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Tessy Plastics

Precision Measurement Used to Gain Market Share

About the company

Tessy Plastics was founded in 1973 by an entrepreneur named Henry Beck. At the time, Henry operated a single, small location in Elbridge, New York, focused on precision molding projects. Over the next 40 plus years, Tessy would grow from a small, family-owned molding company to a global contract manufacturer with several locations in Central New York, Virginia and China.

Mark Towers

Director of Quality Tessy Plastics

The Challenge

When Mark Towers joined Tessy Plastics in 2005, his mission as Director of Quality was to upgrade the company’s quality capabilities. Today, the Quality department is comprised of 77 employees who support quality interests on seven production shifts, nearly 365 days a year. The quality program is a major differentiator when prospecting for new customers, allowing the company to aggressively and confidently move into new vertical markets that require high precision capability.

Quality systems at Tessy have a high degree of automation and the company uses SPC (Statistical Process Control) to qualify the molding process using dimensional data collected by their numerous OGP measurement systems.

The OGP Solution

Currently, Tessy Plastics has 20 OGP SmartScope video measurement machines deployed at multiple molding locations, including inside their ISO (14644-1) Class 8 production cleanrooms. Once the mold tooling has been dimensionally qualified, measurement data is collected from production samples and automatically entered into the company’s SPC program, which monitors process consistency. “Our customers have realized higher productivity in their own plants because they know they can rely on compliant product from Tessy. Their assembly processes run better because our products are so consistent. We do that through accuracy and process control that the OGP machines help us maintain,” according to Towers.

To further the company’s engineering capability, Tessy recently purchased an OGP SmartScope Quest™ 450, running ZONE3®, OGP’s flagship 3D measurement software. This powerful measurement system is used by the Engineering Development Group within the Quality Department to qualify new molds and tooling prior to production. Using 3D CAD models supplied by their customer, Tessy is able to compare mold tooling features directly to features on the customer engineering drawing, all without having to produce a single part. This minimizes set-up and molding machine time spent on prototypes, only to find out that tooling must be pulled off the machine and reworked in order to produce conforming parts.

According to Towers, “the SmartScope Quest will be utilized primarily by our tooling quality engineers for development because of its high accuracy, but it also has the versatility to be used by our production quality technicians when necessary.”

The SmartScope Quest has a TeleStar® Plus Laser. A TTL (through-the-lens) laser enables scanning a laser spot over a surface, providing contour details as part of a measurement routine, and the system also has a Feather Probe™-a sensitive resonance probe measuring very small features that may be inaccessible to other measurement sensors.

The Results

"We are gaining ground in niche markets… and OGP Measurement Systems have helped give us the precision capability to compete in those markets"

One business segment that the company has focused on is micro-molding and micro-assembly for the medical equipment market. Holding the tight tolerances required by a highly regulated industry is the goal throughout the manufacturing process: injection molding, measurement, and micro-assembly which includes robotic pick-and-place machines located in a cleanroom production environment.

Tessy’s ability to manufacture and measure highly sophisticated and accurate micro parts has allowed the company to find success in new markets unreachable by traditional injection molders. “We are gaining ground in niche markets both domestically and in Europe, and OGP brand measurement systems have helped give us the precision capability to compete in those markets. The new micro-assembly orders that we win indicate we’re gaining market share, usually at the expense of one of our competitors,” commented Towers.

Mark Towers has been a long-time champion for the OGP brand at Tessy, and for good reason, “OGP machines are very reliable. Software is rock solid. Super easy to program. Over the years, I’ve bought nearly 30 OGP machines – I’m addicted.”