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Low Volume Manufacturing

What is Low Volume Manufacturing?

Low Volume Manufacturing or Pre-Mass Production is a fast manufacturing technique for low quantity production before the actual serial production begins. The manufactured objects are either printed with the finally desired, or with equivalent printing material.
 
Afterwards, the printed objects can be used for tests to eliminate possible weak points before large investments.
Rapid Manufacturing is a perfect choice for low quantity (100 to 1,000 units) production. Among these methods are Vacuum Casting, RIM, or Aluminum Molding.
Low Volume Manufacturing Rapid Tooling CNC Machining
Low Volume Manufacturing Rapid Tooling
Low Volume Manufacturing

How to process Low Volume Manufacturing?

Our experienced engineers are familiar with all processes. Let us know about the details of your production, and we will recommend you the best suitable production method based on the object’s attributes.

Production with Aluminum Molding:

The Aluminum Molding Technique is a way of conventional injection molding. First, the injection mold needs to be manufactured  with a CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) machine.  Like in Vacuum Casting, a master model is required to determine the shape of the used mold and finally of the manufactured object. The biggest difference is the mold’s material; in Vacuum Casting the mold is made out of silicone and in Aluminum Molding it consists of aluminum. Depending on the object’s final shape, this technique can have various advantages in pre-mass production.

Compared to the silicone mold, the aluminum mold is a lot more solid and durable. Its production quantity can differ based on the size, used material and required pressure of the object between 1,000 to 5,000 units.

Because of its density advantage, aluminum is a more effective material for the mold than industrial steel.

Low Volume Manufacturing Aluminium Molding

Production with Vacuum Casting:

Vacuum Casting (or Silicone Molding) in general means that an object is modeled by its own surface in a silicone mold. The wished form (=master model) is placed in a closed environment and afterwards a (semi-) liquid molding material such as silicone is placed around the object. After the mold becomes more solid, the object can be detached, while the molding material keeps its shape. Consequently, a negative or hollow space of the master model is left. Now, the created negative of the object can be filled with a casting material to replicate the shape.

The master needed for silicon molding can be printed with a 3D printer or created with machines using the CNC technique. Although the creation of a master model might be time-consuming, the Vacuum Casting (Silicon Molding Technique) can save a large amount of time during the manufacturing phase. Once the silicone mold has been manufactured, it can be reused to replicate the master model’s shape between 20 and 30 times.

Low Volume Manufacturing Silicone Molding

Production with RIM:

With Reaction Injection Molding, our engineers produce high quality parts with a wide range of designs, different sizes and overall superiority. The RIM is a longer production process with many benefits regarding technical details, flexibility and cost-efficiency.

The process of Reaction Injection Molding utilizes low-viscosity polymers in thermoset processes. It starts with a chemical reaction that lets the contained polymers expand after they are injected into a heated mold. The mold itself determines the shape of the printed product. After injection, the part slowly cures inside of the mold and becomes solid. Depending on the part’s shape, function and physical details, the curing time varies. Our engineers are able to precisely deliver the desired shape, density, weight and solidity of the manufactured object. This process can be chosen to produce a wide range of flexible, elastomeric or solid polyurethane parts.

Low Volume Manufacturing RIM reaction injection molding

Low Volume or Rapid Manufacturing is a method that serves all industries that manufacture plastic parts with injection techniques. It can help to minimize the molding time to produce your products faster, fulfil pre-mass production with real material, or produce end products at low quantities. Compared to conventional methods, molding costs are much lower.

You can follow the links below for various additional information:   

Advantages of Low Volume Manufacturing Applications

  • Low Volume Manufacturing can save time and money.
  • Experience projects on a physical level very early.
  • Communicate projects effectively, because it helps clients and partners to visualise.
  • Minimises first investments for one-time production.
  • Marketing can start before mass production.

Important Factors using Low Volume Manufacturing

  • In case of low production quantity, costs per unit might be higher than using conventional methods.
  • Some applications cannot be realized with the original material.
  • Low-Volume Manufacturing might reveal many hidden problems before the production starts.
Silicone Molding

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