Category Archive: Design Engineering

Manor Tool’s Internship Program Helps Close the Manufacturing Skills Gap

Back Row: Kevin Segebarth (General Manager) and Dmitry Balabanov (Corporate Maintenance Manager) Front Row: Tom Simeone (President), Fred Torres (student- Senior), Mario Perez (student – Junior), Lucy Lopez (Quality Assurance Manager), Dan Kiraly (Tool Room Manager)

For high school students on spring break, it’s a time for rest, relaxation and new experiences. For the 3rd year in a row, Manor Tool & Manufacturing welcomed a group of local Chicago high school students to our facilities to provide hands-on, real-world experience in the manufacturing sector.

By supporting these motivated high school students and helping them to enhance their knowledge outside of the classroom, we’re doing our part to decrease the manufacturing skills. We’ve even been able to offer students with career opportunities upon graduation.

Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce

Manor Tool offers an annual internship program over spring break to honor our commitment to growth in the Chicago manufacturing industry. We work with local high schools and trade associations in an effort to increase interest and knowledge about our industry and the many career opportunities it offers.

Our internship program has two main goals. First, we aim to give interested students the chance to learn more about manufacturing by allowing them to be a part of our team for a week. Second, we intend to create an interest in manufacturing to help build and grow tomorrow’s workforce.

We received numerous impressive resumes of students interested in joining our internship program. This year, two students from Leyden High School stood out among the highly qualified candidates: Fred Torres, a senior, and Mario Perez, a junior. These students were chosen based on their history of mechanical and engineering based classes and extracurricular activities. From looking at their resumes, we could tell they would be a great fit with the Manor Tool team.

Their week consisted of learning every facet of what Manor Tool does, starting with a tour of our facilities to learn how a punch press operates. Over the next few days, Fred and Mario learned about all the departments and how each one impacts Manor Tool, including: Engineering and Design, Sales, Customer Service, Accounts Payable, and Ownership. We gave them a glimpse into the many departments and team members it takes to offer high-quality stamping, machining, designing, and engineering services.

Looking Forward

As the need for qualified engineering and machining employees greatly increases, our team at Manor Tool hopes to help decrease the manufacturing skills gap by expanding our role to include more education and opportunities to prospective engineering students.

We enjoyed our week getting to know Fred and Mario, and we look forward to welcoming more interested students to our internship program in the future.

Manor Tool Helps Support Engineering Education

The manufacturing industry has helped shape the face of our country for hundreds of years. With the development of new technologies, many professionals have been able to meet the growing application demands of the industry. As time progressed, applications became increasingly challenging, spurring the need for newer technology and competent workers to utilize said technology.

Manufacturing is widely considered a “traditional” industry, in which most of the professionals have decades of experience; though experience is a highly sought after trait, many workers have long since reached retirement age. With these workers retiring, the industry is looking for the next generation of engineers.

At Manor Tool, our team is all too familiar with this problem—that’s why we regularly participate in educational programs to encourage interest in manufacturing.

Last January, our company partnered with the University of Illinois to give students real world engineering experience. With support from Manor Tool, a senior engineering student team of four tackled some significant assignments. Students were tasked with:

  • Performing in-depth research on casting and other technologies that may be applicable for die fabrication

  • Selecting two dies and reviewing each for cost and lead time reduction

  • Analyzing current stamping drawing designs, materials, and applications

  • Researching lubricant technologies for the materials selected

  • Analyzing force and friction environments in which the dies much withstand during stamping operations

  • Development of progressive die fabrication and lubrication alternatives for die design

  • Reviewing alternatives with Manor Tool personnel for applicability, feasibility, cost, potential prototyping, testing and economic analysis

  • Finalizing recommended designs, lubricants, and economic analysis for delivery to Manor Tool & Manufacturing Co. along with final report and presentation

 University of Illinois and Manor Tool  Back Row left to right: Pratham Gandhi, Brian Hoppe, Matthew Wiencek, Jingtin Lin. Front Row left to right:  Kevin Segebarth, Tom Simeone


Our engineers provided students with feedback for each of these tasks and helped finalize the results for highly detailed reports and presentations. Each team of students worked diligently to complete assignments under the watchful eye of Manor Tool’s team of specialists.  

“It was great seeing the students’ progression over those few months, said Kevin Segebarth, General Manager of Manor Tool. “I was impressed by their very professional manner and eagerness to learn—in my experience, many engineers don’t fully recognize the importance of continuing to learn and grow.”

