CNC wire forming or wire bending is an advanced technique used to manipulate metal into standard or customized shapes for the manufacturing of products. Consisting of various shapes and sizes, wire forms are fabricated with machines through heat treatment, cutting and bending. CNC wire forming machines operate by using standardized tooling to alter the shape of the wire in size and dimension to create complex two-dimensional and three-dimensional parts.
Wire forming in general is instrumental in a number of industries—automotive, aerospace, construction, military, commercial, and electrical sectors—to name a few. Wire forms are fabricated from a variety of materials, including steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum and a number of alloys. CNC wire forming offers benefits such as custom design, less setup time, reduced development time for introducing new or modified product parts into the market, and lower per-piece costs even in small to medium size production runs.
CNC refers to ‘computer numerically controlled’ machines. An exceptionally versatile technology, CNC wire forming offers two-dimensional or three-dimensional bending capabilities that are unmatched by any other types of wire forming methods. In most instances, manufacturers can manage production changeovers from one run to another in less than an hour. But where CNC wire forming really excels is in pre-programmed production of custom designs, configurations and dimensions of parts and components. Products can be produced in greater volume with higher accuracy and thus, less waste.
Another advantage of CNC wire forming processes is that the machines work in conjunction with traditional wire forming machines. Adaption of CNC programming allows these machines to perform automated operations more effectively. Once a wire forming machine has been CNC programmed it is capable of fabricating wire parts and components continuously. Depending on the tooling and complexity of the design, it can even produce complete wire forms. CNC compatibility with other wire forming machines increases productivity and ensures greater precision than manually operated machines simply cannot equal.
Industries & Applications
Wire forming is vital in the production of numerous components for countless applications. CNC manipulation of wire forms provides an extensive range of products—motor mounts, wire baskets, power transmission applications, pins, clips, springs, wire screens, grills, coils, guide-wires, wire-stents, tubes, carts and filters.
Industries like the automotive use CNC wire forming in suspension applications—compression coil spring and volute spring. Torsion springs and tension springs are formed for more delicate applications like valves, clutches, and gear shifts. In healthcare, CNC wire forming is used to manufacture products used in sterilization procedures and standard components like metal baskets for washing equipment. Other healthcare products range from simple gauged tray to hand-held pliers. Electronic and electrical fittings are produced through CNC wire forms. Household products from mouse traps to screen doors to clothes hangers are made from wire forms. The list goes on—in commercial and retail, construction and hardware, aerospace, energy and agriculture, all sectors rely on CNC wire forming in the production and manufacture of products vital to their industries.
Selecting a Reputable Manufacturer
In selecting a wire form company to manufacture parts and components, compatibility and trust are important factors to consider—a working relationship is a must. But companies should look for a manufacturer that is committed to operating a safe, cost-effective manufacturing plant with a history of producing exceptionally high-quality products.
Manufacturers who meet production deadlines and deliver products on time are vital to a company’s success. Be sure that the manufacturer not only has CNC wire bending capabilities but is qualified to make your product. Medical devices must be manufactured by FDA registered companies. Components manufactured for defense-related contracts must be manufactured by ITAR registered companies. Above all, a commitment to outstanding customer service is best exemplified in a manufacturer’s quality management system (QMS). An ISO 9001 certified company means that that manufacturer has met the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.
CNC wire forming offers manufacturers high-volume production runs with greater accuracy than traditional wire forming methods. It allows manufacturers to easily fabricate pre-programmed two-dimensional and three-dimensional parts and components for products in a wide variety of industries. When choosing a manufacturer, look to its wire forming capabilities, certifications, and be assured by its QMS protocols. Where customer service excels, a sound working relationship will follow.