abc3 2-MDavid Muir of ABC News with Diane Sawyer’s Made in America took a close look at the injection molding process at our plant.  He and the CEO of Bodacious Case watched as the 100 ton press molded molten polymer into one of the precision parts for our clients IPhone case.  The camera man shot high definition video of the press from several angles sure to get the opening of the still hot mold and release of the cooling part, the star of the interview.  The plant with rows of machines in varying sizes was the site for the latest Made in America interview aired Wednesday and Thursday December 5th and 6th.

Our machines run so smoothly and quietly that the interview was held on the plant floor during a typical production run on numerous machines.  At normal conversation levels the interview took place right next to a running 100 ton press that was actively molding the Bodacious cases.
The innovative IPhone case is made of three parts that are configured into 3 styles with multiple colors.  The case can be configured with or without port covers and with or without the credit card holder.  The front accepts a polycarbonate protective cover for the screen made by Thrust Industries.  Each component is made to precisely fit together allowing users to exchange bands as well as fronts and backs.
 
Within minutes, response to the Made in America story about the Bodacious cases on ABC News with Diane Sawyer inundated the Bodacious Cases WEB site.  Almost a week later the orders keep pouring in with each customer ordering their choice of fronts backs and bands (sides) in a variety of colors.  As with all of our customers we stand ready to provide the support they need from the initial engineer of parts and molds to the efficient production of quality parts delivered in a timely and cost effective manner.  We even welcome the television shows that may be running a feature on your great product, made in America.
 
A quality plastic engineering and molding company, Precise Mold and Engineering specializes in not just injection molding, as is needed with our latest client, but in: thermo plastics and thermo set (thermoset) plastics.  Bodacious cases needed hinges on several ports opening on the case.  Hinges require mold designs that allow thin flexible bridges to form between to components of the final product.  Too much polymer across this bridge makes the hinge stiff and unworkable.  Too little polymer leaves a thin and often brittle hinge. Knowing the polymer and its tolerances is part of the design process.  It is a problem for some plastics manufactures.  Not Precise Mold and Engineering, we have years of experience in molding a wide variety of polymers into parts of modest size to some of the smallest parts you will ever see.bcc-bb-4

The case is made of two polymers each with its own melting point and shrinkage properties.  The case itself, front and back, are of a rigid polymer allowing the two pieces to fit together.  The band a softer polymer has just enough stretch to fit around the sides of the case with the elasticity to hold firmly in place and the flexibility to incorporate hinges for port access.

Designing a case graphically that snaps together is one thing.  Designing a mold and cutting into a block of metal to create cavities and channels for polymer to flow must consider not only the size of the cavity needed to hold the volume of material, but also the size of the channels that keep the molten polymer flowing into the cavities.  The design must also consider the slight shrinkage of materials as it cool.  Where you aware the polymer shrinks more in one direction than another based on which way the material flows into a cavity?  Improperly designed molds can leave eddies or swirls visible in the surface of a finished part.  Air vents to one ten-thousands of an inch must be cut into the mold to allow air to escape the cavity while retaining the polymer.
 
Mold design also includes the needs of the customer including their need for high volume product or smaller runs with much less expensive molds.  High run molds are made of steel where less expensive molds for shorter runs can be made of aluminum.  Some molds can be more cost effectively made if they share a frame seducing the bulk materials total cost of multiple separate molds.  A typical multi-part mold for relatively small parts might run $100,000 while a smaller single part mold might run 1/3 or less of that of the bigger mold.  Sure production runs will take longer, but we are designing solutions that work best for our clients and those solutions include affordable options.  As a client’s sales volume grow we work with them; advising when it is more profitable to use a multi-part mold and lower their production costs and shorten production run times.
 
Making a mold is one step in the process, knowing how to use the mold and polymers in these huge presses is an art in itself.  Choosing too large a press means the molten polymer will be delivered too fast.  Too high a temperature will burn the plastic.  Improper closure can cause excessive flash.  The wrong polymer and the mold may be sent to the shop for extensive cleaning.  Simply touching the surface of some cooled molds with the finger can etch a finger print into the polished surface.  Dryers, Chillers, presses filled with molten polymer and controlled environments change a simple molding process to a complex process that requires experts. 
 
Did you know that a random cold draft blowing across a hot mold can interfere with the quality of a part?  Or if the humidity is too high in the granules of polymer, results will be unsatisfactory?  Did you know that the source polymer granules have a shelf life?  It is our business to know these things and much more.  Working with molten polymers is a production operation that relies on close attention to detail and a solid understanding in the properties of the polymers.
 
Whether it is feature changes that require mold changes of existing products or the addition different colors, polymers or molds for new products we work with you to find the right solution for our clients.  Some clients require only a single polymer; others need clear, smoked or a variety of colors.  Some clients might want a smooth surface on their product others need a unique texture.  We have clients that need brass inserts in their finished product and we have clients that need one molten polymer laid over another (overmolding). 
 
Whether performing injection, compressionor extrusion molding the process requires a great deal of knowledge and experience in the plastics industry. Thermo plastics can be re-melted and reused minimizing waste to systems start up. Thermoset plastics once processed cannot be reused. Precise mold design and attention to the engineering of release points and structural integrity ensure the resilience of the finished product meets application standards. We specialize in Custom Plastic Engineering and production.
 
Where we can’t promise you will be on ABC News with Diane Sawyer’s Made in America or that you will ever meet David Muirand his camera crew, we can promise you will find no better partner in the manufacturing of polymers then Precise Mold and Engineering.  Where our profession is molding high quality plastic parts, but our expertise may well be in creating and maintaining satisfied customers.  If you haven’t done so, check out our FREE online magazine on molding of plastics at http://PMEstl.com/magazine.
 
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