Green Manufacturing

Green Manufacturing at G&S Jewelry Mfg

Remember when you were a kid and someone would ask you: “What’s your favorite color?” At G&S Jewelry Mfg we have many favorite colors, but we all agree that we love green; as in green manufacturing!

Our Focus

Being that we live in the beautiful, but dry New Mexico climate; water is always a concern. From drought conditions in the worst of years to the normal low humidity, water is always at a premium.

 

Our Process Technology Roadmap

Because we are an investment caster; our technology roadmap shows water employed in four main areas:

First, water is used to mix with dry Ransom & Randolph investment. Rinsing the mixing machine completes this operation.

Secondly, water cools our vacuum induction casting systems.

Third, we use high pressure water in a blasting cabinet to devest the castings to remove the investm

Fourth, rinse water for tumbling operations to rinse the parts and the media.

 

Our Remedies

Investment Water – Pumping rinse water to a separation tank using a double diaphragm pump.  The solids settle and the water is filtered for reuse.

Casting System – Acquisition of a recirculating system from Rio Grande.  Water management problem is resolved by delivering cooling water at a consistent temperature and flow rate. At this time we are contemplating purchasing an additional unit for other cooling application. These systems immediately reduce water consumption to nearly zero.

Cooler Mounted on J15 225x300 Green Manufacturing
RC6 Cooler Mounted On J-15 Automatic Vacuum Casting System

Devesting – Generally speaking devesting is the least technical water requirement. Our blasting cabinet is located adjacent to our casting and tumbling areas. Therefore, plumbing of recycled water from a filtered source is simplified.

Serial Filtration 225x300 Green Manufacturing
Removal of Solids From Process Water

Tumbling Operations – Installation of a rinsing part separator with a closed loop water system.

Neutec Wet Part Media Separator e1493575689340 225x300 Green Manufacturing
Neutec Wet-Media Flow Separator

Summary

Summing up; Green Manufacturing is good for the environment and results in more “Green” wallet share.  Hence, this is a key part of G&S Jewelry Mfg commitment to sustainable manufacturing. In the long run it is the best for our customers and our industry!

Jewelry Design – What’s First, Second & Third?

Jewelry Design – What’s First, Second & Third?

You have a great jewelry design you just KNOW everyone will LOVE! Ok, what’s first, second and third on your list to make that design a reality? Hmmm, what to do?

Design

First and foremost we want to start with an image of your design. CAD drawing, Word/PowerPoint drawing or a hand drawn sketch all work for us. Once we have the sketch we can start developing sizes which will give us volumes.

 

CAD Design 300x225 Jewelry Design   Whats First, Second & Third?
CAD Image – Letter Charms in Various Sizes

Tools To Enhance Jewelry Design

G&S Jewelry uses many state of the art tools to support designing elegant jewelry. These include CAD artwork renderings, 3D Printing and Vacuum Investment Casting. Much of our equipment has been purchased at Rio Grande. They have the equipment and experienced support personnel, hence we recommend them to everyone in the jewelry industry.

After casting and tumbling is complete personalization can be accomplished through laser engraving. Here is a video of our machine in action! Your Design Here Video of Laser Machine,

More information can be seen here from the Rio Grande website: Neutec Lightscribe Engraver

Material Selection For Jewelry Design

We can then apply the material density of the alloy you want your jewelry to be made with. This can be any of the karat golds, sterling silver, bronze, or lead-free pewter. G&S Jewelry does them all! Therefore we have a material for almost every price point.

Cost Analysis

With this information in hand, we can now develop a cost analysis. Here we can evaluate the cost of manufacture against your sell price. Consequently you can make a decision well before spending money on inventory otherwise you may have unsold inventory. Met your price point? met; GREAT! We can then move quickly to building prototypes.

However, if price point is too high as a consequence we need to look at the design again. For this reason, we can look at changing the dimensions, changing the material or both. Thinner or smaller will reduce weight. Changing the material from a high cost material such as 18 karat gold to 14 karat or sterling silver will also reduce costs.

Mastering

Now that the cost is complete. We have all the sizes identified. Because of this we can now produce 3D renders. Once the renders are approve; the masters can be produced directly.

