When hiring plastic manufacturers, there are many factors to consider. First, you need to consider volume of parts or products your company wishes to produce. Then, you need to choose the manufacturing process that best suits the shape, volume and complexity of your product. Here are some helpful tips to determine these two crucial factors in manufacturing your company's desired part or product.
Volume should be the main factor in deciding what type of parts you choose to manufacture. Some types of manufacturing work best for large quantity runs and some for smaller runs. For example, plastic injection molding works best if you want your plastics manufacturer to produce in large volume. If you're looking for low volume manufacturing, you should look into vacuum/thermo-forming, fabricating or 3D printing.
Regardless of the volume of your manufacturing run, you should also consider the shape of the part, process and type of mold that works best with your particular part.
A "balloon" of plastic is dangled in the mold cavity, injected with air and then formed into the desired shape. This process works well with bottles, cups and receptacles with a hollow cavern in the middle.
Plastic granules are melted until molten. Then, as the name suggests, they are injected into a mold under high pressure. This assures the mold is filled, making an exact copy of the mold. Once the plastic is cooled, the mold opens and part is released. Injection Molding is best for products with few or no voids.
Also called rotocast or rotomolding is a thermoplastic process that places powder or liquid resin onto a hollow mold. Then in an oven, the tool rotates bi-axially, melting and coting the inside of the mold. This method works well for hollow parts, such as garbage bins, and gas cans.
Fabrication is often used for small quantities and prototypes. This process, like many of the others, is just as it sounds. Parts are fabricated by gluing sheet stock together.
This process heats a sheet of plastic and "vacuums" it onto a form to create a desired shape. The part is then cooled and removed from the mold. This works well for take out "clam shell" containers, cup lids or even parts as big as car door and dash panels.
In its smallest and largest, industrial incarnations, 3D printers work much like paper printers. But instead of ink and paper, they heat rods of plastic that are extruded to create a 3D replica of an image programmed into a computer. This process is good for prototypes and very small runs. However, as 3D printing becomes more prevalent and efficient, it may be more practical to use this method for larger runs.
Regardless of the volume and manufacturing process you choose, you should always consider your budget and ROI above all else. Finding plastics manufacturers you can trust is the key to matching the desired volume with the appropriate manufacturing process, and they can also give advice on remaining within your budget to maximize ROI.
Trust Baytech Plastics, quality plastics manufacturers since 1946. The Baytech advantage offers custom service on all plastic manufacturing volumes, processes and budgets. Call or email for more information.
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