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When Camman Industries was asked to custom design chandelier lighting fixtures for a new Community United Methodist Church in Texas, it partnered with Acme Metal Spinning to create the bowl structure.

Acme had the necessary, extra-large, 140in-diameter spinning system and experience fabricating very large architectural lighting fixtures.

The design of the eight chandeliers required a 93in-diameter bowl centred in a tubular steel structure.

Six incandescent downward-facing lights were mounted around the perimeter of each chandelier.

The bowl had to be fabricated from a single square sheet of aluminium to meet the necessary design and aesthetic requirements.

Welding multiple smaller aluminium panels to form the bowl with seams and other uneven features showing was not allowed in the design.

The requirement of fabricating the bowl from a 96in-square, 0.125in-thick aluminium sheet restricted the available process options to metal spinning.

Brian Mears, engineer for Camman Industries, said: ‘We have complete in-house metal-spinning capabilities but this project called for much larger-diameter equipment than what we have.

‘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,’ he added.

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.

The company designed the large-size tooling on its CAD system.

The laminated wood structure was constructed and assembled with everyday woodworking tools and then machined to size on a 140in-diameter lathe.

As a result 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 140in-capacity Lieco spinning machine.

The spinning process combines rotation and force.

Roller-like tools are pressed against the whirling aluminium 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 93in-diameter bowls were fabricated by Acme in less than eight weeks, including the tool build, spinning and polishing operations.

Acme Metal Spinning

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