Several industrial sectors are converting metal components to plastic to gain efficiencies in cost, weight, performance, aesthetics, and durability. While these are compelling reasons to consider plastic versus metal, the process isn’t necessarily right for all industrial applications.
A comprehensive feasibility analysis can help you determine if your project is suitable for metal-to-plastic conversion by evaluating it from three fundamental perspectives: design, manufacturability, and return on investment.
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.
Commodity plastics are versatile materials appropriate for a breadth of applications. However, specialty or custom injection molded parts (required for medical, fire, and safety industries) may contain requirements — chemical resistance, fire retardant properties, mechanical grade strength — that mainstream polymers can’t fulfill.
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.
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.