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Author Archives: Alicia Shaffer

  1. Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Defining Mold Testing Success

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    mold testing

     

    After a mold has been transferred to a new molder, has gone through cleaning and inspection, any tooling issues resolved, and is ready to start running the first samples, it is important to define success for mold testing and sampling.

    Defining Objective Criteria

    The easy part is to define success with things that can be measured – critical part dimensions within tolerance, part weight, numerical color results (using a spectrophotometer) within tolerance, etc. Part design artifacts (drawings, 3D  Solid Models) are critical to this step.

    Defining Subjective Criteria

    The harder part is to define success with characteristics that are more subjective. The appearance of flow lines, sink, weld lines, flash, and other cosmetic attributes are difficult to quantify. So, to make this evaluation easier a “Golden Part” sample is often used as a reference for comparison. 

    What Is A Golden Part Sample and How Is It Used? 

    A Golden Part Sample(s) is a previously produced part from the mold, prior to transfer, that represents the minimum quality standards you will accept in the finished product. This sample is used by the manufacturer for quality control as samples from each shot will be compared to it. The golden sample ensures that the new molder can provide the same quality results consistently. Having this part will help them qualify your molds and capture the best process setup to produce parts that match the golden sample in quality, color, cosmetics, etc. 

    Choosing The Golden Sample For Mold Testing

    The best Golden Part Sample should be from the original mold qualification testing when the mold was approved for production. If you mold has seen a lot of cycles. A “last shot” sample from the most recent production run can also be used in conjunction with the Golden Part Sample to identify potential wear, damage or end-of-life issues with the mold. Make sure the samples you provide to the new molder have been reviewed to ensure there are no unexpected flaws that would be considered unacceptable.

    What If A Golden Part Sample Is Not Available?

    If you don’t have a Golden Part Sample to supply to the new molder, that’s ok. It will likely just take a little more time/effort for the mold qualification phase. You will want to review the samples produced by the new molder and agree on a what will be established as the Golden Part Sample for the new molder to use in QC of future production. These samples should be clearly identified, signed, dated, and sealed so that they do not get lost in the mix during the mold testing process. 

     

    Ready to start the mold transfer process? Get in touch with us to get started today

     

    More in this series:

    Step 1: Defining the Problem

    Step 2: Finding the Right Molder

    Step 3: Gathering Facts and Data

    Step 4: Developing a Schedule

    Step 5: Planning Your Inventory

    Step 6: Showing Your Tools Some TLC

    Step 8: Identifying Risks and Opportunities

    Step 9: Planning for Production

    Step 10: Evaluating Results

  2. Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Showing Your Tools Some TLC

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    mold maintenance

     

    Mold maintenance is often brought to center stage during the plastic injection mold transfer process. By the time a company makes the decision to transfer to a new molder, they’ve probably already put some ‘miles’ on the mold. 

    Depending upon the degree of wear and tear, the maintenance or modifications required to get the molds up and running at full capacity may take more time than originally planned. Molds that are in fair to poor condition may require more time on the bench before they’re ready to produce the first article inspection run.

    That is why it is so important to ensure that your current molder is showing your tools TLC on a regular basis. Maintaining the molds in top condition is the single best thing that can be done to ensure they get the longest use possible. Regardless of volumes, they should have regularly-scheduled down time to be evaluated, cleaned, and repaired (if needed). 

    Extending Life With Mold Maintenance

    Keeping molds in tip-top shape will keep them running smoothly and creating consistently good parts over the life of the mold. 

    A quality molder typically follows this process for the molds in their care:

    1. Remove the mold from the press.
    2. Clean all mold faces with mold cleaner, a clean rag, and/or compressed air. 
    3. Clear all water lines with compressed air. 
    4. Remove all plastic or molding residues. 
    5. Check for scratches, chips, cracked cavities, broken cores, core pins, ejector pins, broken leader pins and bushings and warped or burred plates.
    6. Grease all slides, cam pins, leader pins or other moving parts
    7. Apply a generous coating of rust preventative.
    8. Return the mold to storage. 

