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Injection Molding (574) 272-3733
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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.

Get Your Invention To Market: Start With A Strong Prototype

Get Your Invention To Market: Start With A Strong Prototype

Before you begin shopping around your new idea there’s some groundwork you’ll need to take care of first. Having an idea is easy; it’s the steps that come after that are the most difficult. 

A strong prototype will give you many tangible and intangible benefits that will speed up market adoption, and give your invention a chance to thrive. Below we highlight several reasons why you’ll want to start with a strong prototype for your new idea.

1. Having A Tangible Product Gives You Confidence

When you have a spectacular idea for an invention it can be tempting to spend all of your time creating product mockups and refining the initial design. This step is very important, but you’ll never make progress towards your goal if you never create something tangible.

A plastic prototype, even if it is flawed will give you confidence that you’re moving forward with your creation. Once you have the initial prototype you can work with it to truly polish and improve your design.

2. It Allows You To Refine Your Product First

During your first product run-through you’re always going to have kinks to work out. Or, you may need to add or remove certain features. By creating a plastic prototype you’ll be able to refine the design of your product into a workable prototype. You might also start with one type of plastic and molding process, and then decide that another type of plastic will make your product more durable. The range of function and processing methods as well as type of plastics available can be overwhelming to new product inventors.

This allows you to avoid any product mishaps that might occur without proper prototyping. The only way to truly create a plastic product that exceeds your expectations is by starting with an initial prototype and innovating from that point.

3. Can Experiment With Production and Distribution Methods

When taking your design to market chances are you’re going to need to scale. This means you’ll need to have your production and distribution methods ironed out.

By starting with a strong prototype you can smooth out the plastic production process, and any methods of distribution to reach your customers or your suppliers ahead of time.

4. A Strong Protoype Strengthens Your Investment Potential

When you’re approaching potential investors about your product it’s one thing to tell them about it. It’s an entirely different experience altogether when you show them. Graphics, plans, and descriptions can only go so far. By creating a working plastic prototype you enable an investor to truly experience what it’s like to use your product. 

At SPI we can help make inventors dreams a reality.

With our state of the art plastic production and molding facility we can cater to your every need. Our team of engineers has decades of experience producing plastic prototypes across a wide array of fields. If you’re interested in bringing your idea to life, then reach out to our team here, or give us a call at (269) 849-3200.

BPA-Free-Molding-Phthalate-Free-and-PVC-Free-Plastic Products

BPA-Free Molding, Phthalate-Free, and PVC-Free Products

BPA-Free-Molding-Phthalate-Free-and-PVC-Free-Products
There are so many choices when it comes to the type of plastic required for the job, and molding process that will best suit the end result. One of the latest and largest trends is the shift towards BPA-Free molding, and Phthalate-Free and PVC-Free products. At SPI Industries we believe it’s important to stay on top of the latest processes and healthy plastics to truly offer our customers the best service possible.

Below we dive into the reasons you may want to consider BPA-Free Molding, and Phthalate-Free, PVC-Free products for your next product mold.

Why Choose BPA-Free Molding?

Chances are you’ve seen a product labeled “BPA free” when you’ve gone to the store to buy a water bottle, or any type of food container. Studies have shown that BPA bottles have been known to leech BPA into the bottles when exposed to extreme temperatures. With the increase in studies that have shown the potential health risks of BPA, more consumers are now looking for a BPA-free option.

This is where BPA-Free Molding comes into play. This style of molding process will ensure your products are free from BPA. Although, the FDA hasn’t officially labeled BPA as being harmful for consumer use, a lot of companies are already switching their plastic products to BPA-free. Especially, if they produce children’s goods, or food related containers.

Plastic products produced using BPA-Free molding will be free of PVC, phthalate, and BPA.

Best Uses For This Style Of Mold And Plastic

Most plastics that are free from these chemicals are commonly found in products that come into human contact, or are used in food processing. For instance, a lot of children’s toys and baby food containers are produced using this style of molding.

A lot of food containers, water bottles, milk jugs, plastic cups, and bath toys are commonly produced using BPA-free molding as well.

When you’re trying to consider whether or not to use BPA-free molding for your next set of plastic products it’s important to think about how your products will be used now and into the future. If your plastic products will come into frequent contact with humans through physical contact, or will be used to house food-related products, then staying ahead of the consumer preference curve could be very beneficial for your business.

SPI’s Experience With This Type Of Plastic

At SPI our focus is on providing our customers with the molding processes and types of plastics they require for their business to succeed. Since conscious consumer trends point towards BPA-Free molding and the resulting plastics as the way of the future, it’s important for forward-thinking companies to be able to add this to their product lines.

Our processing capabilities and years of experience enable us to ensure your plastic mold meets all of your required specifications the first time through. A lot of facilities may have the right equipment, but without years of experience working with different types of molding processes, the results will be less than desirable.

If you’re a business owner who needs a new line of BPA-Free, Phthalate-Free, or PVC free plastic products, get in touch with our team of professionals today.

