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What Is Design for Manufacturing?

Design for manufacturing (DFM) is a process that entails designing components, parts, or products to optimize the manufacturing process used to produce them. Ultimately, DFM helps maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of manufacturing processes through optimized product designs that address any potential discrepancies or mistakes. People may also refer to DFM as design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA). 

The Design for Manufacturing Process

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There are five main principles behind the DFM process that help optimize designs to prepare them for manufacturing. These principles are as follows:

1. Process

The first step of the DFM process is to select the appropriate manufacturing process for the component or product. For example, thermoforming may be a better process for low-volume parts compared to less efficient injection molding processes.

2. Design

The next aspect of the DFM process is the design, which involves drawing the product or part based on the principles specific to the selected manufacturing process.

3. Material

After the drawings are completed, it’s time to select the right materials for the design. Certain contributing factors to material selection may include mechanical, thermal, optical, electrical, and fire-retardant properties, along with color.

4. Environment

Parts or products must be designed to hold up in the environments in which they’ll be used. Otherwise, they won’t be able to function properly, regardless of the quality of the design.

5. Compliance/Testing

Products and components are required to maintain compliance with quality and safety standards. These standards could include industry standards along with company or third-party standards. It’s also important for manufacturers to have ISO certification.

What Are Advantages of Design for Manufacturing?

There are several key benefits of using DFM processes to design products before manufacturing. These include:

  • Faster time-to-market
  • Reduced production costs for parts and products
  • Parts can be combined to reduce assembly steps and part quantities
  • Quicker product development
  • The ability to identify and eliminate faults or mistakes
  • Safer workspaces resulting from removal and relocation of construction activities
  • Less time needed to bring production up to speed

Considerations for Design for Manufacturing

There are several key factors to consider for the DFM process. These considerations include:

  • Standardization of Parts and Materials. Standardized materials and parts can reduce the amount of time it takes to initiate production due to their consistency and availability. 
  • Minimized Part Count. The fastest way to lower production costs is to minimize the number of parts used, which subsequently reduces the amount of material used in manufacturing.
  • Efficient Joining. It’s best to find ways to join parts together without the need for fasteners or adhesives of any kind. If they are required, try to figure out how to minimize the amount needed and use standard fasteners as much as possible.
  • Minimized Reorientation of Components. Designs should ensure that a minimal amount of manual interaction is required for part or product manufacturing.
  • Modular Assembly Creation. Using non-customized product modules can allow for changes to products without any loss of functionality.
  • Simplification of Manufacturing. It’s important to minimize the number of manufacturing processes and operations to prevent them from becoming too complex.
  • Appropriate Surface Finishes. Aesthetics may be important to a finished product, but it’s more important to choose a surface finish that allows for optimal functionality.

Get the Design and Build Services You Need with Chapter 2 

Through effective DFM, you can make sure the manufacturing process for various parts and products is consistently efficient and profitable. With the help of Chapter 2 as your contract manufacturer, you can ensure manufacturing processes meet your project’s specific demands. For additional information about our services, contact us today. You can also request a quote for our services to get started on your next project.

Guide to Weld Types

What Is The Welding Process?

Welding is the process of joining two surfaces together by applying heat, pressure, or a combination of both. The types of welds used to create the weld joint can be categorized into various types, which are largely defined by their cross-sectional shape and the methods used to produce them. Understanding the various weld types and their distinct characteristics and advantages is the first step toward achieving a reliable, high-quality weld that meets your application-specific requirements.

Here, we cover some of the most common weld types, their key benefits, and the applications for which they are best suited. To learn more about Chapter 2’s welding capabilities, visit our capabilities page.

Fillet Welds

A fillet weld joins two surfaces perpendicularly, forming an approximate right angle between them. This style of weld can be further categorized into the following subtypes:

  • Full fillet weld. With full fillet welds, the weld size is equal to the thickness of the thinner part being joined.
  • Staggered intermittent fillet weld. Staggered intermittent fillet welds are characterized by the formation of two lines of offset intermittent welding on both sides of the joint.
  • Chain intermittent fillet weld. Chain intermittent fillet welds involve the formation of two lines of intermittent fillet welds that are approximately opposite to one another on either side of a T joint.