    When it comes to mold maintenance, it’s important to take the time to do each of these steps properly. The care, inspection, and cleaning are directly tied to mold’s length of life. With molds typically being the largest investment in a plastic injection molding project, it’s important to find a molder that will go to great lengths to protect your investment and help you extend the life of your mold(s). 

    If your molds have been kept in excellent working condition by your current molder, the transfer process should be smooth and simple. 

    Are You Considering Transferring Your Mold(s)?

    Selmax has decades of experience managing mold transfer projects. Over the years, we have refined the process and pride ourselves in being quick on our feet when it comes to handling any obstacles that arise during the process. We can expertly guide you through each step of the process to make your mold transfer quick, efficient, and smooth. 

    Ready to start the mold transfer process? Let’s chat.

    More in this series:

    Step 1: Defining the Problem

    Step 2: Finding the Right Molder

    Step 3: Gathering Facts and Data

    Step 4: Developing a Schedule

    Step 5: Planning Your Inventory

    Step 7: Defining Success for Testing and Sampling

    Step 8: Identifying Risks and Opportunities

    Step 9: Planning for Production

    Step 10: Evaluating Results

  3. Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Planning Your Inventory

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    inventory planning

    An important part of the mold tooling transfer process is planning to produce enough inventory to ensure there are no supply chain interruptions as you move your mold(s) from one molder to another. 

    Six Weeks (Or More) In Inventory

    A good rule of thumb is to be sure to have six weeks of safety stock on hand before the transfer process begins. However, this figure can vary, depending upon your company’s unique needs, the complexity of the mold(s) being transferred, and the current conditions of the mold(s). 

    This is why it is important to see the molds operating at the current molder, if possible, before sending them to a new location. You will get a firsthand look at their condition and can note any issues or special processing requirements the current machine operators need to satisfy in order to produce acceptable parts. 

    Some companies take the opportunity during the transfer process to evaluate their current product and make notes of any changes they’d like to see or slight improvements in the design. 

    If your mold(s) needs significant maintenance or modification, you should plan to add 4-6 weeks of inventory, as a rule of thumb. The new molder will need adequate time to do the necessary maintenance or modifications before starting the production run, so it’s always better to be safe by adding a longer safety stock cushion. 

    Mold Transfer Hesitations?

    There is a common fear of transferring mold tooling to a new supplier due to potential delays in production, which can severely hurt a business. 

    Here are a few ways to mitigate this risk: 

    • Be sure to have a robust insurance policy in place that will cover any in-transit damages to the mold. 
    • Be sure to plan enough inventory to tide you over in the interim. 
    • Gather as much information as possible in the beginning stages to provide the new molder with any important/unique processing information that could help them seamlessly take over production of your product. 

    Many times, fear of the unknown variables will keep a company from transferring their tooling from a subpar molder to one with better quality, support, or even location. As long as you are well-prepared, the benefits often far outweigh the associated risks. 

    Transferring Your Mold To Selmax Corporation

    Selmax has years of experience helping customers transfer their production molds from other injection molders (or in house operations) to Selmax for their ongoing production needs. We have experience with both domestic and international “re-shoring” transfers. 

    Production molds and tooling are often the single largest investment in a plastic injection molding project and Selmax can help customers maximize the return on their investment.

    Each tooling transfer project is assigned a Selmax Project Manager (PM) as the customer’s primary point of contact. The PM works with the customer through each phase of the mold transfer process and coordinates all the necessary activities with Selmax Logistics, Tooling Technicians/Machinist, Process Technicians, and Quality Assurance to ensure a smooth tooling transfer and an uninterrupted supply chain.

    The basic steps in the tooling transfer process include:

    • Pre-transfer assessment – to collect all available information/documentation on the tooling, materials and processing to ensure a match with Selmax capabilities. This includes budgetary cost and schedule estimates.
    • Tooling receipt, inspection and assessment – to evaluate any maintenance or repairs needed on molds and associated gauges, fixtures, or post-processing equipment.
    • Part Qualification – to produce sample parts for comparison to customer provided “golden samples” and provide parts for customer approval to validate the parts produced at Selmax satisfy customer requirements.
    • Production – Upon customer approval of the samples parts, begin production runs with Selmax.

