Production and Assembly
Once we have designed your product, the finished article can be manufactured via our distributed supply chains within the UK and the Far East. Its location of manufacture will ultimately depend upon the required production method; the nature of your product; its target unit price and the time-scale available. The following descriptions outline the manufacturing processes we regularly access:
Injection moulding is the most popular method of manufacture as it can allow a low unit cost to be achieved if produced in significant volumes. We have vast experience of designing products for this process as it features in the majority of our projects. Strict design guidelines need to be adhered to when developing an injection moulded part as factors such as consistent material thickness and draft angle can impact on the quality of the finished result. Our strong relationships with manufacturing partners enable us to work closely with them to ensure that your product is produced to a very high standard.
Additive manufacturing is traditionally a prototyping process; however, advances in build time, part quality and material availability has meant that this process has become a viable production method. Unlike injection moulding, the benefit of additive manufacturing is that it does not require a tool – a single part can be built without the need for capital investment. The machine bed size of this technology is a constraining factor, preventing the same economies of scale from being achieved when compared to injection moulding. However, if your product needs to be produced in 10s or even 100s, additive manufacturing is still a suitable option. Metal and polymer based materials are available.
Casting and Machining
Die-casting and sand casting are production methods that are capable of achieving complex part geometries from molten metal. We have experience of working with these processes to produce fittings and valves for the water industry. Due to the nature of this process, air can sometimes become trapped in the part causing voids known as porosity. Die-casting is able to achieve a far better surface finishing than sand casting; however, critical faces can be machined to a high tolerance. Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining can be used to produce a parts from a solid billet of material. This is a highly accurate method that can cut materials such as aluminium, zinc and steel in 3 or 5-axis.
Pressing and Forming
We have developed a number of products that incorporate an element of metal pressing and roll forming. Complex electronic products that are assembled from multiple parts often require metal work – enabling the printed circuits boards to be mounted securely in place. In some instances, it is practical to manufacture key components from sheet metal for cost benefits or to add structural integrity to a design. There is a setup cost associated with both of these processes; however, simple geometries can be achieved by using off-the-shelf tooling.
Finishing and Assembly
We are able to access a host of finishing methods that include: painting; chroming; anodising; powder coating; etching; digital and pad printing. These processes can be used to give your product a professional appearance and can be used to apply finer details such as your company logo, user instructions and safety accreditations. Our manufacturing partners have the capacity to assemble your product and carry out all of the necessary quality checks. This means that when you receive your product, it will be ready for sale.