Reduced Production Costs for World Leading Product


When designers and manufacturers have invested their time and expertise heavily into producing a world leading product, they want to ensure it looks as good as it performs.

Specialised Imaging Ltd are industry leaders in the design and manufacture of High-Speed cameras with frame rates between 1 Million and 1 Billion frames per second. The camera housing was initially produced using 3D printing and standard finishing techniques. Although this method met the quality required for the application, it was costly and time consuming.

Bray Plastics were approached to find an alternative method that could maintain function and quality at the same time reducing cost. Working closely with our customer, Bray made suggestions and recommendations that our customer tested and accepted.

As illustrated, the result was a formed and fabricated shell in Polycarbonate, significantly reducing production cost.

 

polycarbonate fabrication camera casing Bray Plastics Bedfordshire

 

If you would like to know more about Bray Plastics or have a project we can assist with, please call 01525 219100.

Polycarbonates are plolymers containing carbonate groups. Polycarbonates are strong, tough materials with high temperature and impact resistance.  They can be both molded and thermoformed making them very useful in a multitude of engineering applications.

The extensive range and availability of off the shelf components and assemblies in manufacturing, greatly assist  design engineers across a wide range of industries.

However, there can be occasions when these assemblies will require modification to be more suitable for the application, where the supplier may not be willing to modify or cost becomes an issue.

The example below, a laboratory water heater, is an illustration of the type of improvements Bray Plastics can achieve for their customers products on standard bought-in items.

 

 

In this case for a medical application, the original stainless steel water heater reservoir was replaced with a clear PVC reservoir enabling filling and drainage with no dismantling and open view of the float, heater and water level within the reservoir. Greatly improving the function and user interface for the operator.

 

 

This example is typical of Bray Plastics’ expertise in helping its customers find solutions to tricky and awkward problems that could have potentially delayed their product development.

Please call us, we may be able to help.

 

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) and EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) have high insulation values and are used extensively in the packaging, refrigeration and building industries.

These materials are mostly moulded for application and production but can also be machined for prototyping and proof of concept.

Recently Bray Plastics were asked to machine a prototype surfboard core using one of their large capacity CNC routers.

We produced a profiled vacuum table in EPP to enable an accurate machining fixture for the second of the board profiles, having machined the first profile on a standard flat vacuum table.

If that sounds confusing, please take a moment to view the video!

We provide plastic engineering solutions and advice to all industry types including Automotive, Industrial, Medical and Pharmaceutical, Refrigeration and Catering and Ministry of Defence, so whatever you are looking for, please contact us on 01525 219100.

Reviewing and/or re-designing your own product is a difficult task, particularly if you have been closely associated with it.

This was the dilemma ProEconomy faced with their ‘Orca’ water treatment station for Legionella control. Orca was a successful and proven system that required updating for engineering, servicing and customer interface.

ProEconomy approached Bray Plastics for advice and options. After we reviewed the requirement, Bray re-engineered the layout and mounting base, added graphics and generally repackaged an already very effective product.

Using our skills in design, plastic machining, fabrication, vacuum forming and assembly we worked closely with ProEconomy staff to quickly achieve a highly commercial product.

Our client was delighted with the final results and has already re-ordered due to favourable customer response.

 

If we can help you with any of your plastic manufacturing questions or requirements please contact us on 01525 219100.

Vacuum forming is a type of thermoforming, where a plastic sheet is heated until it becomes mouldable, when it is then stretched over a mould and the force of the vacuum pulls the plastic against the mould.

Vacuum forming can be used for a number of purposes. Bray Plastics often use vacuum forming to create very large scale components.  The largest to date was the size of a bath tub.  It is also possible to lay a number of moulds on the same bed and create many smaller components at the same time.  Depending on size up to 80 components could be created from one plastic sheet.

Before any vacuum forming can take place a mould is required.  This can be made from wood, aluminium, foam, resin.  When creating the mould the plastic engineer must consider the shrinkage of the plastic  when it is heated and cooled.  Most plastics shrink by different amounts so the mould must be made larger by the same percentage to allow for the shrinkage.  ABS shrinks by 0.8% so the internal dimensions of the mould must be 0.8% larger to allow for the shrinkage whilst cooling.

The Vacuum Forming Process

The mould is placed on the machine bed and held in place.  The plastic sheet is clamped firmly in place. The clamps need to handle the thickest material  (between 6-10mm).  Some plastic sheets have undergone screen printing prior to being formed.  In these cases the screen print file is created from the end product and worked backwards to form a flat print.

The plastic sheet is heated so the sheet reaches a uniform temperature throughout its thickness. Different plastics have different temperatures they are required to reach before they become malleable.

The heaters are usually infra-red elements set in an aluminium reflector plate.

Once the plastic has reached it’s ‘plastic’ state or forming temperature the mould is pushed up into the sheet.  The vacuum is applied to draw the air out between the sheet and the mould.

