ABB reports very satisfactory first experience with Protomold
ABB SACE was seeking to expedite the prototyping and development phase of new product development, so that new and improved products would reach customers more quickly. To do this they recently collaborated with Proto Labs to make prototypes of the FORMULA and Tmax XT moulded-case circuit breakers.
Proto Labs prototyping services are valued by both small, and also large businesses. One of the company's customers in Italy is ABB, an industrial brand name known around the world.
ABB SACE is a division of the multinational ABB and produces devices and systems for low voltage distribution and automation. Mr. Edoardo Scola is project leader for developing new machinery in ABB SACE's R&D department. On a recent project to design the company's latest range of moulded case circuit breakers, Mr. Scola used Protomold, a Proto Labs service, to make various parts for the Formula and Tmax XT models.
Proto Labs came to Mr. Scola's attention thanks to an advertisement in the trade press. After reading the company website, he decided to use Protomold, who not only produce individual injection-moulded protoype parts, but can also supply relatively small batches of production injection moulded parts much faster than conventional suppliers.
Proto Labs offer two services: Firstcut produces CNC precision-machined one-off and low-volume prototype components, and Protomold provides rapid injection-moulded parts in batches from 10-off to 10,000-off. Both operations employ powerful computers and proprietary software to help designers to optimise a part for production, meaning that even customers with absolutely no manufacturing experience can still use the company's on-line, automated ordering system, ProtoQuote.
The Protomold online ordering process is available in 5 European languages, including Italian and is designed to be straightforward and easy to follow. Designers who upload a CAD model receive a ProtoQuote in a matter of hours, which gives an accurate price and details of areas where a design can be improved for manufacture.
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