MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SERVICES
“An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be” ― Anonymous
Mechanical engineering is a discipline that applies the principles of engineering, physics and material sciences in the analysis, design, manufacture and maintenance of mechanical systems through the use of heat and mechanical power to produce and operate machines and tools. It is one of the oldest and broadest fields of engineering. We have almost two decades of experience in the mechanical design of luminaires for both indoor and outdoor application as well as the development of other mechanical appliances and precision tools such as optical measurement and electronic testing devices. Our mechanical design team is ready to provide you with the benefits of our experience and expertise, to help you prepare something as simple as an assembly jig or as complex as a complete mechanical solution that involves calculations, 2D production drawings and 3D modelling. Our highly skilled engineers use the latest 3D CAD software ‘CATIA’ from DASSAULT with several additional modules including sheet metal, structural analysis and mold flow among others. A precise document management system ensures that you receive a proper version of all documentation from which you can work in future. All data is available in 2D and 3D in various file formats (STEP, IGES, DXF or DWG).
SHEET METAL DESIGN
Sheet metal is a very common material used in the construction of many products, from cars to aeroplanes. Products made from this material rely on its properties to support their functionality and robustness. Sheet metal is also incredibly versatile as it is made from a wide range of materials that make it suitable for an extensive array of uses. The iLumTech mechanical design team know all there is to know about sheet metal, how to shape, form and combine it with other materials. It is important to know exactly what is required both from a product and manufacture point of view as each material provides different strengths and requires different processes such as stamping, hydroforming, thermoforming or simple bending.
SHEET METAL DESIGN FOR DIFFERENT MATERIALS
Sheet metal design is not dependent on or limited by the forming process chosen, which is selected according to application and cost evaluations. However, it is important to bear in mind that each forming technology requires different tolerances and material properties. iLumTech’s mechanical engineers take all such parameters into account to ensure that you are supplied with the most suitable sheet metal design.
PRODUCTION PROCESS SELECTION
Depending on production quantities, product quality and usage, our engineers select the final sheet metal production process. This could be anything from bending and stamping to hydroforming, among many others.
The whole is always the sum of its parts, therefore, we will always supply you with detailed drawings of every single part, including the parameters of their production.
To make a full technical drawing, the content of all the items drawings are compiled and adjusted to the final versions.
BILL OF MATERIALS
BOM, short for ‘Bill of Materials’, is the summary of all parts used in a product. BOMs are provided according to international standards, but we can also adjust them to meet your specific needs and rules.
STRESS ANALYSIS AND BEND RADIUS CALCULATIONS
This is a discipline of engineering focused on the determination of stresses placed on materials and structures under various forces and loads. In mechanical engineering, stress analysis is often a tool rather than the goal itself; the ultimate goal being the design of structures and artifacts that can withstand a specified load using a minimum amount of material, or to satisfy some other optimisation criterion. The bend radius, measured at the inside curvature, is the minimum radius a pipe, tube, sheet, cable or hose can be bent without it kinking, as kinking damages the material and results in a shortened lifetime. The smaller the bend radius, the greater the material’s flexibility. As the radius of the curve decreases the curvature increases.
ALUMINIUM DIE CAST & EXTRUSION DESIGN
The processes of die casting and extruding aluminum have been available for approximately 90 years. Beneficial, not only in terms of their ability to influence the feel of a product, these processes have been developed to allow for high speed production for many industries in order to meet demand. Today, this technology is a standard and is differentiated from sheet steel processing by its ability to provide a much higher quality and visually attractive surface finish. Our mechanical engineers are experienced in the use of this technology and are ready to design anything from connecting parts to entire luminaires, or anything else you wish. This design includes all necessary calculations and mold flow simulations in order to guarantee precise tooling.
MECHANICAL DESIGN OF DIE CASTING PARTS
Die casting is a metal casting process characterised by the forcing of molten metal into a mold cavity under high pressure. Mold cavities function similarly to injection molds, and are created using two hardened tool steel dies that have been machined into the desired shape. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals, specifically zinc, copper, aluminium, magnesium, lead, pewter and tin-based alloys. Depending on the metal to be cast, a hot- or coldchamber machine is used. Within the framework of this mechanical design process, we provide tooling 3D model reviews and tool production support.
MECHANICAL DESIGN OF EXTRUDED PARTS
Extrusion is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile. A material is pushed or drawn through a die of the desired cross-section. The products of extrusion are generally called ‘extrudates’. The two main advantages of this process over other manufacturing processes are its ability to create very complex cross-sections, and to work materials that are brittle, because the material only encounters compressive and shear stresses. It also forms finished parts with an excellent surface finish. Extrusion may be continuous, theoretically producing indefinitely long objects or semi-continuous for the production of many items. The extrusion process can be done with hot or cold materials. Most commonly, extruded materials are metals, polymers, ceramics, concrete, play dough, and foodstuffs.
