When Camman Lighting was called upon to custom design chandelier lighting fixtures for the new Community United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, Camman partnered with Acme Metal Spinning to fabricate the bowl structure.
Acme had the needed, extra large 120 inch diameter spinning system and experience fabricating very large architectural lighting fixtures. Design of the 8 chandeliers called for a 93 inch diameter bowl centered in a tubular steel structure. Six incandescent downward facing lights were mounted around the perimeter of each chandelier. The design was challenging because the bowl had to be fabricated from a single square sheet of aluminum to meet design and esthetic requirements.
Welding multiple smaller aluminum panels to form the bowl with seams and other uneven features showing wasn't allowed in the design. The requirement of fabricating the bowl from a 96 inch square 0.125 inch thick aluminum sheet restricted the available process options to metal spinning.
"We have complete in house metal spinning capabilities, but this project called for much larger diameter equipment than what we have," reported Brian Mears, engineer for Camman Lighting. "We saw that Acme Metal Spinning had the necessary large metal spinning, in-house tool building and polishing equipment. An added plus was their experience fabricating very large lighting chandeliers. We supplied CAD drawings and they made a proposal that fit our needs. We and our customer were very pleased with their performance and the quality of the bowls."
To fabricate the chandelier bowl, Acme first designed and produced a laminated wood tooling pattern. This is a standard process used in the metal spinning industry to produce tooling. What made this particular part and the tooling for it unique was its large size. Acme designed the tooling on its CAD system. The laminated wood structure was constructed and assembled with everyday woodworking tools and then machined to size on a 120 inch diameter lathe. Because of its size, two workers were required to move and position the tooling fixture using a forklift and overhead cranes.
Once complete, the tooling was mounted on Acme's 120 inch capacity Lieco spinning machine, one of the largest machines of this type in the United States. The spinning process combines rotation and force. Roller-like tools are pressed against the whirling aluminum blank as it turns on the lathe, flowing and forming the material around the wooden tooling pattern that was cut and formed in the shape of the finished part. Each shaped part was polished in preparation for a painting application made by Camman prior to assembly and installation. Eight of the 93 inch diameter bowls were fabricated by Acme in less than 8 weeks, including the tool build, spinning and polishing operations.
About Camman Lighting: Since 1961, Camman Lightings has been designing and manufacturing the highest quality church lighting available in the industry. These attractive fixtures can be seen in houses of worship throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The company is now evolving into one of the industries most respected custom lighting manufacturers. From Fortune 100 companies to institutions of higher learning, Camman Lighting designs and installations have met the strict requirements of the world's most prominent architects, designers and contractors.
For more information, go to cammanlighting.com Call: 724-539-7670. Or write to Camman Lighting, 111 Strawcutter Road, Derry, PA 15627.
About Acme Metal Spinning: Since 1908, Acme Metal Spinning has become one of the largest metal spinning manufacturers in the US. It provides high quality metal spinnings in a broad range of materials in diameters from ¼ inch up to 120 inches. Its customers include leading lighting, architectural metal, off-highway vehicle, aerospace, medical, military, chemical and agriculture companies. Acme has complete in-house CNC equipment including dozens of spinning machines, trimming, cutoff and beading equipment and value-added hole punching, flanging and finishing.