Metal Products Engineering
Metal Products Engineering began their business as a Lockheed subcontractor in 1940. Since then, the company has designed and built an impressive inventory of customized progressive dies in their Los Angeles facility. To remain competitive throughout the years, the company supplemented its aerospace business with a diversified customer base of commercial products. The customer base ranges from military and aerospace to construction, lighting, plumbing, hardware, medical, sporting equipment, toys, jewelry and many other industries. Because of past successes, Metal Products Engineering can rely on repeat business from many satisfied, long-term customers.
To better serve their customers, owners Ridge and Paula Luppen have aggressively adopted new technologies over the years. This has allowed them to reduce the cost of producing tooling as well as increasing productivity in the punch press department. With one of their employees already familiar with waterjet technology and programming, they decided to take an even bolder leap into owning the latest and newest waterjet machine offered by the OMAX® Corporation, the MAXIEM® Waterjet. Their MAXIEM 1515 JetCutting Center was the first machine of its kind installed in California. Their MAXIEM 1515 waterjet became an instant advantage in keeping smaller jobs cost-efficient. They could also respond to short turnaround or immediate prototype requests.
"We have always changed our business to keep up with the times," said Metal Products President Ridge Luppen. "The MAXIEM allows us to serve our aerospace customers better since we can produce small quantity part runs much more cost effectively than we could with hard tooling."
One of the company's support services is building progressive stamping dies in the company's in-house tool and die department. A customized progressive die can cost their customers anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000 and up. If a customer changes the part design after the tooling is completed, modifying the die can be costly and can take several weeks or months. With waterjet technology, Metal Products can produce functional prototypes at economical prices. This allows the customer to finalize the part design before the progressive die is built and eliminates any costly modifications and delays.
When the company worked on a trapeze bracket design for a Chicago-based company, Ridge related that, "the MAXIEM was used to produce a series of prototype parts with different tab designs for the customer and UL labs to evaluate." Once the design was finalized, the expensive progressive die was built without delays or modifications. This allowed Metal Products Engineering to begin high volume production immediately after the completion of the die.
"With our company's standard forming tools, we can use our waterjet for the blanking operation and then move on to the forming equipment," said Marketing Director Paula Luppen.
Since Metal Products Engineering often works with inventors, the MAXIEM waterjet technology has allowed the company to produce inexpensive prototypes and short runs in metals, plastics, wood, rubber, glass, and other materials. This has allowed Metal Products Engineering to help the inventor move rapidly from the concept stage to a finished product.
"In the past, we turned down small volume jobs because we didn't have the technology to do the project," Paula said. "Now that we have the waterjet, we can do the small jobs, which often means we get the larger jobs as well. In short, we are able to serve our customers needs better now that we have the MAXIEM."