New Opportunities present new challenges

Tri-State Plastics has developed expertise over the past 50 years in producing and supplying high quality plastic parts to aerospace, automotive and military applications.

Over the years the required tolerance levels for manufacturing aerospace parts have become tighter. Tri-State Plastics started receiving requests for parts that had tolerances of ±0.005, or even as tight as ±0.002. As Tri-State Plastics won more aerospace contracts, the need for improved inspection processes became more apparent.

With traditional tools like calipers and gages, such accuracy was not easy to achieve and was very time consuming, for example it would take 2 skilled persons about 3 hours to inspect one manufactured part. Additionally, GD&T calculations were also done manually by highly skilled people, whose time could otherwise be spent much more productively.

At this stage, the quality manager at Tri-State Plastics, Mike Peters, recalled an on-site demonstration of the FARO ScanArm from some years before, where his team were incredibly impressed with the speed and accuracy the FARO ScanArm provided. “With the ScanArm, you could get in minutes the data that would take hours with a fixed CMM”. Tri-State subsequently purchased a FARO Quantum 8-Axis ScanArm to meet the high tolerance requirements.

Tri-State Plastics invested in the FARO ScanArm solution because it enabled them to speed up measurement and inspection times, resulting in the aerospace tolerance levels being met. A job that previously required 2 people for 4 to 8 hours now only needs 20 minutes.

When Tri-State Plastics customers became aware that they were using FARO technology, they started giving Tri-State Plastics more opportunities and projects that required GD&T and CAD-based inspection due to quality levels they could now reach, and at speed.

One particular contract with an aerospace company occured at the same time as their purchase of the Quantum Arm. The Co-Owner of Tri-State Plastics Mike Lopez said, “By the time we finished all three families of parts within that contract, the Quantum Arm had paid for itself. Since we bought the arm, we‘ve already received more orders which we‘ll ship in another 30 days. So, this piece of equipment will have paid for itself in about 90 days. We can’t believe what we’re seeing.”

Click below to find out how FARO’s measurement and inspection solutions can support your manufacturing processes.

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