OSG cold forming technology supports prestigious structural bolting firm emerged from industrial heritage of Sheffield, England
Cold forming is a high-speed forging process that plastically deforms metal using dies at near room temperatures. It is a fast, precise, and automated process that produces large amounts of metal components without removing any material. Unlike hot working, cold forming shapes metal at cooler temperatures. Because the crystal grains are unbroken, greater strength-to-weight ratio can be achieved with enhanced mechanical properties, which contributes to a stronger and more dependable part. Higher surface finish can also be obtained as there is no corrosion of workpiece.
Cold forming requires heavy equipment and is ideal for large volume manufacturing. The initial investment of cold forming may be expensive up front, but it is able to eliminate or significantly reduce a variety of secondary operations, which contributes to faster lead time and reduces overall cost.
Key Benefits of Cold Forming
- High productivity
- High quantity output
- Reduces secondary operations
- Fewer scraps and waste
- Cost effective
- Good surface finish
- Consistent dimensional accuracy
- Greater workpiece load capacity
- High customizability
A wide variety of materials can be cold formed, such as alloy steels, aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, nickel alloys, stainless steels, etc. Cold forming can create large components such as car panels and flat sheets as well as small parts like screws, nuts and bolts. It is suitable for diverse industries such as aerospace, automotive, agriculture, construction, energy, transportation, and more. With short cycle time, high energy efficiency and minimal waste, cold forming is a highly sustainable metalworking process.
OSG Cold Forming Solutions
In 1956, OSG began the manufacturing and sales of rolling dies. Today, the company offers a broad lineup of dies and thread rolling products including cylindrical dies, flat dies, trim dies, planetary dies and rack dies. OSG is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rolling dies, with more than 70,000 cold forming tools being produced annually through several production sites in Japan, the United States, Mexico, Germany, China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and India.
OSG manufactures a variety of dies in accordance with their intended use with superb precision and tool life. OSG can manufacture dies based on any desired specifications and can provide tailored evaluation and solutions.
Utilizing the same advanced technology the company uses for its world-renowned taps, OSG manufactures a variety of dies in accordance with their intended use with superb precision and tool life. OSG can manufacture dies based on any desired specifications and can provide tailored evaluation and solutions.
In 2019, OSG further expanded its product portfolio and emphasis on the European market by acquiring OSG EX-CELL-O, a German company that specializes in cold forming machines and tools that serviced the European market for over 65 years. OSG EX-CELL-O offers highly productive cold forming solutions of involute splines, threads, oil grooves, knurls or other similar shapes on rotationally symmetrical components.
The OSG group cooperates intensively to analyze tool technology in order to provide the best technical solutions to clients in different regions. With a vast product lineup, years of indispensable know-hows and an extensive global support network, OSG is ready to respond to evolving cold forming needs with innovative solutions.
Cooper & Turner Ltd.
Recently, Cooper & Turner Ltd., a manufacturer of high strength and safety critical fasteners, is able to leverage OSG’s cold forming solutions in its bolt production.
Cooper & Turner’s production plant in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom. Founded since 1863, Cooper & Turner has over a century of acquired knowledge and experience in high strength and safety critical fasteners.
Founded in 1863, Cooper & Turner is a global leader in the manufacturing and supply of structural bolting and has a long-standing reputation for quality products and service. Its bolts, studs and industrial fasteners meet the strictest requirements and provide maximum safety for operating in some of the world’s most hostile environments – from the heat of the deserts, the cold of the Arctic, to the deepest of seas.
Stocks of metal blanks (round bars).
Cooper & Turner’s global headquarters is located in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. Sheffield is a historical city that strived and flourished with steelmaking dating back to the 16th century. Sheffield’s unique geography offered optimal steelmaking conditions – the hills supplied coal, iron and millstone grit for the workshops’ grinding wheels; the city’s seven rivers provided waterpower (in the days before steam); its forests were the sources for wood and charcoal. And most importantly, Sheffield became the birthplace of manufacturing innovations such as crucible steel (cast steel) and stainless steel, which continue to dominate the world’s steel industry for years to come. Cooper & Turner emerged alongside this history.
Since its foundation in the 1800s, Cooper & Turner continuously contributes to the fastener industry, supplying high strength friction grip fasteners, including ground-breaking inventions and patents such as the “Coronet Direct Tension Indicator,” a product that ensures correct torque tensioning for high strength bolting assemblies.
A cold forming machine at Cooper & Turner’s production plant in Sheffield, England.
