A lot of our stories start like this… We had a customer with a problem. This time, we had a plastics manufacturer with a broken tool. The manufacturer wanted to make a new tool to expand their capacity to manufacture parts for a cpap machine, or continuous positive airway pressure machine. Most recognize these machines as a therapy for patients with sleep apnea. The plastic injection molded part was inter-changeable with the ventilators being used to treat Covid-19 patients in the hospitals. The pandemic was hitting hard and ventilators were in short supply. The plastics manufacturer needed to get their parts to market. They needed a solution and fast.
The first part of this story is pretty standard stuff for Nel Pretech. We provide CMM (or coordinate measuring machine) measurements using a contact CMM. We scan certain areas of the tool using a probe and then provide the customer with an IGES file of the scanned surfaces. The manufacturer is able to make their new tool and new parts, but that’s not the end of the story.
Part two gets a little more interesting. We CT scan the existing plastic piece or the original, if you will. This is used as a baseline to compare to the new parts from the new tool. We were able to confirm the new tool matched the previous tool and parts they had in stock. Success!
As manufacturers were rushing to assist with much needed medical supplies, so too were our clients. They could see our people, process, and platform in action, solving their problems and bringing them results. No big deal. Just helping to save lives. Onward and upward!