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Helical Products Company, Inc.

U-joints: New designs, misalignment ratings, & how to choose suitable features

Standard U-Joints

Free Webinar:  "U-joints: New designs, misalignment ratings, and how to choose suitable features"

Helical Products Company is partnering with Design World on Tuesday, October 17th to present a free webinar, "U-joints: New designs, misalignment ratings, and how to choose suitable features."  Attend this informative webinar to gain insights into Helical Product's new line of standard u-joints and how to specify the correct part number for your application. Universal joints (also called U-joints) transmit rotating power through angles that are much larger than those possible via flexible couplings. No wonder then than U-joints are ubiquitous power-transmission devices used in an array of industrial machines, medical, aerospace and off-highway applications. In this webinar, we explore new options for design engineers that need to employ U-joints — as well as some of the key parameters that dictate which variations are suitable for a given machine axis. Viewing this program you will learn:
  • The basics of U-joint design and their applications
  • How to save time and money with new standard-offering U-joints; how different attachment options (set screws and clamps) allow designers to tailor setups to a given axis
  • How new offerings in U-joints now give engineers access to fast delivery of standard U-joints — in stock and ready to ship within 24 hours — so end customers can build prototypes faster
  • Where standard U-joints are readily available and more cost effective than custom-manufactured product
  • How single-piece U-joints with no moving parts work; where U-joints of different materials excel and where an added Helical flexure can optimize designs
  • The basics of U-joint misalignment ratings and their importance during specifying
Join Derek Evans and Michael Haber, Product Design Engineers at Helical Products, in this webinar hosted by Design World as they cover everything you need to know about u-joints and Helical's new product line. Register here for this webinar to attend live or receive the archived link that can be viewed at any time.
Title: U-joints: New designs, misalignment ratings, and how to choose suitable features Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Time: 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time Duration: 30 minutes

This presentation will begin on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

Audience members may arrive 15 minutes in advance of this time.
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Manufacturing Day 2017

Celebrate Modern Manufacturing with Helical Products

Helical Products Company will open their doors Thursday, November 2nd, to mechanical engineering students of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to celebrate Manufacturing Day 2017. The doors will open Thursday, November 2nd at Helical Products to students and professors from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers club and classes to show them first hand what modern manufacturing looks like.  Visitors of Helical Products will go through an overview of the value added process at Helical Products where they will also get a behind the scenes look at our design engineering process.  They will see firsthand application stories and will finish their visit with a tour of the facility.  The tour of Helical Products will provide students with a better understanding of modern manufacturing as well as lean practices. Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.  This annual event has companies opening their doors and allowing people from the communities around them to come see what they do.  MFG Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG Day, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.  MFG Day was created to expand knowledge and change perceptions of the industry, throughout community wide events. Helical looks forward to getting more community involvement and informing the future of America’s manufacturers what possibilities are available. Find a Manufacturing Day 2017 celebration in your area to learn more about what modern manufacturing has to offer. Find an event or learn more information at
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Helical Products names HC Pacific as its new global partner

SANTA MARIA, CA – Helical Products, a precision metal components company of MW Industries, announced its appointment of HC Pacific as its master distribution partner for its standard HELI-CAL Flexure flexible coupling product line. Under the new partnership, HC Pacific will provide this state-of-the-art coupling solution to the domestic marketplace. This agreement, effective October 1, 2017, will expand HC Pacific’s existing portfolio of high quality coupling solutions to customers in multiple vertical markets. "We are delighted with our appointment as Helical’s master distribution partner," said Andrew Pramschufer, president of HC Pacific. "HC Pacific brings to Helical 45 years of world class experience as a leading global distributor of products and services. Our emphasis on customer service, technical support, and flawless execution will support the needs of a broad range of markets including aerospace, industrial, and medical. We look forward to bringing Helical’s unparalleled Flexure flexible coupling product offering to our customer base." Kevin Kuhn, general manager of Helical, commented, “Helical looks for value-added distribution partners to expand our customer base. Our engineering capabilities and custom manufacturing creates unique solutions for mechanical misalignment. HC Pacific will help us provide our outstanding solutions to a broader group of customers.”

