"We often help customers save cost with our springs"

  • Interviews
  • Sep 01,22
Springs, considered as storage devices for mechanical energy, are ubiquitous in all kinds of machines — from consumer products to heavy industrial equipment. Hence, they are quite important to engineering applications. With more than 25,000 stock springs, the US-based Lee Spring offers best suited springs for various applications. Founded by Robert Lee Johannsen in 1918 in Brooklyn (USA), Lee Spring started its India journey 10 years back.

Springs, considered as storage devices for mechanical energy, are ubiquitous in all kinds of machines — from consumer products to heavy industrial equipment. Hence, they are quite important to engineering applications. With more than 25,000 stock springs, the US-based Lee Spring offers best suited springs for various applications. Founded by Robert Lee Johannsen in 1918 in Brooklyn (USA), Lee Spring started its India journey 10 years back. In this exclusive interview with Rakesh Rao, Janardhana Ramaswamaiah, Managing Director, Lee Springs Company India Pvt Ltd, explains the importance of springs for manufacturing sector and future plans of the company.

How is Lee Spring serving the end-user industries in India?
Lee Spring manufactures and distributes mechanical springs, wire forms, stampings, and multi-slide parts worldwide. We offer an extensive product line of more than 25,000 inventoried products in a variety of materials available in stock and ready to ship today. In addition, we also manufacture springs made to customer specifications. Lee Spring is the premier global source for stock catalog and custom-designed mechanical springs and related products.

Founded by Robert Lee Johannsen in 1918, Lee Spring began in Brooklyn New York and our Global Headquarters is still based in Brooklyn today. Through the years, we have expanded with additional strategic locations throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. We are well known for our extensive and comprehensive catalog of stock springs that have been used by engineers, professionals, and buyers for decades. Beyond the catalog, we have considerable experience in design development and production support of custom spring capabilities, which comes with our many years of rich experience within the industry.

What do you bring to the table for your customers?
Our biggest strength is our extensive product line of more than 25,000 stock springs, which are available for immediate delivery from inventory. Beyond the catalog springs, we work closely with our customers to help them design springs that are best suited for their applications. We have trained engineers who can work closely with customers for their duty parameters to help design new springs. Our unique consultative approach is well received in the marketplace and helped us to gain confidence with our customers.

How important is the role of spring in industrial & engineering applications?
If you ask me, it’s quite interesting that springs find their application almost everywhere, they are ubiquitous in all kinds of machines—from consumer products to heavy industrial equipment, take apart anything, that involves a mechanism or movement, I’m almost certain that you’ll find a spring inside. Springs are storage devices for mechanical energy. The earliest spring application that I can think of is a bow and arrow, and fast-forward to the present-day scenario, you will be amazed to see them even in the smartwatches. So, to answer your question, they are quite important to engineering applications.

How do you ensure a failsafe feature for your springs?
Lee Spring has been designing and manufacturing springs for over 100 years, and our India facility just reached its 10-year anniversary. This legacy and experience making springs, working with very specific customer requirements and unique application challenges have helped us to become a leader in the industry, not just for selection, but also expertise and experience. That expertise and experience translate into our quality in both the design and manufacturing process. We also utilise proprietary software in our design and quotation process to ensure we have designs optimized for the real world. Our springs are used from everything from spacecraft to precision medical devices, to toys and everything in between. In addition, we are ISO 9001:2015 registered.

What are the key challenges before the end-user industries (your customers) today? How is Lee Spring Company helping the customers to overcome some of these challenges?
Customers require a spring that is right for their application, delivered on time and on budget. Each application is unique so it is important to understand how the spring will work within an application and in conjunction with other components. Ensuring the correct spring material and finishes are selected and that the design is within acceptable use parameters for the stresses the spring will endure. As components get smaller and more compact, it is important to design a spring that can fit an assembly and maintain quality and endurance. Our engineers can often save cost by guiding the customer to the right design and materials for the application.

Modernisation and automation are increasing across industries. What opportunities does it present to Lee Spring?
Industry 4.0 is quite synonymous with the modernisation and the automation efforts nowadays; we have our strategic initiatives in this area, and we are working with our team and partners in implementing the solution that is best suited for us.

What are some of the emerging trends in the springs industry?
Springs are generally formed through forming process. We keep hearing about springs that are manufactured through other processes nowadays. We too have found success with one such attempt to develop “Plastic Springs” and we are seeing early signs of springs being manufactured with additive manufacturing, lighter materials and even shape memory alloys.

Kindly brief us about some of the recently launched products of Lee Spring Company?
As an acknowledged market leader in catalog springs, we constantly expand our offerings on a regular basis; most recently we have expanded our range on Belleville Washers and also our torsion spring offerings. We did introduce a new high-pressure series quite recently with a much smaller form factor which found wide acceptance in the marketplace.

What kind of new opportunities are you looking to tap?
These are exciting times; we find quite a few new innovative products that are coming to the market almost every day! And springs have a knack for finding its way into some of these interesting solutions that are coming out. As a market leader, we have the opportunity to work with some of the greatest minds in the industry and support them with their spring needs. Very recently we supported a customer in sizing the right spring for a critical drug delivery system. We are quite confident that this product will soon be commercialised and bring us one step closer to fighting a critical illness. It feels extremely satisfying to get associated with such great initiatives.

What are your short- and long-term growth plans for the company?
Our short-term goal for our growth is to keep up the pace with our customer’s trust in us, obviously improve our productivity levels, training, and orientation of our staff for exemplary customer support before, during, and after each and every sale.

Our long-term goal is to expand our production capabilities in every possible way to align with our customer needs and expand our footprint in the Indian market with respect to the additional manufacturing facility in another strategic location.

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