Plastic Fabrication Case Study
Affiliation Welding has experience with many plastic fabrication jobs over the past few years. However, one recent job is a very clear indication of the quality of work done and just how much we enjoy working with our customers.
Recently a new laboratory moved into the front range of Colorado. This company acquired a facility and started renovating the site for their operations. The lab would need new Plastic Fabrication in Denver for some renovations that they were doing.
A contact of this laboratory and a contractor we were connected with, contacted Affiliation Welding and asked if we could take the lead on this project, we gratefully accepted.
This company needed new equipment for their changing rooms. This is where their employees would prepare for the work needed to be done in the lab. The changing rooms did not have an adequate existing place for the clean garments to be stored. For this lab, employees would have to change into their lab gowns and place their shoes in outdated and old storage cubbies.
The existing equipment was outdated and would not accommodate the vision that the facility manager had for the new and improved area. This was the purpose for starting from scratch and developing the right equipment that would work efficiently, look professional, and last for years to come. Affiliation Welding was about to go to work on the facility manager’s vision.
Getting the Project Started
In the initial meeting, Affiliation met with the project manager and the facilities manager to capture the scope of the project. Fortunately, the lab already had existing shoe cubbies installed so we could go over the changes for new and improved cubbies. In addition, we would go over the start of the development of brand new gowning cabinets used to store the clothing and lab coats.
At this point in the project we start the designing process. Affiliation started by creating the initial 3D model designs for the new cubbies and gowning cabinets. The first round of designing was to capture the general design. After the first round of designs were finished Affiliation worked with the project manager to refine the design and make changes.
This required a trip to the site to take measurements. Affiliation was responsible of making sure the designs adhered to the storage and space needed. The designing continued for a total of four rounds and ended with eight different designs that were finished, approved and ready for manufacturing and plastic welding.
In this step we would also discussed the use of stainless steel hardware and polycarbonate for the windows on the gown cabinets. This is no easy undertaking, the design process can take time to get exactly what the customer needs. Communication needs to be at a very high level to achieve a synonymous idea.
Quoting the Designs:
At this point we found a reliable source of material and completed the design phase of this project. We are now tasked with creating a quote for building these designs in real life. This is an equally daunting task.
Quoting can be difficult on many levels, but it is absolutely crucial that time be spent capturing all the cost and time involved without adding extra cost into the project. Affiliation wants to bring high quality standards to the market without being unreasonable.
We always want the exchange between Affiliation and the customer to be a win/win scenario. Once we have compiled our cost and time we sent out the quote and awaited for the word. The project manager called Affiliation and mentioned this project would need to be done within the month. This was a shock to say the least but we were up to the challenge.
Our material was two weeks out at this time and machines had work previously scheduled for weeks. We relayed we would do our best to meet the deadline but this depended on if we could get the approval on our quote. As it works out the project was delayed and we did not hear back from the project manager for a couple of weeks.
Upon accepting our proposal, we ordered the materials. This included polypropylene, polycarbonate, and hardware. Additionally we needed to produce the files needed to run the cnc equipment we would be using to complete the machining. Now it was time to get to work.
Getting to Work
Finally, it is time for manufacturing, this is a fast paced and very focused part of the project. Every part and finished piece needs to be built to the specifications while obeying the tolerances set forth in the designing process.
Our steps for the process of manufacturing were:
- Cutting materials down into the different sizes and designed parts of each unit.
- Secondary machining, this would include routering edges of the material down for smooth and cut free edges.
- The next step in this process was fitting the pieces up and welding them into place.
- For the gowning bins, this step would be applying the polycarbonate windows on the front of the units.
- Finally, we would go over each unit checking for sharp edges and checking dimensions for quality purposes. Thermoplastics have a tendency to warp when heat is applied, this can knock certain measurements out of spec.
Delivering the Finished Goods
The most rewarding part of any project is delivering on time and giving the customer what the needed. Before we got it to them, we had to package everything real tight and made sure the finished product was safe for transport.
We wrapped the equipment in plastic tightly to ensure no damage would take place. There was extra care taken to make sure this last process went smoothly.
Then Affiliation drove it all the way to the lab. Affiliation was able to take this project from concept to tangible products, we ended our journey at a loading dock. We delivered the product completely wrapped and loaded to protect the items as they were unloaded on time and with no problems.
When we went to go see it, the equipment looked amazing! The contractors at Sun did the install, but when we saw them at the lab we were very pleased.
In addition, the lab was also happy with the finished product. Everything was reported that the equipment is up to par, looks great, and is working exactly how they wanted it to. The lab is finally meeting the vision of the laboratory manager and we couldn’t be happier.
Being able to see the before and after was very cool. The space was well utilized and will serve the purpose it was designed for. In addition, it will last for years to come. A special thanks goes to Colorado Plastics for providing the space and helping Affiliation complete this project. Another job finished and a happy customer.
If you are looking for someone to help you with your plastic projects, contact us on the form below and we can help you out.