Custom Metal Stampings for the Appliance Industry

Since 1958, Keats Manufacturing Co. has been outfitting specialty industries with high-performance, long-lasting custom metal stampings. With years of experience and a deep understanding of unique application needs, our expert team can handle even the most intricate small metal stampings, wire forms, and assemblies.

For decades, customers have turned to our facility for its unique combination of comprehensive quality control, superior efficiency, and advanced technological innovation. Our team boasts 25 of the industry’s most experienced die makers, and our stamping, forming, tapping / threading and assembly services easily meet and exceed the most demanding standards and regulations.

Custom Stamped Metal Components

Appliance manufacturing utilizes some of the most complex metal components in modern industry: Custom Terminals, Brackets, Clips, Ground Straps, Contacts, Shields, Bushings, Inserts, Clamps, Springs, Covers, Sleeves, Washers, Heat Sinks, Cases, Antennas, Plates are just a few of the specialized parts frequently used in modern-day appliances.

Keats Manufacturing and all Keats plants provide small metal stampings suited to customers’ exact specifications while maintaining consistently tight tolerances. Making use of four-slide, multi-slide, and progressive die punch press technologies, we can offer unique appliance components such as:

  • Assemblies, including multistage tooling to eliminate secondary processes
  • Clips made from annealed spring steel and subsequently heat treated to custom HRC requirements using the austempering, vacuum hardening, oil quench processes.
  • Unlimited RoHS compliant plating resources such as Zinc, Nickel, Tin. and other finish options, including, Dip and Spin & Black Oxide
  • Bushings and Brackets for instrument panels, door panels, and more
  • Lead frames for electronics and microchip management
  • Shields and Heat Sinks in a wide range of sizes and imprints
  • Terminals with pre-post, selective, and precious metal plating (pre & post)
  • Wire forms, including fasteners, links, springs, rings, hooks, and terminals

Common Appliance Industry Applications

Stamped metal components are essential parts of nearly all domestic and commercial appliances, including:

  • Ovens and stoves
  • Washers and Dryers
  • Dishwashers and in-sink waste disposal units.
  • Refrigeration systems, including walk-in and beverage coolers
  • Grills, rotisseries, and outdoor kitchens
  • Security systems & Garage door systems
  • Hoods and ventilation, dehumidification, fan & vacuum systems
  • Thermostats and temperature control devices
  • Water Heaters and HVAC units.
  • Irrigation Systems
  • Pool & spa pumps and filtration systems

Industry groups and associations

At Keats we have a commitment to continuous improvement and the development and utilization of the latest manufacturing technology.  In order to stay on the cutting edge in our marketplace Keats management remains in leadership positions within the following industry trade groups:

  • PMA – Precision Metalforming Association
  • SMI– Spring Manufacturers Institute
  • TMA – Technology & Manufacturing Association

Precision Manufacturing from Keats

Keats Manufacturing is proud to provide customers with some of the highest-quality custom metal stamped parts, wire forms and assemblies on the market. Our facilities are certified to the following standards:

  • ISO 9001
  • IATF 16949
  • ISO 14001

We collect data at each and every step of the manufacturing process, and follow up with final inspection before every delivery to ensure the best possible part quality. No matter how complex the job, clients can rest assured that all final products will meet their exact specifications.

To learn more about our stamping work for the appliance industry, or to request a quote for your next precision machining job, reach out to the team today.

Material Matters: Choosing the Right Metal for Your Project

The dedicated team at Keats Manufacturing Co. has been crafting stamped metal parts since 1958. Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a number of unique projects and individual parts come through our facility. While many decisions — from design details to custom tooling — influence these parts’ performance, one of the first choices made in the manufacturing process is always the most critical: material.

Common Materials, Uncommon Quality

Every metal comes with its own benefits and weaknesses, and these properties lend each material to different ideal uses. StampingsAchieving the best results for a stamping project is always the result of carefully researching and choosing a part’s optimal material fit.