     

    Ready to start the transfer process? Contact us today! 

     

    More in this series:

    Step 1: Defining the Problem

    Step 2: Finding the Right Molder

    Step 3: Gathering Facts and Data

    Step 4: Developing a Schedule

    Step 6: Showing Your Tools Some TLC

    Step 7: Defining Success for Testing and Sampling

    Step 8: Identifying Risks and Opportunities

    Step 9: Planning for Production

    Step 10: Evaluating Results

  4. Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Developing a Schedule

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    plastic mold transfer

     

    Developing a schedule is the next step in the mold transfer process. At this stage, you have already defined the problem, found the right molder, and gathered all the important facts and data. 

    Based on the data gathered from the current molder, you can now begin to work with your new molder to develop a sensible transfer schedule. Under perfect conditions, your transfer process will go something like this:

    • You’re able to obtain up-to-date mold and part drawings to provide to the new molder.
    • The mold has been well-maintained and is running at full cavitation at the current molder. 
    • Mold qualification records are available and provided to the new molder.
    • You have a “Golden Sample” to provide to the new molder that is in spec. 
    • You have ample inventory built as safety stock to sustain you during the transfer process. 
    • You’ll be able to talk or meet with the machine operator and/or process technician at the current molder to learn the setup and techniques they used. 
    • You will get all support equipment, tools, fixtures or jigs used in conjunction with running your parts. If these are not available, a list and photographs of these items should be provided to the new molder. 
    • The current molder will thoroughly clean the mold and coat it with rust preventive before sending. 
    • Raw materials will be ordered and waiting at your new molder before the mold is scheduled to arrive. 
    • The current molder will efficiently pack up and ship the mold to your new molder. 
    • The mold will arrive at the new molder where it will be opened, inspected, and cleaned. 
    • The new molder will install it into a press, set up the correct parameters, and begin the testing process. 
    • First-article parts will be collected and given to QA. Upon the new molder’s QA approval, the parts will be shipped to you for inspection and approval before production is scheduled. 

    When it comes to mold transfers, expect the best but plan for the worst.

    mold transfer planning

    When everything goes smoothly, the process is fairly routine. However, things don’t always go according to plan, so it’s important to be prepared for the wrenches that will inevitably be thrown into the schedule. 

    • Sometimes the tool hasn’t been properly maintained, is damaged or completely defunct upon arrival. 
    • Sometimes critical processing information is not passed along from the previous molder to the new molder. 
    • Sometimes support equipment wasn’t mentioned, so the new molder has to learn the nuances of the project by trial and error until the perfect part is achieved. 

    Regardless of how detailed your instructions are from the previous molder, you should always allow time for these possibilities when developing your mold tooling transfer schedule. 

    Be sure to gather the most important information that will be most likely to affect the transfer schedule. Things such as confirming that the mold is currently running at full cavitation, ruling out any special features the mold might have, and confirming tool validation requirements can help keep your schedule on track and eliminate the risk of surprises. 

     

    Ready to Start the Mold Transfer Process?

    Selmax Corporation is a full-service plastic injection molder that specializes in mold transfers. We have been helping our customers efficiently make high-quality parts for over 50 years. 

    Take the first step today.

    Request a Quote 

     

    More in this series:

    Step 1: Defining the Problem

    Step 2: Finding the Right Molder

    Step 3: Gathering Facts and Data

    Step 5: Planning Your Inventory 

    Step 6: Showing Your Tools Some TLC

    Step 7: Defining Success for Testing and Sampling

    Step 8: Identifying Risks and Opportunities

    Step 9: Planning for Production

    Step 10: Evaluating Results

  5. Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Gathering Facts & Data

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    mold transfer

    You’ve found the ideal plastic injection molder for your tooling transfer(s). Now it’s time to start gathering information. This stage is important and should be handled carefully and tactically. 

