If you’re involved in the operations or logistics of a manufacturing facility, it’s unlikely that, in the past several years, you haven’t at least thought about the best way to further integrate automation into your processes (that is, if you haven’t already taken steps to increase your level of automation). Industrialautomation is at a point (and has been for a while) where the question isn’t whether you should automate at least some of your processes, but rather, how much automation you can successfully implement.
Ask 10 engineers what the difference between product design and industrial prototype design is, and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Several might be a variation on “There is no difference.” The rest will have different ideas depending on their background, experience, and their own position and job title. It’s difficult to definitively say whether there’s a right or wrong answer, but distinctions between product design and industrial prototype design exist. Drawing out and understanding those distinctions can be useful to your experience in working with a manufacturer partner, or even with your own colleagues, so let’s examine them further.
If you’ve never considered optimizing your injection molding process — or if it’s been a while since you’ve done so — it’s something you should consider investing time in now. Why? Put simply, if you haven’t taken proactive steps toward optimizing the molding cycle, it’s almost certainly running sub-optimally — costing you time and money in the process.
Printed circuit boards are found in nearly any and every electronics product that you can think of, no matter how complex. From your mobile device to your garage door opener, printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the core of the means by which we are able to enjoy the conveniences of today’s technology.
In the process of going from idea to product, time can be one of your biggest obstacles. No matter how eager you are to get your product to market, each step of the process takes time — which goes hand in hand with monetary investment, to say nothing of the challenges that can rear their heads at every stage. For all too many inventors and product developers, the time required to go from idea to product can be discouraging, which can further slow the process. Or, in some cases, can cause you to abandon it altogether. In fact, until recently, prototypes could take four to six weeks — or longer — to create.
As you research methods and materials for your next project, you may encounter silicone rubber molding more and more frequently. Here’s why: Liquid silicone rubber molding provides fast, efficient production in medium-to-high quantities, while also delivering a versatile range of material properties suitable for a broad cross-section of industries. Read on to learn more about the benefits that partnering with a silicone rubber molding manufacturer can provide to you.
Rapid prototyping with 3D printing is one of the most effective and efficient ways to test, iterate, and ultimately perfect your design concept as you move down the road to production. Prototyping is a critical component of product development, but that doesn’t mean it has to be excessively costly or time-consuming. Rapid prototyping enables you to forego costly tooling and machine setup processes, and make use of 3D printing, which relies simply on the machine and the design file to get up and running.
Comparing the benefits and drawbacks of two different manufacturing processes can be one of the best ways to illustrate the importance of proper process selection for a project. Urethane casting vs. plastic injection molding, for instance — two processes that are, on the surface, relatively similar — can yield vastly different results depending on your requirements and expectations. To start, let’s look at the difference between casting and molding.
A (near-universal) truth in manufacturing: A finished product will only be as good as the design from which it was created. Does that seem like common sense? Let’s look a little more closely at the statement — and then at some reasons why it might not be quite as simple as it seems.
By a “good” product, we mean a successful one: of high quality, useful to the buyer, safe and profitable for you. In terms of the “design” used to create the product, we’re really talking about the product design process: The early stage of product development where you flesh out your initial concept and create a workable design to use for prototyping, testing and production. It’s more than just moving from concept sketch to CAD drawing — it should be a product design process.
Preventative mold maintenance seems like it should be a no-brainer. After all, we know the importance of preventative maintenance for most of our major investments like machinery, facility infrastructure and so on. It even carries over to our big-ticket personal expenditures: car, home heating system and house — to name a few. The importance of preventative maintenance, in general, isn’t a mystery.