You may have heard that Boeing received preliminary regulatory clearance from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) at the end of July. This approval is a milestone for Boeing and allows them to start moving forward after largely halting deliveries since 2020. It also demonstrates the highly-regulated nature of the aerospace industry and why quality is so essential. That’s one of the reasons we are proud to serve this industry through our full-service plastic injection molding capabilities.
GlobalTech Plastics, one of the members of the Molded Dimensions Group, recently had the opportunity to showcase how high-quality plastic injection molding could solve problems for an aerospace customer. This customer needed winglet lenses for smaller planes. These clear lenses would cover the lights at the end of the wings. The customer was making them via thermoforming, but was having issues with quality and clarity. When executing thermoforming, small specks of dust were causing big issues in visibility and clarity. Due to this, the customer had an extremely high scrap rate and excessive variance in parts.
The customer initially didn’t want to change because the tooling for thermoforming is relatively inexpensive. However, after meeting with GlobalTech, they decided to take a chance and move forward. This particular customer had low annual volumes (less than 1,000 per year) which is atypical for injection molding, but when quality is paramount, it can make sense.
GlobalTech managed the tool development for the customer and they are extremely satisfied with the end result. While the tooling cost was higher, they are now receiving a better product with less waste at a more competitive part cost. And in the long run, with the quality improvement and the scrap reduction, it was a no brainer. It’s tough to argue with a superior payoff in quality, reproducibility and repeatability.