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SPI Full service manufacturing boxes in warehouse with forklift great lakes region

Full Service Manufacturing of Plastic Parts

SPI Full service manufacturing boxes in warehouse with forklift great lakes region

SPI Injection Molding and SPI Blow Molding offer full service manufacturing of plastic components and finished goods. As a full service manufacturing source in the Great Lakes region, SPI can handle all aspects of manufacturing for your product that contains injection or blow molded plastic parts. From design and tooling, to quality control and assembly, to packing and fulfillment, SPI supports your success by delivering quality parts on time, at a fair price.

From concept to completion

In this competitive market, companies seek every opportunity for cost savings. Maintaining high levels of quality while meeting increased demands for faster turn offers a competitive edge. Working with one experienced plastic molding company instead of working with multiple companies at different stages of the manufacturing process ensures consistency and accuracy for your plastic parts. Selecting full service manufacturing from SPI Industries helps you breathe easy.

Benefits of Full Service Manufacturing of Plastic Parts

Shorter production times

Keeping all phases of the plastic part manufacturing process with one company, reduces production time. Once production begins, each step in the process is set and scheduled. With full service manufacturing, all communication and coordination is streamlined into a proven system and managed by a team of professionals. Each part moves smoothly from tooling to delivery.

Reduced plastic part manufacturing costs

At our full service manufacturing facilities, engineers, designers, and manufacturers work together on each project. The close proximity of the departments allows them to communicate quickly and efficiently. If there are adjustments needed throughout the manufacturing phase they will be identified and addressed at each step. This level of quality control can’t be obtained when each phase of production is outsourced to different companies.

Streamline communication

Working with one company decreases errors caused by inefficient communication. We’ve all encountered issues when changes have not been explained accurately or in a timely fashion. Whether in business, or in our personal lives, limiting the amount of people involved in a process reduces the chance for miscommunication. With full service manufacturing you contact one team. There is no need to schedule meetings with multiple teams or determine logistics for communicating across different time zones.

Time is money.

Each step in the manufacturing process that can be eliminated saves time and money. Because a full-service manufacturing provider is accountable for all aspects of a project, often a higher level of personalized service will result. The buck stops with the full service manufacturing provider. There is no blaming other vendors. Ensuring all processes are correct in the very beginning helps projects move smoothly through each stage. Additional cost savings are returned through discounted rates offered by many full-service manufacturers that niche companies do not offer.

Keeping everything under one roof also eliminates the need to allocate additional funds for packaging and transportation between manufacturing facilities. Staff training, estimating, billing, reports, and correspondence is streamlined when all phases of a product are completed by one company.

Would you like to learn more about how SPI Industries could serve as your full service manufacturing source in the Great Lakes region?  SPI Industries’ processing technologies include blow molded and injection molded ready-to-use plastic parts. Give us a call today or complete the inquiry form to connect with an SPI product specialist. Certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards and compliant for food-grade parts, SPI will design and build your mold and deliver ready-to-use quality parts on time, at a fair price.

Benefits of Thermoplastic Elastomers for Injection Molded Goods

Benefits of Thermoplastic Elastomers

Also referred to as thermoplastic rubber, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) have become increasingly popular for a wide spectrum of products and applications. Below we cover some of the benefits of Thermoplastic Elastomers and how they have changed the look and feel of many products on the market today.

Consider household and personal care items you have purchased recently. Hand held goods for personal and industrial use such as tools, utensils and toys, that are manufactured with TPEs have soft, smooth handles that make gripping much more comfortable.

From toothbrushes, to spatulas, to screwdrivers and new rubber ducks, many new products are manufactured with this long lasting plastic and durable rubber combination. The tactile feel of thermoplastic elastomers is just one of the popular benefits to end users.

The speed and the ease of processing for plastic injection molding and plastic blow molding also makes it a popular choice for manufacturers and molders. Thermoplastic elastomers can be used in countless extrusion and injection molded applications. When compared to traditional resins, thermoplastic elastomers can be molded in shorter cycles to allow for quick turn round of molded goods.

TPE is also a solution for products that need to perform in a variety of temperatures including plastic products that will be exposed to the outdoors.

