FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Questions often asked about injection molding and automation. As always, we are here to answer any other questions you have through the contact form or directly by phone.

How do you determine costs?

The materials costs depend on whether your resin is a “commodity,” if your color is custom or “standard,” and packaging specifics.

What is the difference between invention and product design?

The term “invention” is usually reserved for some product or process that has not been proven or patented before. Product design can certainly be part of an invention. Design is the process that shapes an idea or concept and brings it to something that is visual or tangible. You really cannot invent something without some sort of design concept. They are terms that are not mutually independent.

Why does creating a product roadmap matter?

Before embarking on a trip, most of us review GPS data and plan out which way we are going to travel, and plot out stops. The same process applies to developing a product. When will we build it based on market opportunities, resources, and the time for engineering and testing? What else are we passing along the way that might impact this product? How does it fit in our overall trip schedule for the quarter, the year, and the next five years? If we only built one product at a time we might not need a complex roadmap, but we would still need to know which way to go.

What is injection molding?

Injection Molding is one process used for mass production of thermoplastic parts. The resins are heated and injected into a closed mold, cooled to solidify into the shape machined into the mold, then ejected as either a finished part or can undergo further manufacturing steps.

How do you ensure quality standards are met?

Meeting customer quality standards starts with having them defined. Requirements should be more than just dimensions and tolerances, but should include appearance concerns, defined allowances for tool wear, packaging specifics, frequency of inspection, and all required documentation needs.

About how long does an average design project take from beginning to end?

Part design can take anywhere from 1 day to several weeks. Complex assemblies with tight tolerances can undergo several rounds of design, prototyping, and testing. Once a design is complete, tooling can take another 8-16 weeks. For simple or small parts, options exist to create low-run or modular tooling in as little as 2 weeks.

What is EOL(End of Life) & NPI (New Part Introduction)?

Let’s start with NPI, the beginning of the process. It starts with an idea and then a review of whether can it be made, and how much does it cost to build? Prototype, test, re-prototype, finalize, test, package, and market and sell. That NPI. Then as time passes and the product can no longer be updated or parts go obsolete, then a decision is made to EOL (End of Life) the product. This needs a plan as well. When will we stop building it and how long will we support it? Do we need to put out a notification of EOL or post it on our website? Here where we build for other customers that is the customers’ decision and we are part of the process to stop production. How much material is left and when to stop buying supplies. There are processes and steps for every aspect of a product lifecycle.

How do robotics become profitable?

Return on Investment calculations to support the use of robotics often consider only direct labor costs, but many more factors contribute to profitability for companies that employ automation. Reduced scrap or rework due to the repeatability of automation, reduced frequency of inspection required, less supervision required, increased uptime and throughput potential, and opportunities to combine manufacturing processes can all add to the profitability of a program.

Why do businesses need strategic sourcing?

Noble has been a successful addition for clients looking to reshore product manufacturing, particularly to position them for strategic success. The challenges of material supply, transportation, and workforce shortages are hitting around the globe. Our automation, relationship strength, and technical tools serve to make confident those businesses looking for both domestic and overseas options for manufacturing.

What is quality assurance?

Quality assurance (QA) is any systematic process of determining whether a product or service meets the specified requirement. QA is not the actual act of measuring or monitoring a product, it is the act of ensuring this was done correctly.

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