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Temporary Plastic Safety Barricades

plastic safety barricades - the boyz or the boys

Plastic safety barricades are used to block off areas from automotive or pedestrian traffic. From a single barricade to a continuous, obstruction free, fencing system, safety barricades provide clear guidance through work zones. Highly visible barricades prevent people from entering dangerous work zones.

Plastic safety barricades have increased in popularity

Safety barricades are used in emergencies and in situations when accidents have occurred or have the potential to occur. To ensure timely response, safety barricades that are lightweight, easily assembled, and easy to break down and store are very popular. Using plastic safety barricades meet these demands.

Plastic safety barricade uses

Plastic safety barricades are used heavily in road construction. Those of us in the midwest know orange barrel season all too well! The ever present orange plastic cones used to keep people in their driving lanes and out of off-limit areas are universal indicators of caution.

Most A-frame barricades traditionally constructed of wood are now entirely constructed of plastic. From the A-frame sides to the 2 x 4 rails with reflective caution stripes, these temporary plastic safety barricades are weather resistant, easy to install, break down, stack, and store until they are needed again.

Plastic safety systems also include temporary barricades for use inside buildings. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers guidelines for proper placement of barricades for protection of employees in all circumstances. From blocking off spills in cafeterias, closing off construction areas, blocking areas with limited access, warning of wet paint or wet floors, and many other precautionary instances, plastic safety barricades are in demand.

Benefits of Plastic Safety Barricades:

  • lightweight
  • durable
  • weather proof
  • damage resistant
  • color can be added during manufacturing process
  • stickers / labels can be applied
  • reusable – recyclable

free standing barricade -the boyzSPI Blow Molding manufactures plastic safety barricades in a product for both interior and exterior safety situations called, “The Boyz”. The Boyz are a unique plastic safety barricade. Each ‘boy’ is all one piece and is 80% larger than the standard tent sign at 31” wide by 41” high. There is no set up time or any additional parts needed for use. If the area requires sectioning off, multiple boys can be used to form a temporary, solid wall, maintenance barricade by joining them at the hands. The unique ‘boy’ shape is 1,271 square inches of bright yellow plastic.

Each boy has ‘Caution: Out of Order’ emblazoned across the chest and a stop sign on the helmet. Quick deployment of the wire stand on the back of each boy allows it to be free-standing. The wire doesn’t get in the way when multiple boys are joined together to form a solid pedestrian barricade. Once the area is secure again the lightweight ‘boy’ folds flat for convenient storage.

Use of ‘The Boyz’ and other plastic safety barricades in manufacturing plants, schools, offices, shopping centers and stores help keep visitors, children, personnel, contractors, and everyone in the facility safe. If you, or your organization, are looking for plastic safety barricades to alert people of hazardous situations with maximum visibility, ‘The Boyz’ may be a good solution. As the manufacturer of ‘The Boyz’ SPI is presenting them for purchase and delivery. Contact us today with any questions.

Made in Michigan – Oversized Blow Molded Plastic Tooth

Made in Michigan Art and Parts

Did you read about the oversized blow molded plastic tooth design that was created for an art installation? Did you know if was made in Michigan? SPI Blow Molding, Coloma, Michigan constructed the teeth for a toothquake. The toothquake resulted from the Tooth Fairy choosing to relocate from her gold dome in the sky to Northville, Michigan. IN case you missed it, the toothquake incident occurred during the Arts & Acts Celebration in Northville, Michigan on June, 17, 2016.

In advance of the celebration Dr Demray and his team researched blow molders from all over, including China. Thankfully, their research led them to SPI Injection Molding who then lead them to their sister company, SPI Blow Molding. Upon meeting the owners and engineers at SPI Blow Molding Dr, Demray and his team knew if they were going to get their oversized blow molded plastic tooth produced, SPI Blow Molding was the shop to do it. After the meeting Dr. Demray affirmed, “What great people” and a wonderful relationship was formed.

