Wisconsin Patent of the Month – June 2024

In the realm of automated manufacturing, Plastic Components, Inc. is bringing new levels of efficiency with thermoforming technologies.

Recently, the company has designed an automated manufacturing cell that needs next to no human labor while still producing products with consistency and quality.

Traditionally, manufacturing cells have been labor-intensive and prone to inconsistencies in inspection and quality control. The innovation introduced here revolutionizes this landscape by integrating automated systems into a compact manufacturing cell setup. This not only enhances productivity but also significantly reduces the physical footprint required within manufacturing facilities.

At its core, the method involves a sequence of precisely timed actions: from positioning the component for inspection, to using flashes of light and cameras to capture multiple images for analysis. These images are meticulously scrutinized to determine if the component meets geometric specifications and includes all necessary inserts. If discrepancies are identified, the system automatically adjusts the component’s position or directs it to different locations based on inspection results.

The integration of automated sorting, inspection, and packaging processes underscores the system’s efficiency and reliability. By eliminating human intervention during production cycles, the method ensures consistent quality while minimizing variability in manufacturing times. This results in substantial savings in labor costs and enhances overall production output.

The system’s ability to handle complex geometries and multi-material injection molding processes underscores its versatility and applicability across diverse industrial sectors. From automotive components to consumer electronics, the potential applications of this invention are vast, promising enhanced product quality and streamlined manufacturing operations.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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