a story

From: Bruce Okkema (bruceo@eagledesign.com)
Date: Wed May 29 2002 - 18:48:51 EEST



We have a forum here that allows for sharing of information and experiences.
It is becoming more evident, that as a relatively small RP community we will
succeed together or fail together, so it is important to share our stories.
The competition factor which would tend to discourage open discussion seems
to be less important than promoting our technologies and capabilities as a
community - we need to help each other show the engineering, medical, and
management communities that we have solid solutions to problem solving - and
that these solutions are not magical or mysterious.


It is with the intention of trying to save some of you some grief that I
share this story. There probably will be several possible conclusions one
could draw, but I prefer to only tell you what happened in our situation so
you will be better prepared to act if you experience a similar situation.


We have two SLA 7000's, both one year old in perfect condition. We use
Vanitco 7540, 7545, and 7510 resins and have not had any problems whatsoever
up until 2 weeks ago. We and our customers love the quality of our parts.
We are on full maintenance programs with our vendors.


A field engineer called on a Friday to ask if our machines would be
available the following Tuesday for 2 hours to change sensor #2 on both
machines. We told him that we could make them available. He came and did
the change and we built some small test parts successfully and he left.


We loaded up the machines with large parts and large builds and they began
consistently failing. We could not build parts on either machine with
either resin, with any of our vats. We suggested a machine recalibration,
but since the vendor no longer supplies calibration plates with the machine,
we were told there was not one readily available - but this was surely not
the problem anyway. He said, "we would be getting other error messages if
the calibration was off." We put in another call for service and the FE's
came back for 2 days going through everything on the machines trying to
find the problems. They were on the phone almost continually, but finally
they left saying everything were perfect on the machines, it must be a resin


Next we had the resin vendor here off/on for a few days; we switched vats,
we switched material types, still we could not build successfully - "it must
be a machine problem". Finally we insisted that the machine vendor
recalibrate both machines. This was done the following day (it took about 4
hours to calibrate the two machines). Now after 2 weeks and tens of
thousands of dollars in lost income, we are building beautiful parts again,
using the same resin as before.


Hopefully, the sharing this story will help some of you make better
decisions that we did.
Bruce Okkema, President
Eagle Design & Technology, Inc.
55 E. Roosevelt, Zeeland, MI 49464
Ph: 616-748-1022x101 Fx: 616-748-0083
Cell: 616-836-2224
 <mailto:bruceo@eagledesign.com> bruceo@eagledesign.com
www.eagledesign.com <http://www.eagledesign.com/>

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