Plastic Machining: Plastic Machining Expert and EPP Corporation CEO Alex Curtiss Interviewed by Dustin Mattison

Plastic Machining expert, EPP Corporation President and CEO Alex Curtiss was interviewed by Dustin Mattison from the Kinaxis Supply Chain Expert Community on July 26, 2011. Play the video below to hear Mr. Curtiss and Mr. Mattison discuss the subject of how U.S. manufacturers remain competitive compared to Asian sourcing.

Here’s a small excerpt from Mr Curtiss’ interview:

“The key is a combination of commitment and flexibility. EPP has found that a lot of customers come back to them. EPP is ISO Certified and they guarantee 100% quality. When the material goes in, it goes right to the line, most of their customers don’t even check their parts. If they want anything at all EPP sends a written quality report with it, but most customers don’t request this.”

EPP Corporation would like to extend its thanks to Mr. Mattison

For more on Alex Curtiss’ interview visit the page on Dustin Mattison’s blog

For more on why to select a domestic plastic machining vendor visit EPP’s Stay Domestic Blog


Plastic Machining: Selecting The Right Plastic Machining Vendor For Your Custom Plastic Machined Parts

Not all plastic machining vendors are equipped to offer all parts. Other plastic machining companies may not be able to give you the best prices. The following guidelines can help you locate a fully-qualified, cost effective plastic machinining specialist for all your plastic machined component needs:

  1. Material Knowledge
  2. Purchasing Practices
  3. Equipment
  4. Quality and Price
  5. Looking For the Best

Be sure to ask potential plastic machined parts vendors how they comply with these guidelines.

If you have a need for plastic machined components, request a quote!

Plastic Machining: Free, Helpful Tools in Selecting Plastic Machined Component Materials

All plastic materials are not created equal. When having custom plastic machined parts produced, it is crucial to select the appropriate materials in order for the plastic machined components to meet desired specifications and performance requirements.  In order to simplify the process of selecting the appropriate plastic material for your machined plastic parts, EPP Corporation offers a free Plastic Properties Handbook and Plastic Machining Design Guide.

How to Use the Design Guide

  1. Refer to the Design Considerations at the bottom of this page. Consider whether each item on the checklist is a factor in the application or affects performance requirements for the component design.
  2. Select the categories that have the greatest affect on your application.
  3. Review the materials in the Plastic Properties Handbook and make a list of possible material candidates.
  4. Contact our technical support to discuss options or ask additional questions.

Custom Plastic Machined Components

Plastic Machining Design Considerations

  • Thermosensitivity – tolerance can change in different temperature conditions
  • Sensitivity to humidity and hygroscopic absorption affects tolerance
  • Sensitivity to chemicals and oils
  • Notch sensitive corners and square ID’s
  • Tolerances
  • High loads
  • High impact
  • Fatigue loading or cycle loading requires consideration of flexing, deflecting, and compression
  • Temperature – max/min extent of time
  • Electrical considerations such as insulating properties
  • Wear resistance or abrasion resistance
  • Dimensional shape retention (load, cold flow, temperature)
  • Regulatory requirements (FDA, UL, etc.)
  • Appearance (color, texture)
  • Optical requirements
  • Outdoor use

Now that you’ve identified the important factors in your application, evaluate material specs in the Plastic Properties Handbook and select your material!

Plastic Machining: Rest Assured with EPP’s Proven Supply Chain Method

Reduce stress, guarantee delivery, and save money on plastic machining production orders

The typical plastic machining order process involves submitting new requests for quote and purchase orders each time requirements are approaching. While this process is common in order to prevent the carrying of excess inventory, excess time and money are wasted in order for individual quotes and orders to be processed each time a plastic machining requirement is approaching. Since future orders are not locked in, neither are material costs-variable costs.

The Solution:  EPP’s Supply Chain Method

Since production parts are always re-ordered our supply chain method is the solution.  Our method will eliminate the concern for carrying excess inventory, while saving time and money.

EPP’s Method is as follows:

-The buyer provides drawings for all plastic machined parts that will be needed for their production over a 12-month period and gives a rough estimate of annual quantity based on existing usage forecasts. This quantity is used solely as a benchmark and can be adjusted given changes in usage.

