Aero Tec Laboratories, located in Ramsey, was able to enhance profits by improving manufacturing processes thanks to the efforts of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP).
Aero Tec Laboratories needed help with the production of Nut Rings, a product that connects a flange to collapsible fuel tanks. The nut rings were originally made by injecting a plastic into a mold to make the connection between the two objects. Unfortunately, the plastic cured at such a high temperature that the nut rings deformed, making them unusable. Seeking assistance to improve this expensive problem, Peter Regna, President of Aero Tec Labs, contacted New Jersey MEP for help.
Regna was in search of a nut ring that was alcohol-resistant and would cure to the exact dimensions of the currently used plastic, without deformation, so the existing molds could be used. If this was not possible, new molds would have to be purchased, an unforeseen, unbudgeted expense.
James Lesky, a New Jersey MEP field agent, contacted the Polymer Processing Institute (PPI), to assist with the problem. PPI analyzed the problem and began work on a solution. Only a few months later, after vigorous experiments, the problem was solved.
Working together, New Jersey MEP and PPI identified a plastic that was perfect for Aero Tec’s needs. By integrating the new plastic with existing molds, Aero Tec’s improvement objectives were realized. Solving the problem with alternative materials saved Aero Tec at least $35,000 in new mold costs and costs associated with rejected product. Their new molds used with the plastic material, recommended by PPI, can be used repeatedly improving Aero Tec’s manufacturing yields and lowering their costs.
By improving manufacturing processes, Aero Tec expects to enjoy continuing growth and prosperity. Additionally, by partnering with New Jersey MEP and PPI, Aero Tec now has a new Research & Development resource they can turn to should future problems arise — a successful conclusion showing that even smaller companies that lack internal R&D resources can level the playing field with their larger competitors.