Learn more about how Manor Tool supports the next generation of engineers by contacting us today.


Internal Machining Centers for Tool & Die Production and Maintenance

Manor Tool & Manufacturing believes customers deserve the finest in tool and die manufacturing. We believe it is an integral part of the manufacturing process. Our eight machining centers create the tooling required for production, supporting one of the largest tool rooms in the greater Chicago area.

These internal machining centers provide the control required to meet the demands of production cycles in today’s just-in-time work environment.

Reasons that Internal Machining Centers Help Meet Production Cycles

Consider the following:

  • Lead times and production scheduling. Our in-house machining centers allow us to set and follow your timetable to complete the tooling. Using a secondary source for machining exposes the tool & die company (and the customer) to unplanned delays.
  • Better accuracy. Specific tooling requirements for tooling features such as hole size or if the hole is tapped, countersunk, or reamed are programmed by us right off the geometry and done in a single set up. Conveying the same information to an outsourced supplier of machining requires more communication, increasing the potential for error, added scrap, and more re-working to fix mistakes.
  • Improved productivity. Keeping all machining in-house prevents issues encountered using a secondary source. There is no downtime because of delays caused by transportation time or supply chain bottlenecks. Employees maintain focus on the customer’s deadline because there is no downtime caused by sending the tool out for machining.
  • Maintaining control of the die/tool. There used to be a public service announcement (PSA) that appeared around 10:00 in the evening: “Parents, do you know where your children are?” The PSA implied that children left without supervision might get into trouble. The same implication fits when having your product shipped to a secondary supplier for machining. You may know the tool & die shop, but how well do you know their machining source? Our in-house machining centers eliminate this worry. The bottom line result is the on-time delivery of an accurately made product without the excessive waste associated with outsourced machining.

Manor Tool Machining Centers

Our eight machining centers are housed in two locations:

Manor Tool & Manufacturing headquarters (three machining centers that work primarily on maintaining dies)

  • Okuma 3-axis CNC machining center
  • Feeler
  • VMC Haas VF5

CLL Engineering (five machining centers focus on die production)

  • Quantum CNC machining center
  • 2 – Okuma 3-axis machining centers
  • Haas CNC machining center
  • Haas TL-2 CNC lathe
  • Versatility in the Machining Center

These machines provide the versatility to accommodate large capacity dies, offer high-speed milling and perform standard CNC machining. Each location emphasizes either production or maintenance support.

However, both locations have the flexibility to do the other’s work in order to meet production needs. A complete list of our tool room equipment is available here:

Access Our Resource Library

For more information on our manufacturing processes, or to learn more about Manor’s in-house machining centers, contact your Manor representative today.

Options for Secondary Services from Manor Tool

We’re proud to offer metal stamping, progressive die stamping, custom tooling and fabricating services for our clients. Alongside these services, one of the things that has long helped Manor stand out from other companies in the industry is our commitment to providing a complete solution – helping customers to reduce lead times, improve quality, and eliminate many of the headaches that can develop in the manufacturing process with other providers.

secondary machining services 02 plc 003

That’s why it’s important for a metal stamping company to offer a full range of secondary services designed to help you get the best components for your project. Our facilities are designed with these needs in mind. Here are just a few of the secondary services we offer:

  • Deburring

  • Drilling

  • Powder Coating

  • Machining

  • Painting

  • MIG, TIG, SPOT, and Project Welding

  • Plating

  • Assembly

While some other companies offer these secondary services, few work carefully with their customers to ensure the right combination of services is available for every project. It’s part of what sets us apart and allows us to provide the best possible solutions in so many situations.

A Commitment to Meeting Customer Needs

This is best illustrated in our ability to customize project specifications based on customer needs. For example, short run fabrication is an ideal solution for those with lower volume products in need of short lead time for production runs. Short run fabrication gives you the opportunity to pinpoint and fix issues in a product’s design or production process before you go through development of hard tools that can cost quite a bit more. Manor offers this service, allowing you to get into full production faster and with fewer issues.

Supplemental Machining Services

Another valuable secondary service is machining. Whether for shafts, forgings, castings, or fasteners, a full service machine department will allow you greater flexibility in what you develop in plastic and metal parts. Manor has such a department, which you can read more about here.

The bottom line is that the major components of a project are incredibly important, but so too are the secondary services that can speed up production, reduce lead times, and ensure optimal quality for your parts. That’s where Manor comes in, offering comprehensive secondary and machining services for companies like yours.

Contact us today to learn more about these services and what we can do for you. 

