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Did you know that about 70% of manufacturing costs of a product (cost of materials, processing, and assembly) are determined by design decisions? Production decisions (such as process planning or machine tool selection) only account for only 20% according to a study done by UNM (source).

The goal of the DFM process is to design a product that is easily and economically manufactured; this is done by simplifying, optimizing and refining the product design.

When starting a project for a new plastic injection tooling, it's important to carefully review the individual component's geometry to simulate and detect any problems that may occur during the injection process. Our team performs feasibility studies to check for undercuts or problems with draft angles among other details.

The parting lines of a plastic component are formed by the seal between the cavity and core of a mold. Depending on the component, the parting lines could be placed in an area where they will not affect the assembly or leave an unwanted visual.

In order to control the temperature of the plastic components being injected, the cooling lines are designed in such a way to bring water near the cavities and bring down the temperature.

Equally as important is the ejection system which leaves markings on the plastic part as it's removed from the cavity. Depending the geometry of the part, these markings can be hidden or placed in an unseen area.

Here's a detailed explanation the importance of a DFM:

  1. Cost Efficiency: DFM helps reduce manufacturing costs by optimizing the design for the injection molding process. This includes minimizing complex features, reducing material waste, and simplifying tooling requirements. Cost savings are particularly important in highly competitive industries like plastics!
  2. Faster Production: Well-designed parts are easier to mold, leading to faster production cycles. Streamlined designs minimize the risk of issues during the molding process, such as defects or mold wear, which can cause delays.
  3. Quality Control: DFM focuses on designing parts that are less prone to defects, ensuring higher-quality products. This is crucial in sales because offering high-quality components can enhance a company's reputation and customer satisfaction.
  4. Tooling Longevity: DFM considers the impact of the design on the molds and tools used in injection molding. By reducing stress and wear on these tools, their lifespan is extended, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
  5. Material Selection: Proper DFM includes choosing the right materials for the job. This can influence the performance, durability, and cost of the final product, which is essential for making decisions.
  6. Sustainability: In today's environmentally conscious world, DFM can help minimize material waste and energy consumption during production, aligning with sustainability goals that some companies may prioritize.
  7. Design Validation: DFM involves simulations and prototyping to validate the design before production. This reduces the risk of design flaws, ensuring that the final product meets customer requirements.
  8. Customization: DFM allows for more efficient customization of products, which can be pivitol in this industry. Customers often have unique requirements, and a well-designed process can accommodate these requests without significantly increasing costs.

Many hours go into the mechanical design of the mold tooling. Our team performs many design reviews with clients to ensure all of the details are agreed upon before validating and cutting steel.