The recent rebranding of Star Prototype to Star Rapid is much more than a name change and a fresh coat of paint. Our rebranding also coincides with an expansion of our 60,000 square foot facility and a significant investment of more than US $2.5 million in cutting-edge manufacturing equipment and management software. Here are some things you can look forward to when working with us on your next project.
Plastic Injection Molding Machines
With the recent arrival of two new plastic injection molding machines, we now have three on the floor making high-quality parts in a variety of resins. On top of this, there are an additional four more injection molding machines on their way, in capacities ranging from 60 tons to 250 tons. The installation of these machines will help us greatly increase our injection molding capacity and the size of tools that we can work with when molding plastic parts.
CNC Turning and Milling Machines
Three new Haas CNC machines have just been added to our already impressive roster of equipment for CNC manufacturing in support of rapid prototyping and low-volume production. This includes two new DT-1 high-speed milling centers and one ST-20 automatic lathe.
But that’s just the beginning. We also will be receiving two more DT-1s, and four VF-2 mills, also from Haas. Haas has excellent quality with great features, but what really sets them apart is their after-sales service and support. We get quick responses to any problems, and using one major brand helps enormously with interchangeable and replacement parts. Familiarity with the machines also means the our CNC machining experts can start milling and turning more great plastic and metal parts right away.
We currently have three EDM wire and sink machines on the floor. But in order to support plastic injection molding tools and other projects, we are also investing in up to four new wire and sink EDMs, also from Sodick like the unit that we got a few months ago. They’re fast, accurate, easy to operate and will greatly speed up our ability to go from a CAD drawing to an injection-ready tool, all in-house without relying on any outside suppliers.
But making great parts isn’t the whole story. We also plan to invest in a lot of new testing and measuring equipment for our quality control department.
Inspection, Testing and Measurement
We already have one plastic inspection gun, the PolyMax spectrometer. Soon we will have a new analyzer from Bruker, a top-of-the-line Raman spectrometer that will have even greater range and sensitivity for qualifying incoming plastic raw material.
We’ll invest in a second 3D laser scanner, which will be even faster and more accurate. A new OGP (Optical Gauging Product) will help us to qualify complex curvatures and other hard-to-measure shapes. And we’re really excited by our new X-Rite color analyzer, which will allow us to not only accurately measure any part’s exact color in a three-dimensional color space, but also to store any color for use as a reference standard when needing to match a customer’s supplied sample.
Perhaps the most important investment is one that will be invisible to most people. Right now we’re installing a range of new management software to help greatly simplify and streamline the process of quoting and managing projects.
There’s a better way
All of these investments are geared towards achieving our overarching goal: making the highest quality parts in the least amount of time with the maximum cost savings to our customers. Some of these improvements have already happened, while others are underway. 2017 will bring a lot of positive changes and we can’t wait to share them with you as the year progresses. Stay tuned for more updates, and when you’re ready to start your next project contact us for a free quotation and consultation.