Quality Digest’s picture

By Quality Digest

Soft Air USA Inc. of Grapevine, Texas, is a subsidiary of Cybergun S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of replica airsoft guns.

Airsoft guns fire 6 mm plastic balls using a low-power spring, CO 2, gas, or electric force designed to avoid the potential for injury. Many Soft Air USA products are used by the military and law enforcement agencies for training exercises. Soft Air USA has licenses from a wide variety of gun manufacturers, including industry leaders such as Smith & Wesson, Colt, Sig Sauer, IMI (Uzi), Mauser, Thompson, and Kalashnikov.

Because the real guns can’t be shipped to Asia, where the replicas are manufactured, in the past manufacturers would be forced to travel to the United States to make silicone molds of the guns, which they would then take back to their nations. However, Soft Air USA has recently devised a creative means for reducing the time required to get its licensed replica airsoft guns to market by as much as four to six weeks. The company is accomplishing this impressive feat by scanning the real guns using the laser-scanning service bureau of 3-D digitizer NVision Inc. of Southlake, Texas.

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By Hilton Hammond and Jeff Neuner

Gems Sensors & Controls, of Plainville, Connecticut, designs and manufactures a broad portfolio of liquid level, flow, and pressure sensors, miniature solenoid valves, and pre- assembled fluidic systems to exact customer requirements. The large number of configurable products, and the company’s high production volumes, create complex testing requirements. For example, many AC and DC voltages and resistance measurements need to be performed on the large number of different liquid level sensors that are built on a flexible production line.

Jeff Neuner, senior test engineer for Gems, overcame this challenge by developing an innovative testing application that scans a barcode to identify the part number and product configuration information. The test application software uses this product information to create a custom test profile. The application takes advantage of the versatility and speed of the 8845A precision multimeter from Fluke Corp., located in Everett, Washington, to handle many different part numbers and easily keep up with the production pace. The new multimeter has replaced three instruments that were required in the past, which saves floor space, simplifies test system architecture, and reduces maintenance expenses.