Q: What types of molding services do you offer?
- We are a composite injection molder that can perform insert molding, over-molding, micromolding, and in-mold decorating
Q: PlastiCert only does injection molding. How do you know if injection molding is the right process for your product?
- More often than not, part complexity will dictate whether you need to use one process or the other.
- Parts that can be pressed into the desired shape can be accomplished through compression molding.
- Parts that are hollow with small openings like milk and pop bottles are better blow molded.
- Parts that are more complex, that have features that require a more sophisticated mold and will be more repetitive in its’ production cycle are candidates for injection molding.
Q: What type of information is required for quoting a molding project?
- We do want to evaluate the part using a 3D file output from any number of designing software packages, e.g. SolidWorks, Pro E, or others.
- The resin that the part will be molded from must be identified.
- Estimated quantities starting with release, ramp-up and full production over a set period of time, e.g. annually.
Q: Do you design plastic injection parts?
- PlastiCert does not do component part design, our design expertise is in mold design and build. We have third party partners that we can work with in conjunction with you, in order to design a part that meets your functional needs and has been optimized for resin, mold design, and moldability.
Q: Do you offer a service to assist and/or evaluate my product for moldability and/or manufacturability when my part is in the design stage?
- Yes we do. For existing customers, it is part of the service we provide for the new projects they are designing. With new customers, those services would be available on a project cost basis or could be wrapped into the costing of the new mold.
Q: What part size limitations do you have?
- That can be addressed through both volume and tonnage. Our presses are capable of shooting fractions of an oz. (micromolding) of resin up to 3 pounds of resin. Physical size is based on surface area. Our presses range from 30 Tons to 500 Tons, mold sizes from the size of your hand to almost 2ft x 2ft x 3ft and can shoot pea sized micro parts up to 18in x 18in x 6in.
Q: Do you design and make all of the new molds used at PlastiCert?
- Molds reside at PlastiCert under numerous development scenarios. Most of the molds here were both designed and built by PlastiCert. We feel this gives our customer the best advantage for shortest lead times and time to market. There are situations where PlastiCert will utilize partner shops to work in parallel with us to help expedite the mold build process.
Q: What resin should I use for my project?
- That is totally dependent on the end use application for your part. Once we discuss your part and its design requirements specification, we can assist you in your selecting a suitable plastic or composite.
Q: What is the typical process of a new project?
- Assessing where your part is at in the design stage. A designed part will lead us to a quotation for the mold and the part’s manufacturing. We can assist with enhancing the design for mold efficiency as well as manufacturing efficiency.
Q: How long does it take to build an injection mold?
- Depending on size and complexity, 4 to 12 weeks generally.
Q: Do you offer prototype tooling?
- We have the ability to produce a tool aimed at prototypes. They are more geared at lower volumes and allow for part refinement.
Q: Do you bring in and mold using customer molds from other sources?
- Yes, PlastiCert does receive and run molds that were done at other suppliers, even overseas/offshore. Many PlastiCert customers looking to consolidate their supply base have molds sent to PlastiCert to add to the production programs already sourced here. We have a process/procedure in place for receiving, evaluating and using molds from outside sources.
Q: Do you offer extended molding services such as assembly, packaging, or decorating?
- We routinely provide assembly work, ultrasonic welding, heat staking, CNC machining, pad printing, and packaging options.
Q: How can you beat China pricing?
- While we have been told our quotes were comparable quote vs quote, we feel that when you take total landed cost into consideration we are quite competitive. Total landed cost would include those indirect costs of supporting an offshore mold build including project management, mold validation, shipping, in-transit inventory.
Q: What kind of resins do you mold?
- Virtually all thermoplastics available on the market. We excel at complex composites like Ultem, Polycarbonate, Nylon, ABS, Ryton, and Thermoplastic Elastomers for example.
Q: How do you insure quality?
- Through initial process validation where we establish an operating window that tells us what settings we can use to continually produce quality parts
Q: Do you design and build molds?
- Yes, we consider it an advantage that we both design and build our customers’ molds and then shoot the production parts under the same roof. It makes for a much more smooth process in getting a mold up and running in production.
Q: Do you outsource mold design and build to China?
- No, PlastiCert does all mold work domestically. We have found over the years that our pricing and lead times are equivalent and sometimes better than the landed cost of offshore sources.
Q: How much does a mold cost?
- A mold can be as little as $5,000 to as much as $100,000. Typical for us is $15,000 – $40,000.
Q: What is the price difference between domestic and offshore tooling?
- That depends on the mold partner, the mold and the scope of your costing. The difference can be zero or negligible, or the difference can be great. Just make sure you are including all costs associated with supporting and coordinating activities and deliverables with your mold supplier.
Q: Who owns the injection mold?
- In all cases at PlastiCert the customer owns the mold. It is custom designed to make our customer’s part(s) and is paid for by the customer. As such it is a customer asset that resides within our facility.
Q: How many shots will you guarantee from my mold?
- Most molds last into the millions of shots depending on the relative abrasiveness or demands of some types of thermoplastic.
Q: How do you protect my mold?
- We will use your mold in production to make the parts that you require. Upon completion of each order we will inspect, clean and then preserve the mold so it can be shelved until you require more product.
Q: Can my mold be modified if I change my part designs?
- While it is typically best to identify up front the possible volatility of the design of your part, practically all molds can be modified to accommodate changes to your part design.
Q: Can you mold around inserts or metal components?
- Yes, we routinely perform insert molding. We have designs calling for just a few to as many as 40 inserts placed in the mold prior to the shot.
Q: What kind of LEAN principles have you adopted?
- PlastiCert participated in two separate programs teaching Lean Skills to our entire staff. One was a MN Department of Employment and Economic Development Job Skills Grant where classes in LEAN were taught on-site through Winona State University, the other was through a similar grant but utilizing faculty from University of Wisconsin – Stout.
Q: Why should I entrust my project to you?
- PlastiCert has 40 years of expertise in mold design, mold build, composite injection molding, and value add services. We only engage with customers and their projects that fit our type of program, i.e. low to medium volume, openness to work with us on optimizing the part and subsequently the mold to provide advantages for both of us. We have no products of our own, we exist solely as a service provider to you. We consider ourselves an extension of both your design team and your production floor.
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