If you have some plastic/composite parts now, how was the selection made? Depending on how often your product development needs to select resins, you may have only one or two people knowledgeable in that area. Alternatively, maybe the resin supplier “guided” your mechanical engineers through a selection. In either case, with retirements, rightsizing, and movement, resin knowledge/assistance may not be what it once was.
Your injection molder should be your go-to place for resin information and insight. While some molders are focused on just the injection aspects of resin, full service molders recognize that they are, to many of their customers, the resin and molding expert resource for them. Having staff knowledgeable in the material science aspect of resins, understanding both their processing AND their performance characteristics is huge. Whether they are a resource for in-house or taking the place of in-house, having the injection molder assist in selection will reap huge rewards down the road in costing, obsolescence and correct application.
Include that ability in your selection of an injection molder. Along with assessing their ability to mold plastic and composites, actually understanding the dynamics of the plastic for your end application can be invaluable. We are fortunate at PlastiCert to be located near the only university in the United States (Winona State University, Winona, MN) that offers a major in Composites Engineering. We are also happy about having staff that are products of the program. We act as a resource for our customers when they are trying to decide from the 70,000 odd plastics out there. We can provide guidance on which direction to go for your application. How are you managing your resin knowledge base over time?
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