Critical to Quality All The Way Out the Door

In a typical production machining operations the quality focus is generally on the process and procedures that occur while parts are being produced. But, the quality management system doesn’t end there. Ultimately the shipping department is the final line of defense in the quality process ensuring great parts that have been produced are delivered safely and on-time. While machining custom parts that meet exacting customer specifications is Heartland’s core functionality our dedicated shipping team is responsible for the following steps, right up to loading parts on trucks, that are critical to quality;

  • Deburring – Sharp edges are dangerous and unacceptable on machined parts. Our shipping department is the gatekeeper ensuring parts are appropriately deburred before they are shipped. This ensures that parts are received safely at the customer location ready for sale, integration into an assembly, or the next machining operation.
  • FOD Prevention – A final review for Foreign Object Debris (FOD) ensures parts are shipped without articles or substances on / in them which could potentially cause damage. While FOD prevention is critical for aerospace applications it’s also applicable for any finished parts regardless of the industry.
  • Assembly – Most multiple component assemblies, based on customer required, are completed within our shipping department.
  • Stamping, Marking & Identification – Heartland ensure that all customer required information per their specification is stamped onto individual parts. Our shipping department utilizes dot peen direct part marking which provides the following advantages;
    • Permanent marks
    • Good marking depth
    • Highly visible mark
    • Low-stress marking

Upon completion and prior to shipping the stamping content is double checked by our quality team.

  • Individual Part Packaging – Preparation and packaging of each piece always meets customer requirements that may include; rust prevention, individual packaging, sleeving parts, wrapping in specialty wax paper, etc.
  • Packing – Parts are packed as efficiently as possible to meet customer specifications. We ensure that each box / crate is sturdy and durable with cardboard protection inside to ensure parts do not come in contact with each other during transit. Heartland has a full woodshop that enables us to produce custom packaging for the secure transit of diverse sized parts.
  • Loading – Safe transport from the shipping area to the loading dock and onto awaiting trucks is critical. Securing the load in the carriers trailer can reduce any unnecessary transit damage.

While shipping is a prerequisite for any manufacturer it’s taken to the next level at Heartland. We take pride in ensuring that the parts we produced arrive at our customer’s facilities on time and in the same high quality that they left our facility.

Better Threads Lead to Better Rods

Rolled threads result in better rods with improved tensile strength, shear & fatigue resistance.

  • Static tensile tests on parts formed through thread rolling show overall increases in strength of about 30%
  • Fatigue strength is improved by up to 75%.
  • Rolled threads have increased resistance to stripping because such failures are compelled to take place across, rather than with, the grain flow.

Thread rolling produces strong, smooth, precise, and uniform external thread forms with results that are much different and better than other types of threading processes. Often, rolled threads are not only preferred but also required by design because of their superior tensile, shear, and fatigue strength.

Other processes like cutting, grinding, and chasing remove material to produce the thread form, but thread rolling displaces the material with hardened steel dies. These dies typically have hardness between Rc58-Rc63 and there is a specific set of dies for each thread size and each thread form.

The result of moving the material grains (molecules) into the shape of the thread rather than weakening it by removing material, is that the grains become denser at the critical parts of the thread, especially in the root and on the flank below the pitch diameter. This effect improves the quality of the thread form. Additionally, the burnishing action of the steel dies produces an excellent (better than Ra32) micro-finish. The superior finish improves assembly between external and internal threads and reduces wear between mating components, thereby extending their life. 

For over 25 years Heartland has been machining rods with rolled threads for oil and gas applications including; Natural gas compressor piston rods and Frac pump stay rods.

Specifically Heartland offers cost competitive turnkey rods that requiring tight tolerances and rolled threads.  We can accommodate rods up to 60” long with milled components and threads as large as 2 ½ – 8 UN or 2 ¾ – 12 UN.

Heartland Enterprises Now ISO 9001:2015 + AS9100D Certified

We are ecstatic to announce that Heartland Enterprises has upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 and added the AS9100D certification. The achievement of this milestone was a team effort driven by our quality assurance manager.

While there are many reasons we decided to pursue the additional AS9100D certification the primary reason simply is that it will make us better. Heartland’s primary objectives have been and will continue to be;

  • Taking care of our customer
  • Taking care of our employees.

AS9100 widely adopted and standardized quality management system for the aerospace industry will propel Heartland to the next level as a leader in the machining of highly engineer parts. The new standard will help up better achieve our primary objectives of continuously meeting the needs and objectives of our customer and employees in the following ways;

  1. Increased customer satisfaction: The AS9100 standard requires a focus on understanding customer requirements so that we can better meet their needs.
  2. Raising the bar: AS9100 is the internationally recognized standard for Quality Management Systems for aerospace companies and it is the default expectation for customers.
  3. Improved decision-making: AS9100 embeds our top management into the Quality Management System, and champions making decisions based on evidence and data rather than vague attitudes.
  4. Increased efficiency: AS9100 is based on the process approach to understanding how we provide products and services, and emphasizes understanding how these processes interact.
  5. Engaging employees: By defining and mapping the processes, and involving the people within those processes in the activity, we will not only ensure that our processes are functioning as expected, but we can engage our workforce towards the goals of process improvement and customer satisfaction.
  6. More robust supplier relationships: By focusing on mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers, we will find ways to work together in order to improve customer satisfaction.
  7. Habitual improvement: One of the principles that is ingrained into the AS9100 requirements is the need to find ways to make the management system incrementally better over time, a process called continual improvement. By making improvement a part of our daily business, we can harness the power of our engaged workforce and focus them on finding ways to make the processes that they are involved in better, faster, and cheaper to run.

As one of only ~10,000 certified organization world wide Heartland looks to expand on our past success while taking care of employees and old and new customers alike.

Heartland Enterprises Overview

Dave Campbell:  We are an ISO certified production machine shop.  Our capabilities focus on 2″ to 42″ diameter parts.   We utilize a wide range of CNC equipment.  We like to use top of the line and we try to stay with Okuma, its very robust equipment.

We built the business with two pillars: taking care of employees and taking care of customers surrounded with the whole element of quality.  Because quality is a mindset and when you want employees you want them thinking quality.   Everybody here cares about the customers and meeting customer needs so that means that as their needs come up we do everything and everybody in the shop does everything they can to meet those needs.

We’re always looking for those things we can do that make us better, faster, quicker.  We have a very rigorous quality process ISO certified of course.   But more important than just the process is the environment in which we have that process working.  We have quality equipment, we have a clean and well organized environment, we have empowered employees, we have teamwork.   All that allows us to deliver quality to the customer.

You know, I often hear people say, “what’s a facility like this doing in Fredericksburg?”