The Made In Michigan Toothquake Was a Success

Because the oversized blow molded plastic teeth were made in Michigan the art installation will be a significant addition to the Buy Michigan Now Festival to be held in Northville August 5th-7th. The structure is schooled to be in place for viewing at 371 E. Main St. – Northville, MI for the annual 4th of July parade, during the summer long Friday night Concert series in Town Square, for the Great Lakes Food, Art & Music Festival, the Heritage Festival, October in the ‘Ville and the Salute to Summer Festival. The Acci-DENTAL Masterpiece will come down in November, 2016.

The Acci-DENTAL Masterpiece is the cornerstone of an 8-month public awareness campaign focusing on children’s dental health. Dr. Demray is committed to educating parents about the importance of limiting sugar – exposing foods that have high hidden sugar content plus the importance of good oral hygiene… brush 2 x a day for 2 minutes and visit the dentist 2 x a year. This practice will contribute to a chid’s overall good health. In addition to the 3,333 teeth on display – Dr. Demray asked SPI to make 1,111 more – for an art exhibit to be held in February, 2017 – Children’s National Dental Health Month. Beginning July 1st parents, educators, heath care providers and anyone with an artistic flair can donate money to acquire a tooth,design it, return it temporarily for the exhibit and a chance to win. The suggested donation is $20. Details will be available are at toothfairyoverstock.com. A portion of the proceeds will go to the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) Dental School Community Outreach Program. UDM has a mobile dental clinic that can go to the children, if they can’t come to the dentist.

SPI Industries is proud to have been a part of Dr. Demray’s life mission to share the message of preservation to children early in life. If you have a plastic product or part that you would really like to have made in Michigan and it needs blow molded please give SPI Blow Molding a chance to review the scope of your project. We pay attention to all of the details and design each plastic piece so each molded cavity is filled and will meet or exceed the highest quality standards and tolerances. Give us a call today.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Kostrate® and Polycarbonate

Advantages of Kostrate plastic for food containers

When you’re producing a product that will store or transfer food and beverages, knowing the disadvantages and advantages of Kostrate® and clear polycarbonate can help you make an informed decision.

Advantages of Kostrate® and Clear Polycarbonate for Injection and Blow Molding:

  • Mold Release
  • Lubricated
  • Dimensional Stability
  • Impact Resistance
  • Processability
  • Heat Resistance
  • Viscosity

Advantages of Kostrate® and Clear Polycarbonate for Plastic Product Specification:

  • Solvent adhesive and hot air plastic welds can be used
  • Strength at varying temperature.
  • Visually clear
  • Heat strength
  • Flame Retardant
  • RoHS Compliant
  • Low / Free BPA

A Few Polycarbonate Uses Include:

Appliance components, bottles, electronic applications, food applications, lighting fixtures, medical devices, outdoor applications, packaging, sporting goods, tools, wire and cable applications, writing instruments. Because of its low BPA and reduced concern of toxicity, clear polycarbonate is used in many food and beverage containers and packaging.

Some Uses for Kostrate® Include:

Uses for Kostrate® are all of the above with an even higher demand for food packaging, beverage bottles and food storage products. Kostrate® is also used for housewares, paper, soap dispensers, office products and more. It is also becoming a popular choice for infant and toddler toys made entirely of plastic and those that have plastic components. Toy designers and developers appreciate the safety and security the BPA free plastic offers, especially for toys that may find their way into children’s mouths.

Disadvantages of Kostrate®:

  • Minor odor (which can be addressed during processing)
  • Heat distortion temperature
  • Scratching
  • Lower Rockwell Hardness

Disadvantages of Clear Polycarbonate:

  • Can be subject to stress cracking
  • High processing temperatures required
  • Degrades upon extended residence time in processing equipment
  • Only fair chemical resistance is only fair
  • Aromatic sensitivity
  • Yellowing over time

There are many plastic resin options available when injection or blow molding manufactured parts. The considerations vary depending on the end use of your product. For the highest success, research the properties of each plastic, the expense, life span, heat capabilities, and strength before you hit the injection molding or blow molding manufacturing phase.