About HC Pacific

HC Pacific is a leading global distributor of products and provider of innovative supply chain optimization services for over 45 years. Since our inception in 1971, HC Pacific has been a one-stop source for specialty raw materials, precision fasteners, electronic hardware, and components / line-replacement units for various aerospace applications. For more information, please visit

About Helical Products

Helical Products is a global leader in manufacturing flexible solutions.  The engineering and complex manufacturing we deliver elevates applications for virtually any industry from military, aerospace and defense, medical, energy, automation, high performance racing, robotics and more.  Since 1958, our engineering expertise, exceptional customer service and quality products, have delivered custom engineered parts all over the world providing customers with reliable, quality products to help solve mechanical misalignment problems.  Helical Products is AS9100 certified, RoHS Compliant and ITAR registered.

About MW Industries

MW Industries, Inc., headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, is a leading provider of highly engineered springs, specialty fasteners, machined parts and other precision components to more than 45,000 customers in 35-plus countries. Its more than 100,000 products are sold through a combination of direct sales, catalogs and distributors to original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket customers in aerospace, medical, electronics, energy, agriculture/construction, automotive replacement, military and other sectors. For more information, please visit
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Couplings & Machined Springs at MD&M East

MD&M East Helical is coming together with one of our domestic representatives, R.P. Luce & Company, Inc., to showcase flexible shaft couplings, u-joints and machined springs at this years' MD&M East Trade Show in New York, NY. This co-located trade show is one not to be missed on the East Coast offering technologies and applications that are redefining the manufacturing process and providing emerging innovations in the medical, aerospace and defense, robotics, industrial, and high performance motor sports field. Need a coupling that can compensate for angular, parallel, or skewed misalignment that can relieve stress and is designed for ultimate end use efficiency? Come see us! Maybe you looking for an alternative to a wire wound spring that is proven to be predictable, repeatable and reliable? Let us show you our Machined Springs. Visit Helical Products Company and R.P. Luce & Company, Inc., June 13-15, at the MedTechWorld trade show at booth# 332 or stop by our MW Industries booth# 721. Watch the dynamic show display as it demonstrates the tremendous versatility of the HELI-CAL® Flexure in both flexible couplings and machined springs. Pick up your free conceptual sample and discover a world of products that can add value to your design. Contact us at or 877-FLEXURE, to set up an appointment or let us know when you will be available to meet us at the show. We look forward to seeing you at MD&M East!
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17-4PH Stainless Steel Couplings Double Your Torque


The Capabilities of 17-4PH Stainless Steel and the Helical® Flexure

Helical’s 17-4PH stainless steel flexible couplings (couplers) are ideal when high strength, excellent fatigue resistance and high torsional 17-4PH Stainless Steel H, W and MC Series couplingsstiffness are called for in an application. When compared to both 303 stainless steel and 7075-T6 aluminum, 17-4PH provides twice the torque and can operate up to 600F. Helical couplings are machined from a solid piece of material, and when the unique HELI-CAL ® Flexure is incorporated they can compensate for angular, parallel or skewed misalignment, while providing axial compliance, constant velocity and smooth bearing loads. The W Series, World Series, and H Series Stainless Steel Series are general purpose couplings are ideal for heavy duty uses such as pumps, lead screws, positioning systems, and processing equipment. The MC Series, Motor Coupling, has higher torque capacity and torsional stiffness with two sets of flexures for increased parallel offset. It is good for pumps, conveyor systems, and industrial processing equipment where absolute reliability is required.

An array of options, in a variety of OD sizes, enable the designer to tailor each series for their specific application.

An array of options, in a variety of OD sizes, enable the designer to tailor each series for their specific application. The W Series (metric) accommodates shaft sizes from 3mm to 20mm, the MC Series from .156 to 1.75 inches (3.96mm to 44.45mm) and can accommodate option keyways, and the H Series from .059 to 0.75 inches (1.5mm-19mm). All three series include configurations with reliefs, and set screw or integral clamp attachments with inch or metric bores. The W Series is configured with metric fasteners. All 3 series are capable of transmitting torque through 5º if required, and can operate in temperatures up to 600º F (300° C). Order Now! Order your 17-4PH Stainless Steel flexible coupling now! Cant find the part you need?  Complete an engineering proposal form and one of our application engineers will begin designing your custom part. Begin Your Custom Design      
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In-House Engineering Support

Why is in-house engineering support so important right now?

