By: Rhoda Miel
April 3, 2012
ORLANDO, FLA. (April 3, 9:35 a.m. ET) — The same technology used in medical diagnostics is now being used to help track mold manufacturing, and diagnose potential problems long before they may infect production.
NyproMold (Booth 4263), the mold making business unit of Nypro Inc., has launched the use of CT scanning for precision parts, making it possible to analyze parts quickly and accurately and qualify molds faster than before.
“Imagine the ability to see 1,200 images within the mold, within two hours,” said NyproMold President Bill Muldoon.
Like a doctor’s use of a CT scan – which takes images inside a patient’s body to spot problems without invasive surgery – NyproMold’s CT can study every angle of a part as it comes off the mold, making certain that it meets all production requirements from the very beginning.
The system also produces a color-coded report which quickly points to any potential issues, so they can be fixed quickly, he said.
Unlike computerized measuring systems, the CT scan’s X-rays can measure every angle, and even take a look inside a closed part. If there a component inside a closure that does not quite match, NyproMold can spot it quickly.
“Now we’re seeing everything that’s critical to the customer and can adjust the steel overnight,” Muldoon said. “That same issue might be in a CMM report, but it’s on page 37 of a document that you may not see and [problems] won’t show up until three weeks later.”
The scan is only part of the process, he said. The company uses the same up-front three-dimensional rendering and design as other mold makers, but the CT scan can provide another level of security and trouble checking. That information is especially vital for high precision, critical parts for the medical industry and other key businesses.
NyproMold believes it is the only mold maker in North America using CT scanning. During initial mold trials, the CT unit is part of a computer aided design model comparison service called FASTscan.
Tom Casali, manager of NyproMold’s technology center, says that FASTscan provides the most accurate dimensional results compared to traditional metrology techniques.
“It gives us added confidence going forward with a full first-article inspection,” Casali said.
A CT scan can also be used to compare replacement molds to the original parts, or even confirm that a different resin produces the same quality parts as another material, Muldoon said.