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Each new injection molding project has three inherent goals: performance for the customer; production efficiency for the manufacturer; and reliability for the end user. These goals are reasonable. The challenge lies in accomplishing all three within a desired timeframe and budget. To do so, plastics engineers at complex injection molders turn to Design of Experiments (DOE) to identify flaws that would otherwise derail project success.
The exact strength and flexibility of plastics can be easily determined with finite element analysis (FEA) techniques. The FEA process subdivides the product or part into finite-sized units of simple shape. Mathematical equations are used to test each unit for displacement, from which the stresses and strains can be calculated.
In broadest terms, Design for Manufacturability (DfM) — also known as Design for Manufacturing — is the process of consciously and proactively designing products to optimize all facets of manufacturing, including injection molding. DfM simultaneously helps ensure cost and time efficiencies, superior quality, regulatory compliance and end user satisfaction. Since manufacturing processes vary, there are set guidelines for DfM practices that define tolerances, rules and best practices.
Plastic automotive components can be susceptible to rework, rejection and budget-breaking increases in total cost of production if the parts used contain molding defects. Often these defects evidence themselves during end product review — when it could be too late for a remedy.
The success of a medical component project, like any other, depends on accurate communication of needs and expectations, especially in injection molding design. Engineers responsible for executing the project carefully review any initial designs submitted by the customer or potential customer, looking for specific elements that could help or hinder the medical component production.
Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards coupled with heightened consumer sensitivities to the environmental impact of using fossil fuels are tightening fuel consumption requirements for the auto industry.
The safety and welfare of military personnel is always a top priority, but sometimes that goal puts manufacturing focus on the end product instead of the process. In the case of engineering critical-use, injection-molded parts for military applications, the design holds the key to many benefits the end product will deliver.
When you approach an injection molder to produce critical-use plastic parts or components, determining if the product is suitable for the injection molding process is one of the first steps.
Defect-free, low-cost critical use injection molded parts are the intended result of any project. But, how do you get from start to finish and remain on time, on spec and on budget?