Anodize with Communication and Craftsmanship


By Andre Papineau

The first step in anodizing aluminum that is often overlooked is communicating the objective for the part. What does the part do; why is anodize required; are there areas that are critical to the function of the final part; is a certain anodize type important? Talking over these objectives will help refine the anodizing process and cost estimates.

Careful planning also requires clear and concise drawings. The more complicated the part, the greater the importance of clear drawings. When drawings or plans indicate exactly where anodize areas should be masked there is less confusion about the time it will take to prepare the part. The better drawings communicate your intentions, the more precise cost estimates can be.

Masking can often be a very laborious and time consuming job and can represent more than 70% of anodize costs. When Qualtek receives a quote request, at least three sets of eyes review the drawings. Sometimes we have the part in hand and can match drawings to the part and identify any questions about the process. The more information we have, the more accurately we can estimate the time it will take to complete the masking and anodizing process.

Once the plans are reviewed and quotes approved, anodizing the part according to the plans takes true craftsmanship. Qualtek’s expert finishing team applies plugs, tape, or paint to precisely match drawings. Their craftsmanship earned Qualtek the nickname of “Best Anodizer in Colorado”.

The key to getting high quality, anodize parts at the best price requires communication of objectives, clear drawings, and expert craftsmanship. For questions about anodizing or any of our finishing process, please contact me at (719) 598-3394.

Really, Really Right

Mike Williams

By Mike Williams

Most Tool and Die folks know about Wire EDM. But do you know when it is right for YOU?

  • Wire EDM is precise. When you need tolerance to be within 0.0001″, Wire EDM can get you there.
  • Wire EDM can create tight inside radius. When your part requires a feature that is simply too detailed for conventional lathe or mill machining, Wire EDM can deliver an inside radius of .005″.
  • Wire EDM can create an ultra-fine finish. When you need a finish that meets  32-surface-finishcriteria, Wire EDM can finish it.

When precision, tight inside radius, or ultra-fine finish is important for your conductive material part, Wire EDM might be your best solution. Unfortunately, we sometimes see drawings where the specified machining process cannot deliver the tolerance required and problems develop. Don’t get yourself in a tight spot. Talk to us when you are planning the part for recommendations.

One more thing you might not know about Wire EDM — Qualtek does it! If you work with Qualtek for Stamping, Tool & Die, Heat Treating, or Finishing, you may not realize Wire EDM is one of our specialties. Contact me for any questions you have on Wire EDM.

Conversation On A Plane Spreads The Mission Of Blue Star

adt-story-10-16On a recent flight to Denver, Chris Fagnant, President of Qualtek Manufacturing, struck up a conversation with Glen Smith, Director of Dealer Operations for ADT, the home and business security services company. Chris asked how ADT recycled their old security devices and suddenly the two businessmen were discussing how Blue Star Recyclers creates jobs for people with autism and other disabilities by recycling electronics.

They also found a shared interest in security when Chris mentioned how Blue Star Recyclers shreds data devices to protect personal information. Glen was so impressed he shared Blue Star’s story through a newsfeed with the ADT Authorized Dealer Group nationwide.

Thanks for spreading the word about Blue Star Recyclers and helping to create more jobs for people with disAbilities!

Qualtek Achieves ELP Gold

GoldELPlogoSmQualtek received notice from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that they reached all compliance criteria to be named a Gold Leader in the Environmental Leadership Program.

ELP is a statewide program that recognizes organizations that voluntarily go beyond compliance to continual environmental improvement.

Read the press release.

Qualtek is 2016 Top Company Finalist

Top-Company-Event-2015For the second year in a row, Qualtek Manufacturing has been named as a finalist for the 2016 Top Company award. The winner will be announced on August 25 in Denver. Qualtek is one of three finalists in the manufacturing sector. Over 100 nominations were received and a panel of cross sector judges will select the Top Company. Qualtek President, Chris Fagnant, said this award represents the consistent quality and hard work of all the people at Qualtek.

Not Too Much, Not Too Little, Heat Treat Just Right

by Matt Seebeck

Heat-treating is part of a multi-step manufacturing process to get just the right shape, thickness, and hardness for your metal part. Some people use a rough rule of thumb of adding 20 thousandths (0.020”) on each side of the part for intermediate processing. Depending on variables such as material type, part size, and final application, that may be too much or too little. A part may grow or shrink during the heat treat process and this too can affect material usage. So how much intermediary volume should you allow?

We’ll answer your question with questions: What do you want to achieve? What other machining operations are required? What material are you using? Each material has a unique set of properties, which influence the heat treatment process. Tell us why you need to use that material and we can help you determine how much waste to allow for. Alternatively, we can recommend a different material that may achieve your goals.

Whether annealing a drill bit to increase its ductility or carburizing a part so that the outer layer is strong enough to withstand repeated use, we love working with machinists during the design phase, to help them meet the needs of their clients. Whatever your project, a quick call to Qualtek will help you determine specifications that save waste and increase efficiency.