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A Guide to Reducing the Cost of Metal Stamped Parts

In this day in age, it can be challenging for companies to save money on a day to day basis when there is a need to purchase materials and equipment. There are 10 easy ways in order to save your company some money when dealing with the costs of metal stamped parts.

describe the imageMetal Prices: With current fluctuation of metal prices, you may be able to find savings in an alternative material that you did not consider previously. For example, frequently we are able to substitute 1050 Annealed Spring Steel for HSLA with minor design modifications.

Tooling Requirements: Review your current tooling requirements for your components and determine if there are alterations that can be made to reduce complexity and maintain functionality. For example, changing square holes to circular holes drastically simplifies machining and tooling requirements. This will reduce your production time and your overall component cost.

Product Design: By analyzing the current design performance you may be able to identify areas of design modification that can reduce your costs. You may be able to alter your design slightly to provide advantages in other areas while maintaining the function and integrity of the part. Some changes would allow you to ship more parts together and deliver more parts in each shipment.

Services: If your component currently requires services from multiple vendors, investigate finding a partner that can supply all of these services for you. Not only will you save on shipping costs, but you will have one point of contact for the successful production of your component.

Production Volume: Has your production volume increased without reviewing your original design? Frequently the need for more components is met with a basic increase in production orders. When volume increases the opportunity arises to streamline your product design to increase manufacturability and production timelines. If you are still using your basic prototype design, now is the time to analyze where changes can be made to still achieve the required functionality from the component, while reducing costs.

untitled2Layouts: By changing the layout of your components you can produce more pieces using less material. If your original layout had 10 parts on your design and you can fit just one more, you are now getting 10% more products for the same material price!

Delivery Scheduling: Consider how alternative delivery schedules or carriers may impact your profitability for each component

Company Partner: Make sure your current metal stamping partner has a deep understanding of your area of expertise. Frequently different vertical markets will require different production steps or documentation.

Project Management: Review the project information and feedback you are provided for reliability, expediency, quality and accuracy. If you do not have strong project management for your metal stamping components, you will lose time managing the project yourself.

Alternate Machinery: It is possible that different machinery may allow you to condense your production runs by combining feature creation. By reducing the number of passes, tooling setups/fixtures, and manual machining the cost of your component can decrease.

By keeping in mind these 10 quick and easy steps, you will be surprised at how much money your company will end up saving. 


Looking to cut down on cost?Download our Metal Stamping Cost Savings Guide



Proud to be a Part of Harley Davidson’s 110 Year History

There’s going to be a big party in Milwaukee this summer–Harley Davidson is celebrating its 110th anniversary. Manor Tool & Manufacturing is proud to be a sub-contractor for this American manufacturing success story. Any motorcycle enthusiast will tell you that the Harley Davidson V-Twin engine is synonymous with torque and that unmistakable rumble that you can hear miles off. This American icon has transformed and grown as America has transformed and grown, and through it all one thing has remained the same, quality and craftsmanship.

Harley resized 600

I grew up around Flatties, Knucks, and Panheads, and though I would be hard pressed to give up my Electraglide for a tank shifter and foot clutch, a V-Twin is still a V-Twin. The key to Harley Davidson’s success is more than just image; today’s riders demand world class quality and cutting edge designs. Harley has been able to deliver both without forgetting its roots.

A motorcycle, as with so many complex machines, is a collection of subassemblies. No one manufacturer can do it all; they must rely on trusted vendors to supply them with the parts and pieces. To be a supplier to a company like Harley Davidson, a vendor must possess an equally high commitment to quality. Manor’s quality program is based on a culture of continuous improvement. Manor knows that quality is a moving target; to maintain it takes commitment and vigilance. Delivering defect free parts is what has made Manor a trusted vendor for numerous customers who demand precision and quality. Harley Davidson, as with so many modern manufactures, lives and dies by the quality of their products.  Doing business with suppliers with a robust quality program is not just a good business strategy; it’s essential.

AmFlafManor’s focus on quality and defect free products has led them to be awarded the ranking of 61 in Quality Magazine’s Top 100 quality leaders. Manor’s quality program is based in their ISO 9001:2008 certification. Their ISO certifications apply to an impressive list of manufacturing capabilities, including the manufacture of precision metal stampings, deep drawn stamping, machined components and assemblies, and the design and construction of tooling.

Quality, craftsmanship, and a dedication to providing customers with the best products available have made companies like Harley Davison and Manor industry leaders in their fields.

