Technology for Today – A Look Inside Our Virtual 3D First Article Process

SAY Plastics employees working onsite use Microsoft Teams technology to communicate virtually with remote colleagues.

Ready or not, COVID-19 forced many businesses, some literally overnight, to implement a remote work-from-home plan for their employees and pause all face-to-face interactions with colleagues and customers.

The pressure to find the right virtual communications tools and put them into action was real, and many organizations are still struggling with learning curves and technology adoption.

For SAY Plastics, however, the transition to working remotely and connecting virtually with our partners has been seamless – thanks to the virtual technologies that have been part of our day-to-day operations for the past several years.

Business as Usual

As a business that falls under the Plastics Product Manufacturing industry in the state of Pennsylvania, SAY Plastics is deemed a life-sustaining business and has continued operations and production without interruption. We are carefully following the recommended CDC guidelines to keep all our employees safe.

Our life-sustaining business status, paired with our “not so new” virtual environments, means we have been able to deliver exceptional project management and client services during this remarkable global pandemic.

Embracing Technology

Virtual meetings are not a new concept at SAY Plastics. We have utilized a number of popular platforms over the years including GoToMeeting, Skype, and presently Microsoft Teams. Our customers just need a computer or smartphone and our team can quickly set up a seamless virtual meeting that is productive and free of frustrating technical glitches.

Although in-person meetings may still happen as merited by the customer or project, virtual meetings have the flexibility to take on many different roles – whether it’s a discovery meeting, schedule review, or budget discussion. Not only can a virtual meeting save time and cut down on travel expenses, but it can provide a more detailed look at the meeting information and drive greater collaboration as compared to a large, in-person meeting.

Virtual 3D First Articles

A 2019 Virtual 3D First Article meeting with SAY Plastics team members and a customer.

One fantastic success story that shows how SAY Plastics has embraced technology for better project outcomes is our Virtual 3D First Article meeting experience.

Since 2016, Virtual First Articles have been the standard process for design reviews within our ClasSAY global service group. Using virtual first articles instead of physical first articles requires no tooling or wait time for sample production, saving customers substantial time and money –among other advantages.

For presentation of ClasSAY’s SAYshield products, our engineering team presents design solutions in 3D CAD models overlaid on the car’s body panels. The car manufacturer’s engineering team can evaluate the coverage provided by our design and determine potential interferences during the assembly process. Potential issues can be addressed at the design phase before any tools for the final product are even cut.

For presentation of ClasSAY SAYshield body protection panels such as these, our engineering team virtually presents design solutions to customers in 3D CAD models overlaid on the car’s body panels.

While it was originally developed for our automotive customers, our Virtual 3D First Article technology is now used with many of our customers across several different industries like medical and the bus and rail markets.

“Our virtual first article process is a great example of how SAY Plastics has embraced technology to advance not just project development, but also collaboration between us, our customers, and our suppliers. And considering current world events, it’s reassuring to know we can continue to deliver great work by moving quickly and accurately within the virtual world,” shares Louis Smith, President of SAY Plastics.

To learn more about how SAY Plastics can utilize virtual technology for your next project, connect with our team at info@sayplastics.com or 717-633-6333.

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