Category Archives: manufacturing

Creating a More Sustainable World in 3D

Do you see your world in 3D…Where the dimensions of economy (profit), environment (planet), and society (people) are equally considered in the realization of your manufactured product? Traditional approaches to manufacturing have relied far too heavily on resource intensive processes that don’t always balance the needs of society with the profit goals of the enterprise or the environmental protection that is required for the earth to maintain a healthy and vibrant ecosystem.

Manufacturing enterprises have become substantially more resource efficient and operationally intelligent in the past Century. Compared to the way Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing can enable, there hasn’t been as dramatic an opportunity for industry to realize transformational shifts in resource utilization, since the invention of the steam engine.

Additive manufacturing (AM) takes advantage of various processes used to make three-dimensional objects in which successive layers of materials are laid down under computer control. The objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source. AM technologies and processes are now used in a wide-range of industries and to design, engineer, and manufacture higher-performance products. AM technologies and approaches include stereolighography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).

Recent advances in topology optimization can, when blended with AM, provide the means for producing a new generation of engineered parts and products. A few  years ago, AM and 3D printing were widely viewed as prototype-exclusive tools due to their relative high cost, limited material and finishing capabilities.

Definition:
TOPOLOGY:  the way in which consistent parts are interrelated or arranged.

Today, AM and 3D printing tools and equipment can, when integrated with software for topology optimization, revolutionize the way in which products are designed, prototyped, and manufactured. AM and 3D printing provide unparalleled opportunities and freedom to product designers. AM and 3D printing are near a convergence point in assimilating a suite of software, materials, techniques, and finishing options that can springboard this novel technology into the forefront of sustainable product design and manufacturing.

As AM and 3D printing integrate science and technology into superior manufacturing capabilities, the only limiting factor will be our imagination. AM and 3D printing allow for the design, development, and manufacturing of more complex shapes and topographies which result in customized products at faster manufacturing cycle times.

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The flexible design and production freedom of AM can enable sustainable design and manufacture of products. AM offers a new way to achieve competitive advantages in product design and manufacturing by addressing:

  • Design freedom – Due to the wide-ranging potential of AM technologies, design opportunities are limited only by one’s imagination. Traditional manufacturing methods play a large role in the range of options that can be achieved for product designers. In the old world of manufacturing, equipment and machines drove design and product realization based upon the capabilities of the manufacturing equipment. In contrast, the AM world liberates design and provides the means to manufacture parts that would never have been conceivable (at least cost-effectively) with traditional manufacturing methods.
  • Part optimization – AM can, when aligned with the right software, design tools, and material selections, allow designers to achieve optimum part design and performance according to characteristics and requirements that they establish. If a designer wants to optimize their part for materials utilization, production speed, or a variety of other factors related to topology, they can now do so. The latest capabilities of AM and 3D printing provide designers with tools and capabilities that can result in higher performance parts that use less material, energy, and natural resources to develop, manufacture, and use.
  • Materials availability and scarcity – As a manufacturing process, AM only uses the material(s) necessary to realize the part geometry, scale, and size specified by digital design files. Because AM processes grow a shape by depositing layer upon layer of material, this approach is significantly less material intensive than other manufacturing approaches. An example would be the design and development of an injection mold using AM (growing the injection mold with only the right amount of material necessary) versus traditional methods of CNC machining (extracting material from a large block).
  • Process and energy efficiency – When used as an integrated component of a “total manufacturing solution,” AM can be instrumental in reducing total energy consumption per part. For example, the potential of AM can allow for the development of custom injection molds/tools that more efficiently direct water or other forms of cooling to the mold, therefore reducing the time it takes to injection mold and cool a part. This achieves lower total energy for injection molders, and in addition, faster cycle times. AM can be a stand-alone manufacturing process/tool, or strategically included into a total manufacturing solution that helps manufacturers deliver high quality and performance products at every stage of the product life-cycle: design, prototype, tool making, production, and so on.
  • De-materialization of products –AM offers potential to redesign existing or new parts that perform the same or better function, and which use less material. AM parts can be designed to be lighter weight, stronger, and with greater utility than parts manufactured from other processes. As such, AM parts are becoming a preferred solution for the medical device, transportation, aerospace, and defense industries as an opportunity to integrate stronger, lighter, and longer-lasting parts into their products. These industries are attracted by many benefits of AM, however the option to dematerialize a part can have dramatic impact on total product weight, energy use, performance and longevity. For example, in the aerospace industry, companies like GE, Boeing, Airbus, and Lockheed Martin seek to reduce the weight of aircraft to achieve fuel savings, higher performance (faster aircraft), lower weight and more space. The result is a next generation of aircraft that can carry more people and cargo, longer distances, at faster speed, while using less fuel, materials, and resources.
  • Speed-to-market – With AM you can produce a part in hours, not the days or even weeks that may be required with other manufacturing methods. As a result, AM has become the process of choice for many design companies who want quick turn-around on precision prototypes at reasonable cost. In the consumer product sector, the life-cycle of many products is becoming shorter and shorter, in part because of ongoing advances in electronics and technology which make products obsolete in 18-to-24 month business cycles. As a result, many consumer product companies want a more flexible manufacturing opportunity, which balances speed-to-market with shorter-run manufacturing cycles. AM provides this kind of opportunity to cost-effectively bring new products to market quickly, and also enable a manufacturing volume that aligns with the fickleness of the marketplace.