Give us a call today to discuss best options for your custom product. SPI Injection Molding located in Indiana and SPI Blow Molding in Michigan provide engineering and molding services throughout the mid-west. Our mold and production experts understand the advantages of Kostrate® for food safe products and the advantages and disadvantages of many other plastic resins best suited for specific products and their use.

Clear Polycarbonate and Kostrate® for Injection and Blow Molded Parts

Difference between Acrylic, Clear Polycarbonate and Kostrate® for Injection and Blow Molded Parts

Clear polycarbonate and Kostrate are the most requested plastic solution SPI is receiving from customers right now. With exceptional transparency and high impact strength in low and high temperatures there are many products that benefit from the visual clear grades and heat strength each offers.

Classified as: Generic ABS+PC, polycarbonate (PC) is a group of thermoplastic polymers with chemical structures that contain carbonate groups. Polycarbonate is also valued for their low flammability and clear polycarbonate has replaced glass in many applications. Clear polycarbonate’s is lighter than glass and offers a similar level of transparency.

The unique properties of strength and clarity of clear polycarbonate lends itself to unique applications such as bulletproof windows, eyewear/ eye lenses that are break resistant, signage, digital storage media such as dvds, cds. Although yellowing can be a concern with clear polycarbonate adding a uv-stabilizer to the resin when it gets processed will minimize the discoloration.

As we delve deeper into the uses of colorized or clear polycarbonate and Kostrate®, another popular trait is the low BPA and BPA free ratings. Polycarbonates, including clear polycarbonate, have a very low BPA rating while Kostrate® is a BPA free plastic. Both are often used in food products from food packaging to kitchen utensils because they are safe and considered food grade quality. Search our other blog posts for more information on BPA safe clear plastic and it’s usage.

Comparisons of Acrylic, Clear Polycarbonate and Kostrate®

A highly desirable clear plastic similar in transparency to clear polycarbonate and Kostrate® is acrylic. Acrylic is known as a brittle clear category and polycarbonate is in the engineered plastics category. Kostrate® is a terpolymer, considered to be the gap filler between brittle clear plastics and engineered clears. As additional transparent plastic options, acrylic is an inexpensive and versatile material that can also be utilized for many applications to replace glass and other transparent material. Kostrate® is the only one of these three transparent plastics that is 100% BPA Free. The list of differences between clear polycarbonate and Kostrate® plus acrylic are not necessarily advantages or disadvantages between the three plastic substances. What makes one better than the other is relative to the end use product.

All three clear plastics are stronger and lighter than untempered glass, acrylic is 4 to 8 times stronger than glass and Kostrate® and polycarbonate is around 200 times stronger. Because of its impact resistance, using Kostrate® or clear polycarbonates to replace glass is preferred to acrylic in many cases due to acrylic’s susceptibility to cracking.

Other differences can be factors as well such as acrylic’s shiny appearance. In addition, clear polycarbonate and Kostrate® although more impact resistant, are easier to scratch than acrylic. None of these plastics are good choices for items that will be used on a stove. Polycarbonate is good for use to about 250 degrees F, Kostrate® can become distorted as such high temperatures and acrylic is only good to about 175 degrees F. Kostrate® is more durable with less chance of shattering than both polycarbonate and acrylic, plus offers the BPA free characteristic. All of these plastic options can be colorized also if transparency is not desired.

Be sure to review future blogs on clear polycarbonate and Kostrate® pros and cons.

Please give us a call if you are not clear what plastic choice will be best for your injection molded or blow molded part or product. Our experienced engineers have decades of knowledge in the field and keep current on plastic news and trends.

