Twenty years with VistaTek this month and manufacturing continues to amaze me with its excitement, experience and opportunities. Through it all I have seen four different U.S. Presidents, the enhancement of data transfer and engineering software, the birth of #SocialMedia and the end of fax machines, to name a few. So, where do I start? A blog probably shouldn’t be that long, so I will just hit a few of the highlights. Buckle up, it has been one hell of a ride.
For the injection molding industry, VistaTek has been notified by our resin suppliers that PP, and HDPE production has been suspended (Force Majeure Declaration) for the short term by INEOS, Formosa, LynodellBassel, and others due to Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Please stay tuned. This will most likely affect availability of these resins through the 3rd quarter.
It was brought to my attention by one of my customers that John Bozzelli has public seminars in Chicago and Detroit area, but not the Minneapolis area. Since John is the leader in Scientific Molding, and getting close to retirement age it would be great to have him local and learn from his vast knowledge before he retires and all this knowledge is gone.
VistaTek continues to bridge the gap between real world manufacturing and the academia world. Students at the University of Minnesota had created a new product that was part of the fidget phenomenon. They had a great concept with perfect timing. They just needed a little love regarding the manufacturing and the design to make it manufacturable at a competitive price.
"I designed this part, and it 3D Prints Great! What do you mean it can't be injection molded?"We hear this day in and day out. 3D Printing is fantastic, it gives everybody from 2nd graders to degreed engineers the ability to manufacture whatever they imagine. Unfortunately, it gives users the false sense of success for future manufacturing.
Low-volume production is often overlooked by high-volume projects. Low-volume is rarely catered to or even acknowledged by suppliers or customers. In this three part series, I would like to discuss today’s methods of manufacturing for low-volume production plastic parts. Times are changing and engineers and buyers are slow to make the adjustment.
It is necessary to maintain a uniform wall thickness in the areas of the substrate that will be filled or covered by the second shot. The same design principles that apply to plastic parts apply to the voids in the substrate to be filled by the 2nd shot. These would include ribs being 60% of the thickness of intersecting walls, and generous radii and fillets for flow. Typically there is no shrinkage applied to the 2nd shot mold since the substrate will not shrink after the over-molding process.