Plastic Injection: accounting for production requirements starting in the design stage

Plastic Injection: accounting for production requirements starting in the design stage

Plastic injection, a technique patented in 1872 that became widespread in the late 1940s, is a commonly-used method for parts manufacturing. A wide variety of parts, both in technical terms and aesthetics, can be made at a lower cost. However, the final appearance largely depends on the way it was designed, taking into account the constraints. Designing parts like these requires an in-depth understanding of the specificities of plastic injection moulding, how it works, and the variables that influence the quality of the final product. This is why it’s vital to take these variables into account before designing the product. To this end, it’s often smart to get the mould manufacturer (the company who will make the injection mould) involved in the development cycle, right from the start, so that their opinion and production guidelines are integrated into the part’s design. Plastic injection moulding basics There are 3 essential rules that must be followed: The piece’s thickness must be uniform in order to prevent warping and internal stress during post-injection cooling (the plastic must be at a temperature that allows it to remain liquid for injection); Choose a parting line to determine the direction in which the part will be removed from the mould; Define the draught to ensure the part will be properly ejected from the mould. Draught is the angle given to a surface so that it can be removed from the mould. On the other hand, generating undercut means designing a shape that goes against the direction of removal from the mould for technical reasons, such as creating specific technical functions such as clips. Moulding constraints...
Additive manufacturing technologies

Additive manufacturing technologies

Additive manufacturing refers to several different technologies, whether for the production of metal or polymer parts. Here’s an overview of the main methods used based on the needs of each industry. Selective laser melting (SLM) Selective laser fusion creates a 3D model out of a series of 2D layers. A high-powered laser, attached to a tank of fine powder, melts each layer of powder, fusing it locally to the layer below. This technique is used to create metal parts. 3D printing Three-dimensional printing involves the mechanical depositing of material in successive layers. Once used only for rapid prototyping, 3D printing is used more and more to manufacture parts themselves. This technology is based on the use of UV light, and parts can be created directly from CAD files. Selective laser sintering (SLS)   In this rapid prototyping process, 2D layers are sintered with a CO2 laser, i.e. heated and fused without the use of an intermediate binder. SLS allows you to work with a wide variety of materials, which is why it’s used in many different industries, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, etc.   Fused deposition modelling (FDM) This method involves depositing a molten thermoplastic filament through an extrusion nozzle. One of the advantages of this process is its lower cost. Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) Stereolithography is the oldest 3D printing technology. Invented in the 1980s, a liquid resin is polymerised using a UV laser. SLA is mostly used for prototyping, due to how fragile the final object is and how time-consuming the process is (it also involves a firing phase). Photopolymerization and laser sintering, among others, are based on stereolithography....
ISO 9001, EN 9100… How do you ensure quality monitoring ?

ISO 9001, EN 9100… How do you ensure quality monitoring ?

In every aspect of our business, from a project management process dedicated to performance guarantees, through discussions with clients, a strong culture of internal communication and ISO 9001 and EN 9100 certifications, the AMETRA Group strives to ensure quality monitoring at all levels of the company. 1- The quality approach is an integral part of operations As a company that’s ISO 9001 certified for its quality management, the AMETRA Group has implemented a specific project management method called P2P.  This method notably outlines the procedures to be followed and how to monitor their implementation. Each design office aims to ensure the highest quality delivery possible, from the study, calculations, prototype creation, to a precise and demanding selection of suppliers. Suppliers are chosen from an approved panel and their performance is regularly evaluated. This quality approach also entails a double level of formal monitoring: self-verification by the designer, verification by the project manager or a dedicated person. Finally, internal audits are conducted to ensure that procedures are completely followed within the different agencies: has the process been put in place?  Is it effectively implemented at all stages of the project? This constant requirement for quality aims to ensure the satisfaction of each client. 2- Customer needs and requirements identified at the outset of the project To ensure the quality and performance of each project, it’s important to conduct an accurate review of the requirements, which allows us to create a requirements matrix and a process map.  This not only guarantees the project’s performance, but also ensures that the project’s implementation quality is guaranteed from the outset. 3- Teamwork based on...
Ensuring a product’s industrialisation right from the design stage

Ensuring a product’s industrialisation right from the design stage

The V-model is a project management model that was first used in the world of industry, before being applied to software development. The way the process is organised helps avoid needless iterations and having to return to previous steps if any issues come up. As the diagram above shows, the downwards side of the process includes the design phase, while the upwards side incorporates the testing phase of the project. This conventional predictive approach is often compared to agile methods. Integrating complementary expertise It’s important to get all stakeholders involved as early on in the process as possible in order to avoid needless iterations. This is key in defining the product’s features from the outset, anticipating development costs and overseeing the project’s progress. Bringing clients into the fold makes them true partners in the study, which allows us to leverage their expertise, in addition to the expertise of engineers, suppliers and toolmakers. One of AMETRA’s advantages is that we can provide a real industrial vision that means we can plan the project as far ahead as possible and facilitate discussion. In short, it’s essential to compare different expertise and specific skills from the very start in order to account for any constraints and cut out iterative loops starting in the product design stage. FMECA plays a key part FMECA, or Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis, is an inductive and systematic approach to identifying potential failures before they occur, in order to mitigate the resulting consequences. It takes place on different levels: both at the product level and the process level. For example, it may be a question of...
Osez l’international !

Osez l’international !

À l’heure où le GIFAS ouvre son bureau à Delhi et que tous les voyants sont au vert pour les PME et ETI qui font le pari de s’ouvrir vers l’international, le Groupe AMETRA s’implante en Inde via une joint-venture avec l’entreprise locale NUCON. S’implanter à l’étranger reste un saut difficile à faire pour de nombreuses entreprises françaises. Pourtant, le potentiel est bien là et le contexte industriel français permet de mettre toutes les chances de son côté. Comment et pourquoi ? La progression spectaculaire de l’attractivité française La France est de plus en plus attractive, portée notamment par son industrie qui a attiré à elle seule ⅓ des investissements étrangers dès 2017 (source : baromètre EY). Comparatif des investissements industriels par année : © Groupe AMETRA C’est ainsi que plus de 300 projets industriels ont été menés en un an (centres de R&D, création de sites), ce qui place la France au premier rang des pays européens en la matière. L’Hexagone a donc le vent en poupe, ce qui représente de belles perspectives pour les sociétés du paysage industriel français, notamment les PME et les ETI. © Cabinet EY De belles opportunités pour les entreprises, à condition d’oser se lancer à l’international Dans ce contexte très positif, un point reste toutefois délicat pour les entreprises françaises : la question de l’export, sur laquelle la France tend d’ailleurs à se placer en retrait sur les deux dernières décennies. Seules 2 ETI sur 5 osent s’y frotter à l’heure actuelle ! Pourtant, les PME exportatrices affichent non seulement d’excellents résultats, mais aussi un “optimisme supérieur à la moyenne” d’après cette...
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