SPI Expansion in the News

SPI Blow Molding Expansion in the News

Thanks to everyone at Tri-City Record for publishing SPI Blow Molding expansion in the news. Below is the recent newspaper article about SPI Blow Molding expansion published in the Tri County Record in Watervliet, Michigan. 

Please contact Karl Bayer, editor & publisher of  Tri-City Record P.O. Box 7  • 138 N. Main St., Watervliet, MI 49098 or call 269  463-6397.

SPI Blow Molding completes major expansion project in Hagar Township

SPI Expansion in the NewsSPI Blow Molding recently celebrated the completion of their 6,000 square foot warehouse addition with a formal ribbon cutting July 13, 2015.

John Doster, President of SPI and Izzy Dimaggio, Hagar Township Supervisor handled the honors.

The entire Hagar Township Board as well as some interested members of the community attended the ceremony, which was followed by a tour of the plant, an explanation of what SPI Blow Molding does, and in general, how they do it.

Thad Rieder of Cornerstone Alliance was also in attendance. Rieder was instrumental in assisting SPI with the tax abatement process, which was unanimously approved by the Hagar Township Board.

Doster commented on how pleased the company was with the support they have received from not only the Hagar Township Board, but the State of Michigan as a whole.

“The support we have been given by the State of Michigan is more than expected. It all started with Cornerstone Alliance putting us in touch with the various other agencies which could help us stabilize and grow.” Doster said. “Michigan Small Business Development Corporation (MSBDC) helped us get the ball rolling. Cornerstone Alliance pushed us along and the Hagar Township Board capped it off with tax abatement support.”

It takes a village and in this case, it looks like the village won. It is nice to see the various governmental sponsored entities come to the aid of private enterprise and make things happen. Though this is on a very small scale, it represents what a larger team can do. SPI indicated they have added 5 new jobs since the approval of this new project.

SPI Blow Molding is a Custom Blow Molder of hollow plastic parts. They are an extrusion blow molder specializing in low to medium volume work, requiring a fairly large array of materials.

Their customer list includes major manufacturers such as GE Healthcare, making arms for MRI Beds, down to the small single product entrepreneur such as Best Bins, making bulk food dispensers.

They process basic polypropylenes and ethylenes to more difficult clear polycarbonates. SPI has molding size capacity from a single pound head through 40 lb head machines.

SPI is capable of assisting customers with product design, tool design, tool building and the ultimate production of finished goods. They are located at 3930 Bessemer Rd., Coloma, Michigan, 49038. They can be contacted at 269-849-3200 or visit their web site at moldedparts.com

SPI’s mission is to provide the best custom molding experience for the injection and blow molded requirements of its valued customers. This experience involves flawless support culminating in successful global product delivery.

SPI’s core software, mechanical, and human technologies insure future profitability and growth to its employees, community and customers. SPI’s commitment is embodied in its value statement and quality policy.

SPI Blow Molding molds the HDPE Buzz Ball Football game table that was awarded 2nd place at the Annual Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE) Awards.

The award was granted in the Industrial Blow Molding Division of the 2nd annual blow molded parts competition. The ABC, SPE Blow Molding competition showcases the latest innovations and advancements in the blow molding industry. The competition was held in conjunction with the 30th Annual ABC and SPE Blow Molding Conference in Chicago, October 5-7, 2014.

What is the best type of prototype for your plastic part?

Benefits of creating a plastic prototype for production molding

3d printer plastic prototype a type of prototype for your plastic part

When you are manufacturing a new plastic part that is to be made of plastic you will save time, money, and stress by testing a mold prior to building the tool. Modifications to a tool can be costly and may degrade its overall performance and longevity. Accurate computer aided design (CAD) software reduces the need for prototyping of some parts. Nonetheless, there are many approaches and benefits to creating a prototype of a product. Determining the best type of prototype for your plastic part is your first step.

