I have been working in the hydroforming market for the last 16 years and have had the opportunity to learn who the players are in this market. To me, there are five traits that make a hydroforming company great. Great hydroforming companies can:
- handle complex parts,
- support services in-house to make a part complete to print,
- handle large packages of parts while not affecting their current business,
- handle larger parts with the more expensive hydroforms and
- provide top-notch customer service.
When customers call Jones Metal Products to order hydroformed parts, we hear the horror stories of business mishandled. Over time, we’ve developed a feel for who is good for the customers and which suppliers struggle. It is my opinion that these five companies, given in alphabetical order, are among the top performers in this industry. We hold our company to a standard of high performance, and these are the companies that we most want to emulate.
Hydroforming Companies that Raise the Bar
Bomco, Inc. in Gloucester, MA is an ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100-certified custom manufacturer for hydroforming services of up to a 26-inch diameter blank. Additional forming capabilities include deep drawing, spinning, expanding, roll forming and stamping.
Capps Manufacturing, Inc. is a manufacturer and performs custom manufacturer hydroforming services, including metal forming of sheet metal parts. Capabilities include metal forming, hydroforming and roll forming of sheet metal parts and assemblies using aluminum, titanium, Inconel® and corrosion resistant steels and alloys. Applications include aircraft and commercial.
F&B is a custom manufacturer with NADCAP-accredited hydroforming services. Services available include hydroforming assembly, hydroform machining, hydroform heat treating, hydroform welding, hydroform stamping and deep draw hydroforming. Capabilities also include concurrent engineering and process development, non-conventional machining and nondestructive testing. Materials handled include high temperature alloys, steel, titanium, aluminum, copper and brass. Sheet metal assemblies, hydroformed parts for engines and hydroformed parts for auxiliary power units can be fabricated.
Globe Engineering Co. is a custom manufacturer with capabilities that include metal, hot and hydroforming, machining, laser trimming, tube bending, metal spinning and aging services. In 1964, Globe bought the very first Cincinnati Deep-Draw Hydroform Machine that was ever built. Since then, they’ve grown to have a fleet of seven Deep Draw Hydroform machines, from 12-inch to 32-inch blank diameter capacity. Here is what Globe Engineering has to say about deep-draw stamping.
“The Deep-Draw Hydroform process is superior to other forming methods for many reasons: faster cycle times, less expensive tooling, and consistent production. The first part in a production lot is identical to the final part because there’s no swelling of the die. Urethane blanks eliminate marring of metal part surface, reduce thin-out, allow tighter radii and the creation of more complex shapes.”
Ultimate Hydroforming is a woman-owned custom manufacturer that is ISO 9000, ISO 9001:2000, AS 9100:2004, AS 7003 and AS 9100 certified and NADCAP accredited. They offer bladder and tubular hydroforming services. The materials they work with include high nickel super alloys, Inconel®, Haynes®, titanium, sheet metal, mild steel, aluminum and stainless steel. Their capabilities include 8-inch to 32-inch bladder hydroforming with 1,200-ton capacity, pressure up to 4,000 bar, 4 inch OD x 40 inch and part length up to 42 inches. They also offer tubular hydroforming, manual, robotic, MIG, TIG, projection & spot welding, heat treating, prototyping, CMM and fluorescent penetrant inspection, CNC vertical machining, stamping, ultrasonic cleaning, deep drawing, assembly, EDM, grinding, CNC laser cutting, milling and turning. Their services are used across aerospace, alternative energy, automotive, commercial, medical and military applications.
Rising to the Challenge
Across the board, these five companies set high bars for our industry. These exemplar companies help us at Jones strive to be our best. Not only that, they inspire us to improve our capabilities, offer better support and grow our customer relationships, and we’re proud to work in the same field as them.