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Rapid Development of Machined Heatsink Application Fixture

Case StudyCase StudyHeatsink Application Fixtures

A mass market Fortune 100 consumer electronics corporation was behind schedule for a major product launch and asked Cypress Industries to design and produce complex custom tooling in an almost unachievable timeframe.

In order to get their product to market, our customer required complex tooling that would precisely install heatsinks into prefabricated circuit boards with a specified amount of force. Although tool development of this type is not, in itself, an unusual request for us, the timeframe was the tightest we had ever faced (under 10 days). We recognized that, in order to meet the deadline, we would need to collaborate closely with the product team, and keep design revisions to an absolute minimum.

We began by assessing and reviewing the demands imposed by the heatsinks themselves, and by the limitations of their manufacturing process. Individual assembly operators would be installing the heatsinks, so the final product needed to both minimize the time required to manufacture each board, use a precise amount of force and reduce the risk of misalignment between the board and the heatsink.

  1. Our experience made it possible to reach this goal. We use these types of fixtures in our own manufacturing facilities, so we were able to design a simple fixture out of the best readily-available materials to achieve both engineering and timeframe objectives.
  2. To perfectly align the boards and the heatsinks, and to make placement simple and repeatable, the tools were CNC machined at our machine shop out of a single piece of 6061 aluminum billet, then anodized to increase wear resistance and prevent galling.
  3. Although precise tolerances are a common customer requirement, the project timeframe demanded that the tools be designed right the first time, without repeated testing and re-machining of the tools. Communication between our team and the customer was a critical component of the project’s success.
  4. The components were assembled on a surface plate to ensure geometric accuracy of the assembly, and to produce an extremely precise tool.

The team at Cypress met the clients’ demands, and the tools were delivered as promised, allowing our customer to meet their product launch goals and build highly accurate boards in their contract manufacturing facility.


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