At Keats Manufacturing Co., we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality products, from common steel components to custom crafted specialized alloy parts. Here are our top five material choices for custom stamping projects.

Copper

Copper offers some of the best available conductivity (100%), behind only silver and gold in its performance. copper-metal-stampingCopper is also known for its corrosion resistance to industrial atmospheres, water, non-oxidizing acids, alkalis, and neutral saline solutions. While it doesn’t react with water, copper gradually forms a brownish-black oxide when exposed to atmospheric oxygen. Unlike rust, this oxide will actually protect the copper underneath from further corrosion.

Copper is very malleable, ductile, and responsive to precision tooling. For automotive and electrical stamped part applications, it is best used at 0.010” – 0.050” thickness.

Copper alloys commonly used at Keats are: C102, C110, C122, C194 & C197.

Our copper part highlights include reel to reel terminals, loose terminals, conductive lead frames, grids, wire forms, clips, antennas, and prototype and short-run parts. Our custom metal stamping portfolio also includes beryllium copper springs for use in hearing aid applications.

Phosphor Bronze

A specialized alloy of copper, phosphor bronze contains up to 10% tin and up to 1% phosphorous, which provides deoxidizing during melting. While phosphor bronze lacks copper’s extreme conductivity (only 15%), it allows for electrical connections to devices at ultra-low temperatures due to its fair electrical performance combined with very low thermal conduction.

Keats-Phosphor-Bronze-Terminal-StampingPhosphor Bronze is also insensitive to stress corrosion cracking and offers good corrosion resistance to sea water and industrial atmospheres. Known for its toughness, strength, and low coefficient of friction, phosphor bronze is a popular choice for springs, bolts, and heavy fatigue applications. It is best used at 0.008” – 0.050” thickness for automotive and electrical applications.

Phosphor Bronze alloys commonly used at Keats are: C510, C511, C519 & C521.

Our bronze stamping portfolio includes reel to reel terminals, contacts, loose terminals, conductive lead frames, grids, and prototype and short-run parts.

Brass

Often the most cost effective choice for electrical applications because of its lower price point than pure copper, brass is known for its malleability, hardness, and resistance to corrosion, not to mention its pleasing appearance. Made by blending copper and zinc, it offers higher malleability than bronze or zinc alone. Nearly 90% of its alloys are, in fact, a result of these materials being recycled!

thumb-brass-formed-hinged-contact-jawBrass offers good resistance to fresh water, neutral or alkaline saline solution, organic compounds, and standard atmospheres at sea, on land, and in manufacturing. Adding aluminum to a brass alloy can strengthen its given corrosion resistance, while adding lead can enhance its machinability.

With a solid conductivity of 28%, brass is common in automotive and electrical applications at thicknesses up to 0.050”.

Brass alloys commonly used at Keats are: C210, C220, C230, C260, C268 & C272.

Our brass part highlights include reel to reel terminals and contacts, loose terminals, contacts, conductive lead frames, grids, brush guards and holders, and prototype and short-run parts.

Aluminum

An extremely popular material choice, aluminum is likely best known for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, making it ideal for strong, lightweight parts, both on its own and in combination with other metals.

bracketAluminum is also known for its corrosion resistance — it is tolerant to moisture and most chemicals — as well as its low density. The metal offers 61% conductivity and is capable of thermal and electrical superconductivity, as well.
Soft, durable, lightweight, ductile, and malleable, aluminum is popular for automotive and mechanical components at thicknesses ranging from 0.012” to 0.120”.

Aluminum alloys commonly used at Keats are: 3003, 1100, 5056, 5052 & 5154.

Our aluminum part highlights include clips, clamps and flat springs, brackets, latches, covers, wire forms, antennas, and prototype and short-run parts.

