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Radical Approach to Tooling

Laser prototyping for tooling gets the customer part in days instead of months

Sometimes our customers need large radius bends or creative designs. This customer needed a large bend, offset from the edge. ETM Manufacturing created a set of tools and fixtures to accomplish just that. The customer was able to reduce their part count (and cost) while improving part performance.

 

Challenge

A global supplier to the solar industry was quickly ramping production and they needed a plastic part made in aluminum until the tooling was complete. They needed a sample in 2 weeks, then 200.

Plastic parts are designed with curves and rounded edges to assist in material flow. There are also a lot of molded in details that are expensive to machine. How can we re-create a plastic part in only a few weeks?

Solution

For a fast solution, ETM Manufacturing’s engineers hand made a sample that has the large radius and the features of the molded part. Once the sample was approved, we custom designed tooling.

Using CNC laser technology, ETM laser cut 78 plates that fit the curvature of the part and the welded and ground the rapid “tooling” that fit our press brake. Samples were tested and tooling adjusted for the “springback” of the part.

Results

The hand made parts allowed the customer’s engineers to approve the concept quickly. The laser cut and welded tooling, saved weeks of hard tooling time and thousands of hard tooling costs.

Rich Baril, Protoype Buyer for the solar customer said this about our effort …. “Really appreciate the quick turnaround” and internally Rich adds “I highly recommend ETM.”


Capabilities used:

 

FabricationFabricationState-of-the-art equipment

ETM Manufacturing offers you state-of the art equipment paired with lean manufacturing know-how. The result is cost-effective world class fabrication.

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AssemblyAssemblyJust what you need

Sometimes it just makes sense to ship the sub-assembly rather than several individual parts. The result is lower shipping costs and better quality.

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ConsultingConsultingPractical advice to save money

A better plan typically produces a better
result. ETM Manufacturing can deploy proven Value Stream Mapping techniques to save you lead time and reduce COGS.

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DesignDesignCost-effective outsourcing

When you need to outsource engineering, consider ETM Manufacturing. Costs are typically 30% less than contractors and you get built-in manufacturability analysis.

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