The Ovality Correction
RP Technologies is ‘Without Limits.’ This isn’t just an empty slogan. It’s who we are.
We specialise in producing complex parts which match the spec laid out in the original design. We don’t make changes to the original CAD, like some of our competitors. We ensure that our customers have the end component which they have designed, and which they are expecting.
Sometimes, in order to achieve this, we have to go that extra mile. We problem-solve. We adapt.
As ‘partners not suppliers’, we have an open line of communication with our customers throughout. We lead the process, and we consult with our clients where necessary, so that they are always kept fully up to speed with developments and progress throughout the production process.
To illustrate the point, we’d like to share a story with you:
Recently, RP was asked by one its longest-serving customers to manufacture a complex part.
The component in question was a cylinder with some intricate additional features. During the cooling process, these features caused some difficulties: namely, they produced uneven shrinkage.
Every effort was made at the planning and development stage to anticipate this shrinkage, and to factor its consequences into the final design and creation of the part.
However, as anyone with an understanding of plastic injection moulding will appreciate, there are occasions when no amount of planning can accurately predict how a moulding will perform.
Upon inspection, there was some concern about the ovality of the part. It was feared that the mating part would not sit correctly in the component, which might potentially result in the part leaking.
This was a bit of a headscratcher. And it presented the kind of problem which many plastic injection moulding companies would have balked out. But not RP. We thrive on these kinds of challenges.
Our Quality Department used its new Quantum 4 CMM Machine to digitise the part. Radial points were taken at regular intervals around the diameter.
A marked-up sample part and a hard copy print out of the points taken were provided to our expert team of CAD designers. They closely reviewed the findings and redesigned the component accordingly.
This CAD data was then passed on to our team of experienced toolmakers, who machined the core in the specified areas. This process effectively involved making the mould tool incorrect to account for the uneven shrinkage of the component.
The tool was then taken to the mould shop and trialled.
The following morning, after the components had fully cooled and stabilised, they were measured on the CMM to the same specifications as before.
The results showed that the component was now within the ovality and diameter tolerances.
Therefore, through open dialogue with our customer, and by recirculating the part back through our internal production cycle, we managed to identify and resolve a very complex technical issue. We took the time to ensure that we explored every possible option in our attempts to provide the absolute best fit solution for our client, utilising all available in-house resource in order to do so.
The part is now fully functional and performs exactly as it should.
The corrective measures which we employed encompassed specialist input from many different departments, including senior management, quality, engineering, CAD, tooling and the mould shop.
The entire process was carried out and completed in a very timely manner. It took less than 24 hours from the identification of the problem to the production of in-specification components.
If this project had been entrusted to an injection moulding team with less experience than RP’s, the outcome may have been very different. To some, it may seem counter-intuitive to make a tool wrong to make the component right. But shared experience and collaboration between our departments enabled us to find an ideal solution for our customer within a very tight timescale.
That’s why RP is many customers’ choice for the manufacture of complex components. It’s what we do. It’s why we’re ‘partners not suppliers.’ It’s why we’re ‘Without Limits.’