Indianapolis — Microplastics Inc. took home the top prize for innovation in defect detection during the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors' annual Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference in Indianapolis.
The company was honored for a system that was installed on a new automation cell earlier this year. The system consists of two ultrahigh-speed laser profilometers that can cross sections as they pass across the part and stitch the sections together to create a 3D image for measurement.
The company said the system has an extremely fast cycle time, gives accurate measurements from any plane or surface, and records data and images to be exported to a spreadsheet.
"Inspection takes place inside an enclosed automation cell and all nonconforming parts are robotically removed and segregated," the company said. "The short cycle time allows us to complete this extensive inspection within the cycle times of other stations."
The company said the system has many potential future applications at the facility.
Intertech Medical was awarded second place, Byrne Electrical Specialties was awarded third place, and Falcon Plastics Inc. and Donnelly Custom Manufacturing Co. were awarded honorable mention awards.
Troy Nix, executive director of MAPP, said they picked defect detection this year to focus the Innovation Awards on because it's becoming such an important indicator.
"We've been talking about this a lot as an organization. Sooner or later, you'll be driven to zero. You are not going to be allowed to send any defects to customers," he said.