What is UL Certification?
UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories and is a set of standards and safety guidelines that must be followed when a machine or component is wired and assembled.This certification is typically for things like circuit boards and power supplies. At Proto-1 we are a UL certified company and follow UL standard 508A which is for Industrial Control Panels. This standard is for all panels that use 1000 volts or less and where they will be in an environment that does not exceed 104 degrees fahrenheit. UL 508A has a clearly defined scope of what breakers, fuses, transformers, and other components that can be used when Proto-1 installs its industrial panels on our tube end forming machines. A G-Frame breaker with 3 wires per terminal for example is one of the certified breakers that can be used and is limited to a wire size of 14-2. There are other breakers that can be used under 508A depending on the equipment the industrial panel is being used for.
There are many different UL standards that range from Lithium Batteries to Smoke Detectors and all have a different set of standards that need to be followed. UL has an entire directory of certified parts that will meet UL requirements when manufacturing equipment or components. It is common today that all appliances and equipment must be UL certified.
Heat Treating Benefits
Why Heat Treat?
Heat treating is the process of subjecting metals or materials to certain peak temperatures to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a metal or material. At Proto-1, we use this process everyday in our own heat treat department to add additional benefits to our machines and tooling. Our machines use a variety of tool steels depending upon the purpose of the machine.
Tool Steel We Use:
A2 tool steel is a very popular form of tool steel and it’s one that we use commonly. A2 is an air hardening, cold-work tool steel which possess attributes such as high wear resistance, distortion resistance, and a 50-58 Rockwell hardness when properly heat treated. The majority of our die sets and machine internals are machined out of A2 because of its high wear resistance and its ability to be machined.
D2 is another form of tool steel that we commonly use. D2 is also an air hardening tool steel but unlike its A2 counter part, D2 is a high carbon, high chromium tool steel. Because of it’s very high wear resistance and Rockwell (56-62), we mainly use D2 for machine and tool internals as well as punch tooling.
M2 is tungsten-molybdenum high speed tool steel with a Rockwell of 58-65. M2 is an optimal tool steel for cutting and punching applications. Unlike A2 or D2, M2 is very resistant to softening at high temperatures, which is one of the main reasons we machine M2 for our cut and punch tools.
S7 is an air hardening tool steel with high impact and shock resistance with a Rockwell of 45-57. This combination of properties makes it suitable for many different work applications which is why we use S7 for tooling components, dies, and various punches.
There are many benefits to using heat treated tool steel. When properly heat treated, tool steels provide greater longevity, strength, resistance, and accuracy when used for high volume tube forming, cutting, or punching applications.
New at Proto-1
In the month of February, Proto-1 recently hired Blake Halverson. Blake was the recipient of the first ever skilled trade scholarship from the Winneconne Road Runners; a non profit car club formed by John Schwochert, Owner & President of Proto-1. Blake will be interning with Proto-1 in the quality department while finishing his education at Fox Valley Technical college. The leadership at Proto-1 firmly believes in training the future of manufacturing. We enjoy partnering with local schools and colleges to help build a stronger future for the skilled trades. We are excited to have Blake on the Proto-1 team!
Make sure to check out our latest production! Click the picture below to see our virtual tour!