Resin selection can be a tricky business. On top of balancing cost, performance, function and moldability to figure out the right resin for the job, it’s necessary to think how the part will be cleaned and if it will touch food or be used in a sterile medical environment. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and fall into a few traps. We’re here to share our experience to help you to avoid them.
Trap 1: Not Sharing Finished Products Details Early Enough
Share more information with your contract manufacturer than you think is necessary and do it as soon as you form your partnership. What often happens is the process has already begun when designers mention casually that they are stressed out about their customer’s upcoming test procedure on the part. That designer might quickly find themselves going over budget and missing their deadline because the test wasn’t taken into consideration in the resin selection process and it’s back to the drawing board. Overcommunicate with your manufacturer. Having too much information doesn’t exist in this business. By sharing everything you know about the final product usage and testing requirements, you increase your chances of a successful production.
Trap 2: Rushing the Process
We understand. You don’t want your production line sitting idle. You’re excited about being able to see your vision come to fruition and hold the part in your hands. But if you let those considerations take precedence over taking the time to go through the resin selection process properly, you may find yourself with parts that get rejected or worst of all, an end-product recall. Take a breath. A few extra hours or days in upfront planning and communication will be worth it when your project is a success.
Trap 3: Not Pressing Pause When It’s Not Going Well
You’ve engaged a contract manufacturer. When you first started talking to them, they were quick to say they could do the job. They didn’t ask a lot of questions. They seemed hyper-focused on the part itself, not necessarily how it would be used, how it would be cleaned, or how it would be tested. At first, you may take this as a sign of confidence, but warning bells should be going off in your head. Step back and press pause. After all of the strategizing, planning, designing, meetings and everything else that went into your process thus far, you need to evaluate whether this is the right partner for you.
Now that you’ve learned three traps not to fall into, you’ll want to download our white paper that includes more details on these three traps, five tips to help ensure your project is a success, and a high-level attribute list of the features of the most common engineering grade resins and commodities grades. The white paper “The Tips, Tricks, And Traps of Injection Molding Resin Selection” also includes links to two of our most popular workbooks.