Commercial Plastics Accelerates Approval Time by 80%


Commercial Plastics Inc. is a diverse thermoplastics molder, with insert, gas-assisted and structural foam molding technologies. They provide highly engineered components to the agricultural, recreational, medical, automotive, industrial, building products, and consumer industries. As one of only five custom molders in the Midwest, Commercial Plastic’s custom plastic injection molding capabilities are very niche. They utilize Industrial Inspection & Analysis Lab Services Division (IIA) to assist with larger inspection projects that require specialized equipment.

The Challenge

After receiving a unique inspection request from their largest agricultural customer, Commercial Plastics brought in IIA Lab Services to help measure a part that was well over 100 pounds and over 84" wide. Though very well equipped in 50,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space, the faro arm tool at the Commercial Plastics facility didn’t have the capability to measure for first article inspection, considering the length of data points required on such an object. Commercial Plastics called on IIA, which has a reputation as solution providers, to help tackle this project.

The Process

The onsite inspection was scheduled and the IIA team arrived at Commercial Plastics with their large mobile faro arm. Inspectors quickly and meticulously captured the surface dimensions of the structure, as well as all of its geometric features. Once captured, IIA engineers reviewed the findings and helped Commercial Plastics understand some key points of interest. “IIA has the knowledge and the tools… they just know what to do with little to no guidance,” stated Stephanie Gehrke, Quality Manager at Commercial Plastics.

“When we want reliable, accurate, fast measurements of parts, we go to Industrial Inspection & Analysis.”

Stephanie Gehrke
Quality Manager at Commercial Plastics

Why They Chose IIA

Commercial Plastics appreciates how accessible IIA makes its inspectors to have real one-on-one conversations with their team. They also love how fast work gets scheduled and completed. “[Working with IIA] just makes sense… they have fantastic technical knowledge and skills,” Stephanie Gehrke, Commercial Plastics Quality Manager says.

End Result

Upon completion of the inspection, IIA provided Commercial Plastics with a comprehensive report of the results to give to their agriculture customer to establish future quality controls. IIA’s reports are highly organized and segmented, which ensures the customer is able to find and transfer relevant information with ease.

Commercial Plastics had originally estimated the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) to take about five weeks from beginning to end. Due to past experience and expertise on this type of project, IIA turned the PPAP around in just one week. As an added bonus, IIA provided hands-on training to help program the client’s faro arms and show their employees some “pro-tips” using the accompanying software.