- Project specification
- Computer Aided Design
- Modern and innovative engineering solutions
- Team with many years of experience
- No engineering drawings required!
When we start a new project, the first thing Absolute Solutions do with the client is to define the actual problem and the requirements, which are all noted down in an agreed specification. This is important because an engineering solution is only useful when it is actually delivered on time, costed correctly and actually does “exactly what it says on the tin”.
The company does get approached by a huge array of customers and we understand that not everybody has the workforce, the skills and the time to produce a full set of engineering drawings or have the scope defined completely. Don’t worry, we welcome everyone and Absolute Solutions will help you fill in the blanks… We commonly get approached by companies who only have rough ‘n’ ready sketches and prototypes, sometimes nothing but an idea. This is what we do best though, turning blue-sky thinking into tangible engineering solutions.
Absolute Solutions has always been proud of the innovative ideas that have been generated over the many years and we always ensure that the engineering solutions contain technologies that are cutting edge. This ensures that our products integrate within the client’s systems and work as effectively as possible. Not only are the products we deliver twenty-first-century but also the way we approach design is modern. We heavily rely on computer aided design software to effectively visualise and analyse the solutions that we foresee and then use these models to communicate our ideas with the client. Feedback from the client is then used to alter our ideas to fit better within our client’s vision and scope.
When we get approached by customers with a problem, we make it our priority to understand all the components of a system because this will help us to determine why it is isn’t working. We like to ask everyone about it, from the operators to the managers and the most common answer we get is:
Sound familiar? Well, from our experience, that is usually where the problem lies and so we start from here to see if there are to be improvements to be made. Analysing a process can be difficult but gathering as much information usually can uncover where the inefficiencies lie. Traditional techniques such as monitoring waste levels, recording errors in repeatability, watching operators and performing regular inspection of manufactured parts are simple but effective analysis techniques. But Absolute Solutions also employs some of the more modern analysis techniques such as optimisation by Taguchi experimental design, finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics. This allows us to simulate and model the process, identifying which input parameters are causing poor performance.
Absolute Solutions has recognised that the activity of measuring is incredibly important in any engineering process and is commonly overlooked by our competitors. The company uses a large variety of modern metrology based technologies and we use them in the following ways:
- To assess the quality of our in-house manufactured and assembled parts. Most of the products we make are truly precision and therefore have to meet strict tolerances. So how can you trust us, as a customer, that our products meet these requirements? Well, they get inspected, multiple times and a report is delivered to the customer with the finished, assembled product to give you the confidence that what we supply, is correct.
- To analyse systems. Gathering as much data and information about a engineering system as possible helps us to model and predict where the source of the problem is.
- To validate our models and designs. Once we build a model of a system, it is absolutely critical that we validate it. There is nothing more dangerous than believing in a model that hasn’t been verified. If we conclude the model is shown to replicate reality well, then we can use that model to optimise and engineer a better system.
- For efficient and accurate reverse engineering. We use laser scanning techniques to create point cloud data of prototype models and then use computer aided design software to create models which we then can use for analysis, prototyping or for designing workholding solutions.
In a world where there are evermore simulations, computational models and visualisations of designs on a screen, people, with engineers being the worst culprit here, have become somewhat fixated with only using these mediums to develop a product. Sometimes it is a lot quicker and easier to just actually create a prototype and with the recent revolution in affordable additive manufacturing technology, why wouldn’t you do this?
Absolute Solutions believe strongly in this and many times in the past we have identified flaws in our designs that would not have been necessarily picked up on if we had developed it completely using digital mediums. We often prototype our workholding designs for production lines because it allows us to test it on the operators and see if they can flawlessly assemble the parts into the fixture without any problems. However, the company doesn’t just use prototyping manufacturing techniques to create temporary models, we also use them to create finished small batch or one-off products. Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is a 3D printing technique that allows us to create tough, hard-wearing plastic based products that can actually replace costly, machined components and you can see this in our FDM inspection fixtures as an example. These fixtures are printed on a system that has an enclosed, air conditioned, temperature-controlled oven and self-calibrating mechanism which ensures that the bonds between the plastic fibres are strong (about 70-80% of the strength of their injection moulded counterparts) and has good dimensional accuracy.
The last stage in any of our projects is to implement it, i.e. install it on-site, test it and ultimately, make sure that you are happy with the performance of the product. All our products are always tested on-site with your employees because at the end of the day, they are the people who will be using it. In these test runs, the manufactured products made will be inspected heavily, making sure there are no defects and all dimensional and geometric tolerances are well within the specified targets.
This stage also includes after care because we know that engineering doesn’t just stop once we are happy with the first generation of product. Customers like to amend, modify, maintain and further optimise systems. That is why we include services like total preventative maintenance (TPM) to make sure that your production lines don’t stop when it is most important and to make sure that the fixture keeps the manufactured product within tolerance.