Case Study: Product development & launch expedited with 3D scanning.
With locations in more than thirty states and upwards of 30,000 employees, they have more than 150 facilities with distribution worldwide. In addition to consumer products, they also manufacture building products, cellulose, and packaging to name a few.
This manufacturer was making multiple, high-cavitation molds for high-volume production and global distribution and was struggling to develop, approve, and launch new tooling. A typical mold took sixteen weeks to produce, run, evaluate, test, and modify as needed. It took an additional three months of product inspection using traditional measuring tools to approve the mold for production. In a fast-paced industry where time and cost are crucial, this was not optimal. The customer sought the expertise of Nel Pretech for 3d scanning and our value-add, customer-focused services to see if we could help them save time and money.
Nel Pretech introduced the company to industrial computed tomography as a 3d scanning solution and a potential replacement for traditional testing and inspection methods. The visualization of complete data sets allowed for much quicker and easier analysis of process and mold steel conditions. This enabled change decisions to be made instantly, not in days/weeks after intense scrutiny of tabular data from traditional measurement. Measurement programming was also finished ahead of the final production tool. This level of industrial 3d scanning produced inspection reports in three days instead of the three months it took previously. The proven measurement uncertainty and greater repeatability of CT scanning over traditional tools also allowed the company to comfortably reduce the overall inspection requirements.
Digital data from 3d scanning lives on forever, which proved to be another benefit post-product launch. Several months after the launch, functional problems started to occur with the product that were not addressed via design tolerances. A quick online revisit of the 3D data set confirmed the problem and provided the solution without the need to re-sample parts and re-do the setup for another round of measurements.
The dramatic improvement in decision making and timeline reduction due to 3d scanning ended up saving the manufacturer almost $1 million in direct cost. It also brought $60 million of production cash flow to market four months sooner than previously accomplished!
Nel PreTech President, Dave Nelson, presents the case study at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago:
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