Proto Labs (Protolabs)

Software : Cloud Manufacturing : General

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Maple Plain, Minnesota, United States

NYSE: PRLB

Our company was founded in 1999 by Larry Lukis, a successful entrepreneur and computer geek who wanted to radically reduce the time it took to get injection-molded plastic prototype parts. His solution was to automate the traditional manufacturing process by developing complex software that communicated with a network of mills and presses. As a result, plastic and metal parts could be produced in a fraction of the time it had ever taken before. Over the next decade, we would continue to expand our injection molding envelope, introduce quick-turn CNC machining, and open global facilities in Europe and Japan. In 2014, we launched industrial-grade 3D printing services to allow product developers, designers, and engineers an easier path to move from early prototyping to low-volume production.

Assembly Line

Global Lighthouse Network: Unlocking Sustainability through Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies

Date:

Topics: sustainability, IIoT

Organizations: World Economic Forum, McKinsey, Ericsson, Henkel, Schneider Electric, Flex, Johnson & Johnson, Protolabs, Foxconn, Innolux, Western Digital

The Global Lighthouse Network is a community of production sites and other facilities that are world leaders in the adoption and integration of the cutting-edge technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Lighthouses apply 4IR technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D-printing and big data analytics to maximize efficiency and competitiveness at scale, transform business models and drive economic growth, while augmenting the workforce, protecting the environment and contributing to a learning journey for all-sized manufacturers across all geographies and industries.

Read more at World Economic Forum News Releases

How Data-driven Manufacturing Unlocks Speed and Transparency during Injection Molding Process

Date:

Topics: computer-aided design, injection moulding, digital manufacturing

Organizations: Protolabs

Many of the parts we manufacture have at least one measurement that’s mission critical. Maybe the parts won’t work in an assembly unless a planned hole is within spec. Typical CAD models provide an opportunity to include specific dimensions, but what if you could tell your manufacturer early-on that dimension X is the one that makes or breaks a part? That’s where Critical-to-Quality (CTQ) comes in.

The CTQ specifications that you include in your quote and CAD model help to guide us during manufacturing, saving another critical dimension: TIME. We can often tell you if it’s possible for us to make your part before the mold is cut.

CTQ is also an important element of our digital manufacturing processes because we use these specs to evaluate initial runs of your parts. Let’s say that your parts require sample qualification or part validation. CTQ becomes even more crucial at that point because the data that flows from those initial shots can predict the future tolerances for those critical dimensions, revealing the suitability of end-use parts for a given assembly.

Read more at Protolabs Blog

Virtual Reality Tour of Protolabs' Manufacturing Facility