Plastics are the commonest materials to produce parts for end-use as well as various products for each and everything. All of these include everything from medical devices to consumer products. They are versatile material category with many options of polymers, each with unique mechanical properties specifically. Processes of plastic manufacturing got developed for covering wide category of applications as well as part geometries. For any engineer or designer working in the development of products, it is necessary that you are familiar with the options of manufacturing available currently as well as newer developments signalling about how the parts can be produced tomorrow. This weblog is a guide providing you an overview.
Choosing the Right Process
Here are some factors mentioned below that need to be considered when process of manufacturing is selected for the product.
Have you ever imagined as to what strains and stresses will the product you produce needs to stand up towards? Optimal material meant for any application given is usually determined by many factors. In Vacuum moulding plastic cost has to be balanced against aesthetic and functional requirements. Consider ideal characteristics for the specific application and have them contrasted with choices available in manufacturing processes given.
How quickly does one need the parts to be produced? Some of the processes create the first parts within a day, while setup and tooling for certain production processes of high volume can take months. This is not what happens in case of a proper Vacuum moulding plastic procedure.
What is annual or total volume if the parts that are being planned for manufacturing? Some of the processes of manufacturing having high front-costs for setup and tooling actually produce inexpensive parts on per-part basis. In contrast, processes of low volume have lower startup costs but because of slower times of cycle, manual labor and less automation, per part cost decreases of remains constant, only marginally when the volume increases.
Do all parts produced by you have requirements of tight tolerance or complex features internally? Depending on the design’s geometry, options of manufacturing may be quite limited. Thus, they may also require DFM optimization significantly. DFM means designs for the manufacturing. The DFM makes production economical.
Types of Processes
This method involves subtractive processes that are computer-controlled, lathes and mills. Unlike other processes CNC machining has been tagged as a process that is subtractive and where the material is removed by fixed milling part, a tool for spinning and a part for spinning with fixed tool (lathe). This process has moderate to low costs for set up and is capable of producing plastic components of high quality.
Three-dimensional printers can create three dimensional parts from the computer aided design models by having material built layer-by-layer until physical parts have been completely formed. These printers never need any minimal time for setup or tooling for new designs and used for large-scale production. Various kinds of printing technologies involve modeling of fused deposition, stereo lithography and selective sintering through lasers.