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The Prototyping Blog

the prototyping blog

Plastics Industry Trade Shows Worth Attending

Posted by Molly Skiba on Mar 5, 2019

Love them or hate them, trade shows are one of the best ways to make new connections, market your company, and stay updated on the latest technologies in your industry. One of my main goals when I began my marketing career at The Engineering Resource Center was to increase our brand recognition and find more customers via trade shows. Over the past 2 years, we've found much success in this approach.

Whether you work in the plastics industry or source plastic parts for the products your company develops, here are 3 trade shows worth attending or exhibiting at.

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Topics: Tradeshow, Plastics Manufacturing, events, plastics industry

Your Guide To Designing Perfect Plastic Parts

Posted by Molly Skiba on Jan 21, 2019

While we always stand by our "your design, no compromises" promise, there are instances when part features can be manipulated to make manufacturing more efficient without sacrificing the intent of the designed part. Follow these tips for designing parts that will transition flawlessly into production. 

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Topics: Plastics Manufacturing, plastic prototypes

Benefits of Manufacturing Prototypes, Tooling & Production Parts Under One Roof

Posted by Austen Ballmann on Jul 23, 2018

Austen Bio Picture

Why have your prototype developed at one shop, tool built at another, and run production at another when you can keep it all under one roof? 

Working with an experienced one-stop shop, like The ERC, can speed up the entire product development process, eliminating errors and resulting in a lower overall project cost. We can not only develop and manufacture your prototype, but can also mold your low quantity production parts and build your production tool when your quantities go up. 

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Topics: Plastics Manufacturing, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, Modular Tooling System, bringing a product to market

Choosing Prototype And Production Suppliers Can Be Quite Easy

Posted by Jacob Carter on Jul 16, 2018

Jake Carter photoWhen purchasing prototype tooling, many engineers & purchasers assume that a unique supplier is required separately from the shop that will ultimately be given the green light for the production tool build. 3D printing, SLA’s, or quick turn-around aluminum tools often come to mind. Our take on tooling is a little bit different.

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Topics: Plastics Manufacturing

Defining "Low Volume" Production Quantities For Plastic Injection Molding

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Jul 9, 2018

Matt-Sweeney-ERC-Manager

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

Optimize Your Prototype Build With Our Modular Tooling System

Posted by Molly Skiba on Mar 24, 2017

When The ERC was formed, our engineers realized 95% of all parts they received needed the same basic requirements for tooling. From those findings, the idea of a modular tooling system was born. We have designed several proprietary mold bases that now allow our toolmakers to build inexpensive mold inserts for most of the parts that come across their desks. 

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Topics: Plastic Prototype, Plastics Manufacturing, Plastic Part Mold, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, Bridge-Tooling, Modular Tooling System

Struggling To Afford Injection Mold Tooling For Low Volume Projects?

Posted by Ryan Duffey on Mar 17, 2017

One of the most challenging aspects of planning for low volume production projects is the initial tooling cost. Building dedicated production tools for components that are expected to run limited volumes can be expensive. In some cases, the high cost of production tooling can terminate a project that could have had a lot of potential.           

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Topics: Plastics Manufacturing, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, Engineering Support, Low Volume Production, Low Volume Manufacturing

Metal To Plastic Conversions: Cut Costs, Not Quality

Posted by Molly Skiba on Mar 9, 2017

At the Engineering Resource Center, we are often called upon to help customers convert parts from machined, forged, or cast metal to highly engineered plastic. Converting parts from metal to plastic can be a great way for a manufacturer to cut costs, have more product design freedom, and speed up production. However, the newly designed and engineered plastic product must first pass the testing required to make the switch. Here's what you shouldn't compromise on when trying to keep costs low:

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Topics: Prototype Design Changes, Plastic Prototype, Plastics Manufacturing, Plastic Prototyping, Multiple Material, cost of risk, Engineering Support, metal to plastic conversion, metal-to-plastic

How To Get An Affordable Part Price On Low Volume Production Quantities

Posted by Molly Skiba on Mar 3, 2017

It’s pretty common knowledge in the manufacturing industry: “The more you buy, the cheaper it is”. But what if you don’t have a choice? What if your annual volume is only 4,000-5,000 injection molded parts per year and you don’t want to pay $5 per part?  At the Engineering Resource Center, we figured out a few ways to efficiently produce your low volume parts without charging you an arm and a leg for them.

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

So You Need A Prototype?

Posted by Molly Skiba on Feb 6, 2017

Risk Flowchart 2.6.17 (edited for web).png Read More

Topics: Upfront Engineering, Marketing, Plastic Prototype, Plastics Manufacturing, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, project management,