Covid-19 has impacted our world in more ways than one. The ability to keep your office, workspace, and your whole environment sanitized has increased greatly. The use of cleaning supplies for sanitation increases depending on the type of surface that you are sanitizing. Some surfaces are more porous than others needing to be sanitized more often to maintain a clean environment. At Performance Plastics, we deal with different types of plastics every day, making us experts in various materials that excel in a clean environment.

The type of material a product is made from is a big factor when keeping a clean environment. We have a wide array of high-performance plastics to choose from for your product, however, our go to material for clean environments is always Fluoropolymers. Fluoropolymers are virtually impervious to chemical, enzyme and microbiological attacks while eliminating biodegradation issues. The non-stick properties of these polymers reduce adhesion, making it the perfect surface for clean environments. The ability to keep liquids, gel, powder and other contaminates from sticking to the surface is what makes fluoropolymers safe for clean environments. There are various types of fluoropolymers such as PTFE, PFA, and FEP. Each polymer has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to various applications.

For more information on Fluoropolymers, contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

Performance Plastics adds the C-130 Prop Hub Adhesive Removal Kit to the EnduroSharp® Product line.  The EnduroSharp® C-130 Prop Hub Adhesive Removal Kit is used to safely remove adhesive from the propeller system.  The Kit comes complete with a case of custom foam inserts that contain: 2  pneumatic tools, 1 Class I, Division 2 flash light, 1 contoured sharpening fixture (requires 120 – 180 grit abrasive paper, sold separately) and 4 EnduroSharp® Torlon® Scraper Blades (2 each left hand and 2 each right hand).

Performance Plastics is excited to offer this new kit to our customers.  If you have any questions please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com

Having a mold made is a big investment for an OEM or brand owner of any size—a large enough outlay that it needs to be reliable the first time, every time. And once the tool is built and passes all tests, it’s up to the molder to ensure reliable parts are made on every cycle.

Truth be told, some molders are not able to use these tools effectively, devaluing this significant and time-intensive investment. At Performance Plastics in Cincinnati, we frequently see customers looking to transfer their molds because their previous molder couldn’t achieve production goals with the tool.

Why Transfer?

The main reason for transferring a mold comes down to the molder’s expertise. Generally, when a mold is transferred it’s because part consistency is missing. Even if the molder makes improvements, the customer has to be able to trust its expertise and ability to solve problems right off the bat. A box of bad parts results first in a loss of confidence, followed by a lost order. There’s a saying: You only have one chance to make a good impression.

At least half of Performance Plastics’ current client relationships started out with a mold transfer, including a tool that makes 1 million critical parts per year. With the previous molder, that customer was not getting consistent production and was worried that its products would fail in the field.

The Handoff

Like so many others, that million-part customer initially reached out to Performance Plastics to discuss mold transfer. But the first step in the process actually isn’t packing the mold into a crate and shipping it to our Cincinnati offices. The first step is defining the problem.

At least half of Performance Plastics’ current client relationships started out with a mold transfer

Before a company can understand why it’s not getting the type of product that it needs, it must know what it wants out of its finished product and what it should be able to do. Ask yourself: Do you know exactly what your product is and what it offers? Do you know all of its critical operations? You cannot have a solution without a clearly defined goal.

For example, your customer might need “Diameter A” to be perfect. However, production of the mold was driven more by another product feature.

Any qualified molder knows that it must understand what’s important to its customer and whether or not the customer is getting it out of the product. Define the problem; don’t just identify the symptoms.

Once the tool arrives, look at the project holistically and try to determine whether the problems described by the customer are related to the tooling, processing or molding capabilities of the prior molder. Review the tool completely, verifying tool steel, venting, cooling channels and any other pertinent aspects.

Once you have the mold in the press, utilize scientific injection molding principles to develop a process and set up the process-control variables to ensure that process is “locked in.” In some cases, the previous molders didn’t use a robust approach in working with the tool and just missed something. We’ve had some success at Performance Plastics identifying these types of mishaps by using our industrial computed tomography (CT) scanning equipment. By rotating the part 360° and using X-rays to create a precise 3D model, industrial CT scanning allows us to see the inner workings of a part without having to destroy it for inspection.