The versatility and low cost of fillet welds have made them one of the most widely-used joints in the welding industry. Typical applications include:

  • Connecting flanges to pipes
  • Bracing connections
  • Shear tabs
  • Cover plates
  • Column bases
  • Seam and stitch welds

Groove Welds

Groove welds allow parts to be joined in the same plane by depositing welding beads in a groove between them. The basic types of groove welds include:

  • Flare-bevel weld
  • Flare-V weld
  • Single-bevel groove weld
  • Single-J groove weld
  • Single-U groove weld
  • Single-V groove weld
  • Square groove weld

Compared with other forms of welding, the groove welding process is generally more time-consuming, harder to perform, and typically requires special beveling on one or both surfaces being joined. However, it creates an easy-to-inspect, high-strength weld and offers good distortion control. Common applications of groove welds include:

  • Moment connections
  • Column splices
  • Hollow structural steel (HSS) connections


Types of Welds

Surfacing Weld

Surfacing is a welding process in which the weld is applied to the surface rather than the joint to achieve certain properties or dimensions. This is accomplished by depositing one or more strings of weave beads onto an unbroken surface. The most common types of surfacing welds include:

  • Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) surfacing
  • Furnace fusing
  • Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) surfacing
  • Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) surfacing
  • Oxy-acetylene surface welding
  • Plasma arc surfacing
  • Submerged arc welding (SAW) surfacing
  • Submerged metal arc welding (SMAW) surfacing

Surfacing welds are commonly used to add a wear-resistant layer of metal to an object to strengthen its surface or rebuild worn areas. In these cases, a metal with a greater wear resistance than the base metal is used to perform the welding. This technique is one of the most cost-effective methods for protecting and prolonging the life of equipment and tools used in aggressive, high-wear applications. Surface welding can also be used in conjunction with square butt joints to enhance the quality of the final weld.

Plug Weld

Plug welds are circular welds used to fasten two surfaces together through a small hole in one of the surfaces. In automotive applications, plug welds are commonly used in place of spot welds when there is insufficient space to accommodate spot welding equipment. The resulting weld is often stronger than a spot weld. Similarly, plug welds can be used to refill damaged holes in expensive aerospace components, returning them to a like-new state and saving companies on MRO costs.

Other applications include:

  • Welding rods inside a pipe
  • Joining metals that differ in thickness
  • Auto body manufacturing and repair

Slot Weld

With slot welds, one surface is joined to another through an elongated hole. The difference between plug and slot welds is that the plug weld’s shape is characterized by its diameter, whereas the slot weld’s shape is characterized by both diameter and length. Depending on the part’s specifications, one end of the hole may be open, or the hole can be partially or completely filled with weld material.

Slot welds are beneficial when the part’s design requires an overlapping between two surfaces. Specific uses of slot welds include:

  • Transmitting shear force in lap joints
  • Preventing buckling in overlapped parts

Flash Weld

Flash welding is a method of resistance welding that eliminates the need for filler metals. During the flash welding process, a current is applied to create a resistance between the two surfaces to be joined. When the two surfaces come together at small contact points, the current flows and melts the material. 

The melted material then exits the joint in a spray of molten particles, which creates the distinctive flashing action. Oxides and other contaminants are eliminated from the interface while a heat-softened zone is formed at the ends of the two surfaces. When enough material has melted, a force is then applied to join the surfaces. This facilitates the creation of a butt weld with no residual melted material in the joint.

The flash welding process is fast, economical, and capable of fusing dissimilar metals with different melting points. Flash welds are often used for:

  • Joining sections of mainline rail in railway construction
  • Connecting thick workpieces such as chains or pipes
  • Merging metal sheets, rods, and bars

Seam Weld

Seam welds allow materials to be overlapped and joined along a continuous seam. This type of weld can be created using two methods:

  • Resistance seam welding. Resistance seam welding is an adaptation of spot welding that uses motor-driven wheels instead of stationary rods for the welding electrodes. Common uses include sheet metal fabrication and the manufacturing of automotive components such as fuel tanks, radiators, and steel drums.
  • Friction seam welding. With friction seam welding, heat is generated using friction instead of electrodes. This allows the surfaces to be merged while in the solid phase, thereby eliminating the occurrence of interdiffusion. Friction seam welding is often preferred for materials that are inherently difficult to weld using traditional arc welding methods.

Benefits of seam welding include:

  • Provides sturdy, durable welds
  • Relatively easy to perform
  • Ideal for manufacturing liquid- and gas-tight vessels

Spot Weld

Spot welding is a form of resistance welding used to merge two or more pieces of sheet metal without the use of filler material. This is achieved by concentrating an electrical current into small, precisely-spaced spots between the adjoined surfaces. Shaped copper alloy electrodes are used to convey the electrical current through the sheet metal pieces at the predetermined locations. Once the material is melted, the current is removed and pressure is maintained while the molten material hardens to create the spot weld.

