Extrusion blow mold maker Heartland Mold & Tool Inc. recently added a three-dimensional laser-scanning system to boost its reverse-engineering and product-development capability.
The company in May installed a Laser Design Inc. SLP 3-D laser scanner built with a seven-axis, 8-foot titanium Faro arm, according to Rick Mewherter, general manager of the Mansfield-based company.
He said Heartland had lost its server and was looking for a way to reproduce its molds. However, it found the new scanning system opened new possibilities as well.
``Say you had a clay mold and had to bring it to 3-D software. We can now scan it. The same is true for old obsolete plans or something that parts are no longer being made for,'' he noted.
Mewherter said the system's long arm enables to do reverse-engineering, product development and part inspection.
Heartland is in the process of hiring two new employees, he said, as it forms a separate department to handle the laser system and the new opportunities that it is creating.
Mewherter said the company had about $1.1 million in sales last year and is expecting to cross $2 million by the end of 2008. He credited strong relationships with some of its bigger customers as fueling its new growth. It does design, prototyping, mold making and repairs.
Heartland was founded in 2002. It currently has 20 employees working in a 12,000-square-foot facility.