    Identify Key Players

    At this stage, it’s important to identify the key players in the mold transfer process. They are: 

    • Project manager. This person is responsible for overseeing each step of the process and typically has a high-level of technical skill and experience.
    • Tooling technician. Senior-level expert responsible for evaluating the molds and creating the documentation required to make improvements to ensure qualified products will be molded according to expectations.
    • Quality. Specialist responsible for evaluating parts, gauges and fixtures, and creates metrology instructions and inspection reports, etc.
    • Process technician. The Process Tech and team qualify the transferred mold(s) in one or more presses and fine tune the process to ensure an efficient process window in the new environment. 

    Establish a strong relationship with the project manager at the new molder. Get a list of any information they might need to make the transfer process more efficient. 

    Gather Existing Data

    Find and review the contract with your current molder and have it ready to reference. 

    Now is the time to identify and compile any available 3D CAD files and 2D prints for the part and mold design along with material specifications, injection molding processing parameters, and applicable quality control requirements. Your new molder will use these to get an accurate quote and develop the best plan for your mold test and qualification. 

    If you cannot locate these items or they don’t exist, you will need to discuss the risks and implications with the project manager. You may need to add some cushion to your timeline to account for the extra time needed to test the molds, finesse the process, and produce acceptable parts.

    Visit the Current Molder

    When possible, it can be invaluable to visit the current molder to observe your mold running. Often, experienced operators will have specific shortcuts, tips, or tweaks to make the mold run more efficiently. Take notes because this information is integral in a successful mold transfer process. Having this information helps the new molder get set up and running quality parts faster.

    Take Necessary Precautions

    It is always good to be extra careful when you’re planning a tooling transfer. It’s wise to wait as long as possible to tell your current molder that you plan to move your molds. Especially if the molds are being run overseas, some molders may lose motivation to act in your best interest after learning that they’re losing your business. It is better to have everything in place at the new supplier before notifying your current molder.

    It should be noted that transferring your tooling can be a great opportunity to calibrate your processes and get a third-party evaluation on the condition of the mold and quality of the parts being produced.

    Ready to Start the Transfer Process?

    Selmax Corporation is a full-service plastic injection molder that specializes in mold transfers. We have been helping our customers produce high-quality parts for over 50 years. 

    Take the first step today.

    request a quote

    More in this series:

    Step 1: Defining the Problem

    Step 2: Finding the Right Molder

    Step 4: Developing a Schedule

    Step 5: Planning Your Inventory

    Step 6: Showing Your Tools Some TLC

    Step 7: Defining Success for Testing and Sampling

    Step 8: Identifying Risks and Opportunities

    Step 9: Planning for Production

    Step 10: Evaluating Results

  6. Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Finding the Right Molder

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    plastic injection molder

    After you’ve identified the problems and risks with your current supplier and decided you want to initiate a mold tooling transfer, it’s time to begin the search for a plastic injection molder that better aligns with your needs. Depending on your goals, some things may hold higher priority for you than others. 

    Here are some criteria to use that can help you quickly narrow down your search to find the right molder for your mold tooling transfer:  

    Machine Capabilities & Capacity

    You’ll need to be sure that your new molder has the machine size and capacity available to handle your molds and the production volumes you’ll need to make each year. Be sure to provide prospective molders with your mold size, part size, and annual production numbers to set clear expectations from the start.

    Industry Expertise

    Another consideration for potential molders is their previous experience in your industry. This is especially important for industries, such as food/beverage, that require certain food-safe materials, or medical, that require special manufacturing considerations and certifications. 

    If the molder has not worked with your industry in the past, are they knowledgeable and capable of producing your parts to the standards you require?

    In-House Tool Maintenance

    Your new molder should have an in-house machine shop to properly care for and maintain your molds for the life of your project. If you’re transferring in molds with a lot of cycles on them, this will be especially important as they may need some TLC before they’re ready to run smoothly. 

