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Tessy Plastics uses virtual process development software to simulate the entire injection molding process before production, enabling them to expand their global presence while finding the most cost-effective and high-quality manufacturing solutions.
Tessy Plastics was founded by Henry Beck in 1973 and is headquartered in Central New York with facilities in Virginia and China. Tessy is constantly expanding their global presence in order to find the most cost-effective and high-quality manufacturing solutions. Producing everything from intricate medical devices to everyday consumer items, Tessy strives to engineer, manufacture, assemble and distribute products in the most effective and profitable way possible for their customers. As a family-owned and operated, privately held company, Tessy positions themselves as their customer’s manufacturing partner, taking ownership and a proactive approach on every project they encounter.
Servicing the medical, consumer products, business machines, electronic and packaging markets, Tessy partners with their customers from the design stage all the way through product completion. Enabling them to provide their customers a full service experience, Tessy offers additional services including ultrasonic, vibration or laser welding, hot stamp/hot decal, pad printing, laser engraving, or label application printing, manual, semi-automated, fully automated or cleanroom assembly. Finishing options include gluing/bonding, machining/drilling, contact insertion, as well as, high-speed fluid dispensing or ultrasonic dispensing. Tessy also provides leak, burst, dielectric, electric, optical, rheological and spectrophotometer testing. As part of their partnership, Tessy holds themselves 100% accountable for quality assurance.
Proud of their “Commitment to Innovation,” Tessy is in constant evolution creating an atmosphere of growth and discovery. Joe Raffa, VP and General Manager in charge of sales, says, “Using our engineering department, our goal is to continually explore and implement new ways to enable our customers to significantly evolve their business in the most cost effective, lean manner .” Tessy is keeping the injection molding process on the cutting edge of technology by having the capability to evaluate the entire process virtually before sample runs are even attempted on the shop floor. Eric Frearson, VP of Engineering, states, “We have some very complex parts that we manufacture as well as complex molds. Acquiring SIGMASOFT® about two years ago to virtually run the entire mold and process before using production time changed the way we do business. This enables us to understand and find solutions to significant problems that, in some cases, we have been working on for a long time,. We are now pointed in the right direction and shown the precise areas we need to focus on to create a solution, thanks to this process optimization software package.”
At Tessy, the members of the sales team have engineering backgrounds while the engineering team is heavily involved in building, developing and maintaining customer relationships. The sales team boasts trying to commit the engineers to projects that are almost impossible while the engineers welcome the challenge and come up with ways to make them happen. Raffa explains, “With SIGMASOFT® onboard, we are able to commit to these almost impossible jobs. I know that when the customer poses new projects to us, I can go to engineering and talk about warp analysis or filling analysis and whether or not a project is even feasible. Once getting that confirmation after running the process virtually, I have the confidence to commit to a project, knowing that the information we received from the simulated run will reflect reality at least 98% of the time.” Matt Learo, Sales Manager, adds, “We had an existing customer where the materials they were using were discontinued. The customer called and requested that their new material and new tool be run through SIGMASOFT® specifically, to see how the new material was going to behave.” Stafford Frearson, Project Engineer expands, “The more complicated a project is and the more complex a configuration might be, when we are not sure how it might warp or how it might fill, there’s no question we feel more confident in going to the customer and saying, ‘this is what you are going to see’, when we have the report backing us up.” “We use other simulation software, but when the part is complex and on our harder jobs, we always run them through SIGMASOFT®,” Eric Frearson adds.
Tessy has used simulation software for over 20 years but feels adding SIGMASOFT® as one of their resources significantly changed the way they do business. Raffa told of a situation that occurred within the first few months after acquiring the new software. Most new projects Tessy acquires are first-time molded products. In most cases, Tessy helps design the part as well as the molds. Normally, all the components in the assembly are new designs. In one particular instance that Raffa described, the customer wanted to take new components and marry them to old components for a different look in the end product. Tessy learned by examining the way some of the wall thicknesses had to be designed and the way the assembly had to come together through simulation that it wasn’t optimal and the new design would simply not work. The parts that were being received from the prototype molds found warp that Tessy had never seen on these types of projects previously. The customer requested a stress and distortion analysis from an engineering company, costing them thousands of dollars, in addition to taking considerable time. Although the engineering company did provide some results and recommendations, the evidence to support these recommendations was not provided.
This became the first large project on which Tessy used SIGMASOFT®. By running multiple processes and cooling times and looking at iterations even 24-48 hours later to see how the part was going to react, it was clearly seen when pulling up snapshots and data during certain points through the process what the issue was. Tessy was able to see the part, how it cooled outside of the mold, how it flexed and how it actually got to the state where it was warped. Eric Frearson said, “It gave us evidence to show the customer that no amount of cooling changes or process changes had any effect on the problem. It was purely a design change that was needed to fix the problem. The reports provided by the software gave us the credibility and the client the reassurance to make the changes.” Raffa adds, “It essentially short cut the entire process, we didn’t try running DOEs of all different configurations or measured a ton more parts to chase something that was really not the solution.” Learo also states, “What’s reassuring about this situation was that we hadn’t used SIGMASOFT® for very long at this point and the customer was willing to pay for the stress and distortion analysis from the engineering company and see how the results compared. We found the results long before the engineering company did. When we did receive their findings, they were the same. The difference was, we were able to show why it happened and already had a solution to present our customer.” Eric Frearson adds, “Even the engineer running the analysis at the independent company was impressed. He is an experienced analyst who regularly uses a different product.”
Tessy uses virtual scientific injection molding almost exclusively, enabling their customers to save time, material and money by doing virtual studies in order to predict molding parameters. The addition of this valuable tool enables them to focus on what the final process would be. “We can now say with a very high degree of certainty what the cycle times will be and what issues we might have, before manufacturing ever sees the tool. We weren’t able to say that before having SIGMASOFT®,” Raffa said. Tessy also sees an impact of the software on manufacturing, by helping validate the process before a mold is cut. Learo adds, “We are able to give the process technicians better process parameters before we even see the mold.”
Giving credit to their “Commitment to Innovation,” Tessy is experiencing record growth and expansion in their business, even in these unstable economic times. The implementation of innovative technologies continues to not only ensure profitability, but also contributes to its employees’ ability to further their careers, providing opportunities for advancement on multiple levels. Being part of an industry that is constantly evolving, the leadership at Tessy keeps encouraging their team to reach the highest standards and quality deliverables, which in the market drives all plastic molders to move forward and continue to reach out for new and more efficient ways of serving their customers. It is Tessy’s goal to strive for the most cost-effective, time-saving solutions to ensure quality products for its partners.
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