Choosing the best type of prototype for your plastic part:

Modeling:

Historically the only approach was to have a model made by a professional model builder.  The prototype may have been constructed of wood, plastic or metal depending on the size and function of the test needed to be performed on the prototype to prove its size and function.  Many parts today still require a fully functioning prototype model to get exact data from which a mold can be built.  It is a small price to pay for a good prototype part to avoid or at least reduce the iterations of design changes often required while designing and developing new parts and new products.

Rapid Prototyping:

Modern technology, such as Plastic Part Printing, also known as 3-D printing has made prototyping quick and inexpensive. With each new product’s life span shortening each year there is much more pressure to create new products and get them out on the shelf as soon as possible.

Pull-Ahead Cavities

Another approach to prototyping is the concept of pulling forward a cavity in a multiple cavity tool.  If the project is for medium to small plastic parts, then it is very common to use a tool in production containing several cavities of the same part.  In this case it is sometimes wise to build one cavity and use that cavity to product prototype parts.  If changes are required, modifications can be made to that cavity only, allowing all subsequent cavities to be constructed to the newly proven geometry; resulting from the testing on the prototype (pull ahead) cavity.  This is also the prototyping choice where many parts are required for testing and the test challenges the strength and toughness characteristics.

SPI Industries used this technique in developing a new plastic collar for Monsanto’s 1 gallon Pump n’ Go “Round-Up” dispenser.  The new tool was to be 4 cavities.  SPI used Mold Flow Software to assist with the tool design.  It was then determined a Pull Ahead Cavity was the right way to go so extensive testing could be done before completion of the other three cavities. We did discover additional changes to be made and thus preserved the strength and durability of the final three cavities.

SPI Offers the Most Current Solutions and Prototypes for your Plastic Part

Do you still have questions on which is the best type of prototype for your plastic part? Please give us a call. SPI’s skilled designers and engineers are experienced in the best practices for plastic part molds and the type of prototype for your plastic part that considers your time, budget and best testing for your specific part.

Bookmark this blog for updates on plastic molding technology and plastics manufacturing. Our next blog will cover more information on rapid prototyping or 3-D printing as it is more frequently known. SPI works closely with a local technical college, Ivy Tech for 3-D printing molds. The Engineering and Design Technology students develop 3-D models for SPI customer review. Read more to determine if a 3-D model will be the best type of prototype for your plastic part.

SPI BLOW MOLDING COMPLETES EXPANSION

SPI Blow Molding ExpansionSouth West Michigan

SPI Blow MoldingRibbon cutting July 13, 2015. John Doster, President of SPI and Izzy Dimaggio, Hagar Township Supervisor handling the honors.

Coloma, MI, SPI Blow Molding recently celebrated the completion of their 6,000 square foot warehouse addition with a formal ribbon cutting July 13, 2015.  John Doster, President of SPI and Izzy Dimaggio, Hagar Township Supervisor handled the honors.

The entire Hagar Township Board as well as some interested members of the community attended the ceremony which was followed by a tour of the plant and an explanation of what SPI Blow Molding does and in general how they do it.  Thad Rieder of Cornerstone Alliance was also in attendance. Rieder was instrumental in assisting SPI with the tax abatement process, which was unanimously approved by the Hagar Township Board.

Doster commented on how pleased the company was with the support they have received from not only the Hagar Township Board, but the State of Michigan as a whole. “The support we have been given by the State of Michigan is more than expected.  It all started with Cornerstone Alliance putting us in touch with the various other agencies which could help us stabilize and grow.” Doster said.  “Michigan Small Business Development Corporation (MSBDC) helped us get the ball rolling. Cornerstone Alliance pushed us along and the Hagar Township Board capped it off with tax abatement support.”

It takes a village and in this case it looks like the village won.  It is nice to see the various governmental sponsored entities come to the aid of private enterprise and make things happen.  Though this is on a very small scale it represents what a larger team can do.  SPI indicated they have added 5 new jobs since the approval of this new project.

