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Case Studies

Study No.1

Challenge

Hella Manufacturing Limited of Banbury wished to introduce a new system for the production of tools.  They wished to select an external project manager, moulder and toolmaker to manufacture Landrover headlight brackets with extremely tight tolerances.  There would be a requirement for a very good Co-ordinate Measuring Machine for sizing.  The tooling would require cores for tolerance issues.  There would be a requirement for multiple capability studies during the project.

Solution

Hella Manufacturing Limited initially selected Keith Mulcock as their project manager and Aztec as their moulder.  The decision was taken to manufacture two 1 + 1 tools, producing four different brackets for each vehicle. 

Hella bracket for Landrover

Following a number of meetings and visits, Hanson Thorpe were then selected as the toolmaker.  The project started in January 2003, the first tool trials took place 5 months later and production started in November 2004.  Liaison throughout the project with both Hella and the excellent Hanson Thorpe was first class.

Outcome

Aztec has produced 926,800 inboard and outboard brackets for Hella. 

Only 9 brackets have been rejected, a failure rate of just 9.7 parts per million.


Study No.2

Challenge

To manufacture a range of Police Personal Protection Equipment (riot gear) to the best possible standard giving officers better protection than that available on the market. 

All the equipment supplied to the various police forces appeared to be manufactured by vacuum forming. 

Unfortunately this results in irregular material thicknesses and hence irregular levels of protection from blows.  The advantage of injection moulded parts is that the uniform material thickness provides a much more consistent protection of the officers.

Solution

Personal protection equipement for the police

After a number of meetings with the Home Office Scientific Development Branch, potential customers and material suppliers it was decided to manufacture 2 Thigh Guard tools producing small, medium and large guards.  The tooling would be manufactured in aluminium by a local toolmaker. 

It was decided to use high specification foams designed for professional motorcycling.  A large number of materials and foams were trialed to find the combination which gave the best absorption of force, and hence protection of the officers.

Outcome

After exhaustive testing of numerous Aztec combinations and several current vacuum formed products at the Home Office approved test house it emerged that we had produced far superior guards.  They were shown to several police experts who thought that they were exceptional.  

The downside of injection moulding is the high capital cost of the tools.  We needed confirmation of reasonably large orders before manufacturing all the other tools in the suite.  Unfortunately the police procurement is extremely fragmented and the various forces were short of funds.  We made a decision to moth-ball the project.  


Study No.3

Challenge

A potential new customer was unhappy with his current moulder due to delivery and quality problems.  He was very worried that the move of his 12 tools would be very difficult in terms of the new moulder sourcing material and running the jobs on different moulding machines.

Solution 

After a number of meetings with the potential new customer we finally convinced them that the move would go smoothly as we had the knowledge and experience built up over 28 years in the injection moulding business to resolve any problems.  We explained that we already sourced and moulded 70 different materials, had received quite a lot of tools in the past and had a well proven Quality Management System.

Outcome 

The potential new customer finally agreed to the transfer.  All the new materials were sourced and ordered.  The tooling was transferred, inspected and added to our system.  A jig was manufactured, each of the jobs was run and passed off by the customer and items stocked. 

After 3 months of receiving goods from Aztec the customer is delighted with the smoothness of the transfer, the improved quality and the 100% delivery record. 

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