Mold Manufacturer Diversifies with Defense

Buss Precision Mold Inc. (BPM; Clackamas, OR) is a mold manufacturer that specializes in auto unscrewing, two-shot and metal-injection molds (MIMs) and takes pride in working with custom molders and OEMs to keep injection molding operations running smoothly with stringent delivery times.
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Recently the company branched out to service the military market to further diversify its operations.

“The customer came to us with high quality requirements for a military specification—a ruggedized waterproof computer with GPS functionality which is hand-held,” BPM President Jonathan Buss explains. “This unit consisted of 10 injection molded parts, two of which were overmolded for shock resistance. The customer had previously gone offshore to tool up on a less critical project and did not have very good results due to the required communication and implementation of numerous design revisions. The quality of the finished product and leadtime outcomes were issues—due in part to the aforementioned circumstances, and the product was late to market, losing potential sales.”

Buss explains that when making ruggedized units, which conform to MIL-STD-810F and IP67, revisions of the design occur when real world drop testing provides results which cannot be fully simulated with analysis software programs. “Although these analysis products greatly benefit the part designs by putting them into simulated environments, the ‘real-world’ testing can demonstrate markedly different results,” Buss notes. “For instance, dropping a waterproof, hand-held computer unit onto a concrete floor and expecting it to still be waterproof and work is one harsh test, subjecting the unit to 1000 Gs force on impact!

“The injection molds were built for 50 percent glass-filled material and many tolerances were held on the part to +/-.002” with some sealing areas of the mold to +/-.0002” tolerance,” Buss continues. “These sealing tolerances were inspected after a process was developed and the mold core pins adjusted to yield the desired tolerance.”

After numerous design revisions, BPI tweaked the tool and it achieved MIL-Standards. “One of the tests used when showcasing the product—which runs Windows mobile applications—was to have it running an application of a timer inside of a fish tank to show just how waterproof it was,” Buss says. “Since the unit is both a GPS and a computer, it has military, public service, natural resource, agriculture, forestry, field service and utility applications.”

Buss advises mold manufacturers that wish to service a different industry hone in on their specialty and ensure it applies to the potential new market. In this case, BPM was able to apply its specialty of ITAR requirements and meeting strict delivery times on this military project. “We supplied the 10 molds on time for this project and most ran without any adjustments after leaving the shop,” he states. “Providing reduced leadtimes for customers is a key part of our customer relationship strategy and critical when winning new business.”

For More Information
Buss Precision Mold Inc. / (503) 652-5804
jbuss@bussmold.com / bussmold.com