Spot welds are relatively easy and inexpensive to create, making them a popular weld choice in several key industries, including:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Construction
  • Electronics
  • Metal furniture building
  • Railway

Upset Weld

Upset welding is a form of resistance welding that produces fusion concurrently across an area of adjoining surfaces, or progressively along a joint, using a combination of heat and pressure. Pressure is applied prior to and during the heating process, and heat is created by the electrical resistance occurring at the points of contact between the surfaces. Upset welds are commonly used in the fabrication of wire rings, burner rings, wheel rims, and other circular components with small cross-sectional areas.

The upset welding process delivers several distinct benefits, including:

  • High-quality welds with fewer fusion defects
  • Compatibility with a wide variety of standard and difficult-to-weld materials
  • Welding equipment that is easy to control, operate, and maintain

Welding Services from Chapter 2, Inc.

Choosing the appropriate weld type for a given welding application is critical to the performance, reliability, and safety of the final welded component. At Chapter 2, Inc., we are an ISO 9001:2015-certified full-service manufacturer offering various welding services to meet different welding requirements. Our capabilities include MIG, TIG, aluminum, and robotic welding, allowing us to handle complex welds or difficult-to-weld materials with exceptional efficiency.

Contact us to learn more about the various weld types and how we can customize our manufacturing approach to meet your needs. To get started on your next project, request a quote today using our online form.

Chapter 2 is Committed to Keeping COVID Out

Chapter 2 is dedicated to #keepcovidout a local community initiative. Many precautionary measures have been put into place such as temperature checks, required face masks, and hand sanitizer located at numerous locations throughout the facility. Meetings have been relocated to different/ larger locations and maximum capacities have been put on many conference rooms and enclosed areas to ensure a 6 foot distance can remain in place. Mask up, wash your hands, and be safe!

Donation Drop off at The Ronald McDonald House- Madison, WI

What a beautiful day to do a beautiful deed! Some of the Chapter 2 Crew made their way to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison to drop off $500 worth of gift cards for surrounding restaurants that will be given to the families staying at the house while their children are being treated at the Children’s Hospital. It’s a small gesture we hope can bring a little light to a family’s day while they endure some of their toughest moments. (Pictured with Ronald himself- Kali Garman & Kyle Johnston, Co-Owners of Chapter 2, Inc.)

Also donated in September was $500 to the Meal Program offered through The Ronald McDonald House. Due to COVID-19, in-person volunteering has been put on pause, but Chapter 2 hopes this donation can continue to provide warm meals to the families staying there. When volunteering resumes we hope to be able to help prepare these meals in person.


Chapter 2, Inc. Donates to Local EMS

Chapter 2, Inc. is very excited to help the Lake Mills EMS purchase their first nitrous oxide tank to be used on their ambulances. The nitrous is used for immediate pain relief in place of opioids. If opioids are used in transit to the hospital, the patient cannot receive the necessary medical attention until the opioids have left their system. So with the use of the nitrous oxide patients can be treated right away.  This is an exciting innovative stride used in the EMS industry and Chapter 2 is very happy to have been able to supply the funds needed to purchase the first tank.

Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award Nomination

Chapter 2 is excited about their WIMOTY Award nomination and cant wait to attend the banquet on Feb 20th, 2020 among many other great manufacturers in the state. Manufacturing is an important industry in Wisconsin and this event is a great opportunity for manufacturers to get together and celebrate their successes and growth.

Congratulations on 25 years to Todd Schmidt

Chapter 2 would like to send a special Congratulations to Todd Schmidt, maintenance technician, on 25 years with the company! Todd has been a vital asset to the company’s successes, which includes fixing just about everything within the shop at least once and has never complained about the things he’s had to fix twice. Chapter 2 hosted a dinner for Todd’s family, friends, and co-workers at Milford Hills Hunt Club. During the evening Tim Johnston, CEO, gave a speech reminiscing on the past 25 years and Todd spoke about enjoying coming to work everyday and digging in to problems that arise and finding solutions.

Robotic Machining and Automation

Chapter 2 has purchased their 2nd FANUC Robot paired with two new Doosan turning machines to add to their ever growing capacity! The robot tending operations aid in increased efficiencies and improve upon repeat-ability.

Chapter 2 Community Outreach

Some of the Chapter 2 Crew participated in the Run From the Cops event sponsored by the Watertown WI Police Department on 9/29/19. All proceeds of the run/walk go directly towards assisting victims of domestic and/or sexual abuse, and also towards creating awareness on this sensitive issue. A special congratulations to Chapter 2 employee, Hamilton Monroy for taking 1st place in his age group for the 10K race!