One Stop Shop: The End-to-End Plastic Production Advantage
The custom plastics manufacturing industry is a confusing combination of machinery, varying resin types, specific molding tools, and post-production services such as assembly. So many methods and types of machines exist to match the plethora of plastic manufacturing techniques and products, and understanding each is a challenge. Navigating this inventory of machines for your project can be daunting. An improving economy in the next few years may add even more scheduling and supply chain problems as years of idle machinery begin to fill to capacity.
Microdyne Plastics has solved these issues for customers for decades as one of the oldest plastics companies on the West Coast. End-to-end solutions and your careful inventory planning can take much of the hassle out of keeping your products, containers, and packaging in stock ready for increasing sales.
Innovation is one of the ways new business and niche markets are developed. Creativity and customer knowledge helps you to develop concepts for exploration as a new product or container. We assist customers to actually get those innovations through the design phase to the cost analysis and then to production.
Design comes in a couple of forms: First the product itself; then the tools to form the product. Naturally, they are each integral to each other. The design of the product fits a function or helps sell the product itself. So the material selection is important for strength, finish, flexibility, and exposure to the elements. It is easy to say, but once the basic design is determined, the design must meet expectations for its use. Strength competes with weight. Simplicity fights with complexity. Rigid contrasts with flexible and rubbery.
Ribs can be designed to support components that are too flexible. Strategic holes and slots and wall thickness sections can lighten the product and reduce resin material dropping prices. Properly designed “bosses” assist easy assembly, yet must have proper strength.
Many times the concept stage is the time to start with the design team. Much time can be saved with experts who consider all these “tricks” in plastic design. Internal product teams can be disheartened when an idea can’t be built or costs too much because the design was done out of context with the engineering aspects of design.
Tool Design and Build
Another part of design is the tooling stage. Tools are the metal molds that must be machined to form the resin material into products. Some shapes just cannot be molded. This is because in addition to forming the plastic to a shape, the shape must be able to be removed from the tools in an automated fashion. So molds must be built perfectly to fit together and allow the entrance of the liquid resin and then come apart again. These molds normally need to last for thousands or millions of pieces of the product. Products that require several parts (which most do), must have tight tolerances so they always fit together and need little human handling. These molds are called “tools” because they really are small machines in their own right with ejector cores and cavities, ejector pins, cooling waterlines, and inserts. Then the mold is assembled and set up in the injection machine.
For these reasons the product design and the tooling design must work with the manufacturing process in a seamless way. One-stop shops can do each of these design tooling phases and save much consternation over product development.
The tooling phase, leads to the manufacturing techniques and production issues. The tools will be made in multiple cavities. This means several identical voids in the same metal block. This allows faster production and efficiency. These voids have “runners” to deliver the molten plastic under pressure through the nozzle that connects to the injection machine. Together the machine and tools produce wonderful products. Manufacturing follows naturally from the design process. When the injection cooling and ejection of the parts is done well, less labor is required, saving on cost.
Many parts must have the runners removed. These can be cut from the piece and, depending on the piece, may need finishing of some type.
Some parts get printed with logos or other decoration. A seamless process can be created by end-to-end companies that print, assemble, and package the products ready for shipment to your warehouse or in some cases to your customer.
Quality On Time
So how do you ensure your quality level? Microdyne is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, as well as certified by NSF and a licensed Food and Drug and Medical Device manufacturer in the state of California. The precise protocol and called-out specifications as well as their pride in a job well done, ensure you get the product you designed.
What is all this worth? Well, the end-to-end concept to delivery of plastic products means a single company coordinates all these stages to save time, money, and coordination efforts.
Microdyne Plastics, Inc., is the longest running family-owned injection and blow mold shop on the West Coast. This is a testimony to quality work done in a consistent manner over many decades. We invite you to bring us your concept for an initial discussion about how we can “handle it” for you from end-to-end. Or if you already have the design, let us bid it for you.