Scandic: A Comprehensive Source for Custom Metal Parts
On June 21, the BIE cohort went to the Scandic Springs, Inc. headquarters in San Leandro. Founded in 1969, Scandic is currently the largest stamping and spring company in Northern California. They specialize in manufacturing custom metal parts, such as battery contacts, stamped springs, coil springs, EMI shielding, and belleville washers. Scandic’s in-house manufacturing techniques include fourslide and progressive metal stamping as well as coiling and CNC wire forming. Scandic also provides prototyping, engineering, and design services for their clients’ projects. Scandic’s customers span a wide range of disciplines, including companies from the automotive and medical field.
The BIE cohort had the opportunity to meet with Hale Foote, president of Scandic. Hale gave us an introduction to the services Scandic provides for its customers, placing special emphasis on prototyping and design for manufacturing principles relevant to the cohort’s biodesign interests. He also introduced us to the progressive die and fourslide tooling and materials used extensively in the plant. We were then fortunate enough to have Hale bring us on a tour of the manufacturing site.
In the first stop on the tour, Hale showed us a variety of progressive press dies which are able to efficiently perform several stamping steps on a progression strip at a time. He then brought us to the mechanical coiling and wire forming area of the plant, where a staff talked us through the steps involved in designing, programming, and operating the custom, semi-automated tools that create springs. We were then brought to the fourslide tools, which stamp in four different directions, allowing for the over-bending necessary for creating metal forms such as connectors and stamped springs. In the last part of the tour, Hale brought us to the water jet prototyping machine, tool making and maintenance area, and secondary operations (assembly, packaging) area of the plant. We finished up with a discussion of the costs associated with different levels of tooling (no, soft, or hard tooling) to steer us in the right direction for business decisions we might need to make for future projects. As bioengineers, our visit to Scandic was a great experience for us to have a glimpse of manufacturing processes so that we can be pragmatic in our prototyping and early stage decisions throughout our careers.