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Brady Deacon
By Brady Deacon
Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 11:02

Last week we discussed the parts we manufacture for Garmin Aerospace– in-mold decorated (IMD) overlay assemblies and over-molded adjustment knob assemblies. We produce various types of both parts, which can be found in the cockpit of smaller aircrafts. In this post we will discuss the process and benefits of both types of parts.

IMD assembly technology is relatively new to aerospace injection molded product categories. However, utilizing IMD parts in aerospace interior applications offers many benefits including, improved resistance to abrasion, solvents, temperature changes and UV degradation. The increased durability is due to printed graphics residing on the internal, yet visible portion of the parts. While the advanced design of IMD components provides excellent durability, however process development requires considerable collaboration between customer engineers and Elite Plastics engineers.

 The IMD process begins by first screen printing specified graphics onto the smooth or molded side of a clear polycarbonate film. The printed films are then cured as require and cut to the specified design. The process requires the use of high temperature stabled inks specifically designed for the IMD process. The ink printed side of the printed film has to withstand very hot molten plastic being molded to it without melting or discoloring.

Over-molded adjustment knob assemblies are also interesting parts that we produce for Garmin. The manufacturing process of these parts begins by molding a polycarbonate rigid core. The cores of the parts provide structure and stiffness to the finished part. They are then placed into a secondary mold to “over-mold” the back urethane grip.

Both the IMD overlay assemblies and over-molded adjustment knob assemblies are great examples of Elite Plastic capabilities in the Aerospace industry. Although these parts are specifically found in the cockpit, other Aerospace parts that we produce can be found throughout the aircraft – from interiors, exterior graphics and more!

Garmin In Mold Decorated Parts for Aircraft

By Brady Deacon
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 12:49

Recently we’ve discussed Elite Plastics capabilities and quality system certifications related to the Aerospace industry. The parts we produced for our long time customer, Garmin AT, is a great example of how Elite Plastics capabilities can serve Aerospace customers.

We currently make over 20 parts for Garmin, including in-mold decorated (IMD) overlay assemblies and over-molded adjustment knob assemblies. These assemblies go into various configurations of flight deck control panels which Garmin builds for typically smaller and light aircraft manufacturers.

Elite Plastics first started working with Garmin a number of years ago on both IMD overlay assemblies and over-molded adjustment knob assemblies. The Garmin parts produced by Elite Plastics can be found in the cockpit of Cessna, Cirrus and Honda Jet planes. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog about the benefits of IMD overlay assemblies and over-molded adjustment knob assemblies.

Dan Thurmond
By Dan Thurmond
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 11:55

Aerospace ImageIt has been a busy time here at Elite Plastics.  After more than a year of preparation, we just announced that Elite Plastics has qualified for AS9100C.  In addition, we have also been added to the Boeing Qualified Processor List (QPL) for injection molding.  While that is great news for our aerospace customers, it also benefits all of our customers across the spectrum of industries that we serve.    

For those of you that are not familiar with AS9100C, it is a quality management standard for the aerospace industry.  We pursued this certification as both a path for improving Elite Plastics and extending our product offering with Boeing and other aerospace customers.   Considering that we already cater to quality conscious industries such as medical and automotive, seeking AS9100C was an exciting new challenge for EP.

This new level of control will benefit all EP customers by allowing us to produce exceptional molded, decorated and assembled components.  We have evaluated our quality management system to streamline and improve every step possible, ensuring stringent quality and improved cost controls. That means our customers will receive even better service and reliability from Elite Plastics. 

While it has been a lot of work, it is also rewarding to see all of that hard work pay off.  Congratulations to the entire Elite Plastics team who have gone the extra mile to meet the AS9100C quality standard!   

Cynthia Schulte
By Cynthia Schulte
Monday, January 14, 2013 - 16:37

GM Nameplate announced today that the company’s Oregon Division, Elite Plastics, has been added to The Boeing Company’s Qualified Processor List (QPL) for the injection molding of thermoplastic parts.

Elite Plastics joins a short list of companies that are approved to provide injection molded parts to Boeing and its suppliers. The announcement comes shortly after Elite Plastics met the requirements of AS9100C, the quality management system standard for the aerospace industry. 

Elite Plastics was audited and qualified for AS9100C on December 11, 2012, demonstrating that Elite Plastics has established and applies a quality management system for the manufacture of complex plastics and value added assemblies.  This step was necessary to qualify for the Boeing QPL.        

“Achieving the aerospace AS9100C certification requires a new level of process control for Elite Plastics,” said Dan Thurmond, Elite Plastics President. “This new level of control allows us to produce better molded, decorated and assembled components and drives a improved quality and cost controls. We pursued this certification as both a path for improving ourselves and extending our product offerings with Boeing and other aerospace customers.”

GM Nameplate is currently on the Boeing QPL for placards and markers and supplies the largest number of parts of any company serving Boeing. Adding injection molding helps expand GM Nameplate’s offerings, a natural progression considering the company’s heritage and success in the industry.  GM Nameplate has been serving aerospace customers since the 1950’s and continues to earn accolades in the field. Last year GM Nameplate was the first company to be honored as three-time recipient of the Supplier of the Year by the Boeing Company. In addition, GM Nameplate was named Aerospace Company of the Year by The Northwest Aerospace Alliance. 

“We were excited when Boeing told us that they valued the innovation they saw with GM Nameplate and wanted access to our injection molding capabilities,” said Carlo Mears, Vice President of GMN Aerospace, GM Nameplate’s aerospace group.  “The Boeing QPL now has a premier vertically integrated injection molding company in GM Nameplate.”      

Read AS9100C Certification Announced for Elite Plastics to learn more about the new certification.                                  

By Cynthia Schulte
Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 11:31

Elite Plastics was audited by TUV Reinland whom approves the AS9100C certificatiGM Nameplate announced today that their Oregon division, Elite Plastics, now meets the requirements of AS9100C.   

Elite Plastics was audited by TUV Reinland of North America, whom approved the certification on December 11, 2012.  It states that Elite Plastics has established and applies a quality management system for the manufacture of complex plastics and value added assemblies. 

Elite Plastics has worked to meet all compliance requirements in their organizational structure, documentation, training, quality systems, technology control plans and procedures.  A commitment to compliance ensures that Elite Plastics has the knowledge, ability and regulatory oversight to properly manage aerospace programs.

AS9100C is the quality management systems standard for the aerospace industry and it compliments others held by Elite Plastics including ISO 9100:2008 certification and ITAR compliance.

“We began the process to become AS9100C certified a year ago because we saw an opportunity to better serve the aerospace industry and improve our manufacturing system,” stated Dan Thurmond, president of the Oregon Division.  “We already observe stringent quality standards because we supply highly regulated industries such as medical and automotive.  AS9100C certification for the aerospace industry was a natural next step. It demonstrates our commitment to quality.” 

 “Our customers in aerospace looked to expand the value of GM Nameplate in their supply chain by partnering with GMN as an injection molder,” said Carlo Mears, Vice President of GMN Aerospace, GM Nameplate’s Aerospace group.  “The obvious first goal was AS 9100C. We are so proud of our whole team to achieve certification so quickly. The aerospace industry now has access to the one of the best vertically integrated plastic injection molders.”