Plastic Machining: Design Guide for Plastic Parts

How to use the Plastic 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 Free 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:Fast Plastic Prototypes-Don’t Slow Down Innovation

As the summer is about to end, so do vacations.   Specifically in a down economy, innovation is key in order to compete both domestically and internationally.    Don’t let slow plastic prototypes halt your research and development plans any further.  Save time by ordering short-run, quick-turn plastic prototypes. Time is of the essence when it comes to new product development.  Beat your competition to the punch in order to come out ahead.  Plastic prototypes in under a week will save you time, and allow for designs to tested and perfected at a faster rate.  In order to assure the precision and the tightest tolerances, plastic prototypes should be machined in order to achieve the best results.  Being quicker to the punch in regards to innovation is a huge advantage in the market place.  Allow for fast innovation, fast plastic prototypes are the answer. Plastic machining expert EPP Corporation is pleased to be able to offer fast plastic prototyping as a valuable service for proactive companies craving innovation.  Don’t sit on the sidelines and allow for the competition to come out ahead.  America’s Premier Plastic Machining Supplier is here to help. EPP’s short-run, quick-turn plastic prototypes feature the tightest tolerances, can simple or complex, and of course free design application and material selection engineering assistance is provided. For more details about our fast plastic prototype capabilities, Click Here.

Plastic Machining: Plastic Prototypes and Plastic Machining-Save Money and Time When Innovating

Fast Plastic Machined Prototypes as a Quick, Inexpensive Solution

In the new product development process, teams are faced with two roadblocks: cost and time. Specifically in a down economy a business needs to be innovative in order to stand out from the competition.

The initial frustration for research & development teams is cost. 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. While the cost cutting is crucial, revenues must also increase as a means of beating the competition.  Of course new product development is required to do so, but it needs to be cost effective.   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.  While molding requires full commitment to a part’s design, design changes to plastic machined parts cost absolutely nothing.

Time is of the essence regardless of industry. After costs are sorted out and the decision to use plastic machining has been made, time becomes the largest constraint.  That is where fast plastic prototyping comes into play. EPP Corporation is capable of short-run, quick-turn Custom Plastic Prototypes with delivery in one week or less.  The plastic machined prototypes are of the highest quality on tolerances up to +/- .001″.  Simple or complex 3D parts are welcomed for fast plastic prototyping, and free application engineering is available.
Don’t time and cost from preventing innovation.  Stand out from the competition through new product development. Save time and money by machining plastic components, and have your plastic prototypes delivered in under a week.

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

Plastic Machining: How To Save On Plastic Machined Parts-Lowering Unit Cost Through Supply Chain Management

Can A Plastic Machining Specialist Reduce Unit Cost on Plastic Machined Components?

Yes, a plastic machining expert can provide significant cost savings on plastic machined components by reducing unit cost.  However, the plastic machining expert must utilize a proven supply chain management system.  Utilizing a proven system allows for the plastic machining expert to provide significant savings that purchasing from a plastic machining vendor with a traditional purchasing method could not.  Here is how savings can be achieved per unit on plastic machined components:

Most plastic machining vendors evaluating a request for quote are unsure how the order will be placed.  The plastic machining vendor upon purchase order inquiry if faced with uncertainty from its customers.  The plastic machining vendor wonders if the order will be a one-time order, whether it will be the only order for this plastic machined part this year, when the order will be placed, and what the schedule will be.   If the plastic machining vendor needs raw material to produce the part, the material needs on the quote are based on the quoted quantity only and, because of the uncertainty, will represent a higher cost.  Uncertainty and low volume can add 15-20% or more in the unit cost.  EPP evaluates all the plastic machined parts needs together as one requirement.  Material needs are combined and submitted to the material vendor.  The material vendor is advised that the material will be released as needed and is expected to hold the price for one year.  In the end, materials saving can exceed 20%.  The proven supply chain management system from EPP provides savings to both fixed and variable costs, providing plastic machining customers with significant savings across the board on plastic machined parts.

Click Here for a thorough analysis on how to save on plastic machined parts through our proven supply chain method

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: 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: 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.