Plastic injection molding is an industry that demands a lot from companies who try to succeed. At iMARK, we take pride in going above and beyond the typical standards of our industry in every way.
We continuously work on our employees’ expertise through training, construct our facility to accommodate any need, and invest in technology to stay on top of advancements that can help our customers’ products improve. However, those things aren’t what really makes iMARK great.
What makes us great and sets us apart from our industry is what we call our iVANTAGE.
WHAT IS iVANTAGE?
iVANTAGE is our process developed as a way to maximize efficiency, create a culture of continuous learning, and improve the reputation of our business, all while representing our customers the best way we can. Our years of plastic injection molding experience has taught us that a production run is best set up for success when we take a fully-integrated approach and include the following 4 key elements.
- Early Involvement
- Scientific Process Development
- Process Control
When you leverage our team’s capabilities and focus across each element, you are most likely to have a well-designed product, well-developed process, and cost-effective manufacturing. This will create results for your business in the form of highest lifetime value, lowest time to market, consistency from run to run, and highest overall quality.
When we are involved early in a product’s development, our engineering expertise in plastic molding becomes an extension of the customer’s engineering department. By doing due diligence up front instead of after a product issue arises, we are best able to maximize quality and mitigate risk.
During this period we look at all the aspects of the product concept that will affect manufacturing. We consider the materials required, budgeting, functional requirements of the project, and more.
By getting early involvement in the project, we are better able to have a great working relationship with our customers so that we can easily exchange ideas and communicate findings.
Scientific Process Development
We use science based, documented process development when generating a manufacturing process. Scientific molding allows us to arrive at a nominal process that takes into account the plastic resin, part design and tool design to create the most robust consistent process.
We strive to create a wide process window to allow for variability in areas such as viscosity changes inherent in resins, machine wear, time of year, water temperature, natural variation in thermolators, chillers, moisture content of material, dry time, and more.
We conduct a very robust Installation Qualification (IQ)/Operational Qualification (OQ)/Process Qualification (PQ) protocol. Discipline and attention to detail in our process gives us more accurate pictures of the following analyses:
- Gauge repeatability and reproducibility
- Verify through inspection
- Capability studies processed through Minitab
- Statistically relevant sampling plans
Different products need different processes, so we adapt for each need. We can establish cavity pressure templates for validated process allowing acceptable/unacceptable automated part separation just as we can reconcile print dimensions with part geometry.
By defining results for each of these steps, we ensure that we meet all applicable process capability (CPK) requirements across all critical dimensions. This results in consistent, repeatable parts with zero defects, all creating reduced lifetime cost of manufacturing.
Once we reach the manufacturing stage, we monitor and control all process inputs and outputs.
Cavity pressure monitoring utilized throughout all production runs to ensure minimum acceptable variation in process outputs and automated part separation. We also conduct a 100% in-process inspection based upon process outputs to ensure parts are dimensionally the same across multiple production lots.
Using our ERP/MES system, we collect outputs into one system so data retrieval, analysis and reporting are simple. This system includes instantaneous lot tractability, inspection reporting, electronic document control, and a paperless quality system.
At the end of an iVANTAGE production run, you will know that you’ve just worked with a company committed to doing the job right every single time, and you will be able to see the advantages for yourself. We strive to create a wide process window to allow for process variability in areas such as viscosity changes inherent in resins, machine wear, time of year, water temperature, natural variation in thermolators, chillers, moisture content of material, dry time, and more.