Pentagon’s sustainable approach to the plastic injection moulding process

Feb 21, 2022

Pentagon are deeply committed to our organisational sustainability programme and regularly bring together representatives throughout all areas of the business to discuss continuous improvement initiatives.


In terms of sustainability in our manufacturing process there are several considered areas when looking at new products, these can include cutting down waste by the introduction of direct hot tip feed systems or recycling waste back into production at controlled levels.


The design for manufacture (DFM) stage is where we will actively consider the suitability of recycled materials or bio polymers for production as opposed to specified virgin materials. However, given the nature of some of the medical mouldings that are produced here the risk of contamination is usually too high for consideration. Where we are looking at moulding projects for equipment used within the medical environment and for products in other industry sectors there are more environmentally friendly thermoplastic options available.


In the main we find customers will approach us with a specified grade of thermoplastic suitable for their product which has been researched and sourced by their design team both environmentally and sustainability considerations. We will still highlight alternatives should we believe that there would be a comparable and suitable suggestion for the products that meet the needs of its end use. The regular use recycled polymers that the mould shop processes are recycled Poly Propylene, ABS and Polycarbonate which currently have a combined annual usage of around6.5 tonnes per annum. We also look at other elements such as coring out of a product to reduce the volume of plastic used for product manufacture, while ensuring the product will remain fit for purpose.


Pentagon adopts a conscientious approach to mould tool design with a keen focus on negating the need for waste plastics in processing. Optimal cavitation, utilisation of hot runner systems, minimising waste, improving yields, and optimising the process are all considerations.


Through a measured and documented trialling process our moulding Technicians ensure that all trial settings and its effects are recorded so as not to repeat processing errors causing excess waste at the development phase. Once optimum processing settings are achieved all documentation is held against product records for reference. Should any processing issues manifest in future production runs we ensure they are documented, and process improvements are implemented.


When a customer product reaches the final production stages our technicians deliver process optimisation to eliminate production of waste product, supported by our expansive quality control processes means that regular patrol inspections ensure any product that is substandard is picked up at the earliest opportunity and any processing issues are rectified to minimise the production of waste product.


Having several experienced quality inspectors allows us to operate a concise waste mitigation programme through quality control, continual monitoring and working to reduce scrappage throughout the injection moulding process.


Scrap rates are monitored and recorded, where viable waste product is reground on site and used for the manufacture of company trade show give away’s such as Coasters or Large Paperclips. All other waste is disposed of appropriately according to specific regulations.


In broader terms of the business our Sustainability Committee are also working on a number of

other initiatives including: -


·        Conscientious purchasing of new equipment and machinery

·        Sustainable packaging options

·        Instillation of hand dryers

·        Paperless process and print reduction

·        Installation of mains water drinking machines

·        Conscientious stationary and sundry supplies

·        Supply partners with detailed sustainability and ethical commitments considered


As a UK Manufacturer we recognise our environmental responsibility and that that consideration needs to flow through all areas of the business to ensure that we are maximising our sustainability efforts.

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