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The Prototyping Blog

the prototyping blog

Matt Sweeney

Recent Posts

Defining "Low Volume" Production Quantities For Plastic Injection Molding

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Jul 9, 2018


Over the past several months, The ERC has exhibited at trade shows throughout the country. I've had the privilege of meeting many prospective customers who visited our booth to ask about our services. When I explain that we build prototype & production tooling as well as manufacture low volume production parts, the most common question is “what quantity do you consider 'low volume'?” The easy answer is: under 100,000 parts per year. But the real answer is: it depends! 

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Topics: Plastics Manufacturing, Bridge-Tooling, Low Volume Production, Low Volume Manufacturing

How To Turn Your Invention Idea Into A Product That Sells (Part 2)

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Jun 9, 2017

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed how to start with a CAD model and venture into the exciting world of 3D printing and prototyping. Now it's time to build your brand and bring your product to life!

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Topics: Prototype Launch, Low Volume Production, invention, bringing a product to market, inventors

How To Turn Your Invention Idea Into A Product That Sells (Part 1)

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Jun 1, 2017

It seems like everyone has a little inventor in them. We've all had one of those million dollar ideas that would change the way we do things. With the era of tech innovation and the rise of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, it is easier than ever for the average person to bring new products to market. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to turn your brilliant idea into a real product. 

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Topics: prototype design, prototype, invention, bringing a product to market, inventors

The REAL Cost Of Buying Cheap Prototypes

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Feb 10, 2017

As an engineer, your job is inherent with risks every day. Your company relies on you to launch new project, push the technology envelope, take ideas and turn them into something usable and most of all, profitable. By now, you're pretty good at mitigating risks that will delay your project. After all, math makes sense to you: low risk = successful project, right? But during your prototype launch, some risks are out of your control and in the hands of your chosen prototype house. 

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Topics: prototype design, Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Speed to market, purchasing, cost of risk, Risk, Engineering Support, Prototype Launch, risk management

ERC Personal Engineering Support- We’ve Seen It All

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Jun 13, 2016

“One person can’t know it all; ERC offers support for your plastic prototyping project.”

With the vast world of engineering expertise, no one can know it all. ERC Engineering Support offers plastic prototype expertise to guide you through your prototype creation. From early design support and part design assistance to hands-on consultation, lean on our experts and technology to guide you through prototype creation.

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Topics: prototype design, Plastic Prototype, Injection molding, Virtual Engineering, virtual engineer

New Machine Increases Plastic Prototype & Production Efficiencies for ERC

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Jan 4, 2016

The recent addition of a Toyo SI-55-6 injection-molding machine has allowed the Engineering Resource Center the capability to not only sample our own prototype molds, but also run low quantity production runs – all under one roof.

Additionally, RJG software has been added to allow for the most optimized molding process experience while RJG certified sample engineers are producing parts.

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Topics: Plastic Prototype, Toyo, Toyo SI-55-6, Injection molding

Engineering Resource Center Toolmaker Spotlight: Dylan Edeler

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Nov 9, 2015

Since 1989, PCI and the ERC have grown to now include 4 facilities, of which our “lights out” facility on Bunsen Drive is acknowledged as the most revolutionary of its kind. We now ship over 70,000,000 parts per month to customers all over the world, and have been recently recognized as Plastic News 2014 Best Places To Work. Our company is a family-led business, dedicated to supporting our employees and the community.

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Topics: prototype design, Plastics Manufacturing

6 Reasons Plastics Technology & Engineering Students Will Love Their Future Jobs

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Oct 8, 2015

Currently, the plastics industry employs nearly 900,000 workers throughout the United States and nearly thirty-six percent of all U.S. plastics manufacturing activity takes place within a 500-mile radius of Wisconsin. As the magnitude of our home state’s prominence in this industry increases, injection molding, manufacturing and prototype development solidifies its place as a progressive opportunity for plastics technology students. There continues to be a growing need within the plastics industry for technically trained personnel excited about the ever-changing advancements in engineering, automation and manufacturing.

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Start the Plastic Prototype Development Process with 4 Key Considerations

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Oct 2, 2015

The product development process is made up of many, oftentimes, complicated steps that will take you from concept design to production. One of the first critical steps for manufacturers is creating a production quality prototype – one that is made using the same design, process and materials as the intended end production part. Choosing an experienced prototype engineering partner that offers many services under one roof, can be one of the biggest factors in achieving your product goals on time and under budget. In addition to selecting a partner that can help you each step of the way, there are a few key considerations before beginning the development of a production quality plastic prototype.

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Topics: Design Intent, Plastic Prototype

PCI & The Engineering Resource Center Open Doors For MAPP Members

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Aug 25, 2015

On Thursday, August 6th, 2015, Plastic Components, Inc. and the Engineering Resource Center opened their doors for an exclusive, Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP) members-only plant tour. During this event, members had the opportunity to examine the company’s production and business operations while learning about the successful expansion into a fully-automated facility. PCI & ERC team members shared information about the facilities and the company’s vision for the future.

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