SPI Blow Molding is a Custom Blow Molder of hollow plastic parts.  They are an extrusion blow molder specializing in low to medium volume work, requiring a fairly large array of materials.  Their customer list includes major manufacturers such as GE Healthcare, making arms for MRI Beds, down to the small single product entrepreneur such as Best Bins, making bulk food dispensers.  They process basic polypropylenes and ethylene’s to more difficult clear polycarbonates.  SPI has molding size capacity from a single pound head through 40 lb head machines.  SPI is capable of assisting customers with product design, tool design, tool building and the ultimate production of finished goods.  They are located at 3930 Bessemer Rd., Coloma, Michigan, 49038.  They can be contacted at 269-849-3200 or here on the website.

______________________________________________________

SPI’s mission is to provide the best custom molding experience for the injection and blow molded requirements of its valued customers. This experience involves flawless support culminating in successful global product delivery. SPI’s core software, mechanical, and human technologies insure future profitability and growth to its employees, community and customers. SPI’s commitment is embodied in its value statement and quality policy.

  ###

Media Contact for SPI Blow Molding
John Doster
269-488-2752
3930 Bessemer Rd Coloma, MI 49038

How To Make A Plastic Mold For Plastic Products and Parts

make a plastic Injection mold for plastic logistic loadbars

Injection molded plastic logistic load bars

Most people within the plastics industry are familiar with creating a mold for plastic products. Or, at least have a general understanding of the process that goes into it. However, some general confusion still exists with product designers, engineers, and other professionals about the ins and outs of the process. There are a number of methods to make a plastic mold for products that will be used for manufacturing multiple quantities of products. Each method will take different amounts of financial investment and time. The steps below will get you moving in the right direction to create your very own plastic mold.

1. Determine Quantity

What’s the quantity of plastic products you’ll be producing? The number of parts and custom plastic pieces you need will determine the type of molding you use, and the manufacturer you work with.

Most manufacturers require that your entire build be at least 100,000 parts or greater. If this number is too high then you may have to shop around until you find the right manufacturer who is willing to do the job for you. Contact SPI Blow Molding or SPI Industries today to discuss quantities, larger plastic blow molded pieces or plastic injection molded pieces can be produced at lower quantities and still be cost effective.

2. Your Budget

What will your budget be for this plastic mold? Your budget for your project should include the design and creation of your mold, as well as future modifications.

Your budget can also influence the method of plastic molding you use, as some are cheaper than others. Also, the more complex your overall design, the more expensive the process is going to be.

3. Overall Size and Design

The type of plastic molding your project will require will be determined by the size and design of your product. You can also adapt your design to use a specific plastic molding process. For instance, when using injection molding you’ll generally have to have a smaller design. While, blow molding is usually used to create products, such as, containers, tubes and bottles.

4. Project Materials

Your project design will influence the materials and types of plastics that need to be used. Sometimes, designs will have a specific material that needs to be used for the product to function, while other times the materials can be more flexible.

Make sure you speak with your manufacturer to ensure you’re using the right material for the job.

Plastic Molding Methods Available

There are a variety of plastic molding methods, which can be used based upon your unique project specifications.

make-a-plastic-mold-blow-molded-bellows

Blow molded plastic bellows

The most commonly used methods to make a plastic mold are:

  • Injection molding
  • Blow molding
  • Compression molding
  • Gas Assist Molding
  • Film Insert Molding
  • Rotational Molding
  • Thermoforming

By going through the process above you’ll have every specification you require to build the perfect plastic mold for your product. This isn’t a process you’ll want to rush, as a simple design flaw can have you starting the entire process again from scratch.

If you’re ready to make a plastic mold or product, or have a question about the process, contact SPI today. No question or project is too challenging for our team! We can help to guide first time product inventors through the plastic molding process, or implement a unique solution for a product redesign that your are considering.

