Engineering & Tooling

Formtech Enterprises is committed to producing innovative and oftentimes complex products that solve the manufacturing and product needs of our customers.  Formtech has an engineering team at each of our manufacturing facilities that will work with customers to develop high-quality plastic extrusions that will meet this goal.

In order to ensure that the profile Formtech extrudes meets your needs, our engineers and sales team will ask you several questions.  These questions may include:

  1. Shape: What are the dimensions of the product?  We will request a drawing, preferably in AutoCAD format, of your profile.  Which dimensions are critical?  What tolerances must be maintained?
  2. Material: What are the material requirements for your profile?  Is there a specific material that you would like Formtech to use?  How should the material function in its application?
  3. Color: What color is your profile?  Does your profile need to match another part?
  4. Environment: Will your product be used in an outdoor environment or an indoor environment?  To what temperature range will the profile be exposed?
  5. Application:  What is the application of your profile?  Are there mating parts?
  6. Fabrication: Do you require fabrication?  Embossing?  Adhesive?
  7. Length: What is the length of your extrusion?
  8. Packaging: How do you want the profile to be packaged?
  9. Usage: What is the annual volume of your profile?  How much product do you anticipate purchasing at a time?

After answering these questions, our engineering team will be able to make recommendations to ensure that you are 100% satisfied with the part you receive.

 

EXTRUSION TOOLING

Formtech has the ability to produce extrusion tooling in its in-house tool room in Fairview, Pennsylvania.  With EDM technology, Formtech can produce high quality tooling.  The in-house location also allows Formtech to complete new tooling developments more quickly than outsourcing projects and provides us with flexibility for making tooling modifications.  Formtech also has a global network of world-class tooling vendors for additional tooling support.

 

TESTING EQUIPMENT

Formtech utilizes advanced technical equipment to ensure that the custom profiles we produce meet our customers’ standards.  For instance:

– Color spectrophotometers are used to ensure that the color of the profile meets the standard defined by our customers.

– Gloss meters are used to check the gloss level of parts where this property is critical.

– Gages are built and used to ensure your custom profile extrusion functions properly with mating parts.

– 10X comparators are used to more closely analyze the shape and critical dimensions of a profile.

– Impact testers are used to ensure that the profile will function properly where impact is a concern.

– An accelerated weathering unit is used to determine how a product will weather after years of UV and weather exposure.

 

NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

During the new product development process, the following steps are taken to ensure that the end product meets or exceeds our customers’ needs:

  1. Our customers work directly with our technical staff to ensure that the product we produce will meet your needs.  Any questions are addressed, and a drawing of the product is finalized by both parties to ensure that all expectations are met.
  2. Tooling is produced within the quoted lead-time and provided to the product development team for sample production.
  3. The product development team adjusts the tooling.  They document their steps so that the manufacturing personnel can be trained to setup and produce product after the tool is developed.
  4. After samples are produced, our quality team submits a completed PPAP (production part approval process) report.  Complete dimensional data as well as appearance data (including color and gloss readings) are provided to our customers so that they can analyze and review the data before approving the product.  Any additional submittal documentation requested by the customer is also completed and submitted.
  5. Our quality team follows up with our customers to ensure that all expectations are met.  We request that our customers return a signed PPAP and submission documentation.  The product development team finalizes their process control data and trains the manufacturing personnel on the new development.  With engineering staffs in both facilities, engineering is always available to assist the manufacturing personnel with questions during the production process.