The Importance of Tolerance

A major consideration with any product or component design is cost; taking the cost out of a product is a key function and the bane of many engineers. Identifying creative ways to accomplish this while maintaining a part’s integrity is an important design factor and one which can eat up a great deal of engineering resources. One of the best ways to take cost out of a product, and one which in many cases is overlooked, is tolerance requirements. Over tolerancing parts and assemblies is a major factor in manufacturing cost and tooling. This seems obvious, and certainly most readers would agree, however the reasons that over tolerancing parts happens can be complex and related to more than just an engineering decision.

Tolerance Blog

As a matter of course, many manufacturers and design firms hold comprehensive design reviews before any tooling is made; this results in positive cost reductions such as decreasing material thickness or type, possibly a simpler design that requires less complex tooling, etc. Though tolerances are often an issue of discussion, decreasing tolerances can go against the grain for most engineers. Everyone wants their part to be perfect, and increasing tolerances can be an unsettling issue.

An area that is often overlooked is simple communication between engineers or engineering teams. Interacting or adjacent components may be designed in separate locations, or at different times, causing the specification for related parts to not be readily available; time constraints can also play a major role. Rushing to get a design out for manufacturing, a designer may over tolerance a part just to be sure. For example, if a set of drawings call out the same tolerance throughout, it should raise concern.

To effectively take tolerances out of a manufactured part without harming fit, form and function requires a thorough review, and full understanding of a part’s intended application, and interaction with outside components. Here are a few simple steps that can help avoid over tolerancing:

  • Perform a comprehensive tolerance review at the concept stage of the design process

  • Determine the actual required tolerances.

  • Assess tolerances for features such a slip and press fits, or for outside features, and diameters

  • Determine if there will be any inconsistencies with outside components.

Most importantly, train your engineering staff in the cost of tolerance, and put a dollar amount on it.  Pick a project and calculate how much each tenth of tolerance actually costs, and multiply it by features.

Whatever the reason, and they are limitless, over toleranced parts will cost more, be harder to manufacture, and take longer to produce. Taking the time to get it right the first time will be well worth the extra effort.

Reduce Cost of Metal Stampings Guide

Budweiser: King of Beers and Can Design Engineering

Developing a cutting edge product and manufacturing it with extra factory capacity is certainly a win- win scenario, and one which Anheuser-Busch used to produce their new “bowtie” beer can.

If you’re like me, the first thing you thought when you saw this new design was, how did they manufacture it?

If you’re still scratching your head you’re not alone; it took Anheuser-Busch three years and $20 million to develop the equipment and process.

Traditional Can Manufacturing Process

In the final step, the top is trimmed and pressed inward in a process call “necking”; this forms a taper where the lid will later be attached after filling. There are beverage can systems that manufacture cans in this manner in speeds up to 2400 cans per minute.The traditional can is manufactured through a process of cold forming; in this process, a flat blank is formed into a cup,  the cup is then formed using a process called ironing. The dies used in the ironing phase also form the bottom of the can.

It goes without saying that this is a very evolved process, which makes one wonder how different the new process must be to require such a high development cost. In fact the new can costs more to manufacture: it requires twice the aluminum and contains 6% less beer than the traditional can.

With aluminum at over $0.80 per lb., one wonders if the investment will pay off.

New and Updated Manufacturing Process

Budweiser Bowtie Can

Though not much is yet known about the manufacturing process, it is safe to say that it begins with a standard can, with heavier walls. This would explain the extra material, which would have been necessary to produce the shape, as standard cans have wall thickness is only 0.0047”.

Forming the double conical bowtie shape requires a 16 step process that utilizes high precision spinning dies. In a progressive forming process the spinning dies are used to form the bottom of the can in a ten step process, followed by a 6 step process to form the top, and finally followed by the standard necking process.

Due to the physical properties of aluminum, the custom shape and thickness of the material, and the production volume that a product such as this requires, the dies and the system in general would require extreme precision.

Anyone who understands the complexity of high speed automation and precision dies can appreciate the amount of engineering that a system such as this requires.

The can is currently being manufactured at a 300,000-square-foot New Windsor, New York plant, which had to undergo significant changes to accommodate the manufacturing line.

The 150 employee facility has already produced over 18 million bowtie cans, which is just a fraction of the over 3 billion cans that they manufacture annually.

Get More Engineering Insights

Whether you’re interested in learning more about metal stamping (you can read about it on our resources library page here) or would like to discusss an upcoming project with one of our engineers, Manor Tool can help. Click the link below if you’d like to schedule a consultation. 

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