Difference Between Injection Molding and Blow Molding

Difference-Between- Injection-Molding-and-Blow-MoldingMost people in the plastics manufacturing industry are familiar with both blow injection molding and blow molding these days. However there is still some confusion by product designers and engineers new to the industry about the difference between injection molding and blow molding . The blow molding process has become a standard for specific applications and understanding the differences between these two plastic molding processes can save design, prototyping and production time. This of course results in money savings and increases the speed of completion and delivery of your plastic part.

There are several significant differences between injection molding and blow molding:

  • manufacturing process itself
  • tolerances and margins of error
  • design considerations
  • role of the process for intended result

Main difference between injection molding and blow molding:

  • Injection molding – produces a part that is solid such as a reusable coffee cup lid
  • Blow molding – produces hollow parts such as water bottles

The blow molding process can produce plastic parts with very complex shapes. However to achieve this the wall thickness may vary from place to place depending on how much the material has to stretch when it is being blown. The thickness of a plastic part created through injection molding is determined by the relationship of the mold and the core.

You will be farther ahead if you are able to determine the best molding process for your plastic product in the product development stage. 

Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from plastic mold engineers:

  • How is your plastic part going to function?
  • Is it a stand alone item?
  • Is it a part that connects to other parts or works in tandem with other parts to achieve a result?
  • Does it need to pivot, move, expand, condense?
  • Is the weight critical to the function?
  • Will the part need to withstand extreme levels of cold or heat?
  • Does the item need to adjust to specific pressure levels or PSI?
  • Will the part hold fluids?
  • Does it need to be food safe?
  • Does it need to be flexible or does it need to be solid and rigid?
  • What length does the part need to be, width, depth?

Answering these questions when designing and manufacturing any item is good a idea. With items requiring plastic molding the large variety of plastics to choose from, the importance of accuracy, and the difference between injection molding and blow molding it’s best to determine these answers as soon as possible. When one millimeter size difference can make the item usable or unusable for its intended purpose, accuracy and creative solutions are required. That’s why we have engineers, right?

Custom Plastic Molding Solutions

Because of the many variable in producing molded plastic parts, nearly every part we produce requires a custom solution. Engineers review all variables based on the end use of the product.

Variables to consider in Molded Part Production:

  • type of plastic used
  • flexibility or strength
  • psi pressure rate required
  • withstand temperatures levels – hot or cold
  • wall thickness
  • product dimensions

Once these variables are considered the whole process will go much smoother and quicker. The use of 3D printers in the prototype stage helps to reduce time too. Designing molds and fine tuning them to perfection can take a few tries but once complete production can begin.

When injection molding is determined to be the best process for your plastic part once you have an approved mold you’re practically golden. The injection molding process begins, the product is produced and there is very little concern of production issues with the injection process.

Therein lies another difference between injection molding and blow molding. In the blow molding process getting the mold perfect is only part of the battle. During the blow molding production process there are many variables manufacturers must pay attention to. The iterative nature of the blow molding process lends itself to production variables.

Periodically checking the production line is important for quality control. If the plastic is stretched too much small pin holes or cracks in seals can result. Checking for wall thickness uniformity to ensure they are within the tolerances needed for the part to behave as it is intended is also critical. As an example, a plastic bellows is made to collapse when pressure is applied and then expand back to it’s original form once pressure is released. Consistent wall thickness helps the bellows to function correctly. If the plastic bellows collapses on one end faster than the other because the wall is thinner your plastic part may wear out quicker and may not function smoothly. Having sold process control systems in place will produce consistent parts with high quality function.

Blow Molding Production Concerns:

  • pinhole leaks
  • leaking seals
  • flexibility or strength
  • velocity or pressure of blown air
  • speed of the mold closing
  • process temperature
  • wall thickness
  • poor function
  • consistent product dimensions

You can learn more about the various plastic molding processes that are applicable to your product or new invention at Plastic news.

Do you have a new plastic product invention and you aren’t sure about which plastic mold process is the best solution for your item? Give SPI a call today, our engineers love a challenge! We will help guide you in the most appropriate and cost efficient plastic molding solution for your unique requirements.

