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allowing the fix to be achieved first time, rather than by trial and error as is the case when using alternative validation technologies. Such a ‘one-shot’ solution achieved through the use of the CGI 3D scanning technology can save weeks in development time.

What assists most in the achievement of strict time-to-market objectives for new product launches is the fact that time is not spent worrying over the quality and accuracy of dimensional data, but can instead be focused on working towards a solution from reliable and completely accurate data.

In a real-time application, the Pearl-700 inspected a micro moulded medical device with an internal channel that narrowed from 0.3 mm to 0.2 mm, and had wall thicknesses down to 0.15 mm. Cross-sectional scanning via the Pearl-700 simultaneously scanned a part from each of the mould’s eight cavities with no additional time or cost involved.

For many OEMs, very often the objective is for smaller and smaller parts that can be manufactured cost-effectively and accurately. With the ability today to be able to design and manufacture tiny, feature dense, complex parts, the struggle is often to find an efficient route to measure and test manufactured parts to ensure they conform with original design intent.

As is often the case when designing and manufacturing parts and features with micron tolerances, sometimes as small as dust particles, the traditional design to manufacturing process needs to

be reassessed, and what works in the macro world doesn’t necessarily work in the micro world.

Such is the case when attempting to verify and measure micro parts. CMMs, optical comparators and x-ray equipment can be used on micro parts, but in terms of cost and/or efficiency, they are often ineffective choices. CGI’s 3D cross-sectional scanning technology has opened up the possibility of 100% accurate measurement and validation of micro parts for OEMs, significantly reducing the time and cost associated with part validation, and providing a quality of data on both internal and external geometries previously unattainable. A CT scanner capable of the same levels of accuracy costs up to 10 times as much, and also needs expensive fixturing.

Graham Webster is a Director at Plastic IT, a knowledge-based company based in Shropshire, UK, with unrivalled experience and expertise in the area of plastic injection moulding. It is run by Graham and Richard Webster, both of whom have an in- depth working knowledge of the plastics industry. The company — founded in 1995 — approaches work on behalf of its clients from a broad-based perspective, looking to optimise the injection moulding process. The key is to ensure that, where appropriate, its customers receive assistance in material choice, product design, tooling, processing, analysis and training.

The Art of Precision As a market-leading engineering company specialized in

developing appliances for precise electrochemical machi- ning, we know exactly what is important to you: an eye for detail. A PEM machine allows you to create metal parts with complex forms and geometries. Fast and burr-free, without thermal or mechanical manipulations – pemming means top precision. As often as you wish.

PEMTec. Precision in individual and serial production.

PEMTec. SNC | Eurozone | BP 60147 | 6 rue Jules Verne 57603 Forbach Cedex | France Tel.: +33 (0) 3 87 13 09 00 | Fax: +33 (0) 3 87 13 09 99

29 | commercial micro manufacturing international Vol 7 No.3

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