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Sally Hopkins

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Location : Northlake, IL.

PostSubject: Manufacturing Plastics   Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:36 pm

Hello,

When manufacturing plastic products, I have read here, there are several different processes it take to make them, such as, injection molded, vacuum formed, thermoformed and blow molded. How do they compare to each other in cost to manufacture?

Thank you for you time Very Happy
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StephenBozzone

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Location : Research Triangle NC

PostSubject: Re: Manufacturing Plastics   Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:26 pm

Sally,

All the different processes can be mind boggling but it really comes down to using the right tool for the job. Some engineers or designers will push for a particular process because it's what they are familiar with. You just need to push and ask "why" a lot. Injection molding typically gives the most precise parts but if you are making something like a throw away dinner plate or a laundry bottle, injection molding is not the right process to use.

I answered a similar question here:
http://theinventorsmentors.forumo.biz/how-is-that-made-f36/manufacturing-question-t264.htm

Typically injection molding has the highest tooling cost but if you have a multi-cavity tool the part cost could be less if you are running significant volumes. The manufacturing process really depends on the part you want to make. It depends on the shape of the part and how the part connects to other parts.

Blow molding is usually for bottles like laundry detergent or soda bottles. You can't vacuum form a soda bottle so the processes are not really comparable. Vacuum forming is a type of thermoforming. Thermoforming typically has the lowest cost.
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