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Helical Products Company, Inc.

New MW Industries Aerospace Solutions

New MW Industries Aerospace Solutions provides

precision metal components for aerospace design and manufacturing

Santa Maria, CA, November 30, 2017 – MW Industries, a leading provider of highly-engineered springs, couplings, specialty fasteners, machined parts and other precision metal components, is announcing the launch of MW Aerospace Solutions to help address the specific needs of Tier 1 and OEMs in the aerospace and defense industry. MW Aerospace Solutions designs and manufactures springs, fasteners, and related products for a wide range of aerospace applications, including components for engines, flight controls, propulsion, landing gear, interiors, avionics, and the most advanced space exploration vehicles. The brands comprising this group include Atlantic Spring, Accurate Screw Machine, BellowsTech, Helical Products and Servometer, - specializing in springs, stampings, fasteners, couplings, flexures, machined springs, edge-welded and electrodeposited bellows and assemblies. “With ISO9001 and AS9100 certification and compliancy, MW Aerospace Solutions offers core aerospace capabilities and experience with our advanced manufacturing techniques and processes that yield unrivaled innovations. Our market basket of products and our custom solutions are specifically designed and manufactured for the aerospace industry,” explains John Bagnuolo, Chief Executive Officer, MW Industries. “Our mission is to enable our OEM and manufacturing partners to bring products to market more quickly and cost-effectively.” The MW Aerospace Solutions companies include:
  • Atlantic Spring, Flemington, NJ, manufactures a full-range of custom springs, clock springs, flat springs, shaped wire springs, torsion springs, wire forms and assemblies.
  • Accurate Screw Machine, Fairfield, NJ manufactures certified electronic hardware and fasteners including captive screws, nuts, spacers and washers.
  • BellowsTech, Ormond Beach, FL, markets a premier line of edge-welded bellows and assemblies.
  • Helical Products, Santa Maria, CA, manufactures tight tolerance custom flexible couplings and machined springs.
  • Servometer, Cedar Grove, NJ, manufactures a high-quality line of miniature bellows, flexible shaft couplings, contact springs and bellows assemblies.
According to Kevin Kuhn, Sr. Vice President of MW Aerospace Solutions, ”Each companys’ product technologies complement each other in terms of size, compatibility, material and performance capability.  As expert industry suppliers of custom-focused manufactured solutions, we are completely dedicated to the on-time delivery of quality, cost-effective parts.  Our state-of-the-art systems and CNC equipment ensure consistency, reliability, and fast delivery.” For more info:

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 23,000 customers in 35-plus countries. Its more than 40,000 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 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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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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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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Electrical Isolation Coupling Selection

Selecting the right coupling when electrical isolation is a priority.

Understanding design challenges

Most of the couplings on the market today are either partially, or entirely, made of metal. Since metal is such a good electrical conductor it can be a challenge for the design engineer to find a suitable product to serve as a flexible coupling for transmitting torque and yet not transmitting electrical current.

Looking at options

Randy Kingsbury, Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Helical Products Company explains that there are several options available for specifying an electrically isolating coupling, however there are numerous key factors to consider before making a final selection.

“As with any coupling selection the engineer needs to consider the shaft diameters, attachment method, torque being transmitted, torsional stiffness required for accurate performance, plus the amount of current and/or voltage needing to be isolated,” he says.

Option 1: Non-metallic coupling

 Non-metallic coupling for electrical isolation

Non-metallic coupling for electrical isolation

“The best choice for total electrical isolation is obviously a non-metallic coupling, but those types are couplings are limited in performance capabilities. The drawback is that because of the low modulus of elasticity and low yield strength of any non-metallic material that would be suitable for a flexible coupling, any part manufactured would have a very low torque rating and high torsional flexibility. These characteristics are usually counter to what a design engineer is seeking.”

“Another major problem with a non-metallic coupling with its inherent low strength, makes fastening the coupling t

he shaft a problem. Threads can easily strip out before enough clamping force can be applied to a cap screw or downward force applied by a set screw, Kingsbury adds.


Option 2: Multi-piece coupling

The next option for specifying a flexible coupling for electrical isolation is to use a multi-piece coupling where the flexing element is non-conductive.