As with sheet stress analysis, this process assesses the effects of various forces and loads on materials and structures to aid in the design of satisfactory items.
Technology advisory service
We can advise you as to the most suitable production technology for any chosen fabrication method, object shape and design
3D modeling (STEP, IGES)
This is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any threedimensional surface or object using specialised software. The product is a 3D model, which can be displayed as a 2D render or as part of a computer simulation. The model can also be transformed into physical form using 3D printing.
Our strategic supply management regularly evaluates possible manufacturers from the precision automotive parts industry, and can select the one(s) most suitable for a particular type of tool or function. Selection is also done on the basis of experience as well as ISO certification and our own audit. During creation of the tools, we will keep you informed about the status of manufacture and the results of our regular tool audits. Our continuous overview of the tooling process ensures immediate reaction to and resolution of any issues and guarantees a perfect final ouput. Through the years of our operation, we have built an extensive network of proven and trustworthy tooling suppliers that can provide a wide variety of tools. We are happy to point you in the direction of the most suitable and reliable suppliers for your projects.
Forging is one of the oldest known metalworking processes. Traditionally performed by a blacksmith using a hammer and anvil, the process has developed greatly over the centuries into something that is highly viable even in modern industry. It requires the use of materials that are able to withstand extreme processes such as heat, pressure and mechanical stress, but the results are suitable for mass production and deliver some outstanding material properties. For example, the thermal conductivity of a forged heatsink is double that of an extruded one, resulting in a much smaller and lighter weight product.
MECHANICAL DESIGN OF FORGED PARTS
Forging is a manufacturing process that shapes metals using localised compressive force. To achieve the desired surface finish, it is necessary to further process the produced parts. Mechanical engineers must not only produce a suitable part design, but also select the best production method according to the requirements placed on the final product. There are various forging technologies available, and thanks to our experience in the use of this metalworking process, we can advise you which best meets your needs.
Stress analysis is required for forged products as for those made by any other process. By testing the effects of stress on the forged items it is possible to optimise the design to meet specified needs.
3D MODELING (STP, IGES)
3D modelling of the parts help us to visualise the final product, and acts as the base for creation of 3D printed or milled prototypes before tooling. You will receive such files for your own evaluation.
Technology advisory and tooling selection
Various needs necessitate the use of various tools. For long-run production the tools must have a longer lifetime than those used for short-runs. We can advise you about the best tools to use depending on the predicted production quantity. There are various forging technologies available. We have a lot of experience in the use of this metalworking process and can advise you as to which technology best suits your needs.
Tooling 3D model review
As the results of this metalworking process depend on the tools used, it is vital that they be precise and high quality. Before the production of your tools, we ensure their quality by checking the design and providing you with all necessary documentation
TOOL PRODUCTION SUPPORT
We choose the most appropriate tool manufacturer and take care of the entire tooling process including resolution of possible issues and evaluate of the tool’s suitablity compared to specifications. Only then is the final tool design confirmed, after which it will be deliver to the manufacturing location. You will be the certified owner of the tool.
Does it work or not? A question you will hear repeatedly before a mechanical design is finalised. Nobody wants to invest time and money into the development of production tools and processes for a product that will need redesigning. To minimise the risk of losing time and money, we can provide stress and mold flow analyses before the next steps are taken. This provides many advantages including fewer development cycles, a shorter overall product development time and your product on the market before competitor products. The result is that your profits are higher.
In continuum mechanics, stress is a physical quantity that expresses the internal forces that neighboring particles exert on each other. For example, when a solid vertical bar is supporting a weight, each particle in the bar pulls on the particles immediately above and below it. These macroscopic forces are actually the average of a very large number of intermolecular forces. It is important to understand the mechanics of this with the goal of assessing the effects and designing with them in mind. This is the only way to ensure the strength and reliability of produced items. Stress analysis will inform us about estimated stress and related failure sites. Mechanical engineers are responsible for the performance of of analysis such as vibration-shock analysis, and in part also for thermomechanical analysis. Based on these analyses, we can predict functional degradation as well as estimate time margins for relevant failure mechanisms due to stress at failure sites.
This is the study and determination of the effects of loads on physical structures and their components. It is necessary to carry out this analysis of any structure that must bear a load, ranging from soil strata to buildings and bridges, and of course, mechanical parts and machinery.
MOULD FLOW ANALYSIS
In an ever more competitive market, no company can afford flawed production and output, which wastes both time and money. For moulded parts, it is a vital to evaluate the quality of the moulds used, to ensure that all produced items are of the highest quality.
Static analysis allows us to check the stability of a product in situ, taking into account installation and ambient conditions. This type of analysis simulates, for example, the stablity of a suspended luminaire or the installation requirements of a street or wall luminaire, and has proven to be a fast, simple, and effective way to identify structural defects. There really is no excuse for developing a product without it.