Custom machining refers to creating or producing metal parts that do not exist anywhere else. It can take any form of machining, including turning and milling. A custom metal part may be as simple as one gear for a mechanism, but it is required in a particular nonstandard size or material or is a new invention that suppliers don’t yet have, calling for a custom production part.
Industries That Require Custom Machining
Nearly all industries require tailored or contract machining. If a business is searching for accurate parts that are sometimes complex to produce using traditional methods, custom machining comes in handy. Some of the industries that require this kind of specific machining include:
- Aerospace and Defense – Items produced for this industry can include flight safety equipment or parts needed for a specific aircraft.
- Agriculture– Some items tailored for this industry include farm vehicles and farming tools.
- Automotive– Motorcycle or vehicle parts and all accessories can be produced using machining.
- Construction– This category may include heavy construction equipment that does not exist anywhere, particularly if the equipment is a unique design.
- Electronics – This custom machining can include the production of semiconductor parts, enclosing cases, and others.
- Firearms – There are many small metal parts needed for ballistic devices.
When custom injection molding is done without a prototype parts stage, this generally leads to a series of production tool adjustments that are both disruptive and costly. Some production managers misperceive a saving to be made for skipping prototype tooling, but those quickly evaporate with the higher risk of a defective part causes legal expenses and other related costs.
Depending on the complexity of the application, prototype parts generally account for about 20-40% of overall production tooling costs. It’s not a small investment, but it’s well worth it when you consider these top three advantages.
Testing Different Plastic Materials
Any plastics made can be more efficiently performance-tested and comparisons assessed without a large financial investment. Having the benefit of physically evaluating prototype parts is a major advantage in making a final selection.
Confirming Part Geometry Feasibility
This is the best opportunity to see if the prototype parts perform properly without defects. If there are problems, it is somewhat simple to revise the prototype tool with cuts or welds.
Reducing Production Time
Overall, it is faster and less costly to make changes to prototype parts compared to the production parts. The ability to design, create, and revise prototype tools is a competitive advantage in the industry. It can lead to a final design that needs fewer revisions to the production tool, saving time and money on the project’s production end.
Computer-aided design (CAD) refers to using computers (or workstations) to aid in the creation, analysis, modification, or optimization of a design. CAD design services and software are used to increase the productivity of designers, improve the quality of designs, improve documentation, and create a database for manufacturing.
Designs made through CAD software and CAD design services help protect products and inventions when used in patent applications. CAD output is in the form of electronic files for printing, machining, or other manufacturing operations. You may also see the term CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) also used.
CAD software for mechanical design uses graphics to depict traditional drafting objects or the overall appearance of designed objects. However, it involves more than just shapes. Like manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, CAD design services convey information like materials, dimensions, tolerances, and processes.
CAD is an important industrial art used in many industrial applications, including automotive, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries, prosthetics, industrial and architectural design, and many more. CAD design services are widely used to produce computer animation for special effects in advertising and technical manuals and even in movies.
There are few experiences in life as rewarding as driving on the open road in a vehicle that you love and trust. However, this feeling isn’t possible when drivers can’t trust their vehicles to perform up to their standards. It’s difficult to get the most out of your ride when you can’t even achieve peace of mind behind the wheel. That’s why precision machining is so important in the automotive world. With the right company handling your contract machining, your automotive clients are sure to feel safe and confident whenever they’re on the road.
Precision machining is about more than just making the right product; it’s also about making the right product efficiently, effectively, and consistently, nowhere is this truer than in the automotive world. To create the safest possible vehicles, manufacturers need to know that the parts they receive are consistent in shape, measurement, and quality—and Decatur Mold always delivers. Using a computer-controlled process, Decatur Mold makes detailed parts with extreme precision and impressive consistency. This empowers manufacturers to produce safe vehicles and allows drivers to experience their vehicles without worry.
Contact Decatur Mold to learn more about our contract machining capabilities and the markets we serve.
Your Project Management Experts – From Design to Distribution
When most people envision injection molding, they imagine small appliances, consumer products, and even simple containers. But the world of injection molding is much broader and includes an impressive range of markets and industries. Professionals from the aerospace, medicine, and automotive industries all rely on high-quality precision parts from Decatur Mold. Additionally, we’re able to support military clients thanks to our sought-after ITAR certification, allowing us to provide products and services to the military.
What is ITAR-Registered Certification?
ITAR (The International Traffic in Arms Regulations) is a set of governmental regulations, policies, and provisions governing defense exports. Examples of these regulations include rules about the prohibition of exports, the import and sale of goods from certain countries, export exceptions, and much more. All brokers, exporters, and manufacturers of defense articles—including Decatur Mold—are required to register with ITAR.
What We Can Do For You
Our military clients appreciate that we take on their projects from conception through completion. Regardless of the part or tool you require, you can count on us to help you create it with comprehensive project management services. By taking the time to understand your requirements fully, we’re able to design, manufacture, and distribute the military-related product that you need.
Contact Decatur Mold today to get started on your project.
You know enough about mold manufacturing using plastics to know that your customers often need products in colors other than white. However, they also want versatile and durable parts regardless of their color. Colored resin is a popular choice for injection molding because it allows you to fulfill your customers’ requests.
Manufacturers use high-quality colored plastic pellets made from polypropylene or other natural polymers to create colored resin. Depending on the application, fabricators also offer color matching for the colored resin to make injection-molded products. Color matching is especially important in automobile manufacturing, where it is better for dashboards, door handles, and moldings to match a vehicle’s painted surfaces.
The addition of color to the resin before manufacturing products prevents your customers from painting the parts before they market them.
