RotoPrecision Canada Features Smalley Steel Ring Wave Spring and Retaining Ring Custom Configurations

Custom Made Wave Springs and Retaining Rings

Although Smalley has over 10,000 stock wave springs and retaining rings to choose from, the uniqueness of an application often demands that a spring or ring be designed to application-specific requirements. Retaining rings and wave springs are often the last design consideration in an assembly and commonly have to fit in restrictive spaces and need to provide critical operating characteristics. At Smalley, specials are standard. Having the ability to easily specify non-standard sizes offers a preferred option designers will often follow.


1) Economical

A common misconception of custom design is high cost. With Smalley's unique manufacturing process, application specific retaining rings or wave springs can be an economical solution for unique requirements. With Smalley's No-Tooling-Cost™ process, the company has the flexibility to quickly manufacture products of different diameter, thickness, material and finish at a minimal cost. This means that during the prototype stage alternative designs may be produced with no tooling modifications. It is not uncommon to produce one prototype for evaluation and subsequently make dimensional adjustments for a second single prototype. That's two setups, No-Tooling-Charges™ and a final product ready quickly and economically.

2) Availability

Smalley is vertically integrated with onsite material manufacturing and large warehouse. The company is able to produce custom rings or springs using a wide variety of readily available materials or can produce custom raw material sizes to meet delivery requirements. For customers who use just-in-time inventory control, Smalley offers stock parts for immediate shipment, ready for the next purchase order or blanket order release.

3) Rapid Lead Times

Whether you are looking for prototypes, short-runs or high volumes, Smalley's unique No-Tooling-Cost™ manufacturing process allows for special designs to be manufactured in a timely fashion. Since no special dies or forming tools are necessary for custom rings or springs, prototypes can be designed and produced in days, not weeks.

4) Engineering Support

Smalley specializes in the design, development and production of custom retaining rings and wave/compression springs. Design Engineers tailor a design to meet the exact characteristics necessary for individual function.

The capabilities of the company extend well beyond the ordinary manufacturer as Smalley not only designs the rings and springs, but also the production machinery itself. This includes primary coiling operations, secondary operations for special product features such as slots, tabs, holes, bends, hooks, and joints as well as plating and fininishing, marking and other characteristics for most any feature required. Smalley has in-depth knowledge of mechanical assemblies, machining operations fitting components, dynamics, and a host of other elements in the diverse universe of mechanical components. Product Application Engineers have designed and solved thousands of tough applications for OEMs in nearly every industry.

Whether it is exposure to high temperature or to a cryogenic environment, a dynamic / fatigue problem or simply a static load, Smalley has been involved and has resolved complex design issues for years. Smalley engineering has created standards with which solutions are offered for your consideration.

Smalley Custom

5) Optimized Design

Smalley has developed sophisticated software that optimizes the variables in a given design. It considers both the dimensions of the product and the cost to produce the ring or spring. The typical analysis provides a product that performs to specification but does not over-design dimensions and/or materials that can raise costs. Because our No-Tooling-Cost™ process enables an almost infinite selection of dimensions, the software considers the relationships between maximum stress levels, product configurations and dimensions, and pushes the limits in the choices available for the best design. Based upon the criteria selected, Smalley engineers work with you to determine what design alternatives will work best for a particular application. By making simple design changes such as material thickness, radial wall, number of waves or different alloys, the design impacts can be quickly determined. This time-saving technology allows for correct parts to be manufactured quickly and ready to test.

6) Testing

In-house testing is performed on Smalley products to ensure they satisfy quality standards prior to shipment. Statistical Process Control, SPC, is performed on a sampling of parts to verify that critical dimensions are in control. Smalley also has the ability to test various application-specific performance characteristics such as cycle life.

7) Cross-Functional Teams

Housing both the manufacturing and office activities under one roof allows Smalley engineers to be involved in all aspects of support in the manufacturing process. From concept to production, Smalley engineers work with quality control, manufacturing, shipping and purchasing to ensure that the design and production process moves efficiently and effectively.

8) Re-Engineeering

If you are currently considering using Smalley Retaining Rings or Wave Springs to replace an existing product, our engineering department will work with you to choose the best new design for your application. Send Smalley a sample of an existing ring or spring, drawings of the assembly or your design requirements, and we will engineer and provide new solutions for your consideration. Once an alternative design is presented, engineering will work with you to obtain exact prototypes or samples of similar products for evaluation and testing. Mid-Stream design changes can also be accomplished with relative ease. You can count on the flexibility of Smalley products for all your applications.

To begin the process of designing your custom wave spring or retaining ring,
please contact Application Support.

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Application Support: 1-888-712-3400

Application Support:  1-888-712-3400
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