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Mainpage 2014 April
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From idea up to realization

Developers may supply new product ideas every day, but the way from idea up to an injection moulded plastic product is long, comprising four steps: planning, prototype building, tooling and moulding, each requiring different knowledge and experience.

Planning is the most important element of the process and designers have been using CAD systems for building a computer-based 3D model from an idea for a long time. For this, they have to understand strengths and weaknesses of plastics enabling to bridge the gap between the idea and the product.

Prototype is the real sample of the idea and allows testing the functionality of the product. Any change to the plan can be made in this phase much cheaper than in the tooling phase. You can save huge money if the end product is certain before starting tooling.

Having tried the plan and the product, you can start tooling, the most expensive part of the process. Tools may be sophisticated or rather simple depending on the product. A high-quality product requires a high-quality tool, therefore, reliability of the tool manufacturer is a key factor. Tools can be made of steel or aluminum and can have one or multiple cavities. Quantity and costs criteria define the number of cavities. A tool with multiple cavities is expensive, however, product costs are lower and the required quantity can be manufactured during shorter time. Tooling costs can be controlled well by an adequate product planning.

The last phase is injection moulding or manufacturing, when the idea becomes true. Injection moulded plastic products are regarded relatively cheap, however, their importance cannot be disregarded. There are a huge number of materials with countless properties. Price of an injection moulded product is composed of base material costs and the time spent for manufacturing. This amount of time can be described by the "cycle time" of equipment. With a one-cavity tool, one product can be produced while with a multiple-cavity tool, several products can be produced at the same time, thus, costs for one product are lower.

At the end, it is important to find an injection moulding company that can understand the importance of your product.

Source: Premier Plastic Molding & Tooling Inc.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:23  

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