Some of the markets that Cooper & Turner services include renewable energy, oil and gas, construction, rail, tunnelling, petrochemical, and subsea. Cooper & Turner’s strategic operations in Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States allow the company to support customers on a global basis.
Cooper & Turner’s production plant in Sheffield has an estimate land area of 35,000-square-meter. Its extensive manufacturing facilities with both hot and cold forging capabilities enable the company to supply a wide range of products in various sizes.
Thread rolling is a widely applicable method for mass production of fasteners, using the plasticity of metals to form the external threads onto metal blanks (round bars), by roll feeding the bar between two or several sets of rolling dies.
Over decades of fastener making, Cooper & Turner has progressed from various styles of thread making to rolling dies, achieving requirements in both quality and quantity. Thread rolling is a widely applicable method for mass production of fasteners, using the plasticity of metals to form the external threads onto metal blanks (round bars), by roll feeding the bar between two or several sets of rolling dies. This method enables high volume production at a typical rate of 10 to 1,500 parts/min with high precision and minimum variation. Unlike milled threads, high quality surface finish is maintained across long production shifts. Moreover, uncut fiber flow makes approximately 20 percent stronger threads. Therefore, the quality of rolling dies has been a vital importance to Cooper & Turner to be at the top of the game.
A threaded metal bar.
OSG UK Area Sales Manager Phil Ridsdale and Helix Tool Company Limited (Helix), a top tier OSG distributor, have been in touch with Cooper & Turner for many years seeking for new business opportunities in rolling dies. OSG first supplied flat die samples in 2017 and the rest is all success stories. Today, OSG supplies more than 12 sizes of various dies, ranging from M30 to M72, with more opportunities on the scope. There is twofold to what made OSG rolling dies stand out for Cooper & Turner to change. One is the most obvious defining factor: tool life. Back in 2017, the first M30 sample supplied achieved over 12,000 bars compared to 6,000 bars by the competitor dies. OSG dies, although 10 to 15 percent more expensive, performed to improve cost per unit over 50 percent as well as massively reducing machine downtime.
An OSG M42 x 4.5 cylindrical die. Cylindrical dies are ideal for a wide range of precision threaded parts. Thread rolling cylindrical dies are used in set of two or set of three. OSG offers customization in accordance with any desired specification.
The second factor is OSG’s technical expertise and reliable support network. Before OSG became the main die supplier at Cooper & Turner, there had been times where OSG went above and beyond to deliver solutions. One of the times was when OSG went as far as to inspect the machine and material settings to resolve issues that machined bolts were not gauging correctly and was halting production output already under pressure. Having provided full inspection report on the tools (dies) to cancel out the possibility of faulty dies, investigation led OSG to discover that the material bar sizes were out of tolerance in disparity, leaving not enough volume of material to be rolled and achieve pitch diameter and major diameter of the threads required.
Stocks of OSG rolling dies. OSG supplies more than 12 sizes of various dies, ranging from M30 to M72, to Cooper & Turner.
As this case demonstrates, depth of knowledge on not only tools but surrounding factors and the utilization of scientific approach are the strength of OSG’s technical support. Last but not the least, Helix, OSG’s technical supply partner for over 25 years, has been an immense part of maintaining stability in the supply chain; Tool Supply Management (TSM), one of Helix’s latest inventory tracking solutions, is a vending machine that is engineered to maintain accurate inventory, enable short delivery, and simplify report as well as invoicing for its users. With the proximity of its Sheffield branch to Cooper & Turners, Helix enables precise communication between both OSG and Cooper & Turners, by grasping accurate information in a timely manner pertaining stock, delivery, technical or commercial issues – all of which, added values to the customer experience.
Helix Tool Company Limited was established in 1994 in the heart of Yorkshire in Northern England and has been OSG’s technical supply partner for over 25 years. Tool Supply Management (TSM), one of Helix’s latest inventory tracking solutions, is a vending machine that is engineered to maintain accurate inventory, enable short delivery, and simplify report as well as invoicing for its users.
Product quality is of paramount importance to Cooper & Turner as its products are safety critical and must function in some of the most rigorous environments. With unique metallurgy, design methods and surface treatment technologies to improve productivity, accuracy and tool life, OSG will continue to go beyond the limit to support Cooper & Turner in its pursuit of manufacturing excellence.
From left, Helix Tool Company Technical Sales Director John Smith, Cooper & Turner Production Manager Andy Gale, OSG UK Area Sales Manager Phil Ridsdale, OSG UK Engineering Manager Kirk Kubo and OSG UK Sales Manager Paul Fitton pose for a photograph at Cooper & Turner’s manufacturing facility in Sheffield, England.