Only once the plastic has been formed around the mould is it allowed to cool.  Once cooled the plastic returns to its solid state.  If the mould is released before the plastic is fully cooled then the plastic may become deformed and the component will be spoiled.

Once the formed part has been cooled and removed from the machine it needs to be cut from the excess material and then have a finishing process if necessary.  This can include cutting holes or slots, printing, coating, strengthening, assembly or reinforcing.

Thermoforming animation
image-2107

Vacuum forming originated in the 1930s and is still a hugely relevant engineering process due to its low cost, efficiency and speed of replication, and the cost of creating the tooling.

New thermo-formable plastics and composites are being developed to be more environmentally friendly and more efficient to process.

Vacuum forming can be used in conjunction with a number of other processes including injection moulding, 3D printing and casting to form a number of components that will all be assembled together to form a final product.

 

In the last few years, Bray have been used by its customers for general plastic machining and fabrication. Our customers’ confidence in Bray as a supplier, has led them to use us to source other components and services in non-plastic materials.

By using Bray’s engineering experience they have outsourced a critical expertise to a trusted supplier who will act on their behalf. This facility has worked so well that Bray is rolling out and expanding this service. So if we can help you with machined or fabricated components in a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous materials please contact us on 01525 219100.

The general aviation industry has moved from paper to digital and solutions are required to enable pilots to be able to access the electronic devices used in the cockpit at all times. The devices need to be held steadily, easy to reach and to not obscure any of the other instruments in the cockpit. Bray Plastics designed and manufactured a new knee mount to meet the detailed requirements.

The knee mount enables secure location of the device and safe operation by the pilot. Manufactured from carbon fibre and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), making it both lightweight and durable, the knee mount is typical of the type of product Bray design and manufacture for its customers.

A kneemount fabricated out of plastic for aviation industry fabricated kneemount for aviation industry 2 fabricated kneemount for aviation industry 3

 

plastic fabricated kneemount for aviation industry

The final solution – knee mount for PDAs used in the aviation industry.

Contact Bray Plastics to find a solution for your design criteria

A component required for a medical application needed to be machined from a solid slab of Acrylic 50mm thick. Bray have a heavy duty router with a work area of 2 meters by 3 meters which was suitable for the task.

Using CAD and CAM software it was possible to nest the components within a large sheet and batch cut the material ready for the next operation.

acrylic machining and routing
image-1645

Although this example is for acrylic, Bray can process a whole range of engineering materials including Nylons, Polyethylene, Polycarbonate, Abs, Carbon fibre, Tufnol, as well as closed and open cell foams  to give a sample of just a few. These the images illustrate CAN routing, but our facilities also encompass CNC turning and milling. Allied to our CNC laser Bray’s ability to process plastics and polymers enhance the  designer’s choice for problem solving.

acrylic machining and routing 2

This service is just one of a range Bray is able to offer its customers.

How can you cut soft materials such as foams, felts, leather, Velcro and woven polymers etc., especially if they have adhesives that can clog up standard cutting tools.

Bray Plastics have a state-of-the-art,  in-house laser cutting facility and these soft materials can be easily cut and profiled. This is particularly useful if the substrate has an adhesive backing as this would normally foul conventional cutting knives and punches.

Adhesive foam laser cutting2
image-1624

A recent project required fine profiling of an adhesive backed foam. You can see from the image that the laser produces an accurate and clean cut.

This service is just one of a range Bray is able to offer its customers.

Here at Bray Plastics we are known for being able to provide design and fabrication solutions to a wide range of unusual projects.  We pride ourselves on creating unique products that fulfill all criteria within budget and timeframe, no matter how demanding the original requirements.

Up to date real time information is crucial to frontline forces. Data transfer is accepted as part of our modern day culture, as is the way it is received. However not everyone’s office is the same!

© Crown copyright - Kneemounted PC tablet for helicopter pilot.

© Crown copyright – Kneemounted PC tablet for helicopter pilot.

Helicopter pilots, for example, have an very cramped ‘office’. Having to locate and operate a PC in an already busy environment is potentially hazardous and a tough nut to crack.

Bray were asked to produce a solution that had to meet a range of complicated criteria. The kneemount illustrated is the result and has been successfully launched into service. Can we help you?

We have a huge range of expertise and experience in all aspects of plastic moulding and fabrication and cutting-edge technology to ensure that we can deliver a high quality solution for your project.

© Crown copyright - The completed kneemount for PC tablet

© Crown copyright – The completed kneemount for PC tablet

Our Services

 

3D Printing and scanning
Prototyping and Tooling
Vacuum Forming
Machining
Fabrication
Enclosures
Assembly
Laser cutting

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Bray Plastics Ltd
Cherrycourt Way
Leighton Buzzard
Bedfordshire
LU7 4UH
United Kingdom

Phone: 01525 219100
bray@brayplastics.co.uk

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