In addition to the application of scientific injection molding principles, use a design of experiments (DOE) to ensure you have identified the pertinent process-control variables and their limits. DOE is a branch of applied statistics that deals with the planning, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting of controlled tests to evaluate the factors that control the value of a parameter or group of parameters. At Performance Plastics, we use software that allows us to dial in and predict tolerances as they relate to process changes. DOE is a powerful data-collection and analysis tool that can be used in a variety of experimental situations. You need to know how multiple varying factors in a design interrelate and affect the results that you believe are important.

The Transfer Process

While transferring a mold from one supplier to another usually takes between two and six weeks, our experience has revealed it can actually be accomplished in as little as three days. Our engineering team works with the customer and its engineering department from the start to identify issues after the mold arrives.

At Performance Plastics, we have three in-house toolmakers that can handle mold modifications to correct errors and create fixtures and robotic end effectors if needed. In many circumstances, the prior molder and mold designer did not plan for adequate venting or they sized the mold to a poor process. After our trial runs, we are able to use our expertise in metrology to identify the best course of action.

We have a saying at Performance Plastics, “It’s not tight-tolerance unless you can measure it.” Once we know what we need to change, we work with our toolmakers to implement the plan. A lot of the timing revolves around the customer’s ability to supply its own clients. Since the mold is already in use and contracts have been signed, customers need to keep up their inventory of parts to meet demand, all while working to transfer the mold to another supplier who can use it more effectively.

We understand that it’s a painful process to transfer tools and switch suppliers. That said, we’ve handled more than 150 mold transfers over the years and know how to make the transition as seamless and painless as possible.

About the Authors:

Anthony Malone is VP of technology for Performance Plastics Ltd., a Cincinnati-based custom molder. With more than 25 years of experience in thermoplastics, Malone’s expertise extends into resin selection, part design and mold design. He works extensively with customers early in the product-design cycle to optimize part performance, manufacturability and life-cycle customer costs based on his extensive knowledge of advanced manufacturing techniques. Contact: amalone@performanceplastics.com.

Chris Lawson is COO of Performance Plastics and has more than 20 yr of experience with PPL. He started as a process engineer and then advanced through roles in quality, safety and manufacturing before assuming overall responsibility for operations. Lawson has specialized knowledge in the areas of automation (for production and inspection), vision systems, high-temperature polymers, process optimization and employee training. Contact: clawson@performanceplastics.com.

 

View Full Article in Plastics Technology Magazine

EnduroSharp® Online Order Form, is now available to our customers.  The new EnduroSharp® form is an interactive online form that gives our customers the ability to place an order or even request for a quote at their convenience.  The form has all of our EnduroSharp® products and prices listed, just select the quantity amount on the box and you will see your total at the bottom of the page. If you are looking to request a quote, the online form will give you a total for the products you would like to quote, followed by an emailed copy of your quote.  When placing an order the form will also, give you a total for the products you would like to purchase and provides an area for you to pay for the order with your credit card.

Performance Plastics is excited to bring this new offering to our customers.  If you have any questions please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

Performance Plastics continues to add more capabilities that allow them to push the limits of tolerance control. A 165 Ton Sodick GL150A with Ultra-Precision Repeatability, was just installed at Performance Plastics facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 165 Ton Sodick GL150A, achieves high speeds and pressures up to 500mm/sec and 49,700 psi. High response injection is one of the most important characteristics in critical molding applications. The machine’s low mass/ low inertia plunger is directly responsible for its quick deceleration and ultra-precision control. The exceptional speed of the controller provides real time response during injection and records the melt cushion in 0.001″ for accurate process stabilization. This new Sodick machine will allow Performance Plastics to continue to push the limits of High Precision Molding with their “Problem Solved” approach. Below are some of the features this machine provides:

