Molding technique gets golf aid in duffers' hands fast

July 8, 2004
Rapid-injection molding (RIM) gets the credit for speeding a handheld global-positioning device to market before the start of the southern U.S. golf season.

 

The ProTrac device displays easy-to-read numbers showing golfers the distance to a hole, as well as center and back of the green, from anywhere on a course. It is powered by a golf cart's battery or runs off its own rechargeable battery. Its housing was first done with room-temperaturevulcanization (RTV) molding process, but though "The up-front costs of RTV seemed relatively inexpensive, it required a lot of hand tooling and refinements to create our customized product," says Tyce Fitzmorris, president of ProTrac maker Polaris Golf Systems. "It ended up being manually intensive and expensive on a per-copy cost," he adds.

Eventually RIM was the choice for creating the ABS-resin housing. The process, developed by The Protomold Co., Maple Plain, Minn. (www.protomold.com), is fully automated and driven by the part 3D CAD model using high-speed CNC machining. The old RTV housing required three sections front, middle, and back, while the RIM housing has only front and back sections.

The RTV molding sections cost approximately $30 each, for a $90 per unit total. Final conventional molding costs ranged from $20,000 to $30,000. The RIM unit cost approximately $9 per section, with the final molding costs about $9,000 for 100 units.

Rapid-injection molding combines 3D CAD technology with highspeed CNC machining to expedite the manufacture of aluminum injection molds.

Custom housing unit for ProTrac, a handheld GPS for golfers from Polaris Golf Systems.

Sponsored Recommendations

How BASF turns data into savings

May 7, 2024
BASF continuously monitors the health of 63 substation assets — with Schneider’s Service Bureau and EcoStruxure™ Asset Advisor. ►Learn More: https://www.schn...

Agile design thinking: A key to operation-level digital transformation acceleration

May 7, 2024
Digital transformation, aided by agile design thinking, can reduce obstacles to change. Learn about 3 steps that can guide success.

Can new digital medium voltage circuit breakers help facilities reduce their carbon footprint?

May 7, 2024
Find out how facility managers can easily monitor energy usage to create a sustainable, decarbonized environment using digital MV circuit breakers.

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!