Design for Manufacture (Injection Moulding)
28th August 2019
We love great product design, and thoroughly enjoy contributing towards it. Our multi-shot moulding process is a great way to achieve fantastic aesthetics alongside technical innovation – and our design team is positioned to optimise the results.
An important step during any new product development cycle is the refinement of the design, to ensure it is optimised for manufacture.
There’s a big difference between ‘design within manufacture’ and ‘design for manufacture’
We’re engineers at heart and like to think hard about how a component will enhance a client’s product. While we love the look, feel and physical capabilities of the mouldings we produce, they can only exist with some form of design verification and optimisation, prior to launching the tooling phase. This process is known as ‘design for manufacture’.
At Hymid, our duty of care is to ensure that your new product development meets all the technical criteria you set us, while highlighting any improvements. These might relate to a reduction in-process waste, increased productivity, increased profitability or even an addition of a feature which might enhance the product further.
The ethical approach to design
Modern product designers hold a high level of environmental responsibility, where ethical solutions have never been more readily accessible.
Our role in the plastics industry makes us not only wary of waste but determined to help clients optimise plastics use, with as little impact on our planet as possible. We work with clients to reduce part mass, increase strength to weight ratio, re-use materials within process and source verified grades of material that are known to minimise the footprint of their existence.
We combine smart technology alongside our tooling and moulding expertise to optimise the design for manufacture process.
We can work alongside you and your design team to help identify, quantify and eliminate waste or inefficiencies in component or product design without sacrificing productivity.
The impacts of good component design can be significant. In essence if you can shave 3% off the injection cycle time then you can increase productivity by 3% – and when you’re producing thousands of components a day then the savings stack up.
Now imagine we’re talking about 10% or even 15% improvement in cycle time – and it’s clear why attention to detail at the start of the design process is so important.
Design for manufacture in practice
Here’s an example of where design can influence the physical injection moulding element of the production process.
At granular level, we can look at the 6 phases of injection moulding that can be optimised: the mould closing, injection of plastic, formation within the mould, cooling, opening the mould, and ejection. The overall cycle time may be 30 seconds per component, and if we can reduce this by just 1 second – as mentioned above – then we achieve our objective of 3% increase in productivity.
This may be possible in the cooling phase for example, because we have influenced the wall thickness of the component (less plastic, faster cooling) or chose a different polymer (that cools more quickly).
These choices need to be driven from fact-based evidence. We have a wide array of polymer technologies at our fingertips and the supporting mould flow software to assess them within the supplied CAD data. We can work with you to ensure the best material (or combination thereof) is chosen, early in the design process, clearing the pathway for further refinements as your product design comes to life.
In summary, our challenge is to get the best from design, and the best from manufacture – and that’s the test we’re often set by our clients. Click here to read more about design for manufacture.