Since the late 19th century helical screw flights, made from metals, have been primarily formed by shaped dies in various forming machines. The accuracy and consistency of the helical form – the trueness of the helix – was largely a function of the forming method, the experience of the operator and the accuracy of the cut annulus from which the helix was formed. All of this cloaked the “black art” that was helical screw flight forming.
To truly manufacture Sectional Helical Screw Flights with consistent accuracy, in an efficient manner, with high quality and a true helix, then you require a complete system not just a forming machine. Advanced Spiral Technology Pty Ltd (AST) has developed and patented a screw flight helix forming system – TruHelix™ – that produces true and accurate helices from start to finish.
Our TruHelix™ Flight Forming System has been designed specifically to provide consistent, accurate output, and high productivity, with minimal skill input from the operator. Our specially designed – TruForm™ – Forming Plates remove the need for size specific, shaped tooling. We have also developed a proprietary software suite – TruFlight™ – that works in conjunction with our hardware to ensure precise forming tool selection and positioning/set up, providing a “pure” helical form with your screw flight helix.
Advanced Spiral Technology’s team concluded that if was going to develop the world’s best practice in Sectional Screw Flight Helix manufacture then the “black art” method, with its multitude of inherent drawbacks, had to be replaced by science. A scientific approach would allow AST to lift the cloak on the secretive and mysterious, yet hazardous and inefficient, struggle of the “black art” method and replace it with techniques and procedures that would allow even a novice to create consistent accuracy of the helical form producing resultant screw flight helices that are precise, dimensionally, and pure in their helical shape – true helix.
Our research unearthed a groundbreaking discovery; just like each person has their own unique finger prints, every helical screw flight has its own individual Invariant that is unique to that helical screw flight. Knowledge of the existence of the Invariant provided us with a full appreciation of just how imperative its application is to producing a pure, true helical shape in a screw flight helix and explained why the current accepted forming techniques are inherently flawed at consistently achieving a pure true helix. Now armed with the understanding that the Invariant is an integral element of a Screw Flight Helix, and is critical to achieving an exact true helical shape, we concentrated on perfecting our innovative patented forming method.
With shaped dies it is almost impossible to truly form a sectional flight helix; some type of deformation will occur during the shaping of the helix as no accommodation is made for the Invariant with this type of forming method. This predicament can be magnified depending on the material that the flight is manufactured from because material yield and tensile strength will vary slightly from batch to batch, and will vary greatly from material type to material type, thus, the amount of springback experienced during the shaping process is virtually impossible to allow for when considering the Invariant during forming in a shaped die. Further to this, as the inside diameter of a flight changes, even when no other flight parameters are altered, the amount of springback will change also. To mitigate against these ambiguities sectional screw flight helix manufacturers will usually apply one of two techniques in an effort to obtain something like the required resultant helical screw flight:
- Reposition the helical flight in the shaping tool to compensate
- Change the shaping tool
Both tactics result in deformation during the shaping process and as such you no longer have a true helix.
By combining its revolutionary TruForm™ Forming Plate technology with its reconstructed, Invariant enabled, TruFlight™ software suite AST are the only producer in the world that can provide hardware, software and procedures for sectional screw flight helix manufacture, that genuinely produces a true helix, enabling operators to be proficient and productive after minimal training. In short AST’s revolutionary TruHelix™ Flight Forming System has formalised what was once the “black art” of sectional screw flight helix forming.
TruHelix™ a system that forms (not deforms) the material to achieve a pure true helix shape.
TruHelix™ combines unique patented hardware, along with purpose designed and constructed software, to eliminate the heavy reliance on operator expertise.
TruHelix™ Numerically Controlled semi automatic sectional screw flight helix forming machines.
TruHelix™ does not rely on the traditional shaped dies.
TruHelix™ employs specially hardened interchangeable Forming Plates.
TruHelix™ each Forming Plate Set can be utilised for both right and left hand forming.
TruHelix™ Forming Plates can be changed by hand in a matter of minutes.
TruHelix™ Forming Plate wear and maintenance is negligible.
TruHelix™ Forming Plate inventory requires a relatively small space compared to the enormous stock of shaped dies (right and left hand) required for “traditional” helical screw flight forming.
TruHelix™ Operator training to reach full production capability is measured in days not years.
TruHelix™ produces top quality flights three to five times faster.
TruHelix™ CE (European Community) certification for safety ensures that the most stringent occupational health and safety protections are incorporated.
TruHelix™ helical screw flight forming technology for the 21st Century and beyond.
Features & Benefits of AST’s TruHelix™ Flight Forming System
|Point||Traditional Method||AST System||Benefits|
|Flight Blank Development||• Look up prior records
• Trial and error
|• TruFlight™ software suite||• No blank size proving required
• No wasted material
• All time is utilized producing product that is profit generating
|Forming Hardware||• Pitch specific dies selected from stock of right and left hand dies
• Expensive, heavy and storage hungry
|• TruForm™ helix angle forming plates
• Easy storage and handling
|• Pure helix form throughout, including flight end to flight end match up
• Cost per tool set significantly less
• Repairs and maintenance – minimal, quick and easy
|Forming tool selection and set-up||• Operator experience
• Trial and error
|• Defined by the AST TruFlight™ software suite
• Print out of set up procedure given to operator
|• Eliminates the reliance on experienced operators
• Eliminates operator error
• Quick and easy set-up
|Machine set-up and Forming of Helix||• Manual forming press
• Labour intensive
• Often de-forms flight rather than forming the flight
|• Set to flight configuration by on board HMI & PLC Loaded with AST TruSet™ parameters program
• Semi Automatic Machine
• Flights are machine supported and operator guided
|• Efficiently produce correct, consistent and quality output all the time every time
• Increasing operator efficiency and safety
• Improved employee morale