ADVANTAGES and BENEFITS OF THERMOPLASTIC ELASTOMERS INCLUDE:

  • Processing ease and speed
  • Design flexibility
  • Lower fabrication and production costs
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Resistance to solvent and abrasion
  • Resistance to weathering
  • Improved product performance
  • Shorter cycle time
  • Lower part costs per finished piece
  • Broader range in product density
  • Product consistency
  • Environmentally Friendly – recyclable scrap
  • Resistance to heat and cold
  • Can be injection molded, blow molded and thermoformed

These benefits of TPEs are just some of the reasons SPI Blow Molding and SPI Injection Molding recommend thermoplastic elastomers for a wide range of products and part design applications customers bring to us. Molding custom plastic parts with top grade TPEs that can save time and money as well as stand up to seasonal climate change is important to our customers.

Do you have a product or part that could benefit by incorporating thermoplastic elastomers? Give us a call today. SPI Injection Molding and SPI Blow Molding experts will consult with you and your team to determine if thermoplastic elastomers could save you time and money on your next part design project.

BPA Free Kostrate or Polycarbonate for Plastic Bottles and Containers?

BPA free Kostrate or polycarbonate BPA free low BPA for food storage

BPA free Kostrate or polycarbonate (PC) for packages and containers?  Polycarbonate has become a standard in the plastics molding industry. For many years it couldn’t be beat for home and kitchen applications that involved direct contact with food and beverages. Clear polycarbonate’s inherent shatter-resistance, lightweight, and optical clarity are advantageous for any product that will be shipped and displayed for purchase. Combine those qualities with heat resistance and low BPA, it became a popular choice for tableware, refillable bottles, and reusable food containers that can be stored in the refrigerator and heated in a microwave. Now with BPA free Kostrate sharing similar characteristics, manufacturers have even more options when it comes to food safety.

Examples of clear polycarbonate packages and containers:

  • Reusable 5-gallon water bottles
  • Baby bottles
  • Bulk food containers
  • Tableware such as plates and cups
  • Food storage containers for storage and microwave heating

Clear polycarbonate is also popular in the construction industry. Because it is lightweight and transparent it is often used as a glass replacement. Available for purchase in corrugated or smooth panels, clear polycarbonate is used in greenhouses, as enclosures and as roofing material. A popular brand that has become synonymous with clear polycarbonate is Lexan®. Panels can be cut to size and are available at many big box hardware stores.  If transparency is not desired polycarbonate plastic is available in a variety of colors too with as many or more applications.

Since 2003 the new plastic in town is Kostrate®. For blow molding and injection molding purposes the requests we receive most these days are for clear, BPA free plastics for food storage and containment. Bottles and packages of all shapes and sizes are created as well as office products, hardware products, healthcare and cosmetics packaging to toys, outdoor products, digital media and computer components and devices. For the food industry Kostrate® is most desirous for its safe BPA free status. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a key building block of polycarbonate plastic, and although studies show very low migration of BPA from polycarbonate, Kostrate® BPA free status makes Kostrate® the safer choice for items that have direct contact with food or any product or substance that may be ingested.

BPA free Kostrate or polycarbonate packages and containers for food products and packaging?

Many researchers have studied the potential for trace levels of BPA to migrate from polycarbonate into food and beverages. Under typical use, studies show that the potential migration of BPA into food is extremely low. In these studies, the level found is more than 4000 times lower than the maximum acceptable or “reference” dose for BPA of 0.05 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Essentially, an average adult consumer would need to ingest about 1300 pounds of food and beverage that is in contact with polycarbonate every day for an entire lifetime to exceed the level of BPA that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set as safe.

These studies were conducted by government agencies in the US, Europe and Japan, as well as studies conducted by academic researchers and by industry professionals. However, other studies are cited that claim polycarbonate transfers more BPA than the aforementioned studies claim. Because of this there are a number of states seeking to ban the use of PC in some food packaging and beverage containers, including California. In these states a polycarbonate ban would be placed on baby bottles and beverage containers for kids three and younger and possibly other plastic containers, toys, etc. that come in contact with children of certain ages.