AM delivers the means for designers, manufacturers, and society to visualize, advance, and accelerate the realization of manufactured products across three dimensions (people, planet, and profit). As shown in the visual, the opportunity and scale of sustainability potential and impacts is magnified as AM and 3D printing are used from the onset, and across the product development life-cycle.

 

Do you see your world in 3D

 

Ultimately, the use of AM results in competitive advantages related to operational efficiency (i.e., achieving lower cost of manufactured goods) and development of products that achieve a differentiated and sustainable product performance advantage (i.e., products that are stronger, faster, lighter, use less energy, use less materials, etc.). Finally, the unique capabilities of AM can support a circular economy, one which is restorative, less depletive, and leverages the elegant capabilities of AM to support or enable sustainable design, sustainable manufacturing, sustainable product realization, and product remanufacturing.

From Difficult to Differentiated: Creating Customer Solutions for Hard to Manufacture Materials

For many industries, high-intensity and high-value jobs require precision instruments that are made from high-performance materials. The medical, aerospace, defense, energy, and transportation industries are a few of the sectors that design and manufacture their parts, products, and integrated systems with materials such as titanium, magnesium, carbon steel, and others because of the unique performance properties these materials provide.

There are many challenges in using high-performance materials that add complexity and difficulty to the design and manufacture of high-performance products. For example:

  • Material Cost – High-performance materials typically have higher costs. As such, it is important that the use of these materials be optimized in all phases of the material life-cycle: design, manufacture, use, and end-of-life disposition. There are ways to reduce material waste in manufacturing by looking at a diversity of options for part design, manufacturing technique/process, and other factors. Check out HARBEC’s Sustainable Design Guide as an example of how design can impact the more efficient utilization of high-value materials.
  • Material Availability – The availability of high-performance materials can also be a challenge. Many high-performance materials are mined from specific regions of the world. The availability of materials is impacted by economic, geographic, supply, demand, regulatory, environmental, and other factors. The availability of materials also impacts its price, supply, and use.
  • Material Tracking and Regulatory Compliance – Understanding point of origin and supply chain relationships for materials has become a business necessity. Accounting (traceability) for ‘conflict minerals’ within the supply chain has, since Congress approved the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, been a requirement for U.S. based manufacturers. Check with your suppliers to see if they have a Conflict Minerals policy in place, like this example from HARBEC.
  • Manufacturing Capability – The use of high-performance materials requires high-performance manufacturing capabilities that either reside in-house or among suppliers. The handling and manufacturing of high-performance materials can require specialized equipment, certifications, technical know-how, and process sophistication. Hard to machine metals, for example, require machine operators and toolmakers that have built, through years of experience, insight and knowledge of how materials perform  under a diversity of manufacturing operations.
  • Material Handling –Some high-performance materials are also a challenge to work with because they require special handling requirements. The safe and environmentally responsible storage, handling, and disposal of materials can add cost, time, and complexity to already tight time schedules. As such, it pays to work with material handlers, suppliers, and manufacturers that are experienced in the specific material handling requirements. Often there are very specific and specialized regulatory, environmental, safety, recycling, and disposal requirements for high-performance materials.
HARBECsample_parts

HARBEC sample parts injection molded in a variety of engineering resins and metal.

Although there are challenges in working with high-performance materials, the benefits are tremendous. High-performance materials can differentiate products in their weight, design, performance, tolerance holding, utility, and sustainability. By working with material vendors and manufacturing partners that have depth of knowledge, experience, and capability, you can hedge yourself on any downside “difficulties,” and optimize your potential to “differentiate” your high-performance product.