Blow molded, Rotationally molded, or Injection molded? How to make a Good Duck

Blow molded, Rotationally molded, or Injection molded? How to make a Good Duck

Which came first, designing the mold or designing the rubber duck? In the case of The Good Duck the bigger question was which process, blow molding, rotational molding, or injection molding, will result in the best rubber duck ever?

injection molded novelty items

Following through on a crazy idea, Craig Wolfe premiered Betty Boop Duck in 1997, and his company, CelebriDucks was born. Originally invented in the USA, this American icon had long since been outsourced over seas. CelebriDucks returned the art of rubber duck manufacturing back to the United States.

From NBA players, to Mr T, and KISS’s Gene Simmons, CelebriDucks are collectible rubber ducks fashioned after some of the greatest icons of film, music, athletics, and history. CelebriDucks was voted the top fan give-away by ESPN in sports stadiums all over the country.

Not easily satisfied, inventor and CelebriDucks founder Craig Wolfe, had to take the product to a higher level. His most recent invention, The Good Duck, is known as the safest rubber duck on the planet.

As most parents know, the first thing babies do when they grasp an object is to put it in their mouth. The Good Duck is made of medical and food grade materials that are soft and safe for teething children. FDA approved, PVC, Phthalate, lead and BPA free, The Good Duck is 100% Made in the USA, and it floats!

With all great ideas comes research and development. Knowing he wanted a safe, soft, rubber duck that floated, Wolfe knew BPA free and PVC free was the way to go. Hence, his tour of blow molding and injection molding plants throughout the United States. As he bounced from factory to factory researching processes and materials he noted SPI Blow Molding in Coloma, Michigan was already using a soft material that could work. Safety and softness was key for the cute duck.

SPI Industries won the development of the Good Duck

Wolfe explained the determining factor for choosing SPI Industries and SPI Blow Molding was the expertise of the people compared to other plastic manufacturing facilities in the mid-west.  SPI had the experience with reach and development to support The Good Duck project.

Still, that’s only part of the story. The softness of the material, the product safety, and the desire for ducks of different color took much trial and error. Choosing the correct material, one that would remain very soft and hold design detail into molds is challenging. Fine tuning CAD designs, re-molding, sculpting, testing and refinement of molds was time consuming and expensive.

Should a Good Duck be blow molded, rotationally molded, or injection molded?

The Good Duck design was originally planned to be injection molded. Once Wolfe started working with SPI Industries, owned James Doster, advised him on a different direction. With injection molding the Good Duck would be in two pieces. The two pieces would need to be glued together. SPI engineers explained, “The plastic needed for the injection molding method would be too hard and would require welding.” Because a true rubber duck needs to float, it needed to be hollow. Blow molding it as one piece and sealing in the bottom was the solution.

The next challenge was determining wall thickness. The soft material they wanted to use with the characteristics that make the Good Duck safe and chewable doesn’t flow like normal resins. Getting the wall thickness exact took some time.

“SPI Companies do more than just manufacturer, they’re trail blazers. They’re making a difference in every way they can, creating jobs and producing innovative products with cutting edge technology.”

For the Good Duck to be completely safe, color needed to be molded right in the product. Adding color was a another challenge because colorant adds weight and effects the floating capability. Consistent balance was critical and very intricate. “Not easy technology, but SPI came up with a formula that is top of its grade with an age grading of 0 and up and thus completely safe for ALL ages!” reported Wolfe.

SPI also provided a great supplier for packaging services for The Good Duck. American gift boxes are usually very expensive and drive up price point. SPI staff helped to locate a gift box manufacturer right here in the United States, keeping cost in line and also ensuring The Good Duck is 100% Made in America.

Future plans are in place to expand The Good Duck line because it is so unique. Communities who hold annual duck races as fundraisers can now use American made ducks! The Good Duck may also be employed as a promotional piece with custom embossing or silk screening of logos.

Wolfe says. “What’s good for you and the planet is the right thing to do. The Good Duck should be done and we should be making it in America. We now have a niche as we’re the only ones making them here and The Good Duck cannot be duplicated anywhere. It’s a cute little duck!”

Wolfe insists on getting the best product out there and The Good Duck will come out of the gate very strong with the highest level of product safety. Watch for the blue, yellow, and pink Good Ducks on the shelves of your favorite stores as early as December, 2015. If you just can’t wait, you can pre-order Good Ducks on the website http://CelebriDucks..com, call 415-456-3452 or email info@CelebriDucks.com

Benefits of Creating a Plastic Prototype for Production Molding

Benefits of Creating a Plastic Prototype for Production Molding
When you consider creating a new part that is to be made of plastic and the tooling cost is considerable, it is most desirable to test the functionality of the part prior to actually building the tool. Creating a plastic prototype can help determine if the part will function as designed. Modifications to a tool can not only be costly but degrade its overall performance and longevity.

The CAD Systems of today, such as Solid Works, which is what we use at SPI Blow Molding and SPI Industries provide a great deal of power to make changes to a part quickly as well as draw all related interacting parts to test the stack up interference fit required in a final assembly. Solid Modeling on the computer has replaced the need for some part prototyping of the past. None the less, there are several current approaches to making a prototype of the product that remain relevant today.

