Whitford Worldwide manufactures specialty coatings, with products ranging from non-stick coatings for pots and pans to non-corrosive layers for industrial parts. Jon Fetzer and Bobby Colmery work as process engineers to identify spots for potential improvement around the company’s manufacturing floor. Primarily responsible for process, safety, and ergonomic improvements, they’re always on the lookout for ways to improve the fabrication methods for both companies to cut down on time and money. In the companies’ product lines, many of the components during manufacturing need to be robust and resistant to the solvents used in the fabrication process. This limits the materials that can be used in the process as some materials will erode in the harsh chemical environment. As a result, unique parts on their machines are usually outsourced to a shop to be custom machined. Because of the material properties of the parts, and to ensure part precision, complicated parts can end up being thousands of dollars.
Fetzer and Colmery received material samples from a few different vendors, including Markforged, and placed them in some of their harshest chemical solvents. The chemically resistant 3D printing solution they found was in the engineering-strength nylon of the Mark One. With the Markforged printer, Whitford Worldwide could manufacture and prototype many chemically resistant parts at a fraction of the price it would take to get them made elsewhere. Amazed with its capabilities and with its applications, the two now incorporate 3D printed parts into other fixes.
- Reduced cost of manufacturing by 95%
- Reduced time to manufacture parts by 55%
Industry:Education, Tooling & Fixtures, Prototyping, End-use Parts