The title quote is from Aristotle, and I have always perceived it as an absolute truth. Nobody likes to fail, although failure often comes before success. As long you cherish failure as another step that includes thorough research, you’re still on the road to success.
Like any other business, we went through failures along the road too. The original concept of our MPC authentic clamp, our first clamp, saw several failures before we came up with a combination of techniques that lead to the product it is today.
When we started, we neglected how important the different factors in a worm gear clamp can be too much.
For starters, 3 parts are coming together in a worm gear clamp like the MPC authentic. If any of these parts are out of tolerance, it will not do its intended job. Tolerances need to be narrow, exceptionally narrow.
When the clamp house is perfectly within tolerances, and the screw diameter and the band thickness are both slightly out of tolerance, the complete product will not work. It will simply have a free torque that is too high to operate. Too much friction force will go into the free torque and not into sealing the hose and coupling.
The importance of tensile strength
The tensile strength of the band material needs to be adequate according to the different norms we are producing. With higher tensile strength, you might lose the band's flexibility, which is required when pursuing a perfect seal. This is always combined with the overall strength of the clamp, which must reach certain breaking torque values according to the different norms. Creating the perfect balance between tensile strength, band thickness, flexibility, and overall working torque was certainly not done overnight.
Testing the tensile strength in our MPC lab using the testometric M350-10CT
Reducing friction through material choice
A worm gear clamp is simply what it says: a screw gear gripping in the worm stamped in the band. Friction during the turning movement when applying a clamp is inevitable. So, the clue here is to create as little friction as possible. The answer was not only found in the narrow tolerances but also in using different materials for screw and band, whenever this is not a mandatory parameter within the different norms. The use of these different materials also offered benefits for the corrosion resistance of the clamps. We don’t solve corrosion resistance just with a coating but also with the base material of the clamps.
Whenever using different materials wasn’t possible, for instance, in all stainless AISI304 clamps, we needed to find a lubricant that was not greasy. We serve different markets, and some of these markets aren’t very keen on grease. So, we Zinc-coat stainless screws, obviously not for anti-corrosion reasons this time, but to separate the two stainless materials, which is why it will serve as a light lubricant.
Failure as a source of inspiration
I can go on for a while concerning details that have been changed to create a better product. The bottom line is that failures along the road have inspired us to find solutions, better techniques, and a perfect mix of materials to create a clamp we can be proud of.
Today, the MPC authentic clamp is a “top-gear” worm gear clamp with low free torque and a breaking torque that consistently exceeds worm gear norm values.
This brings me back to the title: Quality is not an act; it’s a habit!
All of the above and more has been applied for years now and not only in the MPC authentic clamp. We have applied these different principles in all our worm gear clamp types in a consistent way.
To be proud of your product or service can be the result of an act, but in my case, my proudness lies in the consistency of improvement and the quality products our team created along the way for the past 40 years!
And 40 years of consistency is not an act; it’s a habit!