Plastic Mold 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, has made prototyping not only less expensive but extremely quick to completion.  In today’s fast paced manufacturing arena the quicker a product can move from the sales planning stage to the manufacturing floor the better.  The life span of a consumer product has become incredibly short, thereby increasing, the pressure to develop new products even faster.  An example of how SPI Blow Molding recently used Rapid Prototype Printing to solve a problem for one of our customers, The Best Bins, was the development of a Portion Control Cylinder which was to be retrofitted into a current bulk food container dispensing unit.  Our engineering department drew the new portion control cylinder using Solid Works.  The drawing was then sent to the Rapid Prototype Entity, where it was produced.

The Plastic Printer, working similar to laying down ink, uses heated plastic resin instead of ink.  The printer then makes repeated passes just as it would if printing on a piece of paper, only it continues to make passes laying down a thin film of plastic resin with each pass.  Each pass prints a slightly different geometry, thus changing the shape of the plastic that is being printed. Each pass also moves up slightly preparing for the next pass.  This process is repeated hundreds and hundreds of times, until a completed part has been produced.  The part can be hollow or in nearly any shape, making it a perfect process to prototype parts for both Injection Molding and Blow Molding, which is what we do here at SPI.

Blow molded plastic bin dispenserThe Prototype Portion Control Cylinder was then tested for the amount of product it would allow to move though the dispensing unit on The Best Bins Bulk Food Container.  The amount was not what we wanted.  Four versions of the prototype part later we were all pleased with the outcome. At that point we were ready to build a new tool.

The amount of time and money saved by being able to rapid prototype this part was significant to our customer.  Without this testing capability we would have been forced to rebuild a mold cavity multiple times, which is both expensive and destructive to the integrity of the new tool.

It should be noted this approach is best used to determine size and fit, not strength and toughness.  Material characteristics will be very different in the prototype than in the final molded version.

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.

Pull-Ahead-Cavity-plastic-liquid-dispenserSPI 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.

Reap benefits of creating a plastic prototype for production molding. SPI Blow Molding and SPI Industries injection molding specialize in custom solutions and mold design. SPI Blow Molding and SPI Industries injection molding specialize in custom solutions. Bring us your plastic parts and plastic product manufacturing challenges and let us get to work creating solutions.

Where to Get Custom Injection Molded Plastics in Michigan

Custom Injection Molded Plastics in Michigan
When you’re planning to purchase or design custom injection molded plastics in Michigan, Indiana and the surrounding states there are many factors to consider. Because there are multiple avenues to take it’s important that you consider your options before moving forward.

Below we’re going to showcase how you can choose the best custom injection molded plastics in Michigan company for your needs. There are a lot of variables to consider, so make sure you choose wisely.

Multiple Industry Availability

The industry you work in will help to determine the style of plastic parts you require. Every injection molding facility won’t be able to deliver the level of parts you need to complete your project.

Everything from food containers, children’s toys, outdoor recreation products, to home supplies, to manufacturing goods, and more. Each of these types of goods will require a different kind of finished product, and some facilities will be better than others. For that reason it’s important to understand the specs surrounding your product before you place an order with a plastic injection molding facility.

For example, do you require thin walls or thick walls? Is your product complex or easy to produce? Do you need a high or low quantity?

These questions and more will help to guide the selection of your facility.

Ability to Produce Custom Parts

Can the plastic molding facility provide custom parts?

If you’re looking for an injection molding facility, then chances are you’re going to need a custom part. Some facilities only produce a set of standard parts, and don’t have the required machinery to cater to custom part creation.

Services To Help Base Your Decision

Below you’ll find a list of the most common distinguishing factors that will help you choose the right facility for your custom injection molded plastic parts.

  1. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Runs – Do you require a continuous supply of parts for the long-term, or do you only need parts for a short period of time? Some facilities require you place an order of over 2,000 units, while others are more flexible. When choosing your Custom Injection Molded Plastics in Indiana or Michigan production facility, make sure you find one that provides the correct parts on the timeline you need.
  2. Prototypes – The process of prototyping (link to older blog post) allows you to test different versions of your unit, before moving forward with the final step in production. There are multiple styles of prototyping available. If you don’t have a completely perfect model of the plastic piece you’re going to need produced, then you can greatly benefit from a facility that enables you to prototype first.
  3. Craftsmanship Due Care – What level of plastic parts do you need produced? In some cases you can get away with having lower quality plastic parts, but other times you must ensure every mold is created perfectly. The level of care and craftsmanship you require will help to determine which facility you choose.
  4. Thin Wall, High Tech Parts – The injection molding equipment and process they use will create different types of parts. If you require thin walled and high tech parts, you’ll need to work with a facility that offers that style of part. Once again, choose a facility that has a background in producing the style of part you require.
  5. Secondary Operations – What about when the parts are complete? Do you need a team to assemble, store and ship your parts, or will you do this yourself?

These secondary options can be costly, but also necessary depending upon the type of business you run. Some facilities cater to shipping, storage, and assembly, but others do not.

If you have any questions regarding where you can get your plastic molded parts, then get in contact with SPI today. We love help our customers across the Michigan area get the plastic parts they need.

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.

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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.

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