B9 3D Printing 225x300 Jewelry Design   Whats First, Second & Third?
B9 3D Printer

G&S Jewelry Mfg uses both traditional milling, a reducing process as well as three dimensional (3D) printing an additive process. In contrast; the 3D printing produces a much smoother surface. Furthermore; our best machine the B9 3D printer shown above is much faster than our milling machine.

Casting Your Jewelry Design

Finally this is where we make design come to life! Whether by vacuum investment casting or centrifugal casting, molten metal cast in a mold completes the formation!

Questions?

Contact us and let us know how we can help you!

G&S Jewelry Development Center Open For Business!

The G&S Jewelry Development Center is open for business at last!

We are very pleased to announce that our Jewelry Development Center is open for business. We are frequently approached by customers for support in developing a new piece or a whole new line. It is important to realize that there are many steps from ideation to creation. With this intention in mind, we try and compress this process down to a short time interval. To demonstrate our commitment to this process we felt it necessary to closely locate all the necessary equipment in one compact location. This permits us to go through the steps with our customers in detail. In particular, advances in mobile communications and internet meeting permit “face-to-face” meetings from thousands of miles away.

The information below provides a virtual tour of our capabilities! What you will see will include:

our use of lasers, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) , 3D Printing, and automatic controlled intuitive systems.

Laser Engraving

 

Laser Engraving Ring 1 300x225 G&S Jewelry Development Center Open For Business!
Neutec 20W Laser Engraving A Wedding Band

Laser Welding

Laser welding is an excellent technique in jewelry manufacturing. It is very precise and therefore useful for small work without disturbing large components. For example; routinely broken jewelry components accept laser welded repairs. In addition small elements of a different metal into a design. Namely karat gold is welded into a sterling silver base. Moreover, the explicit contrast in color with corresponding attention to cost and ease of use adds to the designers’ toolbox.

LaserStar Laser Welding Machine 300x282 G&S Jewelry Development Center Open For Business!
LaserStar Welding Machine

CAD 3D Renderings

CAD technology delivers the imaging and key properties such as size, volume, clearances to the designer. Making informed decisions on weights and therefore cost, are important factors for pricing.

CAD Design 300x225 G&S Jewelry Development Center Open For Business!
CAD Image – Letter Charms

Interactive Design

Using the power of digital communication; design changes can be made working from afar. Or we can sit with you in our design lab and handle it one on one.

Ideation Picture 300x170 G&S Jewelry Development Center Open For Business!
Letter Charm/Tag Designed By YOU!

Precision Control Riace Wax Injection System

We added a Riace Wax Injection system to our design center. This allows us to evaluate the correct settings for injection prior to turning out to Production. Just another step in development!

3D Printing System

3D printing adds a new depth of capability. Consequently very complex parts can be grown literally from the “ground up”!

3D Printing a Master Piece 300x225 G&S Jewelry Development Center Open For Business!
G&S 3D Printing System Growing A Cylindrical Design

Model Master CAD-CAM Milling for Masters

Milling produces traditional flat items such as charms, pendants and buttons with ease. Driven by a variety of CAD programs the milling machine cuts wax and butterboard precisely to make masters.

Metal Master CAD Master Milling System 300x225 G&S Jewelry Development Center Open For Business!
Model Master Milling Machine

Let us help you make your dreams into a reality! Click here more information?

Dynamic High Speed Tumbling For Small Size Parts

G&S Jewelry high speed tumbling equipment significantly shortens tumbling time of small parts. Our system is designed by Mass Finishing Inc. located in Howard Lake, MN. Tumbling is a common mass finishing technique employed throughout the metal processing industry. Large and heavy pieces require a long tumbling process, this is understood. In contrast, small parts can be tumbled faster. Likewise customers routinely want their product as soon as possible and they want parts finished equally.

Part Size

The overall dimensions of the part have bearing on what tumbling technique will deliver the best results. Large parts require more care in handling than small parts.  On the other hand small parts fit the high speed process perfectly. The small size and weight reduces part to part impact energy below the critical threshold.

How High Speed Tumbling Works

The high speed tumbling process at G&S Jewelry Mfg is comprised of four tubs rotating in a planetary system. This planetary system in turn rotates around a center axis. As a result, the compound effect creates high velocity of one element to another. The energy creates so much friction that room temperature starting solution can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The schematic drawing below shows how the parts tubs rotate around their center axis while they rotate around the center axis of the drum. Adding together the parts, media and water solution  in each tub; the spinning action creates a high level of interaction in the spinning tub.

