To remain in business for more than 25 years making components for industries such as aerospace and food production, quality has to be a top priority.
If your production methods are shoddy or you take shortcuts, your clients will find someone else to work with. The end product is too important. The challenge is to inspect your work as much as possible without reducing productivity.
In 2016, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, Littlestar saw demonstrations on Keyence America’s Image Dimension Measuring Systems. These machines allow an operator to optically measure up to 99 dimensions, compare those dimensions with the specifications, and record the data in seconds.
Right away, we saw the potential for the technology to help us move toward our goal of 100% inspection and purchased five of the systems. One Keyence Measuring System is dedicated to one of our lathes. The other four are on Littlestar-designed rolling carts and shared among seven more of our lathes. Our carts reduce setup time from about 10 minutes to one.
Now, our operators can inspect every part coming out of the lathe by simply putting the part in place for the Keyence to inspect. The measurements are instantly displayed, allowing real-time computerized statistical process analysis. Additionally, the data is stored off by machine and part number for later analysis. This makes it easy to detect trends and spot potential production problems and make adjustments or fixes to tooling before producing unacceptable parts.
For our operators, it means more time is spent using data to analyze the manufacturing process and how to improve it rather than measuring parts and writing down the results on paper. For our clients, it means we can inspect every part that comes out of Littlestar without significantly slowing the manufacturing process.
Companies come to Littlestar because of our ability to prototype, machine, mold, and mass produce high-tolerance performance-polymer components. When it’s critical, they choose Littlestar because we partner with our clients to find the most cost-efficient ways to meet their goals. Our investment in the new Keyence system is just one of the ways we deliver the best possible quality at the best possible price. To learn more about Littlestar and our commitment to quality, contact us today.