The injection molding process includes injecting the colored resin into the preferred mold and then waiting for it to cool and harden. Important features of components made from colored resin include resistance to heat damage and fading, which means they have long-lasting quality.
Your customers expect you to provide them with the best tools possible. In addition customers look for durable tools that will last them for a long time. While many manufacturers fabricate their tools from steel, other materials offer better results. Enhance your tool design process with beryllium copper alloy.
An alloy is a combination of two metals. Beryllium copper alloy is a mixture of beryllium and copper and small amounts of cobalt and nickel. In the tool design process, fabricators typically use injection molds to create products. Beryllium copper alloy’s versatility makes it a great choice for machining and other metalworking. You can use the alloy to make tools in a range of shapes and sizes with tolerance that ensures they work effectively without failing.
Tools made from beryllium copper alloy offer the greater thermal conductivity your customers may require to decrease cycle times. From oil field tools to robotic welding devices, this alloy proves its effectiveness in various applications. Beryllium copper alloy is ideal for plastic injection mold tools due to its resistance to oxidation and corrosion. Finally, devices made from beryllium copper alloy have added non-magnetic qualities preventing components from sticking to each other.
Today, there are hundreds of resins available on the market. These commodity and engineering resins all have their own advantages or disadvantages, which means certain resins will be better suited for specific projects than others. At Decatur Molding, we understand which resins are the most appropriate for which applications. Here are 5 resins that are typically used in injection molding services:
1. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – ABS is a highly versatile material that used across a variety of industries. Since metal coating adheres to ABS well, you commonly see it in such products as door handles, showerheads, and desktop phones.
2. Polypropylene – While polypropylene is flammable and sensitive to UV radiation, it still offers good resistance to chemical solvents. It performs well in fluid management and processing applications, and it is used for household products as well.
3. Acetal – Acetal features excellent surface lubricity and resistance to creep and chemical solvents, so you see this resin often in molding services for mechanical, automotive, food and beverage, and household applications. While it does not perform well in high-heat situations, it is a go-to resin for such everyday items as toys, gears, and bearings.
4. High-Impact Polystyrene – Cost-effective, highly customizable HIPS is used routinely in such injection molding projects as merchandising displays, as it can be easily glued and decorated.
5. Low-Density Polyethylene – Moisture-resistant and tough, low-density polyethylene is used in a variety of items, from hardware and medical products to common household goods. While it does not bond well and should not be used in harsh-weather environments, it is one of the most flexible resins available.
The applications for CNC machining have grown extensively over the years. Today, there are numerous industries that rely to some extent on CNC milling and contract machining services. Here are just a few of the industries where CNC machining is a feature of the operation:
Automotive – Car manufacturers depend on CNC contract machine work for the custom parts they need to produce vehicles.
Metal Fabrication – CNC milling machines are a central part of companies that prepare metal for later manufacturing purposes.
Mining – CNC lathes make the metal extraction process more precise and efficient.
Packaging – CNC machines make precise grooves in packaging to allow for improved grip for better package protection.
Aerospace – Aerospace companies use CNC centers to prototype and produce a wide variety of parts.
Oil and Gas – Oil and gas companies need durable, high-performance parts, and CNC technology makes it easy to acquire them.
At Decatur Mold, we proudly offer contract CNC machining services. If you have any questions about our capabilities and production process, we are happy to take your call. When you need parts for your operation, we are the name you can trust for the quality you expect.
As an essential business, Decatur Mold has remained open throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We have proudly supported our customers as they have developed solutions to address critical needs that have quickly arisen as a result of this national health crisis. Two recent examples are detailed below.
Fast-tracking an Air Purifier
One of our customers needed to fast track the production of an air purifier system to meet urgent safety requirements created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working hand in hand with our customer and leveraging our DFM capabilities to help with our customer’s existing part design, we created a schedule that would allow the seven molds needed to be designed and built in the five week schedule needed to meet their requirements. These molds were built using P-20 steel to run in a production atmosphere along with a required finish of a VDI 27 EDM texture. We completed all the molds as scheduled in five weeks to our customers standards. Sample parts were ran at Decatur Mold and delivered to our customer. These molds have been fine-tuned and are now in production at our customer’s facility! Once again Decatur Mold helped a customer get to the market quickly by leveraging our extensive capabilities, years of experience, and flexible manufacturing options.
Helping our Customer Support First Responders and Medical Staff
Within days of beginning the project above, another customer needed to fast track their project. This customer needed to hit the market with a respirator that would filter the COVID-19 virus to protect first responders and medical staff. Working hand in hand with our customer and again leveraging our DFM capabilities, we helped them develop the part design to insure manufacturability and created a four week schedule required by our customer to build the ten production molds. This program had one very extensively detailed part that created design concerns for our customer. We developed a plan to build a production base with QC-10 aluminum inserts to reduce cost and timing until the part concerns are put to rest and production could start. We would later construct P-20 steel inserts to replace the QC-10 inserts at our customer request. These molds required a VDI EDM texture finish. We completed all ten molds on time to the customer’s standards and sample parts were ran at Decatur Mold and delivered to the customer. Molds are presently in the process of undergoing some minor engineering changes and will be sampled again soon. Again, extensive capabilities, years of experience, and flexible manufacturing options has resulted in a successful customer project!
Let us help you on your next project!
- Get to Market Quicker by Leveraging our Extensive Capabilities
- Our Experience Offers Enhanced Overall Performance
- Flexible Manufacturing options reduce cost and speed up turnaround
- Bridge-production molding to support complex needs
- Our 50+ years of experience can help to solve your problems.
- Diverse market experience expands our knowledge to serve you.