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Injection Mold & Plastics

Case Studies

Learn how injection mold and plastic companies are using accurate structured blue light 3D scanners, comprehensive inspection software, photogrammetry technology, and/or automation to improve manufacturing processes with rapid precision measurements

Manufacturing tooling for processes such as casting, deep drawing, progressive forming, forging, stamping and injection molding undergo an important design phase where various manufacturing factors need to be calculated and optimized in such as draft, shrink, spring back etc. For example, a mold is not simply the negative of the product to be manufactured. The physical characteristics during shaping (elasticity, shrinking behavior, flowing behavior, etc.) have to be taken into account and require an "incorrect" mold in order to produce the dimensionally correct parts.

ADAC Automotive first opened its doors in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1975. Back then, the small company was known as ADAC Plastics. Today, ADAC Automotive is a tier-one automotive supplier that focuses on the production of vehicle entry systems, exterior and interior door handles, exterior trim and exterior mirrors for the global automotive market.  In 2014, ADAC decided to explore 3D metrology systems - "[Adopting the ATOS 3D scanners] has been quite the shift... The 3D scanner has evolved from being a tool used to help in certain situations to being used every day.” The numbers prove it. In 2014, ADAC scanned 378 parts. In 2017, that number jumped to over 8,000 parts.

Inspecting the individual elements from drawings during quality control was highly work-intensive and full-field part inspection was not yet possible. The company therefore opted to migrate to optical metrology. Today, Braun uses the ATOS 3D scanner in conjunction with the GOM inspection software.

This presentation from 2006 explains Braun's need for GOM's ATOS 3D scanner in their measuring department for inspection and analysis of their injection molded parts.

The ATOS 3D digitizer, for full-field measurements of surfaces, is utilized world-wide in the injection-molding and plastic-processing industry for form and dimension inspection of injection-molded parts. Due to the 3D full-field color deviation plot, the evaluation of parts is considerably faster and much more efficient compared to conventional measuring methods. In particular, warpage and shrinkage of injection-molded parts are fast and clearly displayed speeding up mold try-out and production control. Thus, the ATOS technology allows companies to keep pace with shorter product cycles and faster lead times.

Dimensional analysis of the prototype molds was conducted with the aid of an ATOS Triple Scan optical 3-D digitizing scanner equipped for blue light scanning (blue light permits accurate measurements regardless of ambient light conditions), supplied by Capture 3D (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and developed by GOM mbH (Braunschweig, Germany). Scanner feedback guided development of the multicavity production molds, optimizing dimensional results while eliminating tuning loops.

This presentation from 2006 explains Hilti's objective and goals they have reached by using ATOS for inspection and FEA analysis of their power tools.  

Fuel tanks for cars are typically manufactured using plastic blow molding. To verify the production parameters and optimize the production, the digitizer ATOS II was used. 10 samples were taken out of two production lines with 20 minutes digitizing time for each part. The parameters which were monitored and validated were the production line, the cooling water (temperature and flow), the object temperature before digitizing and the influence of a special process step.

Jabil Greenpoint is the world's third largest electronic manufacturing service provider with over 21 million square feet manufacturing and over 60 sites on four continents.  This presentation will look at their injection mold inspection process using ATOS in comparison to a CMM.  

This presentation from Lego explains how their engineers have implemented ATOS into their injection mold process to help reduce lead time, improve milling strategy and optimize their design and molding processes.

This presentation given in 2012 continues from their last presentation in 2010 to cover the further enhancements and improvements Mann+Hummel have achieved by purchasing an additional ATOS system but this time automating the 3D scanning and inspection process- 300% process improvement with automation, $212K savings in eliminating outsourcing and 75% ROI within the first 6 months of implementation.  

This presentation gives an in-depth explanation of how Mann+Hummel have reduced their tool tuning loops with ATOS structured light 3D scanning in comparison to their previous CMM process. Mann+Hummel utilizes ATOS to overall measure their parts more accurately due to the versatility of the data, resulting in significant time savings and cost improvements - conservative savings in excess of $320k per year.

In recent years, the complexity of parts in the plastics processing industry has increased, generating high demand for the development and use of new metrology procedures to optimize the complete process chain in industrial  environments. Standards in quality assurance are now set by threedimensional optical measurement technologies such as those developed, manufactured and distributed by GOM (Gesellschaftfür Optische Messtechnik) of Braunschweig, Germany, one of the world’s leading providers of 3D metrology solutions.

In the mobile phone market it is crucial that a newly developed model gets fast to market. Therefore, reliable suppliers are needed who are able to produce good quality parts, modules or complete systems in large quantities at short notice. The common practice to ensure that the quality of the delivered parts meets the expectations is to inspect and approve the first parts which are produced under real production conditions (First Article Inspection). In this process, the actually produced parts, the material, the molds and the injection conditions are verified and accepted from both parties.

In 2007, Nokia delivered a presentation at the GOM International Conference on their ATOS Gage R&R results.  

This presentation covers Proctor & Gamble's implementation of ATOS from 2003 to 2013 focusing on processes for dimensional analysis and inspection of plastic parts, tooling, molds, etc for high accuracy and rapid product manufacturing.  

There are two presentations displayed below.  First, the presentation from 2006 explains Sony's requirements for a 3D scanner and why they chose ATOS to help reduce their evaulation time from  weeks to 4 hours.  The second presentation was from 2007 which was a follow up addressing further improvements of reducing their evaluation time even further from 4 hours to 4 minutes with automation in addition to optimizing their global processes with their engineers from all over the world.

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