From Conception to production
Step 1 Concept
Information is the key to a successfully developed project.
The initial briefing will focus on the products intended application whilst considering both it's mechanical and financial viability. A variety of suitable polymers will be critiqued and any tooling alternatives explored.
The conclusion of the concept stage will include an overall project cost estimation.
Step 2 Design
All projects hinge on a well thought out design.
In many cases an industrial design team with considerable experience in Injection Moulding part design is required. If your project falls into this category IMP has such a team at your disposal.You may have your own design team, in which case IMP will be happy to liaise closely with them throughout the entire development process.
Generally at this stage a number of preliminary concepts will be explored. The final design chosen may turn out to be a combination of the various concepts. The actual design chosen will then be developed and modeled in three dimensions using the latest Computer Aided Design software. The 3D model can be easily viewed on a computer screen and enables the customer to give preliminary design approval.
Step 3 Prototyping
Modern prototyping techniques utilize the CAD model produced in the design stage.
They duplicate the design into real parts made from replica materials, without the expense of building a metal tool. These prototyping systems are fast and affordable, allowing you to critique the design and begin market testing within ten days of completion of the design stage.
Assembly and functionality testing of these prototypes will quickly determine if any design modifications are required. Such information will enable you to enter the toolmaking stage of the project with confidence.
Step 4 Toolmaking
The same CAD model produced in the design stage and utilized for the prototype is now used by the toolmaker and becomes the basis around which the moulding tool is designed.
Full tool room facilities are available with all the latest CNC equipment utilising CAD/CAM technology. Compatible files include:- GIES, STEP, Parasolids, DXF, DWG, ACIS. All tooling made by IMP is guaranteed and maintained free of charge while you continue to use IMP as your moulder.
Step 5 Sample Mouldings
The completed mould is now ready for trials, to create the initial off-tool samples.
Sample mouldings are produced to allow for rigorous testing of the completed product. It is crucial that the designer of the components be involved in the evaluation of the mouldings and at this stage any fine tuning required is determined and undertaken.
The performance of the selected polymer is reviewed. Various types of plastic material can be compared and colour matches are signed off.
Step 6 Production
In the final stage of the project trial samples have been approved, and your product is ready for large scale production.
IMP has 15 injection moulding machines of varying sizes to cater for your requirements. Production is based on two 8 hour shifts, 5 days per week. Quality control procedures include hourly checks of production parts against the original approved samples, ensuring part consistency throughout the production cycle.
Depending on requirements the production mouldings can be printed, decorated, welded, assembled and packed leaving you to concentrate on the successful marketing of your brand new product.