i) What are male and female molds?
Male and female molds are the only two fundamental types of forms, but they yield significantly different finished parts. The least time consuming and cheapest method is the male or positive mold. This is a form that mimics the final shape of the part, but the part is fabricated over its outer surface. Male molds should be used when fewer than 5-10 parts are being produced. Larger runs usually warrant the time and cost of female molds.
Female or cavity molds are generally more costly, but they offer numerous advantages for medium to large production runs. Finishing time is significantly reduced because every part emerges with a smooth outer surface. Female molds also lend themselves to use with core materials because the outer skin is always a smooth regardless of how inconsistently the core is used inside the part.
What other tooling is required in the thermoforming process?
A vacuum fixture is required when a part must be CNC trimmed. Vacuum fixtures are constructed by taking a reverse impression of the part and mounting this impression into a vacuum box. The trim fixture then holds, under vacuum pressure, each part being CNC trimmed to ensure consistent results. Other tooling specifically required in the forming, trimming, fabrication, and assembly of each part is designed by Fiber Pad, Inc. engineers and constructed by the Fiber Pad, Inc. tooling department.
What is lean manufacturing?
An overall methodology that seeks to minimize the resources required for production by eliminating waste (non-value added activities) that inflate costs, lead times and inventory requirements, while emphasizing the use of preventive maintenance, quality improvement programs, flexible work forces, and production facilities.
Take a look at what we do to implement lean manufacturing.
What is the typical lead time for a project?
Fiber Pad, Inc. works efficiently to get your perfect product out the door quickly. A typical project can take anywhere between 4-10 weeks to start production. However, lead times can vary based on the complexity of the projects, the lead time of raw materials, and the needs and requirements of each customer. Some extensive projects have taken months to get to final production while our regular customers can enjoy one week turnaround on an order. The best way to determine what your lead time will be is to contact us regarding your project.
What are the typical stages of a project from concept to completion?
The typical steps to a project are as follows:
Design Stage: The customer supplies their own design and Fiber Pad, Inc. generates 3D presentations for their approval. Once a concept is approved, mold engineering drawings are generated.
Prototyping Stage: If required by customer, a prototype mold is generated and samples of the parts are made to judge fit, form, and function and to determine applicable plastic material and color. R&D is done at this stage.
Final Tooling Stage and material ordering: Precision aluminum tooling and all forming and trim fixtures are made and material is ordered based on the size of the tooling.
Production: Upon arrival of custom extruded material, production commences. First time production runs usually take a longer time then re-runs since it takes time to register and document the machine and the set up procedure.
Shipping: Products are shipped either in one lot or warehoused for lot releases as established by customers.
Why should I choose Fiber Pad, Inc. for my plastic forming needs?
Fiber Pad, Inc. has been exceeding customer expectations for over 30 years. We have the experience, expertise, and technology necessary to bring your custom thermoformed part into reality. We pride ourselves on product quality and can provide your turn-key part with minimal lead time. All of these reasons make Fiber Pad, Inc. an excellent choice for your thermoforming provider. We are your best choice because the people of Fiber Pad, Inc. have the desire to provide you with exceptional customer service.
How do I get a free quote?
You already have your product designed. You probably have it as a drawing or CAD and know the dimensions and material that you want to use