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Miniature Precision Components Inc.

Auto Parts Maker Meets Tight Production Deadlines and Improves Quality Assurance Practices with ShapeGrabber®

About the company

Miniature Precision Components (MPC) Inc. supplies major automotive manufacturers with molded and extruded thermoplastic components and assemblies such as valves, fittings, connectors and fluid reservoirs. Founded in 1972, MPC employs more than 1,700 employees.

The Challenge

As MPC started to develop larger, more complex products such as plastic engine covers featuring logos, it ran into problems with shrinkage and warpage. To inspect these complex shapes, MPC tried a variety of techniques that proved to be inadequate:

  • Traditional touch-probing methods using a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) were time consuming and could not thoroughly inspect the complex three-dimensional parts.
  • Mold-flow analyses proved to be very costly and produced only theoretical warpage models.
  • Photogrammetry results were difficult to interpret due to the dark colors of each part and the two-dimensional nature of photography.

With only a four-week window between receipt of a mold and production, MPC was having difficulty troubleshooting the molding process and conducting quality assurance tests in time.

A quality control operator using an OGP ShapeGrabber laser scanner at Miniature Precision Components (MPC).

The OGP Solution

To obtain faster, more accurate results, MPC began using the ShapeGrabber® Ai810 3D scanning system. Using the non-contact laser scanner, MPC can now obtain full-color tolerance maps – color-coded 3D images used to quantify the deviation of the part’s shape from CAD specifications – to conduct accurate what-if analyses and quality control inspections on its complex plastic parts.


A ShapeGrabber Ai820 3D laser scanning system by OGP

The Results

"MPC can now perform more troubleshooting and quality assurance inspection activities."

By obtaining 3D images in minutes as opposed to hours, MPC can now perform more troubleshooting and quality assurance inspection activities within its narrow four-week timeframe to ensure that its parts are shipped on time and are of the highest quality.

In 2022, the ShapeGrabber Ai810 was replaced by the new ShapeGrabber Ai820 with the SG508 scanhead and is a large capacity floor model with a standard vertical axis. ShapeGrabber Ai820 is also offered with a horizontal axis, perfect for larger more intricate parts.