Steel

Annealed, cold-rolled, stainless — there are countless steel alloys designed to suit any industry. A classic combination of iron with carbon and any number of other elements, steel is created by reducing the carbon in iron ore and replacing it with materials to alter traits such as strength, conductivity, and corrosion resistance. In addition, heat treating processes such as annealing, quenching, and tempering can alter the material and its end performance.

Steel is typically resistant to corrosion with a wide conductivity range (up to 15%) and great formability and durability. A low cost option, it presents good baseline tensile and yield strength. However, all of these properties can vary greatly, offering a wide array of choices to create the perfect fit for a particular project. Annealed steel, for example, is far more ductile and fracture-resistant than its counterpart prior to heat treatment, and G1050 is an alloy specifically created for versatility and machinability in engineering applications.

Material Guidance with Keats Manufacturing Co.

With over 50 years of excellence in custom fabrication and small metal parts, the Keats Manufacturing Co. team knows a thing or two about material choices and manufacturing.

10-ways-reduce-turnaround-timeTo learn more about how solid research and great materials can benefit your next project, download our eBook, 10 Ways to Reduce Turnaround Time and Cost of a Metal Stamped Part, or reach out and contact us today.


reduce time and cost of your metal stamped part




Keats and Customer Service

Being committed to customers is something that every business, from big box retail to local coffee plants, touts as their highest priority.  It’s no secret that customer service has become of utmost importance for business success, especially as the internet is increasingly empowering customers with reviewing platforms like Yelp, Angie’s list, or Merchant Circle.  One major way that customer service can be seen in the manufacturing industry is the concept of Just-In-Time delivery. 

Just-In-Time is a business philosophy, the inception of which is largely attributed to the Japanese auto maker Toyota, and is a primary practice associated with lean manufacturing.  Just-In-Time is a logistics technique that aims to control inventory in such a way that reduces or eliminates the warehousing of unnecessary product, but maintains an accurate and predictive schedule of supply so that the proper amount of product reaches the proper place “just in time”.  This streamlining of inventory can reduce lead times, cut down on expensive warehousing needs, and limit overproduction and overstocking, so that many businesses are protected.  What is required for an effective system, however, is a vendor that has the utmost concern for quality control, and the means to deliver the product on the precise schedule determined by the data collected.
 
In both of these, Keats can be seen to have a strong and ongoing commitment.  Originally opened as a storefront plant in northwest Chicago, our dedication to provide our customers the best quality products on the best schedule has necessitated lots of expansion, and the opening of not just one, but two new locations.  Keats Southwest and Keats Coastal Stamping serve not only as indicators of our expanding business, but also as brick-and-mortar monuments to our dedication to exceptional service.  Our ISO 9001:2008 and 16949:2009 certifications also speak to our pursuit and achievement of the highest quality standards. 
 
As innovators and the best business minds find new ways to build better businesses, you can be sure Keats will be here implementing and adapting our best practices to the needs and benefits of our clients.  Within custom manufacturing, you’ll not find better customer service than with Keats.

Quality Assurance in Quality Audits

 

Just promising a potential customer quality doesn’t always get the job done. Occasionally we have potential clients who audit our facility in advance of committing to Keats. While this kind of test might be worrisome for our competitors, we welcome them without reservation. Our secret? Something we like to call our “mature quality system”. At the heart of this unique quality system is a mature staff that has a long and prestigious record of accomplishment, including a quality manager that has been with Keats for 12 years.
Since we have always believed that quality people make quality products, we’ve never been intimidated by outside quality audits. We keep our work environment clean and welcoming, and our technology and equipment up-to-date. A dirty plant floor is more than just an eyesore, it is a sign that you don’t really care about quality, your employees, or your customers.  That is why you can walk into any Keats facility and immediately see that we are serious about cleanliness and quality.
If you choose to work with Keats, we want you to be completely satisfied. We stand behind our people, our products, and our facilities 100%. If you demand the highest level of quality for your custom metal stampings and wire forms, Keats is the right place to come. You can even come by and kick the tires! We don’t mind.