    Material Sourcing and Handling

    Does your prospective molder have a good relationship with high-quality raw materials suppliers? Are they able to get the exact materials you need in the quantities you need for your project? This is especially important in volatile times when the forces of supply and demand impact material availably and pricing. A good molder has built relationships with these suppliers over many years and may have an advantage in the marketplace. 

    Reputation and Experience

    Be sure to check out your prospective molder’s reputation before committing to a tooling transfer. Ask them about their experience with mold tooling transfers in the past. Ask them to outline their process for transfers and what they do to mitigate risk and downtime. 

    Look for reviews on Google, check out their website, and find out how many years they’ve been in business. 

    Certifications

    What certifications does the plastic injection molder have? Are they ISO 9001:2015 certified? You should also check to see if they’re members of industry associations, such as MAPP (Manufacturers Association for Plastic Processors).

    Level of Support 

    Many molders may meet all your criteria for capacity, size, and manufacturing capabilities. However, it is also important to set an expectation for the level of support that will be provided throughout the life of your project. 

    Finding an injection molder that can work closely with you through each stage of the transfer process could be invaluable to your project. Having a seasoned consultant to help guide you through the process can save time and money and ensure that your mold transfer process is seamless. 

    Competitive Pricing

    It’s important to ensure that your new molder has competitive pricing over the long run. However, the obvious prices, such as mold setup fees or part price are not the only way to determine the pricing structure. You should also look for hidden costs and risks that could end up amounting to more money over time. 

    For example, materials could be wasted producing low-quality parts, long lead times could interrupt your supply chain, or communication issues could result in parts that aren’t up to your standards. 

    Other Considerations

    There are other things to take into consideration when choosing a new plastic injection molder for your project. Depending on the level of support you require, someone that is local or easily accessible may be important so you can meet in-person without too much hassle. 

    If your project requires after-ops processes such as assembly, sonic welding, or special packaging, these would all be important to discuss with your potential molder to be sure that they offer those services. 

    Another consideration is delivery requirements. If you have stringent delivery demands, it will be important to ensure that your chosen molder can meet or exceed your expectations. Make sure they’re well-established with trusted carriers and have the ability and experience to ship internationally, if needed. 

    Selmax Capabilities

    With over 50 years of experience, Selmax Corporation takes great pride in meeting the most stringent material, color, and delivery requirements. Located in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, Selmax is within 4 hours of NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. and serves customers worldwide. 

    We offer services from concept to delivery, including design, 3D printing, mold making, production, assembly, packaging, and even short-term warehousing. 

    We also offer a high level of support throughout the process to make your mold transfer as seamless as possible. 

    Request a Quote to start the process today. 

     

     

    More in this series:

    Step 1: Defining the Problem

    Step 3: Gathering Facts and Data

    Step 4: Developing a Schedule

    Step 5: Planning Your Inventory

    Step 6: Showing Your Tools Some TLC

    Step 7: Defining Success for Testing and Sampling

    Step 8: Identifying Risks and Opportunities

    Step 9: Planning for Production

    Step 10: Evaluating Results

  7. Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Defining the Problem

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    Mold Tooling Transfer 101: Defining the Problem

    With the events of 2020 exposing cracks and weaknesses in many supply chains, many companies are conducting mold tooling transfers to mitigate risk. If you have wondered if it’s time to transfer to a new supplier, maybe some of the following statements apply to you:

    • I may need to establish a domestic supplier for my injection molding. 
    • I should probably move my injection mold tooling to a more stable supplier. 
    • My current injection molder may be a weak link in my supply chain. 
    • I feel like I’m just buying parts; not solutions to solve problems or take advantage of new opportunities.
    • It seems like my business is no longer a priority to my injection molding supplier. 

    If you answered “Yes” to any of these, it may be time to look for a new injection molding supplier. 

    Transferring your injection mold tooling to a new supplier can seem like a daunting task. We will be breaking it down step-by-step over the next few weeks to help simplify the process. 

