Royal Die & Stamping (RDS) has expanded its capabilities with the addition of a Stratasys OBJet 30 Pro Printer. This investment was put to the test with our recent production of two 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty truck battery terminal covers.
Standard lead-time for a mass production mold for this type of product averages 12 to 14 weeks. Due to tight program timing, Ford requested expedited product for delivery of good functional prototype parts to meet their build dates. With a lead-time of 2 weeks, Ford was on-board with testing the possibilities of our new 3-D additive manufacturing technology. RDS coordinated design modifications to accommodate the nature of the production of the prototype tool while simultaneously meeting OEM requirements.
Many departments worked as a team to produce the product.
1. Our Sales Team worked with Ford engineers to discuss modifications to the production cover design. The result was an open tail section that included a tape tab to hold the wire that is crimped to the battery terminal.
2. The Design Engineering Department modified the cover design and printed a 3-D mold from the Stratasys OBJet 30 Pro Printer.
3. Molding Department machine operators ran an initial test of the mold with actual pvc plastic for a usable part.
4. Quality Inspection quickly approved the part.
5. The small quantity was run on the production floor while Shipping and Customer Service coordinated delivery.
There are some limitations to this process. Short runs and possible design changes are part of the spectrum and need to be taken into consideration. In addition, careful inspection of the 3-D prototyping material is essential as dust particles may leave behind unwanted textures in the final molded piece.
It was the first time we at Royal Die attempted a project like this. The results illustrate that RDS is flexible and considers new and innovative ways to complete a timeframe challenge rendering quality created components with complete customer satisfaction.