“A good example of this is the jaw type coupling,” says Kingsbury. “In this case the hubs are made of metal (either machined or cast) so the problem with attachment strength is eliminated. An insert between the hubs can be selected

A dielectric insert

A dielectric insert

that is created from a non-metallic elastomeric compound ranging from rubber to urethane or other moldable materials.”   “An advantage of this jaw type coupling in electrically sensitive application is that the elastomeric insert can be selected with differing durometers which allow better tuning the coupling to the operational requirements of the application.”
Dielectric insert fully inserted into the coupling

Dielectric insert fully inserted into the coupling

“Although this type of coupling provides good electrical isolation it is still bound by the potential drawbacks of any multi-piece coupling,” Kingsbury warns. “Over time it is possible for the spider to wear and backlash is induced into the system, which will affect its accuracy and smooth operation. Because of this wear this type of coupling would not be a good choice in an operational environment where contamination from wear of the elastomeric spider would be a concern.”

Option 3: Work around the issue

Kingsbury says that the third, and often the best, option for providing electrical isolation with a flexible shaft coupling, is to select the best suited coupling as if electrical isolation is not a concern and then use a non-conductive bushing to isolate either one or both shafts from the coupling.

“This requires ordering the coupling with bores larger than the shafts and then machining, or ordering, a dielectric insert to separate the bore and shaft,” he explains. “To make this work also requires a coupling with a clamp style attachment so the compressive force can prevent slipping between the bushing and shaft, or bushing and coupling.

“Torque transmission may be limited because of the low coefficient of friction between the insert and mating parts. A set screw attachment will not work because it would require so much tightening torque to hold the coupling and bushing that it would likely damage the insert and result in metal to metal contact between the coupling and shaft.” He adds.

Evaluating all the options

In conclusion, Kingsbury says, “Overall there are many ways to solve the challenge of using couplings in electrical isolation applications. These are only a few of the main methods. Whether choosing any of the examples explained above, or attempting any other solutions, it will always be necessary for the design engineer evaluate the option thoroughly, as well as investigate the voltage/current being isolated to ensure there is sufficient resistivity provided by the isolating material selected.

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DS Series solves tough motion control applications

Rugged DS Series solves tough motion control applications.

Helical's DS series aluminum coupling is specifically designed to meet the demand of today's high performance motion control applications.

The DS Series works exceedingly well in applications requiring a flexible coupling that combines superior torque capacity and high torsional stiffness, without the weight and inertia of a stainless steel coupling.  Since acceleration rates are higher in today's motion control systems, lower inertia of individual components means a more resDS Series Couplingponsive system.  The DS Series meets these requirements for outstanding performance with minimum coupling inertia.  Motion control applications that require connecting motor and leadscrews and/or leadscrew and encoders are the focus of the DS series. The product affords the designer with substantial .010-inch parallel offset capability, reducing the need for high precision alignment during assembly operations.  It also accommodates three degrees of angular shaft misalignment and permits axial motion of ±.008".  Outside diameters are provided in 3/4", 1", 1 1/4", 1 1/2" and 2" sizes. The DS Series is different from any other coupling in the Helical coupling lineup; it is the only series to use a multi-start flexure design.  In this case, the DS Series has a "Double Start" flexure, which is where the designation "DS" is derived.  In this configuration each flexure consists of two coils that start 180 degrees from each other so as to maximize parallel misalignment capability without sacrificing performance.  Combining these flexures in this manner enables the coupling to operate at a high performance standard. The DS Series is a full featured coupling that includes the popular Integral Clamp attachment and a Relief bore configuration.  The Integral Clamp is a great method to attach the coupling to a shaft.  Tightening down the socket head capscrew of the clamp draws it down onto the shaft for a positive friction connection.  By simply loosening the capscrew the coupling can be conveniently removed or repositioned, as needed, to satisfy any application.  The relief configuration allows the shafts to enter into the flexure area making installation easier because the distance between shafts is not critical. When looking for the best value in a coupling to meet demands of the newest designs of motion control applications, the DS Series is well worth your consideration.  Use the coupling selector to find the right DS Series coupling or complete an Engineering Proposal Form for an engineer to assist you today!  
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Helical supports local Foodbank

Helical Products Company’s employees are excited to participate in a Holiday Food Drive benefiting the local Santa Barbara County Foodbank.

