The next stage on from Rapid Prototyping..

Plastic Injection Moulding is a very diverse industry to be involved in and there are many facets to it that need to be considered to ensure the service you provide meet the needs of your Customers.

At Pentagon Plastics we identified early on that unless we could offer our customers a comprehensive service we wouldn’t be able to provide a competitive edge over many of our competition. As we have invested in the resource of a fully equipped UK Toolroom, it is imperative we utilise it to the maximum, which is why we don’t only manufacture bespoke high quality mould tooling for our customer base to support the in-house injection moulding process but also a flexible Modular Insert System for development.

3D Printing
3D Printing

Development in the plastic injection moulding sector has changed over recent years with the advancements in technology and Rapid Prototyping is the buzz word that has rightly excited industry. However, it isn’t the holy grail that will satisfying all prototyping needs. It certainly has it’s place and that is why we have invested in a high end 3D Printer to enable us to provide this service to our customers and also to support our own internal requirements. The advancements in 3D Printing, Steriolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) are quite incredible in a relatively short timeframe but although there are now alternative material options that will simulate injection moulded parts the process cannot compete with creating parts in the materials that meet required specifications. This is largely because of the extent of thermoplastic polymers available such as Nylon, ABS, Polycarbonate, Acetal, Polyester, PEEK and Polyethylene to just touch the surface and these can have various fillers and additives such as glass, talc, metal, UV stability or flame retardancy to name just a few.

The alternative to Rapid Prototyping that we provide through our Modular Insert Tooling System delivers a relatively low cost solution to provide a tooling facility to produce a product in the exact material to be used in production. The system can be developed to create a full product or to simulate a section of a part to ensure it will deliver the results expected ahead of the manufacture of full production tooling. It also offers the opportunity to mould products in various grades of material and even different base polymers. This means that the Modular Insert System is incredibly flexible but can also produce much higher volumes than Rapid Prototyping will allow due to cost constraints. When you also recognise that through our Toolroom the mould can be modified and the design refined you really do have a solution to progress the development element to an advanced stage.

Modular Insert Tooling

Modular Insert Tooling

If the development tooling is manufactured in a suitable base material such as pre-toughened or fully hardened steel then it is possible to run batch sizes into the 1,000’s. This offers the potential for a product to break into it’s market whilst full production tooling is being manufactured saving time and overall cost. Always remember that the sooner revenue is being received for a product the more cost efficient the investment. With a good quality development tool you also have a back up plan should there be any issues with the production tool at any time. This could help prevent supply issues during the manufacturing cycle.

When bringing new products to the market there are many elements that need consideration and it may not always be practical or cost effective to move from the design phase to the repeat production stage without first developing and proving the product. It is therefore essential to talk to a supplier that can advise on the options available. At Pentagon Plastics we have realised this and look to assist our customers to make an informed decision.

To find out more information on the development process visit our website www.pentagonplastics.co.uk or come and talk to our team.