High Speed Tumbler Schematic End View Drawing 300x169 Dynamic High Speed Tumbling For Small Size Parts
High Speed Tumbling Schematic End View Drawing

High Speed Tumbling Media

Our high speed tumbling system works with all types of wet media. Cut down impregnated plastic, burnishing and ceramic media all work well in our system.

Results

The resulting finish for small parts really sparkles!

If you have questions on how this process will benefit you, by all means please contact us here for more information.

G&S Jewelry is a small woman-owned business located in Albuquerque, NM

G&S Jewelry Development Center Coming Soon!

G&S Jewelry Mfg will be completing the construction of their Jewelry Development Center soon! We will be providing a digital tour and list of all of the equipment and resources we will be bringing on-line or integrating into our systems.

We believe this will help our customers’ in their desire to bring their vision to reality in a very rapid way. Keep watching this blog for further announcements!

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman-owned business with all of its manufacturing in the USA.

 

Composite Jewelry Designs – Add Color and Value

Joining two or metals together in your jewelry designs add color, contrast and ultimately value to your designs! There are many different ways to do this. The most common ways are:

Mechanically – Linking pieces together via a jump ring, clasp, swaging or a clamping device.

Soldering – Using a metal solder by pre-placing the parts with a solder beneath or along the edges to permanently join the parts together.

Infiltration – This process entails casting a piece with a high melting point first, re-investing this first piece back into a flask and casting a lower melting point alloy to “infiltrate” the piece already in place.

These various methods of adding color are suited for a wide range of applications.

We have worked with our customers to join the following combinations:

Karat Gold to Sterling

Sterling to Different Color Bronzes

Bronze to Different Color Bronze

Pewter to Bronze

Pewter to Stainless Steel

Pewter to Nickel Silver

 

During finishing; various patinas can be added that will color one metal and not react with another. This contrast in colors can be further enhanced in this way.

From a practical standpoint, its possible to place small amounts of an expensive precious metal onto a lower cost precious metal back or a non precious metal back to present the piece at a lower overall cost than otherwise made homogeneously with a high cost metal.

If you have ideas that you want us to consider contact us for more information!

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman-owned business located in Albuquerque, NM

Chip Inlay – Adding A Splash of Color to Your Designs!

Chip inlay is an attractive means of adding color to your designs. We take ground synthetic stone and fill cavities and channels in a wide range of designs. The chips are then infiltrated with low shrink adhesive that binds the chips together and securely to the piece. The cavity is slightly overfilled to create a dome. This dome is then ground flat when the adhesive is fully cured and hard enough to grind without tearing. The large surfaces shown in the pewter belt buckle below require careful attention when filling to ensure even distribution of the chip and binder.

BUR 5684 300x201 Chip Inlay   Adding A Splash of Color to Your Designs!
Southwest Belt Buckle – Two Color Chip Inlay

After grinding is complete the surface is inspected to ensure that no pinholes are visible and the stone is securely bound. The piece then returns to finish processing. The example below shows a bronze ring that was chip inlaid, finish tumbled, silver plated and then blackened to highlight the texture detail

 

R3 Chip Inlay   Adding A Splash of Color to Your Designs!
Silver Plated Bronze Ring

 

The starting design has to have enough depth to adequately hold the chip. Good examples would be bezel containing components and parts such as rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets. The parts are first cast and the cast surface roughened to create a good foundation for adhesion.

Let us work with you leveraging our experience and our CAD systems to design a beautiful piece that can be inlaid to YOUR design requirements. If you have a design in mind and would like a quote; contact us and we will respond promptly.

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman-owned business located in Albuquerque, NM.

Celebrating Native American Handmade Sterling Jewelry!

We recently had a beautiful piece of sterling jewelry handmade by Ronald Tom at Nakai Trading here in Albuquerque. Ron is a Navajo craftsman with many years of experience and carries on the Native American tradition of handmade and handcrafted sterling jewelry. The Sterling Silver was supplied by W.R. Cobb in East Providence and consisted of 6″ wide stock for the base and a special #4 Comfort Low Dome for the rails on the top. The rails were soldered in place by hand and the piece oxidized in liver of sulfur and then all of the upper surfaces polished to a high shine.

