“Inspired engineering. Precision Results.”

Laser Scanning

Speed. Quick to market. Accuracy. Consistency in measurements. These are issues that are high priority to our customers. In the past, building the mold was always the gating item to a successful launch. Now, bringing the mold through the sampling, inspection and "tweaking" stage is always the hold-up. Getting good measurements....quickly, is crucial to getting products to market. Since January of 2005, Ironwood Plastics has been laser scanning first article parts in 1/10 of the time it used to take using conventional methods such as CMM and toolmakers microscopes. Many of our customers have bought in also. Using free "reader" software, they can take a scanned part from us and visually see where problem areas may be and “snap” on areas of concern to get a deviation from the "perfect" model.

  • one
    • Mold Style: 1 cavity production
    • Industry: Military
    • Challenge to measure: Tool construction constraints required the gate to be in a non-desirable location. The final part had a cracking problem requiring an extensive DOE. As the DOE was run, laser scanning was used to see the dimensional effects on the part as compared to the CAD model. The dimensions were reverse engineered into steel to compensate for warp issues and a successful product was produced- without cracking.
       
  • two
    • Mold Style: 2+2 family mold with robotic insert loading, with in-line continuity testing
    • Industry: Automotive
    • Challenge to measure: Many times, inspection reports are lengthy and tedious to analysis data. When dealing with tools built in Asia, time and communication is critical. In this case, Ironwood engineers required sample parts from the Asian tooling source immediately after sampling- before the mold is paid for and shipped. Within six hours of receiving parts, a laser scan and color map is available. The problem area is immediately visible in red. It turns out, our engineers wanted the part built in this manner so that final conditioning could be done at our in-house toolroom. The mold was immediately approved for shipment to our plant.
       
  • three
    • Mold Style: One cavity production Tool
    • Industry: Automotive
    • Unique Features:  With the angled port, fixturing to take manual measurements is very difficult. Even if measurements were obtained, they would certainly be challenged. Laser scanning was able to set the datums and show the entire part. The areas of concern (shown undersized in blue) were reverse engineered and changed in the mold to deliver a successful project.

     

     

  • four
    • Mold Style: 4 cavity production mold
    • Industry: Automotive
    • Challenge to measure: Defining warp in a complex part can be frustrating. In this case, an internal diameter was contoured to be within tolerance. Meanwhile, an unsupported wall on the bottom of the part is warped in by about 0.50mm. This color map took about 4 hours to develop all four cavities.

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Ironwood Plastics, Inc. is a subsidiary of CTB, Inc.
CTB, Inc. is a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer of systems and solutions for preserving grain; producing poultry, pigs and eggs; processing poultry; and for various equestrian and industrial applications.
www.ctbinc.com