Building precision press tools

MENTION the word toolmaking in industrial circles, and inevitably a name that always crops up is Fairfit. Based in Mangere Auckland, Fairfit has been building press tools to produce precise metal stamped parts for more than 40 years. Fairfit’s expert toolmakers use the latest techniques and technology to build tooling for stamping parts that meet your exact specifications. “We are specialists at designing and building many types of metal stamping dies, from simple single operation tools to complex multistage progressive dies,” explains Fairfit’s managing director Rick Walter. It’s an exacting craft – to maximise efficiency Fairfit utilises the latest CAD software. “Parts and tools are solid modelled on the computer so they can be analysed for optimal design,” says Walter. “We can accept drawings and models using a number of file formats to ensure sped and accuracy during the design process.” The company’s designers and toolmakers have extensive experience in using electronic die protection. Fairfit-built tools are often fitted with electronic sensors to suit the specific requirements of production, quality control, process control and budget. Sensors used include fibre-optic proximity sensors, micro-switches, light curtains, infra-red sensors and inductive ring sensors. “We also have an in-depth knowledge of pneumatics and control systems, including in-house programming capability for PLCs.” Cost-effective prototype production is another string to Fairfit’s bow. A unique short-run stamping system for manufacturing prototype parts and small pre-production runs means parts can often be supplied within a couple of weeks. As well as manufacturing the tools to create parts, Fairfit also specialises in stamping a wide range of small and complex components from a range of metals as thin as 0.1mm through to 3.0mm. The company’s metal pressing facility features power presses from three to 35 tonnes, as well as several multi-slide machines for stamping and forming complex parts from wire or strip in a single process. Metal types involved include steel, aluminium, stainless, spring stainless, brass, copper, phosphor bronze, beryllium copper, nickel silver, tin plate, kovar, as well as pre-painted and pre-plated alloys. RF Shield production is another specialty, as is metal products for shop-fittings. And with the recent purchase of a specialist plastic mould toolmaker, Fairfit has now acquired exciting new capabilities in its toolmaking and precision engineering. It’s a matter of ‘watch this space’!

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