Design to Manufacture of Rubber Moulded Products

Design Support

Many companies have the capability to design exceptional products and are familiar with non-elastic materials and their manufacturing process needs. While every component is designed to fulfil a unique set of operational requirements, there are several common principles which will reduce the time and cost of obtaining an economic component. Many of these are self-evident, but some require understanding of the differences between manufacturing thermoset rubber and plastics or forming metal parts.

Product realisation will be achieved to meet your expectations at minimum costs when there are no surprises in the design. Early contact with Harboro is important particularly during development of new parts. Advice at an early stage can often add functionality to the design which saves cost in other areas, for example easing assembly, simplifying design or reduce tolerances required in the other components. In extreme cases complex assemblies containing many parts can be simplified into one moulding, therefore removing the need for assembly of support inserts, Springs, Fixings etc. For example, an electric shower gasket seal incorporating ‘Pull through clips and functional flexible covers for the controls.

The key determinants of costs are cycle time, the number of cavities in the mould, material cost and the need for manual operations before or after moulding. Cycle times for rubber generally range from 1 to 10 minutes, although the cure time for heavy parts may be much longer than this. Reducing the mass of a component not only reduces the material cost but may also reduce the cycle time. This is especially true of parts with thick sections. Where zero defects are desired due recognition of process capability is required to prevent unnecessary quality inspections after moulding. Checks that are not built into the process will inevitably add to cost.

During the design and development process the Harboro team will be constantly evaluating how the effect on the environment can be reduced, challenging opportunities for effective manufacture. The limits of material cure time are known as with the machine kinematics, to compliment this automated insert loading, demoulding, deflashing and automated inspection is considered from the moment that design thought is conceived

Many people will have used or been assisted by products which have had significant design input from Harboro. You may be driving a vehicle relying on engine sealing or braking components, passing a road delineator sign, or sitting at home watching Formula one.

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