Beginning November 1-22nd,  Helical Product's employees have been bringing in food items to donate to the local Foodbank.  Helical is happy to participate in the food drive to give back to the local community.  All of the food donated to the foodbank goes back into the community.  Over 38% of the donations going straight into Santa Maria, Helical’s hometown. Largest donation to the Foodbank by an empolyee “I am grateful to be able to give back, especially because so many people are always giving to me.” Says Helical employee Barb.  Barb has contributed the most donations so far with over 40 different items.  The Santa Barbara County Food Bank receives 10 million pounds of food a year in donations.  Their program model, logistics and efficiency multiple the impact of every dollar contributed.  The Foodbank turns $1 into 8 meals. At the Foodbank, they are committed to ending hunger and food insecurity though good nutrition.  Their “Foods 2 Encourage” initiative has help to encourage the Helical employees with their donations and also provide insight into healthier lifestyles.  The program helps to improve the quality of food available at the Foodbank. The Helical employees look forward to giving back, and also the possibility of winning a pie.  For every 5 items or $5 donated, each employee will receive a raffle ticket for their chance to win a Thanksgiving pie provided by Helical!  The company is working hard to give back to the local community that has been so good to them. To help, go to to locate your local food bank.  Feeding America secures and distributes 4 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United Stated and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger.
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Beam Coupling vs. Rigid Coupling

Challenges of component connection

Beam Coupling vs. Rigid Coupling:  Engineers in the design phase of a motion control related project are faced with the selection of many components, from motors and leadscrews to bearings and fasteners. One other key component that is critical to the successful function of any new design, which is often overlooked, is the flexible coupling that will connect the motor and leadscrew. Flexible Couplings vs rigid couplingRandy Kingsbury, Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Helical Products Company points out that a flexible coupling is always recommended over a rigid coupling or solid coupling. “The fact is there will always be some misalignment between the connected shafts as well as a slight amount of movement from thermal expansion/contraction of the various components. Additionally a coupling may be necessary between the lead screw and a feedback device or other element of the system,” he says. “When considering the options available with the various types of flexible couplings it can be difficult to discern the benefits of one over the other. Certainly the torque being transmitted through the coupling is a key factor but also is the misalignment capability. The primary misalignments referenced by the various manufacturers are angular, parallel and axial motion.” The Backlash Issue Kingsbury also notes that one important aspect of a flexible coupling used in motion control applications that can have very detrimental effect on performance and accuracy is backlash. “Backlash comes from free-play between the mating components that make up a multi-piece coupling. A majority of the fleFlexible Couplings vs rigid couplingxible couplings on the market are these types of multi-piece assemblies. Although advances in manufacturing techniques have significantly improved, and essentially removed, this backlash does occur.” “When the part is new, consideration should be given to how well the coupling and the fit between its mating parts will hold up over time because the purpose of these couplings is to flex, which stresses the assembly points.” There is an answer to this concern. Kingsbury says that the answer lies in selecting a coupling made from a single-piece of material because there are no points of assembly to loosen and induce backlash where you might get that with a rigid coupling. “The most well-known type of single-piece flexible coupling that does the best job of transmitting torque for its outside diameter, compensates for significant misalignment and does not exhibit backlash is the beam type coupling. These types of couplings have been around for 50+ years and are still common in motion control applications.” The Beam Coupling Solution “The beam coupling is both compact and affordable while offering a proven track record for reliability,” Kingsbury says. “For more demanding high torque applications they are available in high strength 17-4 stainless steel. Another benefit of the beam coupling over a rigid coupling is the fact it’s machined from single-piece of material, is the incorporation of features to further simplify and add value to the overall assembly.” In conclusion, he says that not only does the incorporation of the features of this type of coupling relieve the engineering department of managing drawings for the integrated components but the purchasing department only needs to order, receive, and inventory one full featured coupling rather than numerous parts. He advises that if faced with this type of application, there are always coupling suppliers who can advise and specify the proper coupling to meet any need.
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