High-volume job shop reduces costs and improves efficiencies with stamping solutions.

Automatic Spring Products Corp. (ASPC) in Grand Haven, Michigan prides itself on manufacturing high quality compression, extension and torsion springs; 


Automatic Spring Products Corp. (ASPC) in Grand Haven, Michigan prides itself on manufacturing high quality compression, extension and torsion springs; wire forms; flat springs; stampings; spring and shim washers; and assemblies. A high-volume job shop, the company delivers custom solutions to customers primarily in the automotive industry.

Nearly a decade ago, Fred Beamer, the company’s tooling manager, went to a tool show in Chicago in search of retainer inserts for the company’s stamping operations. It was there that he came across Wilson Tool and HP Accu-Lock® retainer inserts from Impax Tooling Solutions®.

The retainer inserts made it possible for ASPC to create, modify and reuse special retainers on-site and on demand.

Before discovering the retainer inserts, ASPC ordered custom-made retainers, which was costly and time consuming.

“The retainer inserts have made my life so much easier,” Beamer said. “Before, I’d have to pay for an expensive custom-made retainer and be waiting around for weeks. Now we can burn our own retainers, pop those in and they work like a charm.”

Once the company discovered the retainer inserts, they began exploring other stamping solutions offered by Wilson Tool and have never looked back.

“We took a chance and started trying some punches and found that the delivery times were significantly better and they were always willing to work with me when I need something expedited,” Beamer said.

He recalled having to wait for weeks on a simple punch when working with competitors. With Wilson Tool, ASPC can receive a simple round punch in a couple of days, at most.

More challenges. Better solutions. Materials, coatings and finishes.

“As well as the retainer inserts, Wilson Tool also offers a wide variety of materials, coatings and finishes that have helped us out greatly with tougher applications,” said Beamer.

One such challenge included stamping a part using a c-shaped punch with a radius that was about a third of the material thickness. The operation was wearing the tips right off the punches until ASPC began using punches manufactured with Wilson Tool’s proprietary tool steel.

Ideal for tough applications, the premium steel ASPC uses is called Ultima®. The steel is engineered to significantly increase wear resistance over conventional tool steels for longer tool life.

“This tool steel has been kind of a godsend to me,” said Beamer. “It’s worked on a couple of problem jobs and has held up really well for us.”

ASPC also uses a coating called OptimaX® to further increase wear resistance and increase lubricity. The result is less galling and dramatically longer tool life.

Above all, customer service is why ASPC maintains a primary relationship with the tooling manufacturer.

“Their customer service is always phenomenal,” Beamer said. “For a big company, the employees at Wilson Tool are very personable. They know you by name when you call and they have really come through for us in so many ways. They're willing to do whatever it takes to make us happy. Everyone throughout the organization has been really good to us and it's appreciated. We don't use any of the competition anymore.”

January 31, 2012