Benda Tool & Model Works Inc. is a California-based company that provides machining and secondary processing services to its affiliate, A & B Die Casting Company. A & B Die Casting supplies precision aluminum and zinc die castings that require value-added machining, finishing and assembly. Cosmetic services such as powder coating, electroplating, anodizing and painting are also provided. In addition to decorative finishes, customers can also select special coatings that withstand atmospheric corrosion and are wear-resistant. A & B Die Casting and Benda Tool support customers in many industries, including Telecommunications, Medical Devices, Test & Measurement, Defense, Transportation, RF/Wireless and Global Positioning Systems.
To speed up first article inspection, Benda Tool & Model Works Inc. began to seek out alternatives to its traditional coordinate measuring machine (CMM) process. “Our castings tend to be complex in shape, with many curves and contours,” explains Gerald Academia, Quality Manager at Benda Tool. “We were looking to get faster feedback and considered adding a scanning head to our CMM, but then decided to look at automated scanners.”
After researching a number of automated 3D scanners, Benda Tool worked closely with ShapeGrabber to evaluate and select the best solution for its needs. Benda Tool chose the ShapeGrabber Ai810 scanner, which is ideal for quickly scanning parts that vary in size and shape.
Today, the company is using the scanner in concert with its CMMs to quickly validate the complete geometry of its castings, troubleshoot problems, and gain better feedback into the manufacturing
“Some of our tool makers don’t perform first article inspections of their molds, so it’s critical for us to find out if the tool is made properly,” says Academia. “After scanning parts with the ShapeGrabber scanner, we can spot deviations very efficiently and quickly thanks to the color plots we generate from the 3D scan data. This has shortened our feedback loop with the tool maker because in the past, we might not spot the problem until much later in the production process.”
In addition to gaining the ability to improve product quality and compliance without slowing down production, Benda Tool is also seeing additional benefits that extend beyond the shop floor. “Not only are we saving time and effort, we’re improving our interactions with customers because our clients and prospects are always impressed to learn that we’re using advanced inspection technology,” adds Academia. “It’s now an important selling point for us in our discussions with customers.”
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