Custom Jigs & Fixtures:

Proto-1 specializes in designing and manufacturing custom made jigs and fixtures. Custom jigs and fixtures provide a range of benefits for a tube end forming project. A primary benefit of a fixture is proper loading. When working with bent parts, loading without a fixture can be difficult and result in a non-conforming part should the tube be loaded improperly. A custom fixture prevents this problem as there is only one way to load the tube into the fixture. Another benefit of a custom fixture is additional safety. With a fixture, the operator spends less time and handling near the loaded tube while the machine is running. In the case of small or short tubes, a fixture will be used as the loading device, keeping the operator’s hands away from the running area. Custom jigs and fixtures can increase the through-put of a project. In the past, Proto-1 has developed automated fixtures that will shuttle the part to the next process in a streamlined manner. These automated fixtures are quicker than their human counterpart and require less operator interaction with the product. Our in-house engineers can design a fixture to fit any tube. Fixtures are designed based on math models provided by our customers and sample tubes that we scan using our FARO arm to verify. Once the tube is laser scanned, a fixture cradle can be manufactured.

Rotating RDM-8 Deburring Fixture:

In these recent projects, Proto-1 Manufacturing designed two fixtures. The first is a custom rotating fixture for a RDM-8 tube deburring machine. A customer was in need of a deburring solution to handle 4.5″ diameter, 0.118″ wall, bent tube. This tubing proved to be heavy and difficult to handle. With that in mind, our engineering team designed this rotating fixture to not only hold the tube in place but to also rotate to quickly deburr both ends of the tube with ease. This fixture not only increased efficiency and throughput but also improved operator safety since the tubing was held in place by the fixture.

Norma Ball Fixture:

The second fixture shown below was a custom fixture for a RFM-6 rotary tube end forming machine. This fixture was used to consistency produce Norma Balls for exhaust applications within the Automotive industry. Designed to accommodate for bends, the fixture holds the tube in place and maintains its location and orientation. Once a tube is loaded, the fixture can shuttle between the two end forming stations of the RFM-6 rotary end forming machine. The first station utilizes our rotary cutoff tooling to produce a square and clean cut on the tube. From there the fixture slides to the next station where the Norma Ball is produced.


ISO 9001:2015 Surveillance Audit:

During first week of March 2020, Proto-1 Manufacturing underwent its first surveillance audit for our ISO 9001:2015 certification. Proto-1 became an ISO certified company in March of 2019. This audit serves as an annual check to analyze our processes and work procedures to maintain our standard of quality. Essentially, ISO 9001 is an international set of standards that specifies requirements for a quality management system. These standards are then used to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide quality products and services that meet customer specifications and requirements. The 2015 revision of ISO 9001 covers a wide range processes that include requirements for a QMS (quality management system), responsibilities of management, resource management, product realization from design to delivery, and measurement and improvement of the QMS. We are proud to announce that we passed our first audit with flying colors and we will be maintaining our ISO certification.

Featured Machine:

In case you missed it, the ISM-6 tube end forming machine is currently our featured machine of the quarter (end of April). During this time, the ISM-6 will be 10% off. The ISM-6 is an indexing segment tube end forming machine for tube and pipe from 1.5 to 6 inches in diameter. Applications for the ISM-6 include Marmon beads, Norma Balls, Expansions, Reductions, and Flaring. Unlike our rotary and end ram end forming solutions, the ISM-6 clamps and holds the part in place with 4 jaws. Then, inner segments expand, retract, and index to form the material into the cavity of the jaws. This process of forming the material into the jaws creates an end form with better concentricity and tolerances compared to other methods of end forming. This capability makes the ISM-6 ideal for end forms such as Marmon beads where surface profiles are critical to the performance of the end form. The indexing feature of the segments ensures that material is evenly moved throughout the form and guarantees that parting lines won’t be formed into the material. To learn more about this machine, please watch the overview video below or check out its product page here.