So, should you choose BPA free Kostrate or polycarbonate for your product? If BPA free is critical for the safety of your product we would recommend Kostrate® to you. If  you’re looking for product with heavy strength and it’s important but not critical to consumer safety, you may find polycarbonate suitable. If you are manufacturing a product that requires high impact strength PC wins against Kostrate in a wide temperature range roughly from below 0 to 300 F for PC and Kostrate is below 0 to 180 F.

If you have a product that requires a transparent, strong, but lightweight, plastic component or package give SPI a call today. We specialize in blow molding and injection molding of clear polycarbonate for use in many plastic products and product packaging. If you have food or beverages requiring transparent plastic packaging we have experience in both our blow molding and injection molding facilities for colored and clear Kostrate® packages and containers for food and most any other product you are producing to take to market. Give us a call today to determine which plastic will be the best choice for you product.

References:

http://www.bisphenol-a.org/human/polyplastics.html

USA EPA

Preparation of Premarket Submissions for Food Contact Substances Chemistry Recommendations

http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/ucm081818.htm

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.

What’s the Difference Between Thermoset Polymer and Thermoplastic?

 choosing between thermoset polymer and thermoplasticWhen you’re trying to choose the best kind of plastic for your new plastic mold you’re going to discover there are dozens of options to choose from. The plastics research phase can be quite confusing and overwhelming. The plastic you end up choosing for your new mold will depend upon the ways in which you’ll be using your plastic product or plastic component. The plastic material choice will also depend on the goals of your new mold. Without these details ironed out it’ll be much more difficult to decide which plastic and plastic process is best suited for your needs.

Two commonly used types of plastic include a thermoset polymer and thermoplastic. A lot of people confuse these two types of plastic due to name similarities. Below we highlight the crucial differences between these plastic types, as well as the style of final molds you can expect from using either thermoset Polymer and thermoplastic.

What Is A Thermoset Polymer?

A thermoset polymer is a type of polymer that sets, and cannot be changed, once it’s heated or cured. This kind of plastic cannot revert back to its original form after it’s been set. It also can’t be softened or changed. Essentially, you’re stuck with the final product once it’s been heated. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial you iron out every single detail with your mock-up and model, before you move onto mass production.

These kinds of molds are primarily used in automobile manufacturing, as they can be incredibly durable. They’re also used in certain inks, coatings, and adhesives.

What Is It Commonly Used For?

The most common form of a thermoset polymer is an automobile tire or a large truck tire. However, there are other common applications, which you’ll find below:

• Mattresses
• Cushions
• Home insulation
• Boat hulls
• Bathroom materials, like tubs and shower stalls
• Engine and helicopter blades
• Glues and adhesives
• Plywood
• Electronic coating
• Circuit boards and switches

As you can see this type of plastic has a very wide range of uses.

What Is A Thermoplastic?

A thermoplastic is a relatively weaker plastic that can soften when exposed to high heat, and can even be reverted back to its original form. Once this kind of plastic is heated it can be shaped by different molding processes, including, pressing, blow molding and injection molding, and pressing. A thermoplastic can be likened to an ice cube. It holds its shape once frozen but will melt and can assume many forms once it’s heated. This kind of plastic is very versatile and has a wide range of uses.

What Is It Commonly Used For?

Often, this kind of plastic is used in food packaging, as these kinds of plastics can be re-used and changed to fit many different needs. Some of the most common uses include, soft drink bottles and milk jugs, but there are other common uses, which we highlight below:

• Packaging film and wrap
Milk jugs and water bottles
• Housing wrap
• Car bumpers
• Carpet fibers
• Microwavable and storage containers
• Home siding
• Interior car panels
• Electrical cable covers

Choosing Between Thermoset Polymer and Thermoplastic

When choosing between thermoset polymer and thermoplastic, remember that thermoplastics are more pliable and can be re-used, but thermoset polymers are very rigid once heated and can’t be re-formed or molded once set.

If you’re looking for a plastic molding firm to help you conceptualize and produce your new plastic mold, then we hope you consider SPI industries. We’ve helped to produce a large variety of plastic molds across a diverse number of industries. If you have an idea for a plastic product or component that you want to bring to life, reach out to our team today.