Managing the total cost of an industrial or consumer new product development (NPD) project lies in balancing the bottom line with needs.
While choosing a low-cost plastic injection molder seems like the path of least resistance (and least cost), this supplier may not take into account all long-term soft costs: designing for quality, speed to market, and risk reduction.
Successful custom injection molding requires process management that’s guided by expertise and precision timing. Tool and process engineers are front-and-center in the product and tool design phases, ultimately making decisions and guiding the steps necessary to ensure consistent and repeatable manufacturability of defect-free injection molded parts.
Insert molding is a process that requires an insert — typically metal — to be pre-placed in the tool for injected plastic to flow around. Encapsulating the insert with plastic creates a single molded plastic piece that’s generally stronger than one created using secondary assembly.
Insert molding can be accomplished through two methods:
- Manual insert loading: The generally more cost-effective way to approach very low-volume applications or extremely complex part geometries
- Automated insert molding: A better choice for part consistency. It minimizes human error, improves efficiencies, and ensures optimal cycle times.
Securing an insert in plastic requires precision and a thorough knowledge of how each individual substrate reacts to conditions during the injection molding process.
The impact of the widening skills gap is of ongoing concern for manufacturers. The 2018 Deloitte skills gap and future of work in manufacturing study reports that the average time to fill skilled production worker positions jumped from 70 days to 93 days between 2015 and 2018, surpassed only by finding engineers, researchers, and scientists which bounced from 94 days to 118 days over the same time period.
Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) is a symbolic language that is used on engineering drawings and computer-generated models. It communicates geometric dimensions and allowable tolerances for various parts. Not only is this a useful exercise for product design, it’s also helpful on the manufacturing floor because engineers and operators can quickly see the degree of tolerance that is required for each part.
Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) Minneapolis (MD&M) is returning to the Minneapolis Convention Center on October 23-24 and you don’t want to miss your chance to connect with leaders across every link in the supply chain!
As technologies and expectations surrounding complex applications continue to advance, OEMs are seeking deeper and more versatile relationships with custom injection molders. Often, part of the vetting process involves verification that the injection molder holds industry-specific certifications.
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.
Nearly half of all plastic ever manufactured has been made since the year 2000. In a scant two decades, production went from 250 million tons to 448 million tons1 and the race is on to shift the burgeoning over-reliance on plastic to ways that promote plastics’ use as a green energy source.