Urgent Plastic Services delivered completed prototypes of the lamp assembly for 2002 Mercury Mountaineer SUVs to Visteon in just six weeks.
When Tier 1 auto supplier Visteon was given the go-ahead to manufacture rear taillight assemblies for 2002 model year Mercury Mountaineer SUVs, it realized it needed complete prototypes as soon as possible. This would give the company time to test and review the lamp assemblies, ensuring that it achieved the desired appearance and required illumination levels. Visteon turned to Urgent Plastic Services (UPS).
UPS specializes in the rapid prototyping of injection-molded plastic components and has extensive experience working with automakers and suppliers to provide prototype lighting components. In light of such work, the company recently added the ability to create light lenses with actual, production-quality reflex features. With this kind of technology, UPS delivered complete prototypes to Visteon in six weeks.
"The lamp assembly, not including any electrical parts, consisted of three separate plastic components," relates Craig Russell, design engineer at Visteon, "including the housing, lens, and a grill-like overlay for an appearance of ruggedness. Because of the three parts, we needed to be sure that the separate components would properly fit together and that the assembly (with electrical parts) would fit correctly in the vehicle."
UPS's rapid-prototype process eliminates the wasted time associated with conventional methods, says Steve Kelly, senior sales engineer at UPS. "But more importantly for customers like Visteon, our parts, tooling, and process all approximate production-like conditions, so customers know what to expect and can prepare accordingly," he adds. "It's about more than just producing parts. It's the process, materials, manufacturability, costs, and tool designs. From the start of the design-approval stages to final assembly, rapid prototyping should not only conquer time restraints but also eliminate the questions and the unexpected — the potential variables that can hamper or halt production."
Urgent Plastic Services
Rochester Hills, Mich.