Part development included throughout tooling and production.
In the high stakes game of product development, OEM’s know that market share can swing quickly. As a result, product release timelines are continually compressed, making it very important to release a product to market as soon as possible to avoid falling behind a competitor with a similar product.
However, a product’s release date and profitability can be threatened by problems and inconsistencies stemming from tooling and molding issues. In order to remove the risk that these problems might occur, a different approach has been developed that involves better connectivity throughout the design, tooling, and molding aspects.
“The Perfect Part”
Many factors will influence a plastic part’s design as a part of an overall assembled product. Initially, the marketing and industrial design will determine the overall visual appearance and function of the end product. Further on, electrical and mechanical design will directly impact each individual part design, with input also coming from material suppliers, as well as processing and tooling personnel. But in the end all eyes will be focused on the production cost.
It will justify the feasibility of the release of the end product and generate the expectations as to the profits it will contribute.
It therefore becomes necessary to have a manufacturing system in place that comprises the following comprehensive steps for creating “the perfect product” and helps keep production costs in check:
• Combine Design for Manufacture (DFM) with “kit style tooling”;
• Add in Process Optimization; and
• Prevent product development and production release from occurring in various “silos”.
Optimized injection molding consists of three main areas:
- Design For Manufacturing (DFM) – To get the best possible part design for production.
- Pre-engineered Tooling – To have reliable and cost competitive production tools available
- Injection Molding Processing – To develop the best possible injection molding process for consistent quality during production
Let’s overview each area to gain a better understanding of the role it plays and the effect it has on the overall manufacturing process and outcome.
Design for Manufacturing analyzes the molded component design with regard to filling behavior. It also aids with material selections and will address the overall manufacturability of the component configuration. Using a structured approach with a structured documentation trail, the design is developed for the customer and all involved in the process, while all molded component related technical data is stored in one, revision-controlled place. Using this systematic approach makes it possible to make precise predictions on tooling, processing, cycle times and the production environment.