BROKEN ARROW, Okla.—A new manufacturing partnership between Rapid Application Group (RAG) and Gavco Plastics combines additive manufacturing expertise with injection molding expertise. Its purpose is to enable aerospace, automotive, and industrial manufacturers to protect their supply chains and reduce costs, while also delivering to them the parts they need, when they need them, the companies said in a joint release.

The two companies are located in close proximity to each other in Oklahoma. They aim to offer a centralized project group that can seamlessly take parts from prototype and iteration, into low-rate initial production (LRIP), and then into mass production using injection molding.

“2020 has demonstrated that additive manufacturing is suitable for production-grade parts, at a low volume,” said Jason Dickman, COO, Rapid Application Group, in the release. “It can fill the need for parts while mold tooling is being created, giving customers the time and flexibility to figure out just how many parts will be needed.”

Additive manufacturing technologies in use at RAG use the same materials as injection molding, and can handle short runs of parts without penalties for minimum order quantities. While the initial parts are being produced, tooling can be ordered to take the parts into mass production processes at Gavco Plastics. With RAG’s high standards for quality measurement, all 3D printed parts maintain traceability and are fully assured for use.

“This year has shown how fragile supply chains can be, and it is time for new innovation in how parts are produced,” said Randall Gavlik, Gavco Plastics, in the release. “This partnership with RAG means we can help customers regain balance in their supply chains while maintaining agility and responsiveness to economic conditions.”

The combined offering from RAG and Gavco Plastics focuses on delivering several important  services to aerospace manufacturers looking for a new approach to their parts value chains.

These services include rapid prototyping and iteration of new part designs in the same materials that will be used in mass production, reducing product development cycles; low-rate initial production of parts using additive while tooling is produced, saving time and money; production of short runs of parts without tooling and the need to hold excess inventory; and seamless and responsive transition into mass production using injection molding to meet growing demand.

The offering is said to help manufacturers reduce unnecessary cost by reducing the need for initial tooling, reducing inventory costs, and maintaining the flexibility that today’s economy is demanding.

“Gavco Plastics, like RAG, is part of the Oklahoma State effort to become one of the US’s top 10 states in GDP,” said Terry Hill, CEO, Rapid Application Group, in the release. “This kind of partnership will help make the state one of the most responsive hubs for manufacturing OEMs. The flexibility this brings to our hundreds of customers is important to our customers who need to rethink how parts are produced, when they are produced, and how to protect their supply chains.”

 Gavco Plastics, Inc. (https://www.gavcoplastics.com), is a plastic injection molding company located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, five miles east of Tulsa. The company, founded in 1976 by CEO Randall Gavlik,  remains a family-owned corporation managed by “a small, close-knit staff of experts in the injection molding field,” the release said.

Rapid Application Group, LLC (http://www.rapidapplicationgroup.com), is a HUBZone and Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business. Discipline, loyalty, integrity and meticulous quality are its guiding principles. The company maintains certifications for, and compliance with, AS9100D, ISO 9001, ITAR, HUBZone, and SDVOSB, and is a member of America Makes.

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