How To Get Started On Manufacturing Your Plastic Product Idea

June 30, 2017

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We’re not shy about saying that we’re pretty good at what we do here at Excelsior. But before we’re able to get started on manufacturing your product, we first need a few bits of key information from you.

Drawings And Dimensions Of Your Product

You probably don’t need to be told about this one, but we’ll say it just to be on the safe side! It’s essential to have a proper drawing of your product ready (preferably as a PDF) when you get in touch with us, as we can’t give you an accurate quote without one. And we don’t mean a rough sketch, either; we’re talking about a proper, detailed CAD drawing that adequately communicates exactly what the product is and what you need it to do.

Ideally, this drawing should also be complete with the exact dimensions of the product; the professional engineer or designer who has created the drawing will likely have already applied them anyway. You can give them to us separately if you’d like – say, for example, by emailing them over – but this is slower and there’s potentially room for miscommunication, so wherever possible it’s best to simply include them in the drawing itself.

Materials: What Your Product Will Be Made Of

For our contract moulding products we tend to use polyethylene, which has been carefully engineered to infuse products with a variety of benefits like durability, chemical resistance and reduced weight, just to name a few! However, some specialised products like fuel tanks or catering equipment require a special composition of plastic ‘tank-grade’ or ‘food-grade’ material, to ensure that the final product is safe and fit for purpose.

We also use “recycle black” to make some plastic products, according to customer specifications. Essentially, this specific material is composed of the offcuts produced while manufacturing other products. Rather than let it go to waste, we try and use it to make new products where we can. It’s cheaper and more economical than virgin plastic, but may not be safe for specialised uses.

Once again, it drives home the importance of knowing what sort of material you’ll need. If you’re not sure of the exact material, it’s not a major problem. All we require in that instance is a bit of background information on how your product will be used. So for example if it needs to be particularly chemical resistant, or if it’s likely to be subject to harsh weather conditions. When we have this information to hand, we can work with you to advise what sort of material it’s best to use.

Wall Thickness And Colour

This varies between products, depending on the context and purpose it’s going to fulfil. In our products we generally manufacture products with wall thicknesses of 3-4mm as standard. Some customers specify as thick as 8mm, whereas others prefer it only as thick as 2mm. Obviously it affects the weight and relative integrity of the product, so this is a prime example of something you’ll need to have a good idea of before you pick up the phone.

Finally, you’ll need to think about what colour you want your plastic product to be before you get in touch with us, as this also affects the pricing.

So, to recap quickly…

Here are the things you’ll need to know before manufacturing your plastic product:

  1. You’ll need professional drawings and dimensions for your product.
  2. It helps know exactly what type of plastic you need, though not the end of the world if you’re not sure.
  3. You should have at least a rough idea of the wall thickness of your product.
  4. The product’s colour is something we’ll need to know early on, as it affects pricing.

And that’s all there is to it! To be honest, you’re likely to already have a good idea of a lot of them without any input from us, but at Excelsior we like to pre-empt any misunderstandings by being completely clear in advance.

If you’re all set to go with your idea for a plastic product, you can call us on 0161 765 2010 – or, if you want to see what we’ve already achieved for some of our other customers, take a quick look at some of our case studies.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @excelsior_roto