Plastic blow molded parts assembled and packaged for shipping.

More Questions to Ask When Choosing a Michigan Plastic Blow Molding Company

Plastic blow molded parts assembled and packaged for shipping.

Plastic blow molded parts assembled and packaged for shipping.

The previous blog entry covered five top questions when researching a Michigan plastic blow molding company. This blog entry covers some of the other considerations when looking for a local plastic blow molding company. We have specified Michigan blow molding company because that is where we are located. However the information isn’t specific to any one state or province. Blow molding companies in southwest Michigan and blow molding companies in China and elsewhere can held to the same standard.

  1. Combine molds for a variety of plastic shapes – Separate mold pieces combined for many different sizes & shapes.  Blow molding may not be the best option for your part, or possibly one element of you part requires blow molding and another part is best suited for injection molding. A consultation with an experienced engineer can offer the most efficient applications to produce a high quality product.
  2. Location – Finding a plastic blow molding manufacturer that has submitted the lowest cost but is located out of state or the country can quickly lose its’ advantage when packaging, freight costs and lead times increase. If the facility you choose has a considerable cost advantage but is located in a nearby state and once freight and shipping is determined still results in a cost savings and meeting shipment scheduling is guaranteed to meet turn around times, close proximity may not be a concern. Many Michigan manufacturers require tier suppliers to be within a specific mile radius which limits options in some cases. If for instance, you are an appliance manufacturer you may not have rules for suppliers location but the convenience of having your parts manufacturers close can reduce cost and valuable lead time.
  3. Turn around – As noted above with the location, turn around time can be critical in the manufacturing industry. The more time required to manufacture parts the more cost per part, thus increasing the cost of the final product. When comparing press capabilities, a penny difference per part of one million parts on a slower press adds up quickly. Considerations must be taken with the speed of design, prototyping, changes, production and fulfillment. If molded parts can be completed within other facilities at the same level of quality at a much faster speed it can reflect in a huge cost savings to the customer and more sales to the manufacturer.
  4. Assembly and Packaging – Often times blow molded or injection molded parts are just one piece of a larger item. For instance blow molding for manufacturers would include the tires on the 4-wheeler tote-a-long in the photo above . However, in this example the body of the product also requires blow molding. Bringing the components together to a completed product in one facility instead of shipping parts to be blow molded in one spot then assembled in another, then packaged in another location is time consuming and expensive. SPI Blow Molding and SPI Industries in Michigan produce the plastic molded parts, assemble, package and ship to the manufacturer or directly to the wholesaler or distributor.  Other items such as food bins that need micro sized parts added and attached can be assembled in SPI blow molding and injection molding facilities. All products will need to be packaged whether products are individual parts, partially assembled or complete products ready for sale. Determining packaging is an important step in the final stages of the manufacturing process. How products will be packaged, from large boxes that will be transported on skids, to small items placed in plastic bags and then into cardboard boxes for shipping or individually into customer provided point of purchase packaging all adds cost and time.
  5. Warehouse direct shipping – Once the plastic molded parts are complete and packaged what is the best method to get products to the next stage? Options from the blow molding manufacturer and injection mold manufacturer for shipping or delivery of items include shipping to warehouses, production facilities, or customer’s business. Some blow molding companies like SPI Blow Molding, offer warehousing and factory direct shipping, and even direct to retailer or end user shipping. This is a valuable service for companies who do not have a fleet of delivery trucks or a fleet service they retain. Keeping manufacturing, assembly, packaging and shipping within one facility reduces cost, staff, and liability. Time savings include, reduced order tracking, order placement, product receiving, staff management, reduced time monitoring and tracking of spending and payroll.

Have we answered all of your questions on blow molding? Hardly! Once you are ready, give us a call or shoot us an email. We can talk to you about your specific product or part and offer suggestions for the best production solution to fit your product application and your time and budget. Meanwhile take a peak at the article about our expansion covered by Plastics News!