    Check Your Pulse

    When considering a mold tooling transfer, it’s important to get a good understanding of your current situation. The following are some questions to consider:

    → What is the overall “health” of your current molder?

    → When was the last time you had a good status meeting with your molder?

    → Where are your tools?

    → Do you actually own the tools?

    → What condition are your tools in?

    These are all important things to consider as you evaluate your current part production situation. 

    The location of your molder may be a risk in itself. In 2020, global supply chains felt the pain of the worldwide pandemic. Many businesses chose to bring their molds and production closer to home in order to keep their supply chains moving as smoothly as possible. 

    Assess Risks

    If you are considering transferring your molds —especially from a molder in another country — there are some important things to keep in mind in the earliest stages of the process. 

    1. Wait to tell your current molder of your plans to move the mold. Some molders may lose the incentive to act in your best interest after learning that they will be losing your business. It is better to have everything in place at the new supplier before notifying your current molder.
    2. Build inventory with your current molder. This will ensure you have enough inventory to keep up with sales throughout the transfer process. 
    3. Gather information about the mold, such as the 3D files for the mold’s design, injection parameters, type of plastic used, and any other information that will be helpful for your new supplier to get your project set up and running smoothly. 

    Mold Tooling Transfers with Selmax

    As a full-service plastic injection molder, Selmax stands ready to assist you in the process of  sourcing your plastic injection molding in the United States.

    We have manufactured millions of American-made products since 1971 and are proud to provide our customers with the high-level attention of a small operation and the quality and capability of a large-scale operation. Our turnkey manufacturing solutions include part design, mold design, mold making, high and low volume parts manufacturing, assembly, and delivery.

    To learn more about transferring your mold tooling to Selmax, contact us today! 

    Mold Tooling Transfer

    More in this series:

    Step 2: Finding the Right Molder

    Step 3: Gathering Facts and Data

    Step 4: Developing a Schedule

    Step 5: Planning Your Inventory

    Step 6: Showing Your Tools Some TLC

    Step 7: Defining Success for Testing and Sampling

    Step 8: Identifying Risks and Opportunities

    Step 9: Planning for Production

    Step 10: Evaluating Results

  8. 5 Benefits of Working with a Full-Service Injection Molder

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    5 Benefits of Working with a Full-Service Injection Molder 

    Benefits of working with a full-service plastic injection molder

    If you’re looking to produce a new plastic part, you might think you need to find one vendor for each phase of the project. However, choosing a full-service plastic injection molder that can do everything under one roof has many benefits.  

    In-House Expertise

    A full-service manufacturer has access to specialists that can assist with everything from design to production troubleshooting. These specialists are dedicated to their craft and can provide highly-focused solutions. This means you’ll be working with a team experienced with handling various design and production situations with clients across many industries.

    Time Savings

    Time management is an important part of every project. Much time can be wasted when you use several different suppliers to bring together your project. When it’s all under one roof, the project moves seamlessly from one step to the next. 

    Hiring a full-service plastic injection molder can also help your team allocate enough time to their primary functions. Having everything you’ll need from idea to production and delivery in one place will help you meet deadlines and keep your project on track. 

    Consistent Quality

    When you have several “irons in the fire,” sometimes it’s hard to communicate exactly what you want to achieve through each stage of the project. A full-service molder can ensure that the design is manufacturable and that the final part is consistently within all visual and functional parameters needed. 

    Long-Term Strategic Partnership

    Full-service manufacturers provide more than just mass manufacturing capabilities. They strive to gain a better understanding of your products, your company, strategies, and preferences. Where single-service suppliers offer a transactional experience, full-service manufacturers are problem solvers dedicated to helping your project succeed over time. 

    Convenience

    Having everything in one place is convenient, eliminates paperwork and recordkeeping requirements. This is especially important if you run into production issues in the future. Your full-service plastic injection molder will be able to easily access your original design files, collaborate with their expert team, and solve the problem quickly without waiting days or weeks for another supplier to send files or consult on design issues. 

