The versatility of various plastics molding processes offers designers opportunities to add value and reduce tooling and production costs early in the product development stage - providing that all parties understand the options.
Experts in thermoforming, multimaterial molding and short-run injection molding will share their insights at the Design Day conference, part of the May 24-26 Plastics Encounter Midwest trade show in Indianapolis.
Richard Freeman, president and founder of 29-year-old Freetech Plastics Inc. in Fremont, Calif., will discuss thermoforming's adaptability, speed to market and low tooling costs. Thermoforming is finding applications in everything from packaging to printed films for insert molding, to close-tolerance, high-style enclosures for computer and telecommunication products, while also allowing for the personalization of cars and trucks.
Freetech has worked with creative firms such as Lunar Design to develop many award-winning pressure formed and vacuum formed parts. Freeman also will talk about some newer applications for the process - from paint films to thermoformable composites.
Also on the program is Ron Kirscht, president of Donnelly Custom Manufacturing Inc. in Alexandria, Minn., whose corporate motto is ``How short run is done.'' Kirscht will suggest how to optimize the design prototyping and piloting process, speed time-to-market and ensure good first parts.
Meanwhile, Peter Bemis, executive vice president and co-owner of Bemis Manufacturing Co. in Sheboygan Falls Wis., will share his firm's extensive experience in coinjection and multimaterial molding. The processes can allow for greater use of recycled and lower-cost materials in some components.
The conference is presented by Plastics News and the Industrial Designers Society of America. To register, or for more details about various discounts available to IDSA members and others, visit www.plasticsencounter.com or call (888) 368-7229.