Engineered in-house Flexible coupling with multiple tooth sensor actuator and index keyDesign World Online recently interviewed Helical Products on our in-house engineering and what changes we are making to continue to lead the industry and keep up with increasing demands. In- house engineering and support is a part of the business model for every coupling manufacturer that wants to remain competitive. Why the increased need over the last few years? We asked Helical Products Co. to help get us up to speed. “We have found that more and more designs are pushing the limits of material capability. In response, we have upgraded our analysis capability to meet the increased demand and improve our first pass results. One element of our design process is to learn as much about our customer’s application as possible in an effort to help them get the best solution that we have to offer. Many times this view from outside the box yields benefits for all of us,” said Yamil Guerra, Helical Products domestic representative from Design Components, Inc. Guerra continues and explains a project in Helical’s recent past that demonstrates the value of the company’s prototype capabilities. “In 2016 Helical introduced a dedicated prototype cell at our plant in Santa Maria, CA. which is used in its entirety for small-batch prototype runs for our customers to rapidly test their new concepts. It has considerably reduced lead times on prototypes giving our customers the R&D advantage to quickly bring their concepts to market. Helical offers engineering consultations free-of-charge both at the customer’s site through our international Representative network, and in-house through our Applications Engineering department.”
Find the Helical representative in your area here for an in house demonstration of the capabilities of the Helical Flexure. Need a part fast?  Contact us and one of our applications engineers will begin working on your custom design.
Design World
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How are IoT and additive manufacturing impacting couplings?

How are IoT and additive manufacturing impacting couplings?

The influence of the internet of things, IoT, and additive manufacturing has a long reach and it appears to be expanding. To learn more about how these two technological advances are changing motion systems and the coupling industry in specific, Design World talked to Yamil Guerra, Helical Products domestic representative from Design Components, Inc., to get some answers. Here is what he had to say. I don’t see these methods of automation deployment necessarily changing motion system design as much as increasing the number of opportunities for motion control solutions. As the variety of materials leveraged by additive manufacturing increases, the number of system designs that didn’t have the volume or resources to be built, now become a possibility along with greater affordability of proof of concept hardware. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been around for a while (e.g. machine remote access) but together with the Internet of Things making a big splash in consumer products, we’ve entered the era of Big Data, meaning that manufacturers may have more access to direct feedback on their products which in turn may accelerate design improvements in motion design and other areas of a system. We look to see an increase in custom designs with the IoT and additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing has opened the door to alternative means of material production. However, the technology has to trickle down from high-end manufacturing—say printing the curve profile of a plane’s fuselage in lieu of machining it out of an entire piece of metal—to other industries using older manufacturing methods that are less costly and still provide good results. "Innovative manufacturing practices will pave the way towards any company’s future success." With increasing demands of the US consumer to have products in their hands faster than ever before, an integrated supply chain using new innovative manufacturing practices will pave the way towards any company’s future success. We look forward to what opportunities the internet of things and additive manufacturing brings to us in the future. Read the article from here.
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Design simplicity in the coupling industry

Is there an increasing demand for design simplicity in the coupling industry?

Greater value for the coupling industry for one piece solutions Design World Magazine recently worked with Yamil Guerra, Helical Products domestic representative from Design Components, Inc. for his take on the coupling industry in 2017. Specifically, they wanted to know if he’s seeing an increased demand for design simplicity or turnkey operation. Here is what he had to say. “Helical’s capability to incorporate what’s at either side of a coupling into a one-piece design gives engineers the possibility to introduce greater efficiencies to any system while decreasing parts-count and inventory. There’s been a steady demand increase in the past couple of years for products that offer simpler designs and greater efficiencies across industries. We have always considered tight integration with customer designs as our competitive advantage in the marketplace, so we perhaps have a more narrow view. But we have had an increase in the number of applications that start with a high level of integration, so either we are doing a better job of getting the word out, or more people are seeing the value of greater integration or both. Because of the nature of our product, to respond to greater demands in integration (simplicity), we have had to focus on faster turnaround in both design, and product delivery, particularly prototypes.”    
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Flexible Coupling Solutions Webinar

