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.

What things should be provided when coming to us with an idea?

To quote a part, we will request at least a part drawing with tolerances, material specifications, and number of units to produce. Preferably, we can be provided CAD/3D files, samples of parts, a material selection and alternative, quality specifications, and packaging specifications.

How long does the design process take from beginning to end?

Design processes are highly collaborative, and depending on the number of features, can take just a few or several weeks. With a complete design, specialized tooling and components can take another 4-5 months to build. Product qualification depends on the number of components and assembly steps, taking from 2-5 weeks for complete documentation and acceptance.

What is the lead time?

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.

How do we go from idea to product?

Knowing the best manufacturing method for a product idea lets a design be optimized for that process. Often the “best” method isn’t dependent on the part itself, but on commercial considerations like the number of parts needed, timeline to realization, and limits on capital to allow for investment in equipment.

How can the manufacturing process of products be improved?

Products can be improved by monitoring quality data and making adjustments to process settings.

What are the smallest and biggest size products we make?

Noble can make parts as small as a few grams and a quarter of an inch up to 10+ pounds and 40+ inches.

Should software engineers be involved in product decisions?

For products that require firmware or a software application, input from software engineers is critical. If you add a button to a product, the software designer/engineer has to be able to make that button work as the product designer wants it to. Product development is a collaborative effort and anyone who has a responsibility in any stage of the development from idea to putting it in the box for the customer should be involved in product decisions. Roles can be small or larger but all have an impact.

What are the best applications for injection molding?

Injection Molding is usually the most economical method for high-volume parts with features in all 3 dimensions. If only two dimensions are key, parts are generally stamped from sheets or formed in other methods. If parts are essentially long and uniform like pipe or boards, they are generally extruded.

What are the steps of the quality assurance cycle?

Noble employs several measurements and verification systems. Parts might be confirmed by process monitoring, automatic camera validation, operator measurements, specialized testing apparatus, gages, and final release from the Quality Control team.

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.