Commodity plastics are versatile materials appropriate for a breadth of applications. However, specialty or custom injection molded parts like those required for medical, fire, and safety industries may contain requirements that mainstream polymers can’t fulfill, such as chemical resistance, fire retardant properties and mechanical grade strength.
The diversity in consumer and industrial applications is vast, but offering a wide array of products that keep pace with – but don’t differentiate you from – the competition doesn’t necessarily translate to sustained success.
When it comes to performance, industrial or complex consumer goods must outlive their anticipated lifetimes in order to accomplish two important goals: meeting customer expectations and mitigating warranty claims.
Central to new product development is the budget, and exploring economic efficiencies often leads to offshoring options. This is especially true when the new product development program (NPD) involves injection-molded plastic components for industrial/consumer applications, as overseas costs are particularly attractive compared to domestic production.
One of the main advantages of using injection-molded plastic components is versatility, both in the wide array of resins available for construction and in application. Addressing resin needs early in the design process is ideal, as is partnering with an experienced injection molder with resin-specific expertise.
As we discussed in a recent article, a number of industrial sectors are converting metal components to plastic to gain efficiencies in cost, weight, performance, aesthetics and durability. All of these reasons are convincing arguments for metal-to-plastic conversion; however, the process isn’t right for all industrial applications.
Metal-to-plastic conversion is a decades-old process, but not all manufacturers are taking full advantage of its benefits. There is general, common concern about strength, durability and cost; however, the reality is that injection-molded plastic components, when properly designed, are just as strong as metal. In addition, plastic can provide exceptional chemical- and heat-resistance while simultaneously slashing production costs.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) continues to change the manufacturing industry. IIoT impact is particularly felt in devices and machinery equipped with sensors, which essentially gives the machine the ability to monitor, collect, exchange, and analyze data – all without human interaction.