Contributing Factors of Injection Molding Failure
There’s nothing worse than having a project continuously fail to the point of frustration and termination. One of the main struggles with injection molding is project failure. There are many six main reasons why projects deteriorate. We will look closely at each below.
The project wasn’t designed with the consumer in mind
Project managers weren’t involved
Lack of communication between team members
Uncontrollable project revisions
Use of incorrect machinery
Product wasn’t properly assessed in the project development phases
Made To Use
When designing products, consumers have to be kept in mind. The product can’t be produced around what the designer thinks would be best. The marketing team has to analyze all the demands consumers will be thinking. Some examples of customer determining factors would be the quality of the product, the price has to be competitive but it can’t be over priced, has to make a first impression, and it has to properly fulfill their needs.
The Right People for the Job
Many different people make up the project design and development team. Project managers have a very important role and it’s key that they stay on top of everything. In order for a product to be successful, the project manager has to keep everyone on schedule. Without them, the project will without a doubt fail. There is most likely more than one project going on and it can get hectic keeping projects organized and properly documented. If the project manager isn’t involved, tasks won’t be accomplished and projects will slip through the cracks of failure.
The Flow of Communication
Communication is key, especially when it comes to the injection molding process. Everyone should always be talking to each other as well as the factory. If not everyone is communicating, then it will be extremely hard to keep track of the status of the project. One person may think prototypes are being made, and another may think manufacturing has already begun. This makes things very confusing and it’s better if everyone communicates with one another. Communicating with the factory is imperative. By keeping an open dialog, the project should run as smooth as it can. Updates will be received and any issues can be addressed immediately. By doing this, it minimizes chances of error.
Factor in Revisions
As with anything that’s been designed, revisions have to be made. With product design, it is almost guaranteed there will be at least one change to the design. It should also be addressed that the material may have to change. Once prototypes and manufacturing begins, it may be determined that the plastic isn’t strong enough or doesn’t have the proper characteristics for the specific project. These revisions are reflected in the different phases of project development.
Using Proper Technology
Using the wrong technology can also cause a project to fail. The product design will influence the type of technology to use. There’s a surplus of machines and it’s up to the project development team to determine which is the best. For example, if a team is working on a multiple piece product and some of those pieces have to be connected together, how is this accomplished? Maybe ultrasonic welding is the best method but no one on the team knows about this technology. Instead, they decide to glue pieces together. This would be a prime example of not using an appropriate method.
Environment Influencing Design
When a project is being designed, a multitude of factors have to be taken into consideration. If a product is incorrectly designed, then it’s being set up for failure from the start. A design element that should always be addressed into the design is where the product is going to be placed. If a product is designed that’s going to be outside and in direct sunlight, this has to be accounted for. The material will have to be weather resistant, the color will have to be protected from discoloration, and it will have to withstand the elements of Mother Nature. Every factor should be thought of and it should directly influence the design.
Design for Success
There are many areas of failure that can happen with the process of injection molding. Some factors are more controllable than others, but, as a team, everyone should do their best to minimize these variables. If a team member notices areas of weakness, or members who aren’t performing at their highest standard, then it should be brought to everyone's attention immediately. During phase one of project development, these main areas of failure should be addressed. This way the project doesn’t fail and it won’t have to restart. Although if the project did have to rebegin, the team would have more knowledge. As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”
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