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High-precision and Flexible Testing of Electroformed Spring Elements

Sigrist GmbH, headquartered in Pforzheim, Germany manufactures electroformed spring elements for the aerospace, medical and semiconductor industries. These components are high-precision, flexible or spring-like, and consist of an electroplated layer with a functional wall thickness of 0.015 to 0.1 mm. When compressing and relaxing the components, a life expectancy of sometimes more than 100 million cycles is expected without a significant change in the spring rate, e.g. when being used with automatic circuit board assembly machines (pick and place). 

Sigrist GmbH has relied on testing solutions from ZwickRoell since 2014. At that time, after extensive research and various recommendations, ZwickRoell was selected as the company’s trusted partner. The positive experiences with performance and reliability of the zwickiLine Z0.5 provided additional assurance for Sigrist. Because of this and based on the strong volume growth and the resulting need for largely automated measurement series, another testing machine, a zwickiLine Z0.5TS  with automated X-Y table was added.

The zwickiLine Z0.5TS is a customer-specific developed testing machine with movable X-Y cross table. This automated testing solution determines the spring rate measurement of several miniature spring elements in one test cycle.

Various spring elements are positioned on the movable X-Y table. The X-Y table automatically moves each spring element, one by one, to the exact test position. Each spring is then individually tested, and its properties are determined and saved in a test series.

To meet the high quality requirements of the different components, 100% accurate measurement and documentation thereof is required. The testXpert III testing software fully covers this requirement. testXpert III explicitly pairs each measurement result with the corresponding specimen, and therefore with each individual spring, and indicates measurement deviations in the spring rate and error measurement. Automation of the test sequence and resulting time savings fully meet the customer’s requirements, and further reinforce the perspective of Sigrist GmbH: “The zwickiLine—reliable and easy to handle—simply continues to run without interruption.”