-We evaluate all plastic machining requirements as one requirement-allowing for material prices to be locked in for the entire year (savings of as much as 20%)

-After the annual purchase order is placed for all the parts, the only other commitment for the customer is a delivery release forecast. A 12-week forecast that updates each week is ideal. Many customers simply forecast a monthly or weekly release and adjust the quantity as needed.

EPP holds substantial inventory in case an unexpected spike in usage occurs, eliminating the worry of struggling to meet production deadlines on products using plastic machined parts.

Our components are manufactured with strict quality standards guided by ISO standards, SPC, and customer inspection protocol to ensure that all critical dimensions are addressed.

On time delivery and dock to stock quality are guaranteed with all plastic machining orders.

By utilizing our supply chain method when ordering plastic machined components you will receive your parts when you want them, with 100% quality, and worry free.


Plastic Machining: Machined Plastic Components-A Low Cost, New Product Development Solution

New product development teams nationwide are frustrated with corporate cost cutting and lack of capital for their R&D plans. Valuable projects are put on hold because R&D budgets cannot cover the expensive introductory costs of new tooling and initial manufacturing of new designs. In today’s economic environment, corporate cost cutting is needed to help companies survive the recession. However, if companies can develop new products that provide value at today’s price levels, they will emerge from this recession well ahead of the competition.

Many companies are searching for ways to move new product development projects forward without breaking the bank on initial investments. Research and development, prototypes, and pilot run quantities have to be completed with very minimal investment and without compromising flexibility of quantity and design.

Smart companies have employed strategies to enhance their new product development. A good example lies in companies manufacturing products that contain plastic parts. If projects have plastic components, then the cost of tooling can be a huge obstacle. Tooling and molds can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The solution: have the plastic parts machined. Prototypes as well as the first few years of production quantities can be produced for a fraction of the cost.

Machined plastic parts include little or no tooling charges, and can be delivered in two weeks. While molding requires full commitment to a part’s design, design changes to plastic machined parts cost absolutely nothing. Request a Quote from a quality plastic machining vendor for a fast, cost-effective solution for new product development and launches.

Contact EPP Corporation now to see how custom plastic machined parts can help your new product hit the market and put your company ahead of the game!

Plastic Machining: Why Select a Plastic Machined Components Manufacturer with ISO Certification?

Is It Important To Choose a Plastic Machining Vendor That is ISO Certified?

Yes, selecting an ISO certified plastic machined components vendor ultimately provides an assurance that purchasers of plastic machined components will receive  parts that meet their individual specifications and requirements.

The ISO system allows the producer to not only ensure that they meet or exceed specifications and requirements, but also allows for consistent day-to-day quality control procedures, and process that are predictable and repeatable.

With good process control, ISO manufacturers are also able to reduce waste, and lower operating costs and idle time in production, resulting in savings to their customers. Having good process control also allows the ISO manufacturer the tools to track production which guarantees on-time deliveries.

Well implemented ISO processes can produce cost-effective custom plastic machined components with minimal production times, on-time delivery with predictable quality.

For high quality custom plastic machined parts, contact ISO 9001:2008 Certified plastic machining specialists EPP/Engineered Plastic Products Corporation.

Plastic Machining: Selecting The Right Plastic Machining Vendor For Your Custom Plastic Machined Parts

Not all plastic machining vendors are equipped to offer all parts. Others may not be able to give you the best prices. The following guidelines can help you locate a fully-qualified, cost effective plastic machining specialist for all your plastic machined components:

  1. Material Knowledge
  2. Purchasing Practices
  3. Equipment
  4. Quality and Price
  5. Looking For the Best

Be sure to ask potential plastic machined parts vendors how they comply with these guidelines.

If you have a need for plastic machined components, request a quote!

Plastic Machining: In a Time Crunch? – The Solution

Fully Functional Plastic Prototypes In Under A Week Are The Answer

Throughout the R&D process delays are expected.  Projects are often put on hold for months, only for a deadline to another project quickly approach.  At EPP Corporation, our delivery dates are typically 2-3 weeks from order date on production plastic machining orders however, what if you need parts sooner?

