Precision Micro Moulding: Five Keys to Empower Tech Companies

Victoria Smith 24 August 2020 (Last Updated August 24th, 2020 08:34)

Precision micro moulding does not rely on a sole approach, method or technology. Accumold is a world leader in this art form, and there are five keys that guide our process, empowering some of the leading tech companies.

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Precision Micro Moulding: Five Keys to Empower Tech Companies
Precision micro moulding parts next to a pushpin. Credit: Accumold.

Precision micro moulding does not rely on a sole approach, method or technology. Accumold is a world leader in this art form, and there are five keys that guide our process, empowering some of the leading tech companies.

Key one: Customer Integration

We take a team approach at Accumold, assigning project, sales and quality engineers to each precision micro moulding project. We remain with their project throughout development, as well as future manufacture.

The team devotes a considerable amount of time on the front end of the project, relaying with the client to fully comprehend their requirements for each part or parts. Our production team document and communicate all client demands to build a long-term relationship with the client, rather than finishing a sole project and moving on to another customer.

Key two: PREP and qualification process

To prepare a new mould ready for qualification, we use Production Read Equipment Process (PREP). To begin with, we sample it, ensuring all dimensions are acceptable, and it will run as desired. Next, we move quickly to more extended stress run to investigate how the mould will perform throughout a longer production type run. Afterwards, we take it apart, inspecting for any signs of wear or other abnormalities. At this point, we perform our design of experiments (DOE) work, determining the ideal process window for running production. Following this, the mould is qualification-ready.

Accumold carries our Process Qualification(PQ), Operational Qualification(OQ), and Installation Qualification(IQ) to guarantee that we will be positive running parts to specification in years to come.

Key three: Metrology capabilities

Our measurement lab measures 1,040ft2; it houses round-the-clock coverage and 13 technicians. Due to our precision micro moulding focus, as well as the size of the parts we work with, we carry the majority of our measurements optically, but also offer laser and touch probe capability.

We use primary metrology equipment from optical gauging products (OGP), whose systems measure down to an efficiency of a few microns. However, we do not solely rely on this feature – we have five systems in the quality lab, as well as another five in production. We also have two Zygo white-light interferometers, measuring down to the angstrom level to estimate surface finish and flatness.

Many clients depend upon our measurement capabilities, which frequently have greater precision than they have access. We have more than a dozen American Society for Quality (ASQ) certifications, and regularly carry out in-house training with our quality engineers and technicians for future certifications.

Key four: ISO certifications

International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 9001 certified for almost two decades, Accumold acquired ISO 13485 medical certification seven years ago.

The medical segment of our company grew to more than half our total revenue over the years and using ISO 13485 guidelines aids in guaranteeing we have the procedures in place to meet the stringent requirements of the medical industry, offering unmatched precision micro moulding for OEMs.

We also hold the ISO 14001 environmental certification, committed to decreasing our carbon footprint. We proved this through our recorded weight of materials each year. Our dedicated environmental team meets routinely to explore innovative methods and ways to improve our recycling methodology.

Key five: Continuous improvement

As we are an enabling solution for some of the leading tech companies globally, we routinely engage in continuous improvement activities. Employing the Kaizen methodology, our small, cross-functional teams concentrate on specific areas and issues, creating improvements in a matter of days.

We also use our continuous improvement approach to proactively create improvements to safety, quality, and productivity, employing tools such as value stream mapping, 5S, and waste and set-up reduction. We have one green belt on staff and two certified six sigma black belts, recently adding continuous improvement positions to aid in driving the process throughout the organisation.