Thermoformer Tru-Form diversifying into aerospace market

iso_cert_small01[1]By Roger Renstrom
June 11h, 2013

Custom thermoformer Tru-Form Plastics Inc. of Gardena, Calif., has positioned itself for additional aircraft business as a complement to its strength in housings for medical gear.

For the medical and aerospace markets, “the common denominators are quality, moderate volume, low tool cost and short lead time,” said Jack Schrieffer, sales manager.

Tru-Form decided in September 2011 to begin an ISO certification process, in part to expand its market opportunities providing parts to original equipment manufacturers and replacement suppliers for aircraft interior and galley applications.

To gain the credentials, Tru-Form invested slightly more than $100,000 for consulting fees, registrar procedures and project-related employee time en route to certification to ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100:2009 in accordance with the requirements of aerospace-oriented AS 9104A.

The effort involved reviews of Tru-Form’s quality management system including procedures and controls, employee training, process documentation, implementation of process metrics and pre-audit assessments.

National Quality Assurance USA of Acton, Mass., issued the certification to Tru-Form on Feb. 4. NQA conducted a preliminary review in the fall of 2012 and a three-day audit starting Jan. 2. NQA is a trading name of Ascertiva Group Ltd., a subsidiary of the London-based Electrical Safety Council.

In conjunction with the advance, “we went to a new computer operating system that was helpful for the ISO certification process but not strictly for this purpose so related costs are not included in the $100,000,” Schrieffer said.

Currently, Tru-Form’s largest end markets are medical test equipment enclosures and panels and transportation components for recreational vehicle, automotive aftermarket, marine, motorcycle and golf cart applications.

Also, Tru-Form has a lighting business that includes lenses, reflectors and other components for indoor and outdoor commercial lighting fixtures.

Tru-Form has listings with UL LLC, the safety science and standards development firm, for specialized capabilities to shield materials and substrates of electronic equipment from waves causing electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference.

Tru-Form occupies 50,000 square feet and operates six ZMD International Inc. machines. Four are dedicated for vacuum forming, and two have capabilities for both vacuum and pressure forming.

Recently, Tru-Form decided to remove from storage, and revamp, a Drypoll-made pressure forming press. Tru-Form aims to begin operating that seventh press in July.

Tru-Form operates two DMS and two MotionMaster computer-numerical-control trimming centers. Each has five-axis capability and a standard-size table of 5 feet by10 feet. Tru-Form uses the tooling centers for tool builds and the machining of metal and plastic parts.

Established in 1956, privately-owned Tru-Form employs 35 including two programmers for CNC machines and tool-build processes and, typically, one or two operators for the tooling centers.

For the five months ended May 31, Tru-Form recorded 2013 sales growth of more than 18 percent versus the comparable period in 2012, Schrieffer said.

Aerospace certification will support all business lines

iso_cert_small01[1]Aerospace certification will support all business lines
By Clare Goldsberry
As published in Plastics Today: July 24th, 2013

Tru-Form Plastics, Inc. (www.tru-formplastics.com), a thermoformer of custom components for the aerospace, medical diagnostic equipment, transportation and lighting industries, announced the company’s certifications: ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100:2009 in accordance with the requirements of AS 9104A (Aerospace).

Tru-Form sought the Aerospace Category certification as part of its on-going commitment to and history of supplying aircraft components, including aircraft interior and galley parts. The certification comes as the company announced plans to significantly expand its support of the aircraft interior market. Company officials said the aerospace requirements for documentation and strict adherence to quality standards supports the requirements of its quality-minded customers in a broad range of industries.

Jack Schrieffer, Tru-Form’s sales manager, said that obtaining ISO certification is more critical to a company’s success today than ever before. “ISO is multifaceted and it’s not something that a company can do after-the-fact,” he told PlasticsToday. “If you want a problem-free part it starts with the part design, not when you begin making the part itself. At Tru-Form, we want you to understand the process and the limitations of the process. Getting the part designed right – designed for the process, for manufacturability – is critical.”

Considerations for part design, said Schrieffer, include the end-use application such as where will the part be used and how will it be used. “We’ll help you come up with the design features with the long-term in mind,” he added.

Both ISO and AS certifications can also help a company become an approved supplier in a shorter period of time, which is beneficial to both companies, Schrieffer noted. “What we’ve found is that while a lot of companies still want to do an audit to ensure our suitability as a supplier, the audits may only take a half-day rather than three days or longer,” he said. “The fact that we’ve gone through the rigors of the 17-month process for ISO and AS certification means they can sign off on doing with us with the confidence that we can fulfill their requirements for quality from design to finished part. ISO and AS certification isn’t just a calling but part of the whole quality equation.”

Tru-Form, a privately held company established in 1956, is located in Gardena, CA, occupying a 50,000-sq-ft facility. The company is capable of forming parts up to 5 x 9 ft trimmed on 5-axis CNC trimmers to ensure optimum aesthetics and precision fit.

Tru-Form Plastics Receives ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100:2009 Certification

iso_cert_small01[1]The management and employees of Tru-Form Plastics, Inc. are proud to announce we have received ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100:2009 certification. The registrar, NQA of Acton, Ma issued the certificate on February 4th, which is valid until February 4, 2016. A copy of the certificate is attached.

The AS 9100:2009 certification is in accordance with the requirements of AS 9104A (Aerospace). Management chose to pursue meeting the standards of the aerospace criteria for several reasons. The aerospace requirements for documentation and strict adherence to quality standards is highly regarded from a quality and industry perspective. Meeting the aerospace requirements is readily recognized by quality minded customers outside of the aerospace industry.

To become ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100:2009 certified, Tru-Form Plastics underwent a 17-month evaluation process that included a review of the company’s quality management system (QMS), management system review, employee training, process documentation, establishment of process metrics and pre-audit assessments to ensure an optimum QMS with accompanying procedures and controls.

We trust you will agree that the certification is not only a strong commitment to meeting the quality standards, but also a major step forward in enhancing service to our valued customers.

For further information please contact cs@tru-formplastics.com or call 310/327-9444.