    Selmax Corporation is a Full-Service Plastic Injection Molder 

    Selmax offers services through all stages of product development including: Design, Rapid Prototyping / 3D Printing , Mold Development, Production, Assembly and Distribution. 

     

    Selmax takes great pride in meeting the most stringent design, material, color, and delivery requirements for our customers and providing solutions through each stage of the product development process. We have been serving customers in the construction, home consumer product, industrial/tool, outdoor sports, and toy markets since 1971. 

     

    If you’re ready to bring a new product to market, call us at 1-800-860-3205 or request a quote

  9. Plastic Part Design: 6 Considerations

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    Plastic part design for injection molding requires several considerations to ensure that the part is moldable while reducing the risk of costly mistakes.

    Plastic Part Design

    Part of the appeal of plastic injection molding is the ability to produce thousands to millions of uniform, high quality parts at low cost so you can optimize project profit margins. At the beginning of any plastic part design project, it’s important to review all design considerations to avoid problems and reduce the cost of parts. Even the smallest mistakes can affect tooling costs, increase part costs, and cause problems with molding performance. 

    Moldability guidelines for plastic parts recommend looking at the big picture of the plastic part design. It’s important to consider everything from materials that will be used to size to surface finishes to custom color matching needs.

    6 important considerations when designing plastic parts

    1. Wall thickness

    One of the most fundamental rules of plastic injection molding is that parts need to have uniform wall thickness to avoid sink, warp, or even parts that are non-functional. Designing proper wall thickness into the part will reduce the risk of cosmetic defects in the finished part. Walls should be within the recommended thickness ranges for the material that will be used. Walls that are too thick are susceptible to sink. If extra strength is needed, supporting ribs should be added instead. 

    2. Ribs

    When a part needs to be more rigid or stiff, adding ribs into the design can increase strength and load bearing capabilities. It’s important to keep in mind that rib thickness should be less than the wall thickness, typically 40% to 60% of the adjacent wall. If a thick rib is needed, the center of the rib should be cored to allow for uniform wall thickness. 

    3. Draft

    Applying draft to the faces of the plastic part is essential for ensuring the part is moldable. Technically speaking, draft is the angle in which the part is tapered to allow it to release from the mold. Draft is designed into every plastic injection molded part in the direction of mold movement. It allows the parts to eject from the mold properly and prevents bending, breaking, and warping due to mold stress.

    4. Bosses

     A boss is a raised circular rib that is typically designed into the part to help with assembly, as a receptacle for a screw or a pin from another part. While bosses need to be thick enough to perform at the strength needed, they usually shouldn’t exceed 40-60% of the thickness of the wall from which they protrude. If your part requires more strength than that would provide, it’s better to surround the boss with gussets to strengthen its walls.

    If the boss is placed close to a vertical wall, it should be anchored with one or two ribs to prevent unnecessary thickness that can result in sink. It’s also important to design draft into each boss to facilitate ejection. Sometimes, shorts or burns may form on the rim of the boss if vent pins aren’t added to allow for trapped gasses to escape during the mold filling process. 

    5. Radius

    Sharp corners don’t typically mesh well with plastic injection molding. A radius can prevent a sharp corner that would otherwise cause unneeded stresses, inhibit material flow, and reduce part strength. Radii should be designed with material selection and end part use in mind.  

    6. Gate location

    The gate is the opening where the molten plastic flows through into the mold cavity. This area can leave behind a remnant that may need to be trimmed by hand after it ejects from the mold. Depending on the style of gate, the plastic used, and the part geometry, the gate should usually be designed into a non-cosmetic area of the part. It is critical to consider gate location in the design phase because it can ultimately make or break the project. Choosing the right type of gate and location can also affect many other areas of the project. 

     

     

    Part Design For Plastic Injection Molding

    Other Considerations for Plastic Part Design

    It’s always best to work with a seasoned injection molder when designing your plastic parts, especially when they are complex or need to pass specific performance tests. 

