Elevator Safety Applications

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When you’re a global manufacturer of lifts and platforms that transport people, safety isn’t just important, it’s imperative. It means putting product design, quality, and engineering excellence at the forefront of everything you do.

Japanese and European companies have taken a leadership position in developing elevators for commercial and residential applications. There are new technologies being added to the elevators to make customer’s experience pleasant while continuing to make the equipment safer.

MES and its European subsidiary, Euro Metrics was approached by a leading German elevator company to develop two different stainless steel castings and one precision aluminum die casting. Applications include bearing blocks which are placed at several places along with the elevator profile for holding critical bearings and shafts.

Being so meticulous about each component can make it a challenge to find someone that can tool the parts while also meet extremely tight tolerances. Fortunately, MES was able to use its sourcing database and shortlist few suppliers within 2-3 weeks of initial inquiry. After careful vetting, negotiations, and quality technical reviews, MES picked suppliers in India and China for different technologies. Components are going to be assembled in customer’s plants in Germany and Poland.

Tight Tolerances

Based on our customer’s request and direction, parts had to be cast to be within the H7 International Standards Organization (ISO) guidelines, meeting specific plus (+) and minus (-) levels.

According to the standard, in order to meet the H7 tolerance, this particular 5mm hole must be within +0.12 / –0 allowed.

If this tolerance seems strict, there’s a reason for it: It is strict! That’s because the purpose of meeting or exceeding tolerance levels is to ensure that every single manufactured, tooled, or cast part will properly and securely fit together when assembled.

Casting Methods

ISO has an entire system of tolerance and machining grades for various metals and alloys.

And, according to ISO, the tolerance for a specified casting is determined by the casting method.

Because our customer needed two different parts for two different products, we chose the following casting methods, which then informed the tolerance levels:

  • For Stainless steel parts, we used the investment casting process, sometimes called lost wax casting. This precision process is typically used when casting smaller parts and is capable of achieving dimensional tolerances as small as ± 0.003 in./in.
  • For part aluminum parts, we utilized the die cast process. This fast-production process lets us produce thousands of identical castings within specified tolerances. One of the many benefits of die casting is that we can produce aluminum and other metal parts with complex shapes — and do so with closer tolerances than many other mass production processes.

 Our Rigorous Quality Process

Casting high-quality stainless steel and aluminum parts within specified tolerances is no easy task. It requires a thorough understanding of potential failure points that are common to the process, not to mention experience in knowing how to prevent or overcome such problems as

  • Defects
  • Drops
  • Leaks
  • Porosity
  • Run Outs
  • Shrinkage
  • Swells

To ensure that our customer received the best casting possible, we leveraged both the know-how of our outstanding team of quality engineers and our rigorous quality management process; a process that combines project management tools with APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning).

With this as our foundation and tight tolerances as our marching orders, the MES team spent no small amount of time finishing both aluminum and stainless steel casting parts. We continuously checked tolerance levels and monitored product quality.

The result was that we were easily able to meet our customer’s H7 tolerance requirements. In addition to our team, we credit our outstanding quality check procedure, which includes having our operators follow a very specific and proprietary MES quality checklist.

Not only does this ensure that each and every manufacturer part is up to par with our expectations, but it’s also within our customer’s specifications and satisfaction.

Maximum Confidence

To keep with our customer’s commitment to providing a trusted product to their clients, we initially focused on the asked-for tolerance factor.

Of course, we couldn’t stop there. So, we took it further, employing two different casting methods and applying our exacting quality standards.

The result was one happy customer and two finely cast and quality-controlled stainless steel and aluminum products.

If achieving tight tolerances is on your to-do list, find out how MES can help you with a tailored solution similar to this. Get in touch with us today.

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