The design for a client’s stainless steel box consisted of four pieces formed in a Z-shape at the press brake. These four pieces were then welded at the corners, which caused the stainless steel to warp slightly. The assembly had a brushed, cosmetic flange around the perimeter that would remain visible to the end user. To maintain an appealing look, the welds had to be ground, and then the flange had to be brushed.
This finishing process was very labor-intensive and costly, so Estes proposed a redesign to the customer. Utilizing their Salvagnini forming cell’s capability to form complex, tight-tolerance bends, they formed the part from one blank instead of four. The edges were brought together so precisely they could be laser welded at the seams. The laser welding eliminated the warping and the secondary finishing.
The reduction of components and of finishing and assembly time dropped the cost of production from $43.73 to $38.73, while improving the quality of the part.