When Ophthalmology industry leader CZM was looking to produce the next generation of its Gold Standard Humphrey Field Analyzer, it turned to Craftech to help engineer, tool and produce the 10 enclosure parts as well as some very challenging internal components.
“Craftech has been a trusted partner since 1994” says Mechanical Engineer Chris Wing who has been with CZM for 32 years, “They have taken a leading role in every major program we have had since then”
CZM wanted to depart from using the structural foam process which most of their large Enclosure parts were made of up to that point. While structural foam does have several nice qualities and is used on many thick-walled parts; it is not a precision process and requires a high level of post-mold finishing and painting.
“By moving to the solid-wall injection process we able to create a very pleasing design with many advantages over structural foam” Wing adds
First, the chassis of the unit was converted to precision sheet metal. This conversion made it possible to assemble and test the unit independently from the Enclosure. The Enclosure could then be affixed to the finished unit as the final part of the assembly process.
That approach provided numerous advantages including a tool and fastener-free, snap-on design. Once the unit is built and tested the panels are assembled on the unit in less than 6 minutes.
In order to accomplish this there were many snaps and clips that needed to be incorporated into the plastic parts and they needed to be molded with a high-degree of repeatability & process capability.
“By going to the modular approach and using Craftech’s expertise in engineering and tooling design we were able to make the design successful”.
There are 10 parts to the Enclosure that include over 16 side actions and 14 molded snap features. A number of these parts are user interface and the snaps allow the clinicians so access what they need to easily and without any tools.
“In addition to unique snap design many of the parts require Craftech’s Advanced manufacturing offerings including thermal and ultrasonic insert installation, pad printing and converted part installation all of which reduced costs and streamlined procurement” Wing says.
Craftech’s Vice President of Business Development Peter Weisel states- “It was a perfect project for us and really allowed us to showcase Craftech’s expertise”.
“By following the Craftech Process and engaging early in the design stage, it allowed us to ferret out all the potential impediments”.
Craftech’s VP of Engineering g John Ayers adds “I can truly say that it is always a pleasure working with Chris Wing, his knowledge of plastics ranks among the best we’ve ever worked with making the finished product both producible and function as intended”.
Another big advantage Craftech offers is speed to market. By utilizing their offshore tooling partners they were able to provide initial T1 samples in a remarkable timeframe of 10 weeks. “There are several large parts that run in our 700 ton press” says Weisel adding “To have tools that large with multiple slides and risers produced in that timeframe is outstanding. Outside of some customary fine-tuning of the snaps that were intentionally left steel-safe and texturing the tooling really didn’t require much grooming for the T2 shots”
“In addition to the new look the HFA3 has some very unique and industry first features, we are excited about getting it introduced” says Wing, “CZM thanks Craftech for their confrontations to making the project a success and their continued support, we look forward to working with them on future projects”.