. We investin high quality tooling and machinery to gain greater control over the forming process.

Feasibility and Cost Effectiveness
When designing parts for wire forming, we aim to strike a balance between an innovative design and what canactually be achieved cost-effectively in production. While complex geometries are possible, simpler forms mayallow for higher volume production at a lower cost. We assess if a part can be realistically mass produced withinbudgetary constraints before proceeding to full-scale manufacturing.

By carefully considering these factors in the design stage, we are able to develop wire formed parts that meet alltechnical requirements at an affordable cost. With the proper design and tooling, metal wire forming can producehigh quality components with exceptional efficiency.

Automation in Metal Wire Forming

Increased Productivity and Reduced Costs
The introduction of automation in metal wire forming processes has significantly increased productivity and reduced costs for manufacturers. Automated wire forming equipment is capable of higher speeds and greater precision than human operators alone. These machines minimize wasted materials and repeated handling of workpieces. They also reduce the potential for human error. By automating repetitive and physically taxing tasks, manufacturers can reassign human workers to more complex jobs.

Advanced Monitoring and Quality Control
Automated wire forming systems are often equipped with advanced process monitoring tools. These tools frequently check critical parameters like wire tension, temperature, and feed rates during operation. They alert operators if any measurements fall outside of specified ranges so adjustments can be made immediately. This helps ensure consistent quality and minimizes scrapped or reworked parts. Some systems also employ machine vision to inspect parts for defects after forming. Parts that do not meet specifications are automatically rejected.

Improved Flexibility and Part Complexity
Modern automated wire forming equipment provides a high degree of flexibility in the shapes, sizes, and types of parts that can be produced. These machines are capable of forming parts with complex geometries that would be nearly impossible to make with manual methods alone. Multi-axis and rotary wire forming equipment, in particular, provides enhanced range of motion for producing asymmetric and irregular part profiles.Automation has revolutionized the metal wire forming industry by enabling higher productivity, lower costs, advanced monitoring, improved quality control, increased flexibility, and greater part complexity. Wire forming suppliers with automated systems are able to respond rapidly to changes in market demands while maintaining exceptional quality standards. By continuing to adopt the latest automated technologies, wire formers can gain key competitive advantages.

Finding the Right Metal Wire Forming Partner
When searching for a metal wire forming supplier, several factors should be considered to find a capable and trustworthy partner. As manufacturers, we know that wire forming and spring fabrication require extensive technical knowledge and experience to produce high-quality components.
First, look for a supplier with decades of experience in metal wire forming and spring making. An experienced company will have a proven track record of success and the ability to handle even the most complex jobs. They will also have a deep understanding of materials, tooling, and equipment to produce the best results.

Secondly, choose a supplier that offers a wide range of metal wire forming capabilities, including spring coiling, wire bending, fourslide forming, and CNC wire forming. The more versatile the supplier, the better they can meet your needs for prototypes, short runs, and high volume production. Varied capabilities also indicate a high level of skill and expertise.

In addition, consider suppliers with certifications like ISO 9001 that follow rigorous quality standards. High-quality components and consistent results are critical. Ask about their quality control procedures and testing equipment to verify dimensional accuracy and material properties.

Finally, look for a supplier with excellent customer service that will work as your partner. They should take the time to fully understand your needs, provide guidance on design for manufacturability, and communicate proactively throughout the project. A good partner will also offer secondary services like passivation, welding, and assembly to streamline the production process.By following these guidelines, you'll find a metal wire forming supplier with the experience, capabilities, quality, and service to meet your demanding requirements. A reputable partner can help you gain a competitive advantage through high-quality, cost-effective components delivered on time. With the right supplier relationship, your wire forming and spring fabrication needs will be in good hands.

Metal Wire Forming FAQs
At Janee, we frequently receive questions from customers about our metal wire forming and spring fabrication services.   Here are some of the most common inquiries we address:

As a leading manufacturer of precision metal parts, we utilize various processes to shape raw wire stock into customized components.   The two most prominent methods we employ are wire forming and spring fabrication.   Wire forming involves shaping wire into two-dimensional forms through techniques like wire bending, wire edging, and wire flattening.   Spring fabrication uses coiling and winding to produce three-dimensional springs.

Our wire forming and spring fabrication services utilize precision tooling and automated CNC machinery to manipulate wire with a high degree of accuracy and consistency.   The specific processes we use depend on the geometric properties of your part design and your performance requirements.   We work with all major industrial wire types, including stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and nickel alloys.

At Janee, we have over 20 years of experience producing tight-tolerance metal wire parts and springs for companies across industries.   Our expert technicians and engineers will review your specifications to determine the optimal tooling, machinery, and processes to meet your needs.   We also offer secondary services like welding, brazing, and finishing to produce fully customized components.

For any wire forming or spring fabrication project, we recommend starting with a consultation to review your part drawings and requirements.  Our sales team can provide estimates, discuss material options, and recommend services to produce your components as efficiently as possible.  We prioritize high quality, competitive pricing, and on-time delivery for every customer.  

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any other questions about our precision metal manufacturing capabilities.  We are happy to serve as your trusted source for wire forming, spring making, and other custom metal fabrication needs.

In closing, we have covered the most common metal wire forming processes utilized in spring fabrication and other wire product manufacturing.  The information provided serves as a helpful overview of the various techniques, considerations, and potential wire forming partners to make informed sourcing decisions.  With this knowledge, readers can better understand wire product specifications, evaluate supplier capabilities, and select optimal processes.  We hope this guide supports improved collaboration between design engineers and wire forming suppliers for more efficient manufacturing.  By working together to determine ideal methods early in the product lifecycle, we can deliver innovative solutions that meet performance objectives in a cost-effective manner.

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