The employees at ER Wagner Manufacturing don’t just want to make your part, they want to make your part better.
With more than 100 years of experience, “engineered solutions” takes on a whole new meaning at ER Wagner.
“We try to help customers improve their products by utilizing our design expertise,” said Brad Gador, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at ER Wagner. “Our team of engineers designs a better process and a better part.”
“So when we say engineering, we’re not just talking about tool design. A lot of stampers can design and build tooling,” Director of Engineering Dan Danoski said. “But we’re talking about product design. So when a customer comes to us, we can design and enhance the product for them. We do all the FEA analysis for them. It’s a collaborative effort to achieve the optimal design.”
Specializing in heavy-duty hinges, casters and wrapped products and cut tubes, ER Wagner also does contract stamping for a wide range of industries at its facilities located in Menomonee Falls, WI, and Brookfield, IL. And with the recent addition of a new Minster FX2-600 Servo Press, the overall stamping capabilities at ER Wagner has increased dramatically.
“Initially, the reason we wanted the Minster press was because we acquired some work that required more die space and tonnage than what we had the capacity for,” Danoski said. “And the servo technology, for me, gives us a lot of versatility.”
Tooling Development Manager at ER Wagner, Jeremy Simonson, said the Minster FX2 Servo press has given them a lot of flexibility.
“We make a wide variety of complex stampings, and not every mechanical press is suited for every type of tooling that we put into the press,” he said. “So the servo press gives you the ability to adapt to different parts and different tools without buying a different press.”
“We’re a contract manufacturer so whenever we look at capital assets we’re always trying to broaden the capability of what we’re able to make,” Gador added. “We looked at the Minster servo press as an opportunity to broaden the capabilities of what we do now and what we can quote in the future.”
The Minster FX2 series features a robust design based on the legendary E2 HeviStamper press. The low inertia drive, liquid cooling technology, and other advanced features give the FX2 unmatched performance characteristics.
“When you talk about Minster, for me it’s the high quality and the precision of the presses in general, whether it’s mechanical or a servo,” Danoski said. “And what really intrigued us when we looked at FX2 press, compared to all of the other servo presses we looked at, was its technology with the planetary gear system and the way it’s arranged with the low inertia drive is far superior to everything else we have seen in the market.”
“From the technical side what that means is faster stopping times and faster acceleration so we can react to die protection errors quicker,” Simonson added, “which means you can run faster in the end.”
With the available inching hand-wheel, the FX2 has been a hit with press operators at ER Wagner for its ease of setup and operation.
“I run four or five other presses here and the FX2 amazes me compared to the other presses in what it can do and what it’s capable of,” press operator Lenard Hicks said. “The sound of the Minster press is so much different. The first time I heard it run, I was like, ‘Whoa, what was that?’ It’s very impressive.”
And with the programmable slide motions, ER Wagner is realizing some big gains in production speeds. Simonson said a part that was running at 15-20 strokes per minute on a mechanical press has been greatly enhanced by customizing the stroke profile.
“We can increase the stroke speed to an excess of 50 (spm) in certain less-critical areas and then slow it down and form at 15,” he said. “The max speed programmable for that part will be about 39.9 strokes per minute with the profile that we’ve developed so far, and we can maybe get more out of it.”
Tool Room Manager Bill Dwyer said the limiting factor on some of the parts run on the Minster FX2 has been part evacuation.
“It’s not really the press or the feed line itself, it’s getting the parts out from under the die,” he said. “We’re going to be making the parts so quickly that we can’t get them out fast enough. So that’s a good kind of problem we need to solve.”
The durability of Minster presses, backed by an industry-leading Customer Service network, has contributed to the success at ER Wagner.
“For me, it’s Minster in general,” Danoski said. “It’s their customer service. My experience with them is that it’s second to none. And with all our Minster presses it’s about the robustness of the design. They just seem to run and run and run. That’s important, especially with the just-in-time situations where we’re shipping daily. We have to have presses that are up all the time and running.”
Keeping up with technology is important at ER Wagner where its value-added expertise and services pave the way for customer collaboration.
“We have a number of new types of technology in our factory, and this 600 ton Minster servo press is kind of the crown jewel of our new technology strategy,” Gador said. “Yes, we needed that press for certain projects we won, but as part of a bigger picture we will be able to expand on several levels and continue to grow our business.”