Since 1977 HARBEC has earned a reputation and grown its business by solving tough manufacturing challenges. HARBEC’s origins stem from working with difficult to machine and mold materials. With nearly four decades of experience, HARBEC is well positioned to take on the most challenging of materials. HARBEC regularly machines magnesium, titanium, and hardened steels to very tight tolerances for a diversity of customers spanning aerospace, defense, medical, and research organizations.

HARBEC operates over 44 vertical mills, 6 horizontal lathes, and multiple EDM centers on three shifts, producing small to medium volumes of high precision parts for customers worldwide.  Our team readily works with customers to improve the manufacturability of prototypes and production parts, always striving for the best balance of function, cost and delivery. HARBEC has dedicated milling centers for difficult to machine metals such as titanium with a .01” diameter end mill.

HARBEC has earned a reputation as a custom injection molder and custom CNC machining company because it does not shy away from challenging materials, complex part geometries, tight tolerances, or demanding schedules. HARBEC works hard to support its customers by providing strategy and insight from its four decades of know-how and experience, to create custom solutions that often exceed time, cost, and performance requirements. HARBEC prides itself on being an extension of its customer’s teams, working with its own in-house engineers, tool makers, and machinists to provide exemplary levels of service and detail to every job, every customer, and every day.

Water Stewardship: An Untapped Industrial Opportunity

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), less than one percent of the total water on earth is fresh water available for human uses including drinking, transportation, heating and cooling, and industry. The balance of water is not readily available for human use because it is saline (ocean water), tied up in snow, ice, and glaciers, or in other mediums of storage such as water vapor.

There has been a lot of attention brought to water through the drought situation in California but the problem is worldwide. In February the Washington Post published an article: “A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades, NASA researchers say”. Scientific American  and National Geographic had similar articles.

Every manufactured product requires the use of water at some point of the production and delivery process. For example, some sources estimate that the production of one car requires the use of 39,000 gallons of water. In the U.S., industry uses more than 18.2 billion gallons of water per day. Industrial uses of water include fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product; incorporating water into a product; or for sanitation needs within manufacturing facilities. Some industry sectors are very water intensive including food, paper, chemicals, refined petroleum, and primary metal producers. But regardless of the end-use, or intensity of use, there is no question that water is a precious and valuable natural resource to industry.

In the U.S., industrial uses of water represent less than 8% of total water use. On a global scale, industrial use of water represents approximately 20% of total water use (70% of water is used in the agriculture sector globally). What’s interesting is that there is a very close relationship between industrial energy and water use. Understanding the ‘energy-water nexus’ is just one way industry can become more aware of its natural resource use, and discover solutions which can be implemented to achieve both energy and water related stewardship objectives.

The diagram below provides more insight into the energy-water nexus. The figure, prepared by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, illustrates the flows of energy consumed for Direct Water Services and Direct Steam Use in the Residential, Commercial, and Industrial (including Power) sectors. Ultimately, 58% of this primary energy is rejected as waste heat due to losses during electricity conversion and at end-use.

Energy+Water

Water use trends summarized by USGS show that as population has increased so has our use of water. What’s promising however is that industrial uses of water have shown declines in recent years.  In every industrial sector, there are leading examples of how industry is working to curtail its use of water, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes eco-economic sense.

HARBEC, Inc. has committed to be a water neutral manufacturing facility and company by the end of 2015. HARBEC is continuously striving to enhance the efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of its operations. Bob Bechtold, President of HARBEC, states, “We are seriously committed to sustainable manufacturing. Like energy, water represents a critical requirement and input into our manufacturing processes. Water is integral to the performance, quality, price, and longevity of every component we make. As such, we place a premium value on water. We also know that water and energy have a very close, symbiotic relationship, particularly in manufacturing environments. As we advance our accountability and stewardship of water, in turn we also further our energy efficiency goals.”

The HARBEC example of industrial leadership for water stewardship is far from unique. Between 2008 and 2012, toy manufacturer Hasbro reduced its water use at their owned and operated facilities by 31 percent. And, to extend their commitment and leadership, Hasbro announced that by the end of 2015 it will partner with its China-based supplier facilities to establish annual water conservation action plans. In another example, between 2000 and 2013 Ford Motor Company reduced water use per vehicle manufactured from one of their Mexico-based facilities by 58%. Companies like Hasbro, Ford, and HARBEC are not reducing water use only in response to the growing global issue of water scarcity. These industrial leaders are taking action on water accountability because it results in lower operating costs, product margin improvement, and more competitive and efficient operations. Unilever, for example, estimates that their reduction of water from manufacturing operations has achieved cumulative supply chain cost avoidance of €26 million since 2008.

