Software Requirements

Spring Calculator Professional has very low requirements; it will run on any version of Windows from XP onwards – we support XP, Vista, 7 and 8. It will work happily on 32 or 64 bit versions.

Although we know some customers run it on a server through a remote desktop client, we cannot officially support this ourselves. If this is a requirement, consider the hosted version IST offers.

Can I add my company logo?

One of the questions that we’re asked about Spring Calculator Professional is whether the Production Drawings that are available within the program can contain a company logo.

Well, the answer is yes, and in this article I’ll show you how.

First of all, where does the Logo appear on the finished documents?

For most of the outputs, the logo appears against the name and address details on the final print out or PDF export:

 

It won’t show on the screen view – just on the final output. The one exception to this is the Production Drawing, where the logo appears at the lower left of the drawing and is visible on the screen view as well as the output.

What do you need?

• A Logo image in either JPG or GIF format. Note that the software will NOT recognise PNG files.

• An account on the PC on which the software is installed that will permit you to modify files in the Windows\Program Files or Windows\Program Files (x86) folders.

The logo file should be of a reasonable size – the one in the example above is 250 x 160 [pixels at 96DPI and is adequate for most purposes. If you want the highest quality of printed image, you should create the image at 300DPI and adjust the size accordingly.

Adding the Logo

If you are currently using the software, shut down Spring Calculator Professional.

Create your logo, and name it CompanyLogo.jpg or CompanyLogo.gif (depending on whether it’s a JPEG or GIF file).

Locate the folder that contains the installed files for IST Spring Calculator Professional. If you’re not sure where the files are on your PC, Click on the ‘All Programs’ option your Start Menu and find the ‘IST Spring Calculator Professional’ folder. Open this up, then right-click on ‘Spring Calculator Professional’ and select ‘Properties’ from the menu. You should see something similar to:

 

We’re interested in the ‘Target’ – this tells us where the program files for Spring Calculator Professional are to be found. In this case, they’re found in the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\ISTSpringDesign\

The part of the path before ‘ISTSpringDesign’ may be different on your PC, depending upon the version of Windows.

Use Windows Explorer to navigate to this folder. If you cannot find the folder, or are denied access to it, you should seek help from your IT support people. The folder should contain several files, including the following:

 

Now copy the CompanyLogo file you created in to this folder. Again, if you get any ‘Access Denied’ messages you should seek the assistance of your IT support people.

Testing the Logo

Close down Windows Explorer and run Spring Calculator Professional.

If you see an error referring to illegal image format, there is an issue with the CompanyLogo file you created, so please check that it is a valid GIF or JPG file.

Otherwise SCP should run as normal, and the logo will now be available on all printouts.

Backing Up Spring Designs

We’ve had a number of customers ask us for advice on backing up their data recently. Our advice is to keep you spring design database file located on a file server where it can be backed up with your other data. Simply make a copy of the ISTSpringData.mdb file on a network share, and use the IST Config program to use this as the default database file in future.

If you want to copy across your existing database file (to work from going forward), it is located in the application installation folder, which is by default C:\Program Files\ISTSpringDesign (or C:\Program Files (x86)\ISTSpringDesign on 64-bit Windows). One thing to be careful of here is that usually your springs are saved in a copy of the file – you need to click on “Compatibility files” to see the version to put on the network. Otherwise you’ll get an empty database!

 

Can I change the company name and address on printouts?

This was a problem in earlier versions of our software, but is extremely quick and easy to do in Spring Calculator Professional. Simply click on Edit Company Details on the File menu:

The calculated stresses are wrong!

We often get asked why the calculated stresses in our software don’t agree with “standard” equations for compression spring design. Almost without exception, this is due to confusion about corrected and uncorrected stress.

The default design standard in Spring Calculator Professional is EN 13906. This states that uncorrected stress should be used for static or quasi-static designs. This therefore is the value that you will see on the main Validation window. If you view the Goodman diagram, this always uses corrected stresses, as it’s dynamic by its very nature.

Some other standards such as the old British Standard BS 1726, use corrected stresses throughout.

What do the two buckling lengths mean?

If you look up buckling in EN 13906-1, you’ll see that a single critical deflection is given that defines when a spring will buckle. So what are the meaning of the values “buckling possible” and “buckling definite” in Spring Calculator Professional?

These values come from the old British Standard BS 1726. This defined whether a spring was stable or not, using an equation containing a factor H. This factor was different for each type of end condition, and given a range (eg “both ends fixed and guided” was H = 1.6 to 2.0. Either end of this range is used to give “buckling possible” and “buckling definite”.

The values in EN 13906 correspond to the “buckling definite” condition (the larger H values here) – so effectively we are presenting an extra “warning” length.

Why is the shot peening option not available for extension and torsion springs?

The shot peening option is removed from both of these spring types, for different reasons:

With extension springs – assuming the spring is close-coiled as most are – it’s usually impossible to get any good coverage of the inside surface of the spring, where the benefit is most needed. In fact peening can be useful if you have problems with the loops failing, but not enough research has been done to be able to predict the improvement in life.

With torsion springs, it would seem logical that the benefit of peening would be worthwhile, because the position of crack formation is usually on the outside of the spring. But torsion springs benefit from beneficial residual stresses from the coiling process (which is why they are stress-relieved at lower temperature than compression springs, and why the working stress can be up to 130% of UTS without a problem), and peening disrupts this. The stress distribution is complex enough that it’s impossible to predict how much benefit peening will give, or if it might actually make the life worse!

Errors running Optimisation Calculations

There are a number of steps that must be performed to correctly install the optimisation functionality. These are described in more detail in the installation document provided with the software, but the most common errors that are shown are reproduced here.

Error Message Cause
This is shown when the Matlab Component Runtime (MCR) files are not installed. These must be downloaded separately from the main Spring Calculator Professional software. It can be installed before or after SCP.
This message will appear if the MCR is installed, but the optimisation DLL is not registered. Run the MCR_Reg program.
Everything is installed ok, but you have to run an optimisation calculation once as administrator (to expand some calculation files).

Note that running as a user with administrator rights isn’t sufficient, you need to right-click on the icon and choose “Run as Administrator”.

I can't use the Help Files

The Help files within Spring Calculator Professional are based on the older WinHelp system. A new computer may not be able to view these, giving the error shown below.

Following the link in the window above takes you to a Microsoft page where you can download an update containing the help file viewer. After this is installed, the help files will work fine.