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Snap-fit designs can be an effective way to replace fasteners/hardware in injection-molded plastic parts or products. For most applications, snap-fit connections are the simplest and most cost-effective way to assemble two parts — making them ideal for high-volume production. The quick and easy connections help reduce the risk of improper assembly, which occurs more frequently in applications that require more components (fasteners) and tools.
With speed to market being a top priority for many OEMs today, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make their processes quicker and more efficient. In 2018, this often means having certain tasks automated by robots, software, or other machines, and the injection molding industry is no different.
It's almost impossible to imagine a world without plastic injection molded components. They turn up in just about everything we use, and most of us aren’t even aware of their presence, or the amount of technical expertise that has been used to produce them. From the first glimmer of an idea to the production of the finished product, there is a chain of knowledge that has been incorporated into their design and manufacture, and this process doesn't happen by chance; it's the culmination of many years of experience by highly trained and skilled designers and engineers.
Are you considering injection molding for the production of a current or upcoming plastic parts project? If so, you came to the right place. Injection molding is the ideal process for the production of a wide range of complex plastic components, and can benefit OEMs across many different industries. It’s consistent, affordable, and creates durable, high-quality plastic parts that can withstand just about any environment.
The quality of plastic components is, in part, determined by the injection molding partner you choose. Properly vetting new, different or specialized vendors involves qualifying a pool of potential molders based on your project needs — i.e. ISO and other certifications, design capabilities, clean room specifications, and value-added services like assembly and overmolding. However, taking the vetting process one step further by conducting on-site quality audits will reveal which has the right level of expertise, facilities, and quality procedures in place to deliver to specific project requirements.
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.
Customer service is an integral part of every organization. Deals can be won or lost through the communication process. Honest communication, with the customer’s best interests always at the forefront—from the initial contact of the pre- sale to the support after the sale—is the cornerstone of good business practice.
With the technology we have today, customer service comes in many forms—face-to-face, phone, e-mail, Skype, the web, etc. And customer service isn’t limited to a call center or customer service personnel—any employee who interacts with a customer is a customer-service representative. It is ideal for account executives or project personnel to meet with customers face to face throughout the year, with frequency determined by customer preferences. It is important to stay connected on a regular basis to make sure you understand their needs, desires, and concerns (which can shift quickly, depending on the project or the market). Whether it is daily, weekly, or monthly dialogue, everyone needs to stay in the loop.
In the manufacturing world, “lean” principles reduce inventory and work in process, improve quality, boost productivity, and ultimately lower costs. Lean originated in Japan decades ago and has been readily embraced in manufacturing sectors around the world, especially the automotive industry.
With increasing global competitiveness, lean principles have never been more important for making U.S. companies competitive. One of the most simple, yet effective, lean tools is value stream mapping. It can be implemented within days and can reap impressive results in a short period of time.
Product assembly refers to additional operations to meet a manufacturer's specific, unique, needs. As production volumes allow for cost-effectiveness, these operations may be built into the manufacturing process. Potting is a key capability to provide this cost-effective solution.
Potting is a technique used to ensure a proper seal or shock absorption around any feature in the molded part. For example, parts requiring an electrical assembly, a copper contact for a battery, a jack for a microphone or other accessory, or any other point where something meets the plastic part may be handled via potting.