Space-Lok, Inc., a Gardena, CA-based manufacturer of super alloy fasteners for aerospace and other mission critical applications, recently made some major upgrades to its in-house materials testing laboratory. The company, which owns several high capacity tensile testing machines from Tinius Olsen, decided to retrofit its 120,000 and 600,000 lbs models with all-new digital control systems to match its new 400,000 lbs model. The load frames continue to hold up after years of service. In addition to tensile, Space-Lok uses a 220,000 lbs, 67,000 lbs, and 22,000 lbs fatigue-testing machines. “Our products requires extraordinary attention to quality and service life,” notes Kurt Thompson, Space-Lok’s Director of Engineering. “We run our 600,000 lb tensile machine almost daily at over 442,000 lbs. We needed to be able to greatly improve the efficiency with which we run tests and change over samples. We also needed a system that could immediately pinpoint the first signs of ultimate failure during a test to release these extremely high loads as quickly at possible. This helps lengthen the life of our double shear die fixtures, each of which can run $3,000 to $4,000. "
"Just one of my customer’s acceptance tests can possibly damage three or four double shear die sets. However, our new Tinius Olsen digital controller is precise enough to help reduce fixture damage during tooling changeover, while improving R&D and production.” The upgrade to Tinius Olsen’s digital control also gives Space-Lok a reliable means to collect, store, and report data. According to Thompson, “The software enables us to maintain detailed part and material histories. When the system aborts a test, it enables us to quickly pinpoint causes, such as when a sample might not be loaded right. The system also returns automatically after each test to prepare for the next.” Space-Lok specializes in the CATIA, design, development, and production of high quality fasteners, nuts, fuse pins, and multiple component mechanisms for all sectors of the aerospace industry (commercial, military, and business aviation aircraft, as well as the space program). The company was founded in 1962 and is structured to be able to respond quickly and cost effectively to the development of sophisticated products with low volume runs. Its manufacturing facility possesses extensive in-house capabilities such as CNC machining, hot and cold heading (forging), thread rolling, center less grinding, EDM machining, NDT, heat treating tapping, and tool making. Our equipment array is capable of forging and machining sophisticated metals, covering the full range of aerospace materials and strength levels: alloy steels from low-alloy types to high-strength alloys such as H-11 and AERMET® 100; corrosion resistant alloy A286; precipitation hardening stainless steels PH13-8Mo, 17-4PH and PH15-5; Titanium 6AL-4V and 6AL-6V-2Sn; high temperature Super alloys Alloy 718, Waspaloy, Rene 41 and Multi-Phase alloys. Space-Lok is certified to ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100:2001 quality management system, so products meet industry and customer specifications. A Boeing Quality Management System (BQMS) program promotes improved quality through statistical process control and continuous, monitored improvement.