The photos below show the outstanding result in a size 5-1/2 cuff bracelet.

Handmade Sterling Bracelet Side View 300x225 Celebrating Native American Handmade Sterling Jewelry!
Handmade Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet
Handmade Sterling Bracelet 225x300 Celebrating Native American Handmade Sterling Jewelry!
Handmade Bracelet – Low Dome Soldered to Solid Base

 

We thank Ron for his beautiful work and can say with 100% certainty that this bracelet will be worn and yes, shown off for many years to come!

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman-owned business located in Albuquerque, NM.

 

 

Business Roadmaps for The Jewelry Designer

Designers Unite! A business roadmap is a very useful visual tool for bringing your designs to market! The picture below illustrates a simple Ideation to Creation roadmap. The steps shown are simple and logical. The distillation and cost benefit evaluation stages are important steps and may require some test marketing or one of a kind builds to get helpful feedback.

 

Ideation to Creation Roadmap 300x170 Business Roadmaps for The Jewelry Designer
Ideation To Creation Roadmap

The overall goal is to bring your designs to market quickly and profitably by putting the most resources on the items that will bring the quickest and best returns. So much so that the profits of these designs may fund development of additional designs to keep cash-flow positive during the critical pilot production stages.

 

G&S can work with your team to understand where the best avenues for development will be from a manufacturing perspective. We can provide detailed cost information for various options to aid in decisionmaking, let us help you be successful!

 

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman-owned business located in Albuquerque, NM.

Metal Shrinkage – The Why’s and How’s of Metal Shrink

As designers and casters we have to work around the fundamental physics of making metal products via casting. Whether it is vacuum investment casting, gravity pour casting, centrifugal casting, horizontal or vertical continuous casting, or grain/powder casting, the transition from the liquid state to the solid state will include a volume change. For most casting alloys the shrink is minimized so that the fill is consistent and the external surfaces conform to the surfaces of the mold or die. Vacuum investment or centrifugal casting ensure that the walls of the mold have metal drawn or thrust upon it first and the metal following the initial part of the stream “backfills” the solidified shell against the wall of the mold.

Important commercial alloys generally have shrinkage of between 1 and 3%. This is true for popular precious metal alloys such as karat gold and sterling silver. These alloys will vary amongst themselves as there are a great many alloys, for color, casting or working properties with minor metal additions.

For both investment and centrifugal casting; we want to minimize porosity, which is in itself an outgrowth of shrinkage. If porosity exists; we want it to be internal only, not on a visible surface that will detract from the beauty of the design. The nature of solidification and the amount of shrink back from the wall of the mold is important for maintaining detail of the surface. Highly textured surfaces or designs with fine filigree can be diminished if the shrinkage is too much.

In sterling silver adding a small amount of zinc to the alloy reduces the shrink during solidification. The photos shown below illustrate a the casting button for standard 925 Ag-Cu alloy (top) and a corresponding 925 Ag-Cu alloy with zinc additions (bottom).

Standard STG Button 300x225 Metal Shrinkage   The Whys and Hows of Metal Shrink
Standard Sterling Silver Investment Cast Button

 

Deox STG Button 300x225 Metal Shrinkage   The Whys and Hows of Metal Shrink
Deox Sterling Silver Investment Cast Button

 

Both meet the 925 minimum silver requirement, but the shrink on the standard sterling silver button has a pronounced concavity whereas the alloy with the zinc addition is noticeably convex on the edges and flat across the middle.

Both of the these buttons are as-cast and shown after a regular pickle to remove residual investment. Note the finer grain structure in the deox sterling silver button with the zinc additions. The fine grain structure aids the investment caster in that the porosity will be smaller in size, more distributed and less pronounced in larger surfaces.

This coupled with the tarnish resistance adds value to incorporation of the alloy into the design. Though it is more costly than standard sterling, the attributes for reduced shrinkage, reduced porosity and tarnish resistance can outweigh the added cost.

Let us work with you and your design team to show you how to design around shrinkage issues in your jewelry.

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman-owned business located in Albuquerque, NM.