The development of stronger and lighter materials, along with improvements made in manufacturing techniques, has resulted in the increased use of plastics in areas that were previous the domain of metals. The growing use of plastics for technically challenging applications, that have demanding dimensional tolerances, has meant that over the past few years, many plastic component manufacturers have invested in precise CNC Coordinate Measuring Machines.
The sheer volume of parts that are produced by modern injection-moulding machines means that rapid feed-back, related to component features that are reaching out of tolerance conditions, is an absolute necessity. The accuracy and speed of several of today's CNC CMMs allows them to keep pace with the demands of plastic industry.
Jarden Plastic Solutions is a renowned multinational company specialising in high-volume, precision injection moulding for the medical, consumer packaging and high-end industrial markets. The company's proprietary engineering processes and extensive manufacturing capabilities enable it to provide first class design and engineering services to its growing list of customers.
The company's impressive 60,000 square-foot Christchurch facility boasts a diverse customer base and is able to undertake the production of medical moulding and complex assemblies within its Class 8 Cleanroom.
To provide comprehensive support to the company's process management system, and to help guaranty the quality of the company's output, the Jarden Plastic Solutions, Christchurch Quality department uses two advanced Aberlink Axiom CMMs.
Company Quality Engineer, Ian Brown explained. "Any delays in receiving feedback from our quality control department, related to the quality of parts currently being produced, can result in the production of substandard products; therefore we undertook a search for suitable Coordinate Measuring Machines. Having looked at the alternatives, we purchased two Aberlink Axiom too CMMs, as they had the required accuracy specification and also the speed of action that was able to cope with our high production volumes.
"As much of our work consists of the production of repeat batches, we have created numerous part programmes that we are able to recall when required. To enable very accurate results to be achieved by our Aberlink CMMs and to further speed-up our measuring routines, whilst a batch of one kind of component is being measured in a fully automated CNC mode, we load a second batch of another category of parts onto a special pallet type fixture.
As the removal of the first fixture, replacing it with another, recalling the new part program and starting a new batch measurement, takes very little time, our Aberlink CMMs are able to get through an impressive amount of precise work.
"It helps that the Axiom too has a generous bed, as this allows us to use large portable fixtures that are able to hold many parts. Also, in addition to satisfying our accuracy requirements, the Aberlink machine has the fastest operational speed of the CMMs we considered purchasing."
Ian Brown concluded. "In addition to the cost of the materials involved and the machine time lost by producing a second batch, recycling and disposal charges make the production of out of specification components extremely costly. The rapid feed-back, statistical analysis and graphic reports we receive from our Aberlink CMMs enable us to observe component dimensions that are drifting from nominal conditions and to take the necessary action before substandard parts are produced."