Product Design considerations for Plastic Injection Moulding…..

A product design needs to be functional, aesthetically pleasing in the environment it is to be used and you have to be able to manufacture it in a cost effective manner.
If these three elements are not fully considered then the product will not meet the specification to complete the task intended, the look will not be right for the application or the part will not make it to market because it is too expensive to manufacture.
At Pentagon Plastics we don’t offer a full design service, although we can outsource this, but are there to assist the Customer at every step of the way during the critical Product Design stage. To assist experienced Designers and Design Students alike we have formulated a product Design Tips Guide which is available through our website by clicking this link: Design Tips 2013.
The following are key areas that the Design Guide covers and are specific to the Plastic Injection Moulding process:
Uniform Wall Thickness, Drafting of Side Walls, Coring Out, Surface Finish, Parting Line of the Tool, Core & Cavity Creation within the Mould Tool, Feed of the Plastic into the Product, Ejection Positions and Material Selection.
These are not the only areas of importance but do provide the backbone if simple rules are followed. One of the key responsibilities that we have when offering assistance is to bring the product to manufacture in as cost effective manner as can be achieved within the parameters of the Customers budget. It is therefore very important that when a Supplier is selected to complete a project that discussions are frank and open. Cost is also very dependent on expected volume per annum or per batch. If realistic data is not made available then the wrong format for the tool configuration could be selected.
As a very rough guide if between 10-5,000off are required per annum then a single impression mould tool would be adequate and probably the most cost effective approach (a single impression tool will produce one component every time it opens). If 5,000-20,000 off are required per annum then a two or four impression may be more suitable. In many instances the higher the volume potentially the greater the number of impressions that should be considered.
It is not however always cost effective to just add more impressions to a tool to create a cheaper component price as firstly for each additional impression the price for the Mould Tool increases and also by increasing the number of impressions the size of Injection Moulding Machine might increase and therefore cost more per hour to run…..
At Pentagon we believe in building partnerships with our Customer base and through offering Design Assistance at an early stage we look to iron out any potential issues that could occur at a later date.  We love to talk and are never afraid to offer solutions where we believe we can add value or save the Customer money!!!
If you have any particular requirements that you wish to discuss then please feel free to contact us, it will be great to hear from you!!!

Tip of the Week:

If you are designing a new product try where possible to maintain an even wall thickness and avoid sharp corners…..

Thanks for reading and from everyone at Pentagon HQ have a great week ahead…. J