In addition to eco-economic water stewardship opportunities “inside the fence,” some companies have chosen to combine their efforts and resources to advocate for water stewardship as business imperative. The efforts of the Blue Business Council in California, represented by companies including Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, Klean Kanteen, Clif Energy Bars, New Resource Bank and others, is reflective of how business and industry understand that the economic opportunity of water resides in the stewardship of this precious resource.

Opportunities for water stewardship (economic, environmental, innovation and societal impacts) are limitless. Just as leading companies are hard at work to reduce and conserve their water resources, others are continually innovating new products which ensure our standards of water purity and cleanliness are always achieved. Companies such as Pall Corporation, Aquatech, Pentair, and many others are developing innovative products to serve the clean water requirements of industry.

In short, water stewardship is big business. The question is, how much of it has been YOUR business?

Removing Obstacles and Reducing Risk

“The One-Stop Shop”

HARBEC has evolved to be a one-stop manufacturing solutions provider. We’ve done this to remove obstacles and reduce unnecessary risk for our customers.

The best way to control the quality, performance, price, and longevity of precision parts and components is to integrate all capabilities for part manufacturing under one roof. This model pushes risk to the manufacturer, which is mitigated by providing customers with differentiated values such as:

 

  1. Personal and facilitated process: Save time and cost by having the manufacturer proactively manage the full  process. This results in time savings, precise schedules, shorter lead-times, and faster cycle times.
  1. Manufacturing cost savings: by managing the full manufacturing queue; Take out unnecessary administrative costs and reduce the risk of cost overruns associated with multiple suppliers.
  1. Range of manufacturing options: Finding experts in both prototyping and production will provide  the best solutions to meet tolerance and quality goals for the full project.
  1. Integrated services and solutions: Incorporating “ad-ins” such as “moldflow analysis” on all production tool purchases, is a benefit. Many molders price such services out separately. Incorporation of software tools like SolidWorks Plastics enables the “one-stop shop” to reduce tool prices because toolmakers can more accurately predict tool performance. These solutions also provide a reduction of waste, time, and materials – resulting in higher performing and more sustainable manufacturing processes.
  1. No surprises and guaranteed value: Consistency through one quote, one price, and  guaranteed tool, part quality and performance is found under one roof. At HARBEC there are no surprises along the way. HARBEC guarantees our tool performance and part quality which also translates into guarantees on price and delivery.

 

To achieve lower risk for its customer HARBEC provides a range of options and simple solutions spanning the quoting process, part/product design, manufacturing, and value-added solutions.

One-stop-shop

Reducing manufacturing risks are essential to achieving business growth and success. Although having a large number of suppliers is a way to diversify and mitigate risk, it is not necessarily the best solution for every product. The reliance and management of multiple suppliers can actually add cost and create unpredictable outcomes and unnecessary risks. Every manufacturing requirement and situation is different, and HARBEC has evolved to “right size” the solution(s) to your need(s).

Getting in Gear: Exposing the Next Generation to Manufacturing…

 …A Q&A perspective from inside and outside of Harbec

Planning, developing, and ensuring a sustainable economic future is everyone’s responsibility. Having a vibrant economy, active job pool, dynamic workforce, and a diversity of economic opportunities are indicators of economic growth and prosperity. But achieving these ends requires strong coordination, partnership, and deliberate strategies between business, academia, government, and research organizations. No effort is too small when it comes to building a robust, sustainable economy.

Harbec regularly hosts groups of students from local schools ranging from Middle school through college level. By providing students with opportunities to visualize manufacturing technologies, Harbec is planting deliberate seeds to enrich a local workforce. Further, many students in local high schools are drawn to Harbec not only to experience new technology, but to learn more about the limitless potential associated with careers in advanced manufacturing, clean energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable production.

Although a pragmatic outcome of shaping young minds is preparing them for specific job opportunities, Harbec also believes that  creating awareness of sustainable manufacturing and business models can support the development of a next generation of leaders that extend their knowledge to all sectors of the economy. In doing so the economy can be further strengthened; thereby providing societal dividends such as new jobs, philanthropy, research, and innovations that improve our world.

