Supreme Industries Limited (Supreme) handles a volume of over 320,000 tonne of polymers annually, which makes it the country’s largest plastic processor.Supreme offers a wide range of plastic products with a variety of applications in moulded furniture, storage and material handling products, PE (Polyethylene) films and products, performance films, industrial moulded products, protective packaging products, composite plastic products, and many more.
Using technology to improve the prototyping process
Supreme’s new product development initiatives are key to its success. The company relies on cutting-edge technology for a fast product development cycle, ensuring that time-to-market deadlines and product quality benchmarks are always met. Prior to 2015, the company resorted to manual prototyping during product development. But this method posed a unique set of problems in terms of time, cost, and quality. Manual prototyping is prone to human error, and necessitated rework in many instances. This increased product development time and cost estimates, upsetting the company’s time-to market targets.
To avoid the unpredictable nature of manual prototyping and add stability to the process, Supreme moved to standardise its prototyping efforts. The company also wanted to maintain design confidentiality by keeping product design in-house. To achieve these objectives, the company invested in 3D printing, which also promised to reduce product development time and cost, and improve quality. To select the appropriate 3D printer, the Supreme Design Center team established specific criteria. 3D printed parts needed to be tough, have a smooth finish and fit seamlessly with mating parts.
Preventing prototyping obstacles
Since the installation of Stratasys uPrint SE Plus 3D printer, Supreme’s design department uses it extensively to fulfill various prototyping needs. The team uses 3D printing for design verification, marketing approvals of new products, and assistance in mold and tool development. By printing dimensionally and geometrically precise prototypes, the 3D printer also improves internal communications and client demonstrations.