    • Up to 500 mm/sec 19.69”/sec) speed
    • Up to 343 MPa (49,750 psi) pressure
    • High dosing accuracy combined with an ultra-repeatable process
    • Quick response in injection acceleration & deceleration
    • Reduced shear melt vs traditional Injection Molding Screws
    • Shot usage from 10% of total shot or less vs 20% for traditional Injection Molding Process
    • Backflow prevention

“Performance Plastics has been a targeted prospect for Sodick Injection Molding machines by Plustech Inc. for some time due to a similar mindset. High temperature materials, complex geometry applications, along with micro “feature” parts can be difficult if the right machinery and personnel are not in place. Once both of our engineering teams collaborated on a challenging application it was then when we began our relationship. Performance is a company that has the capabilities to work on the high end of the technology curve and we look forward to continue to work and grow with the Performance Plastics team.” Len Hampton, Sodick National Sales Manager

“Purchasing the Sodick GL150, was an easy choice for us. We have worked with Sodick for several years. Their sales staff knew we were looking for a machine to take our abilities to the next level. The GL150 gives us that, increasing our maximum pressure by 33% over our current capabilities. Sodick provided our team with extensive training, making sure this new technology was fully implemented within our systems and facility. The Sodick GL150 gives us one additional tool in our arsenal to push our limits and to create solutions for our customers.” Chris Lawson, Performance Plastics, Chief Operating Officer

About Performance Plastics
Performance Plastics is a Cincinnati based precision injection molder founded in 1982. Performance Plastics design and manufacture injection molded parts made with ultra-high-performance plastics, specializing in complex geometries and tight tolerances for critical applications. For more information visit www.performanceplastics.com or contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or RReed@performanceplastics.com.

Industrial CT Scanning can help during multiple manufacturing stages

CINCINNATI, Ohio, April 30, 2019 ― Performance Plastics is pleased to announce a new service that helps round out its offering: industrial computed tomography (CT) scanning.

Performance Plastics CT Scan ServicesIndustrial CT scanning gives customers access to the inner workings of a part without having to destroy the original. The scanner rotates the part 360 degrees and uses X-rays to create a precise 3D model. This allows for a thorough analysis of object dimensions, porosity, wall thickness, assembly defects, comprehensive comparisons, and reverse engineering.

The CT scan can then be compared to the CAD model and to other parts. Plus, it can easily analyze surface variations and provide cross sections to reveal hidden features.

Performance Plastics offers a variety of CT scan-related services:

  • Part-to-CAD comparisons create a precise overlay of the scanned part to the original 3D part model database
  • Part-to-part comparisons provide an overlay of two scanned parts to reveal dimensional deviation
  • Void and inclusion analysis provides material and defect analysis showing void or inclusion size and locations
  • Wall thickness analysis measures slight changes in the wall stock of complex parts without destructive testing
  • Dimensional analysis provides full article inspections and reporting
  • Reverse engineering capabilities that generate a 3D CAD file

“Industrial CT scanning can be necessary during five different manufacturing stages,” said Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “When you’re in pre-production, it can help with the project design and analysis. During production, you can use CT scanning to evaluate consistency. At the failure investigation stage, it will find defects. The CT scanner can run repeatability tests when you’re doing inspections. And if you need design adjustments or are doing further R&D, it can help with reverse engineering.”

As for what Performance Plastics can handle when CT scanning:

  • Maximum part size is 300mm diameter x 350 mm tall
  • Scan time is typically less than one hour
  • Accuracy (using Calypso) of 9+L/50 microns
  • X-ray-based measurement system is non-contact
  • Parts do not require potting

About Performance Plastics

We are problem solvers. We design and manufacture injection molded parts made with ultra-high-performance plastics such as Torlon®, PEEK, Ultem® and fluoropolymers. (FEP, PFA, PVDF). We specialize in molding parts with complex geometries and very tight tolerances for critical applications such as aerospace/defense, medical, and energy. We achieve this by combining a unique product design approach with proprietary process technology and state-of-the art quality control that provides our customers the “lowest cost solution.” Our engineers deliver results where others say, “it can’t be done.”

 

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