Harbec recently asked owner Bob Bechtold, HR manager Todd Patterson, Webster Middle School technology teacher John Hohman (a 22 year teaching veteran who brought students to tour Harbec) and Dake Middle School student Owen (who recently toured Harbec) about the future of manufacturing. Here is a summary of the insights shared:

Question: What skills are necessary to be successful in manufacturing?

  • Harbec: Bob and Todd agreed, we look for new hires that have an ability and desire to do things with their hands and that are mechanically minded. We seek out employees that have skills in math and science, communication and a developable (growth oriented) work ethic.
  • Student: Owen stated: “One must be organized, persistent and able to trouble-shoot. After being at Harbec for a tour, it became apparent that having a strong organization is important for managing so many people and machines. “
  • Teacher: Mr Hohman added, that for a student to be successful in manufacturing, or any career, there must be a desire to learn and work- they must have intrinsic motivation.

 

Question: Who is the ideal candidate for a career in manufacturing? What are their key characteristics?

  • Harbec: For Harbec, ideal candidates from high schools are those students that have been actively involved in Technology classes at all levels. We navigate towards students that are hands on at fixing things and are comfortable with computers. A good candidate for working in manufacturing should also have an appetite for change (its constant).
  • Student: Owen believes a good candidate would be,”someone who understands the math and science involved in the process. Ideally a person who is energized within the (busy) manufacturing environment.”
  • Teacher: “Failing is a necessary function of success” states Mr. Hohman. This refers to the idea that it is OK to fail for the sake of growth and improvement and should not be feared. Many people (students and adults) are taught that failure is bad and that success is based on lack of failure. This is not a productive mentality in the “hands on” world.This is not to say that Individuals/Companies should adopt an approach of recklessness, or thoughtlessness. The problem should always be smaller than when you started.

 creating _sust_mfg_leaders

Question: How have you seen careers in manufacturing change (over the past 5 years or so) and what do you predict for the future (next 5 years)?

  • Harbec: Bob Bechtold reflects on observations from his career, “in the past 45 years the manufacturing sector has seen changes from a fully manual process to one that is primarily computer driven. The core knowledge that is necessary is the same in both scenarios, however the primary tools have changed because we are not figuring them out by hand (on paper) but with computers. At Harbec we have seen the yield (output) of 1 person double or even triple with the introduction of new equipment, software systems, and advanced manufacturing technologies. This has been done through improvements in machine/technology’s accuracy, complexity, repeatability, and therefore overall productivity.” Bob believes, that in the future, there will be a greater interweaving of additive and subtractive methods of manufacturing which will again double or triple, not only the yield, but also the range of possibilities. This will allow for complexities which cannot even be conceived of today. Technology and manufacturing solutions are ever-changing, so at Harbec, we strive to develop our new employees from all levels which create opportunities for High School and College graduates. This means our employees can grow in their job and experience a career in manufacturing at all levels.
  • Student: Owen says, “although I haven’t been involved in manufacturing, I know it has changed. In the future I would imagine more of the process would be carried out by automation technologies (robotics).
  • Teacher: Mr Hohman teaches his students about Kevin Fleming’s “Success in the New Economy”. The need for an unskilled labor force is dwindling in our society. In the future, the majority of work will require specific training or certification which however, is not solely accomplished through 4 or more years of college.

 

Question: How does working with each other (local school/local manufacturer) help you?

  • Harbec:  Working with local schools insures that we have accessibility to a local workforce. You can’t use technology if you don’t have people to run it. The success of technology hinges on people. We have found that working with schools from Middle to  High School through College levels creates a relationship which offers opportunities. When a student has a good experience at Harbec, whether it is in an internship or a summer job, they go on to tell their teachers, professors, neighbors, and family. This positive reinforcement provides Harbec with a continuous pool of high quality and performing candidates.
  • Teacher: Our current Middle level program has evolved into the 3 primary aspects of Technology: Physical Technology, Information/Communication, and Energy & Bio-Related Technology.  Working  with local employers such as Harbec, allows him to maintain program goals relevant to the needs of industry, NYS curriculum requirements, as well as the interests of students.
  • Student: “Visiting Harbec showed me how a facility, not too far from our school, is creating parts for the medical field”, said Owen.

Technology and manufacturing solutions are ever-changing, so at Harbec, we strive to develop our new employees from all levels which creates opportunities for both High School and College graduates. This allows our employees to grow in their job and experience a career in manufacturing at all levels.Partnering with schools exposes the future (students) to a local business with technology and potential careers that they were previously unaware of.

