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Fast prototyping and pre-production validation

Tecan : 18 July, 2003  (New Product)
Offering prototype micro metal parts and concept part validation services, Dorset based photo-chemical machining specialist, Tecan, can despatch components as fast as five working days from receipt of order.
Established for over three decades the company has become a world leader in the provision of such pre-production parts for the most demanding applications in OEM markets such as electronics, medical, optical, communications and aerospace. Typical parts include RFI screening cans, leadframes, optical encoder disks, sieves, screens, meshes, washers, shims and similar custom components. Specialist engineers at the company are on hand to liaise with designers on both prototype, and new concept parts, and are often able to add value to end products and performance characteristics as a result of their extensive knowledge and expertise.

For designers seeking a more hands on approach, the company offers high-specification prototypes of flat metal components at very low set costs, based on a standard metal sheet 'blank' size of 300mm x 400mm, including in-house plating as necessary. If a subsequent qualifying order is placed for the same parts, the whole cost of the prototype blank is refunded. Here, designers and engineers are offered an extremely flexible opportunity, being able to specify as many parts as can be fitted into the prototype blank sheet's surface area of 120,000mm2.

Similarly, for the hands-on approach to RFI screening, Tecshield is offered as an 'on-the-bench' modelling system, which puts fabrication in the hands of the engineer and designer, for cost-efficient case-specific screening evaluation and development. Tecshield is a pre-fabricated sheet matrix system with the appearance of graph paper, from which engineers cut and fold individual cans, fences and lids. It is a fast and convenient route to producing optimum electrical RFI/EMI shielding effectiveness in prototype screening can designs.

In addition to the delivery of prototype and pre-production parts, the service has other benefits. For example, once the part is adopted, down-the-line production speeds and costs are reduced because the tooling is already in place. Future modifications can be readily incorporated if necessary using the company's powerful CAD system, ensuring any 'knock-on' tooling costs are also minimised. Designers of new parts and those seeking urgent access to high-quality micro-engineered parts for repair or retrofit can all benefit from the service. Similarly low- and medium-volume production runs can be manufactured.

The company's dedicated 1m in-house plating facility employs non-destructive X-ray fluorescent testing, to ensure consistently even surfaces and desired thickness, meet the required specifications. QA programmes can be tailored to suit individual statistical process control needs. Finishes available include acid gold, pure gold, silver, bright tin, 60/40 tin lead, 90/10 tin lead, sulphamate nickel, electroless nickel, copper, Type 1 sulphuric anodising and Type 3 hard anodising (colours to specification), stainless steel passivating, and Alochrome 1200 chemical blackening.

The following CAD formats are accepted, AutoCad DFX and DWG, GraphiCodeCAM PWK and CWK, DPF, Gerber, HPGL, WMF Vector, CorelDRAW Vector, Postscript and IGES. All parts are produced within the company's strict BS EN ISO 9001:2000 quality-control regime.
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