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Awards of Excellence


Federal Tool & Engineering, LLC Wins Design Award

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano


CLEVELAND, OH—November 16, 2016—Federal Tool & Engineering, LLC, West Bend, WI, has received the 2016 Higgins-Caditz Design Award, as part of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Awards of Excellence in Metalforming. The company is a full-service provider of metal components as well as welded and manual assemblies to OEMs in the food-service-equipment, power-generation, on- and off -highway transportation, commercial-lighting and consumer-appliance markets. 

Federal Tool & Engineering won the award for its redesign of the CB mounting bracket, used in securing heating cables to the exterior of commercial foodservice ovens. Based on the size of the oven, either a single-, double- or triple-hole version of the mounting bracket is used to secure the heating cables. 

Previously, each of the three brackets was made independently. Total process time was 34-48 seconds per part, depending on the part version.  This equated to a typical 2,000-piece run taking as long as 26 hours to process. On an annual volume of 45,000 pieces, the annual process time exceeded 550 hours. Additional concerns surrounded the storage, management and procurement of three different skus in addition to the tabs welded to each bracket. 

After the design change, a single part is produced using a progressive die as a triple-hole version, with the ability to split the part into a single-hole and a double-hole bracket. Total process time has been reduced to 5-6 seconds depending on whether the triple-hole version is split into a single or double hole. This equates to a typical 2,000-piece run taking about four hours to produce, resulting in an annual reduction in processing time of 460 hours. 

The original part was made as a separate job with two work centers, one laser and one brake. With the new design, three press and post-press operations are eliminated. Additionally, the original part was shipped to the customer, which then purchased and spot welded two or three clips to it. Also, parts needed to be stored in three separate bins.  Now, the customer is shipped a complete part that requires no further operations and it can be stored as a single part number until separation is necessary.

The Design Award is one of nine Awards of Excellence in Metalforming presented annually by PMA. Created by the Worcester Pressed Steel Co., Worcester, MA, and sponsored by The Quarterly Club, the design award recognizes a manufacturing company for outstanding achievement in developing an innovative product design. Along with recognition in industry publications and at events, Federal Tool & Engineering will receive a $1,500 cash prize.

PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $137-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. Its nearly 900 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. PMA leads innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM Mexico tradeshows, and MetalForming, Fabricating Product News and 3D Metal Printing magazines.

Editor’s Note: Information on PMA’s Awards of Excellence in Metalforming is available at