 

Innovation

For a manufacturing business like Harbec, innovation lies between delivering a value that the customer wants and creating operational value through efficiency and waste reduction. Top line growth for a manufacturing business is generated by accessing and growing new customers. Bottom line growth is enhanced by operating with precision efficiency so that no raw material or natural resource is wasted. Innovation in manufacturing is optimized when the organization can continue to differentiate a value to its customer while doing more with less over time.

INOgraphic

While achieving both ends may seem impossible, that is where innovation comes in. Innovative organizations don’t look at their challenges and cower in fear. Rather, innovative organizations are driven by their values and a conviction for challenging conventional practices.

Harbec has been fortunate to have, since its founding in 1977, a strong discipline in innovation. Harbec has earned a reputation as a precision custom injection molder that delivers innovative solutions for its customers. Getting there has been journey marked by notable advancements in its operations, management systems, and impact on energy and the environment. The visual below presents a sample of the innovations that have taken place at Harbec.

Timeline of Innovation

Innovative organizations have an innate ability to scan the horizon for changes which impact the business environment, and translate their findings into business solutions. Such organizations listen to their customers as they look broadly at shifts in technology, and develop new capabilities which enable them to go beyond with a solution that differentiates their offering to customers. Innovation is all about being able to sense change, and staying two steps ahead. Achieving innovation or becoming “innovative” is not something that happens exclusively with a “Eureka” moment. Although many inventions have resulted from flashes of inspiration from entrepreneurs, the backstory to most examples of invention and innovation are grounded in hard work, discipline, and even failures.

quotes

There is an art and science to innovation, and both disciplines achieve breakthroughs through the determination, grit, and endless pursuit of excellence by those that pursue them. Many people have an image of innovation shaped by flashy marketing and products like the iPhone. The most undervalued aspect of innovation is the disciplined process which yields novel ideas, products, and solutions. Over time, the process of innovation builds a culture, and that becomes the predominant force for business resiliency, competitiveness, and sustainability.

 

Machining Precision Parts Requires Impeccable Attention to Detail

Ultimately, success in machining requires a team of highly proficient machine operators, tool makers, designers, engineers, project managers, technicians, and operations managers all working together to continuously achieve high quality products consistently. While CNC machines may do the tough work of cutting hard metals to tight tolerances, these tools are only as good as the team of dedicated professionals that drive performance and results. Attention to detail is everyone’s job.

Harbec’s roots in CNC machining run deep. Founded in 1977 as a general-purpose machine shop, Harbec initially specialized in the quick-turnaround of difficult to make parts. Today we operate over 40 vertical mills, horizontal lathes, and EDM centers on three shifts, producing small to medium volumes of high precision parts for customers worldwide. Our team readily works with customers to improve the manufacturability of prototypes and production parts, always striving for the best balance of function, cost and delivery.

Harbec’s CNC Machining Solutions are built upon four decades of experience. Three primary values of Harbec’s CNC Machining include: Accuracy/Quality, Speed, and Knowledge/Expertise. Harbec’s CNC Machining group has the knowledge and expertise to produce difficult, highly complex, and tight tolerance parts. With a strong project management discipline and proactive communications with customers, Harbec works hard to make sure customer requirements are always understood. Harbec actively uses its manufacturing knowledge for customers’ benefits.  Whether it is one part or mid-volume production parts, Harbec’s experienced team always strives for delivering the highest quality part, quickly.

A commitment to continuously improve operational excellence through innovation while providing manufacturing solutions for customers is a necessity in today’s ever changing world. Recently our CNC Machining has expanded,  particularly to serve the needs of medical device customers. Harbec is investing in facility modifications, new equipment (CNC machines), and continuous training of its employees at all job functions to ensure a high level of quality and attention to detail is carried through to the customer.

Harbec has 21 dedicated inspectors and engineers that work collaboratively within every business group, manufacturing process, and individual within the company so that customers continuously receive the level of service they have come to expect. For example, some of our medical customers require 100% inspection of their parts on all dimensions with tolerances of +/- .001. Our knowledgeable staff have written and executed Installation Qualification (IQ), Operational Qualification (OQ), and Performance Qualification (PQs) for these customers. Harbec also implements specific process inspections, tools and technologies,  through an integrated team dedicated to quality. Tools including microscopic deburring and  a vision system/CMM are used in combination as part of a robust inspection program.

In addition, Harbec continues to actively pursue certification toward the ISO 13485 Medical Device standard, a customer-facing and internal goal to demonstrate our commitment to deliver the finest parts to our valued customers.