The French painter Pierre Bonnard was quoted, “Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.” How do your company’s products achieve the color you are looking for?
An additional aspect of the metal to plastic conversions we see is the ability to make the parts colored, rather than adding a coating like paint. If your component is already plastic, it is achieved in a number of ways.
Plastic can be colored either at the compounding level, meaning the resin arrives to the molder in a colored state, or the base/natural resin color can be modified in the press through color concentrates. Concentrates can be either solid or liquid and each has their methods of delivery to the molding system.
Both means, custom compounds and at the press colorant, have their pluses and minuses. Perhaps one of the biggest has to do with volume. If you want a compounded color resin, be prepared to back it up with significant volume. Otherwise, pricing, lead-time or both may become deterrents. Even if the price is acceptable, purchasing and stocking multiple color variants can be an issue with your molder’s inventory turns. With concentrate to base resin ratios of 2% to 5%, numerous color options can be accommodated with smaller units of measure. As such, stocking numerous colorant concentrates may prove to be a more acceptable inventory issue both cost AND space wise.
With the unpredictable nature of product life cycles in today’s market, many times processors can be left holding a great deal of “excess” colored inventory that has lessening demand or is obsolete. IN that case, having the base resin allows more flexibility, where the excess inventory exposure is focused on the much smaller concentrate.
If you would like to explore colored components, talk with your molder about the options regarding colored molding. They will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of compounded vs concentrate and the implications on materials and processing that will affect them and you.
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