Free Webinar:  "Flexible Coupling Solutions for OEM Applications"

Helical Products Company is partnering with NASA Tech Briefs on March 23rd, 2017 to present a free webinar, "Flexible Coupling Solutions for OEM Applications."  Attend this informative webinar to gain insights into specifying a flexible coupling. Flexible Coupling Solutions Designing and manufacturing a custom coupling for OEM applications provides savings by optimizing the size and targeting environmental conditions that would not be met by off-the-shelf products. The incorporation of special attachment features will reduce the time and expense of design, purchase and inventory of multiple parts. In this Webinar, gain insights into specifying a flexible coupling for your application that offers the best combination of value and performance. Attendees will see examples of solutions provided for real world applications that leveraged the engineering support and technical skill of Helical Products. Helical's Domestic Sales Manager, Tom Puerling, will be presenting this webinar.  Tom has spent the last 19 years at Helical Products Company training and educating their group of manufacturers' representatives and customers about the versatility of the Helical Flexure.  Graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Tom majored in mathematical sciences and brings his years of practical experience to his presentation. Register here for this webinar to attend live or receive the archived link that can be viewed at any time.    
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Flexure Matters

The inspiration for the Helical Flexure came form the observation that one piece "flexured" flexible couplings offered maximum versatility  in terms of form, function and reliability.  Over time, the adaptability of the Heli-cal Flexure in couplings, u-joints and precision machined springs has helped to solve thousands of mechanical misalignment problems.  The flexing qualities of the "flexure" can be customized to compensate for angular and skewed misalignment, parallel offset and axial motion.  All of this can be accomplished while maintaining constant velocity rotation and smooth bearing loads.   Heli-cal Flexures can be designed to customer specifications by simply changing coil dimensions and/or materials.  Each of the following flexures are made from the same material, and have the same outside diameter and length.  These groups of matching colored flexures demonstrate how varying a single characteristic can influence performance.

"Flexure" concept promotes application versatility.

All other things remaining equal, as coil thickness increases, so does torsional stiff and torque load rating.

All other things remaining equal, as coil thickness increases, so does torsional stiff and torque load rating.

    The four red flexures below are identical in outside diameter (OD), inside diameter (ID), length and number of coils.  The only difference is the coil thickness.  Changing this feature affects torque, angularity (bending moment), parallel misalignment (radial load), torsional rate and compressions spring rate.  
As ID increases in otherwise identical flexure, torsional flexibility increases and torque load rating decreases.

As ID increases in otherwise identical flexure, torsional flexibility increases and torque load rating decreases.

All of the green colored flexures are identical with the exception of the inside diameters (ID).  This change affects the torque, bending moment, radial load, torsional rate and compression spring rate.   The only difference between each of the blue colored Heli-cal Flexures is the length of the coil.  Changes in flexure length affect angularity, radial load, torsional rate and compression spring rate.  However, torque capacity remains constant.
With varying coil length, torque capability remains constant while other performances properties change.

With varying coil length, torque capability remains constant while other performances properties change.

The gold Heli-cal Flexures are multi-beam designs.  Multi-beam flexures have two or more coaxial beams.  The difference between a single beam and multi-beam flexure is analogous to the difference between a single and multi-lead screw.  The affect of changing the number of flexure beams, with all other factors remaining constant, will result in changes to all five performance criteria. Variations in the previously mentioned characteristics affect the performance of the flexure in dramatically different ways.  Altering these factors results in performance changes that may be linear, by the square, or by the cube.  
Changing the number of beams significantly changes all performance characteristics.

Changing the number of beams significantly changes all performance characteristics.

Helical engineers manipulate the various attributes of the flexure to create products that meet the performance criteria specified by the customer.  To this point, we have only discussed what can be done by changing the flexure geometry.  This is only the beginning.  When you consider the additional utility that can be achieved by varying the material from which the flexure is made, or integrating custom end attachments into the product design, you realize there is more to this Heli-cal Flexure concept than originally thought.   With all of this versatility, the only missing ingredient is the imagination of the design engineer.  The Heli-cal Flexure is definitely more than a means to connect two shafts; it's a mechanical solution!
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