Wanting to get new products to market faster, but faced with a bottleneck in first-article inspection, Oreck Corporation found a new use for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
Oreck, which manufactures lightweight cleaning products, uses a coordinate-measuring machine to inspect the dozens of parts that fit snugly into every new product. Inspection happens before the new item can enter production, and requires great precision. Custom fixtures must hold the part perfectly level to avoid false rejection. Investigating rejections, rebuilding fixtures and remeasuring parts had caused a bottleneck, so Oreck expanded its use of FDM from rapid prototyping into fixture creation. Technicians can now create fixtures based on CAD drawings of the new parts, without the risk of error that accompanied the manual process. And fixtures can be ready when the first articles arrive, rather than machined afterward.
"I can now easily inspect all of the first articles for a new product in one day as opposed to weeks," said Oreck technician Craig Ulmer.
Read the whole story about how Oreck cleaned up its inspection process using Fused Deposition Modeling.