    Some common questions a design engineer will ask:

    • How will the part be used? Is it a single product or a component of a bigger assembly?
    • What are the dimensional and tensile requirements?
    • Does the part need to withstand certain elements, pressure, or chemicals?

    Spending time and effort on designing the perfect part now can save substantial time and money over the long term. 

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    Selmax offers technical consultation at the earliest stages of product design. We have quite literally started several customer projects from designs scribbled on napkins. 

    We work closely with our customers to define the requirements of the finished product – physical dimensions, structural supports, custom engraving, color, texture and finishing.

    Since 1971, we’ve been providing our customers turnkey solutions from design to delivery. Ready to discover the low-stress experience of working with a full-service manufacturer?

    REQUEST A QUOTE

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  10. How Reshoring Can Mitigate Risk

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    reshoring initiatives

    Learn How Reshoring Can Reduce Supply Chain Risks

    COVID-19 has taken a toll on global supply chains, forcing many businesses to begin considering reshoring their operations. Manufacturers are especially affected, although the industrial sector as a whole has seen an increase in reshoring efforts. 

    According to Thomas Insights, “64% of manufacturers report they are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to North America — a 10% increase from the same sentiment reported in the March 2020 survey.” 

    So, what’s driving this trend?

    Increasing Costs & Supply Chain Disruptions

    Historically, utilizing manufacturing facilities offshore was a cost-reduction strategy. Over the past few years, however, shipping costs have risen and tariffs have been imposed on those importing from China. COVID-19 has only further complicated things by impacting the global supply chain with some borders completely closed off to non-essential trade.

    Long Lead Times

    Customers are demanding products faster than ever thanks to advancing technologies. One way to deliver products to the end customer faster is to bring operations closer to home and the customer. Reshoring means goods have to travel shorter distances to get into the hands of their distributors. This means a faster sales process, which can assist with predictability and forecasting. 

    Uncertainty

    During these turbulent times, the global supply chain has reduced reliability. Companies are scrambling to reduce risks and protect their business. Reshoring operations is the preferred choice to increase stability and predictability and ensure that the supply chain remains strong.

    Risks of International Outsourcing

    Risk is part of being in business, but the goal of every business owner is to assess and minimize risks as much as possible. While many manufacturers choose to offshore for financial reasons, the risks involved with offshoring should be considered in that decision

    According to Quality Magazine, data security is a large risk involved with offshoring. Proprietary designs could be leaked to competitors and other sensitive company information may also be at risk since standards of data security vary from country to country.

    Where offshoring is concerned, countries such as China and India have been popular in the past due to their low hourly rates. However, with the recent increases in wages as well as increasing costs of transportation, offshoring is becoming less desirable from a cost-saving standpoint.

    Companies often report that their supply chain is often slowed considerably with the implementation of offshore manufacturing. Increased shipping costs result in slower deliveries. Global events, such as the current pandemic, can cause further delays. 

    Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, imposing tariffs have made some offshore operations even more expensive than simply producing them “at home.”

    The Future Is Bright

    While it may be an uncertain time right now, the future is bright for U.S. manufacturers. During this pandemic, the world has seen the importance of manufacturers with many displaying their versatility by converting operations to produce supplies and PPE in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

    The pandemic has also shifted most companies’ risk management plans. While offshoring may return to normal within the next year, it may be deemed wiser to reshore as many operations as possible to prevent further disruption in the future.

    The pandemic has highlighted the need for flexibility within the supply chain. Manufacturers will do well to reestablish their operations as locally as possible. 

    According to the Reshoring Initiative, reshoring“benefits manufacturing companies by reducing the total cost of their products, improving balance sheets, and making product innovations more effective.”

    Reshoring With Selmax

    Selmax Corporation has a long and successful history of helping U.S. companies effectively reshore their plastic injection molding operations. We can help with both tooling transfers and designing and manufacturing new molds

    We are ISO:9001 certified and take pride in our stringent quality standards that ensure our customers are getting exactly what they order, every time. 

    Are you ready to reshore your plastic injection molding projects? Contact us or request a quote.