Precision Component Assembly: Bridging Ideas to Reality

Brazing is a critical part of precision component assembly, ensuring reliable, durable, and high-performing precision components essential for the success of your project.

But, with the quality and performance of your final product at stake, you need a proven brazed assembly partner that can guide you through the process. With the right partner in place, they can help you choose the joining process and material best suited to your application and work with you from prototype testing to full production.

Elcon Precision is a leader in brazed assemblies, joining ceramic-to-metal and metal-to-metal assemblies for an extensive range of critical applications. Driven by innovation, Elcon delivers customized solutions for every client. Depending on the material type and part geometry, our experienced engineers will select the appropriate brazing fixtures, joint design, and process best suited to your specific application.

In this article, we explore the different joining processes available, the importance of material selection in precision assembly, and the capabilities that set Elcon apart in precision metal manufacturing.

Understanding the Joining Processes

Selecting the appropriate joining process for brazed assemblies is crucial for achieving optimal performance and durability. 

Welding — fusing materials together to provide high joint strength. The process is ideal for materials with similar melting points.

Vacuum & Atmosphere Brazing — use a filler metal with a lower melting point than the base metal to braze different materials (including dissimilar metals). This technique is particularly effective for intricate assemblies.

Soldering—done at a lower temperature, soldering is used when working with delicate components and electronics to ensure minimal damage during heat treatment.

Adhesive Bonding — offers excellent flexibility in design and is a preferred method when joining dissimilar materials or minimizing heat exposure.

Manufacturers must consider several criteria when choosing a joining process, including material compatibility to ensure metallurgical integrity and thermal expansion coherence, joint strength requirements tailored to the specific application, and operating conditions, such as temperature, stress, and environmental conditions.

At Elcon, we start off the relationship with a call with our engineers to discuss all aspects of the application. Our experienced team of engineers will then select the appropriate brazing fixtures, joint design, and process best suited to your application.

specialist etching

Material Selection for Assembly

One of the most important decisions in precision assemblies is material. The right materials are pivotal in enhancing performance and durability, as they dictate the component's strength, corrosion resistance, and thermal stability.

However, engineers face a number of challenges when selecting materials for assembly, and it’s not always easy.

Engineers must navigate factors such as material compatibility, thermal expansion coefficients, and operating conditions to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Factors such as cost-effectiveness and regulatory compliance further complicate the selection process.

Whether in highly customized prototyping or high-volume production, Elcon has experience working with an extensive variety of metals and ceramics. With a deep knowledge and understanding of how each works, we help customers select the material best suited to their application.

Engineering Consultations and Design Feedback

For the success of any component assembly project, initial design and engineering consultations are crucial. These consultations provide an opportunity for engineers and designers to collaborate closely with clients, understanding their unique requirements, performance expectations, and quality standards from the outset. 

Engaging in thorough discussions at the initial design stage can identify and address potential challenges and constraints proactively, leading to more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing processes. Design consultations also provide an opportunity to brainstorm innovative solutions and optimize processes, ultimately resulting in high-quality precision components that exceed customer expectations.

The expert team at Elcon starts every project with a consultation to understand exactly what the client is looking to achieve. Our engineers also offer design feedback so that the components and assemblies (including sub-assemblies) are manufacturable. They ensure compatibility with existing machinery and minimize the need for specialized tooling, which can drive up costs and lead times. 

Tolerances play a crucial role in manufacturability, with tighter tolerances often necessitating more intricate machining processes and increased production time. 

By designing parts with manufacturability in mind, we mitigate production challenges, improve efficiency, and ultimately manufacture quality components.

Testing and Quality Assurance

It’s important to conduct rigorous testing procedures, including dimensional inspections, material analysis, and performance testing, at various stages of the manufacturing process to detect deviations from specifications and identify potential issues early on.

Any ceramic brazing manufacturer must thoroughly test the material properties and joint integrity to ensure the reliability and performance of component assemblies. Material properties, including mechanical strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance, directly impact the functionality and durability of the final product. 

Testing methods such as tensile testing, push/pull cup tests, dye checksand spectroscopic analysis provide critical insights into material characteristics, enabling engineers to select materials that meet the specific application requirements. Additionally, testing joint integrity ensures that brazed joints meet stringent quality standards and can withstand operational stresses.

Here at Elcon Precision, we conduct thorough testing of materials to ensure the reliability, functionality, and longevity of precision component assemblies.

We provide the following custom tests: 

Material Tests:

  • Ceramic dye checks
  • Push & pull cup tests
  • Tensile tests

Brazed assembly tests:

  • Helium leak performance, Vacuum leak test up to 10-10 Torr
  • Thermal shock
  • Thermal cycling
  • Joint strength
  • XRF, 160 KV X-ray inspection

From Prototype to Production

One key challenge clients can face in precision component assembly is production. With many suppliers only taking on production jobs, finding a partner to take you from prototype to production can be challenging.

The prototype phase is critical as it allows engineers to fine-tune designs, validate manufacturing processes, and identify any potential issues or improvements. 

During the transition to full production, manufacturers leverage these insights to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and ensure consistency in product quality. Optimizing manufacturing workflows, sourcing raw materials at scale, and systematically implementing quality control measures are crucial when scaling up production.

The scale-up phase often involves specialized tooling, equipment, and automation technologies to meet production targets while maintaining the highest standards of precision and reliability.

Many suppliers only take on production jobs. Not Elcon. We take on prototype-to-production volume jobs so you can relax knowing you're working with someone who's there for the whole process.

The Elcon Difference

As a leading provider of brazing services for a range of critical industries, Elcon goes above and beyond to deliver the highest standards of quality in everything it does. Leveraging state-of-the-art facilities, advanced equipment, and rigorous quality control processes, we can handle complex brazing projects with precision, efficiency, and utmost attention to detail.

What sets us apart is our customer-centric approach. We take the pain out of the process so our customers can be confident in knowing they're working with a team with expertise in brazed assemblies that provide precision machined castings, ensuring accuracy and durability in the final product.

Every project starts with our engineering team consulting with our clients to ensure a customized solution every time. We provide design feedback throughout the process to optimize accuracy, thorough material, and part testing to ensure quality and durability.

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Our team is here and ready to start talking, whatever your application may be. Request a quote today to send us your thoughts and get your project moving.


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