The solution is to utilize EPP Corporation’s fast plastic machined prototype service. Plastic prototypes will arrive to your dock in under a week. Our custom plastic prototypes our fully functional, saving the time and trouble involved in simply ordering a prototype for only form and fit.  Any flaw in the component’s design will be caught quickly, rather than being caught post production.

Our plastic machined prototypes are of the highest quality with close tolerances.  Simple or complex parts are welcomed for fast plastic prototyping, and free application engineering is available.  Since drawings have already been provided when prototyping moving these plastic machined parts to production is quick and easy.

For more information on EPP’s custom plastic prototype capabilities CLICK HERE

For information about EPP’s plastic machining production capabilities CLICK HERE

Plastic Machining: Stay Domestic for Your Custom Plastic Machined Parts Needs

While the trend has been to outsource production, and to purchase from overseas companies as a cost cutting mechanism, is purchasing from a foreign firm the right move for a company in need of custom machined plastic components?

The simple answer to this question is…NO

If components are ordered from a foreign firm, the move can be far more costly than doing business with a domestic plastic machining specialist. At EPP Corporation, we serve and specialize in custom plastic machined parts for critical industries such as the aerospace, medical, instrumentation, fluid power, and military industries, the highest precision is required. These critical industries cannot use custom plastic components that do not meet strict specifications. By purchasing overseas, the risk of purchasing from a plastic machining company without certification, as well as not being able to have an open line of communication alone are huge risks. Errors would garner components useless, and replacement plastic machined parts would take long to be reordered and received (10-16 weeks on average), hindering the possibility of meeting deadlines, as well as no guarantee that the proper materials and processes are being utilized. The additional risk of items being damaged through their long transport to your doorstep, can be costly both to the pocket book, as well as creating vast time constraints. Companies often seek domestic firms to correct the errors of overseas vendors after having been put into a time crunch.

That being said, selecting the best domestic plastic machining company does require some due diligence. Not all plastic machining vendors are equipped to offer all parts. Others may not be able to give you the best prices
The following guidelines can help you locate a fully-qualified, cost effective plastic machining specialist:

At EPP Corp we pride ourselves in the value proposition of combining the highest quality, competitive cost, and fast, on-time delivery. EPP is also here to provide its customers assistance throughout the purchasing and engineering processes of our custom plastic components. From the simplest to the most complex component or plastic prototype, EPP assures high precision plastic machining and on-time delivery (2-3 week turnarounds, as well as one week or less delivery for short-run, quick-turn custom plastic prototypes).

Stay domestic, and choose the best, EPP Corporation

Plastic Machining: Using a Metal Machining Company to Produce Plastic Machined Parts: The Risks

Engineers and buyers often reach out to metal machining companies to produce plastic machined parts, thinking, “They use the same manufacturing processes, don’t they? Does it really matter?”

It does matter. If you’ve wondered whether you should have a metal machinist produce your plastic machined parts, The Short Answer Is – No, You Should Not

Here’s why:

Cutting fluids for each material are crucial: Equipment used to machine metal – even if only used for metal occasionally – can contaminate parts with oil-based cutting fluids. Many plastics are also very sensitive to petroleum based cutting fluids and will degrade if they come into contact with these fluids. Additionally, many plastics are hydroscopic and will absorb the cutting oils. If the parts are being manufactured for FDA-approved uses or medical applications, they will not meet standards.

Metal fragments contaminate plastic parts: It is difficult to adequately clean a machine that has been working on metals, especially if it has been working on stainless steel. This can lead to another contamination problem. If the plastic material is soft, residual metal fragments can become embedded in the plastic machined parts.

Metal shops are experts in metal, not plastic: Metal machining companies rarely have any in-depth knowledge of plastic materials, or more specifically, which material to use in an application. Plastic machinining specialists know what plastics are best for any function, and can produce the plastic part you need without the “trial-and-error” processes a metal machinist would use. A good plastic machining firm will have the material knowledge and the right machining processes to consistently give you the highest quality plastic machined parts.

If you’ve got custom plastic machined components, EPP Corporation can help.