When you look at dip molded stethoscope tubing or a dip coated plumbing fitting, you probably don’t think about the process that goes into making it. There is a thorough development process behind every custom dip molded or coated part – a process that ranges in time from hours to weeks.
Here at Piper Plastics, it is our mission to provide customers with high quality dip moldings and coatings at competitive prices, which means that our development process is a thorough one. There are nine basic steps in production, beginning with an idea and ending with the production of a high quality final product.
Step One: The Idea
Like any other product on the market, a custom dip molded part begins with an idea. Oftentimes customers bring us a sample of something they would like to duplicate or improve upon, but other times the idea is just a sketch.
Step Two: Discussion
Once an idea has been brought to the team at Piper, we talk about it. Requirements and requests are all discussed with the customer to help ensure that we are making the best and most functional product possible.
Step 3: Design
After we have all the information we need, we work with the customer, helping to create a design for a prototype mandrel. (In the case of dip coatings, the part itself becomes the mandrel.) This first design will be tweaked until it fits the customer’s specifications, then it will be used to create the product prototype.
Step 4: Prototype
Based off of this design, someone (usually Piper) will make the prototype mandrel. Mandrels are traditionally made from metal to withstand the high temperatures that are reached during the dipping process.
Step 5: Dipping the Prototype
Once the prototype mandrel is made, Piper develops the precise dipping paramaters to produce the best part possible for the customer. A few prototypes are made, and shown to the customer for feedback.
Step 6: Make Changes
Once the prototype is reviewed, changes are made to improve the design and ensure it meets the customer’s specifications. Steps five and six are repeated until the customer is happy and ready to continue on with the creation of the final product.
Step 7: Production Tooling
After prototyping, the team at Piper moves on to production tooling. Surface texture, plastisol color, wall thickness and other specifications are finalized during this part of this process.
Step 8: Pilot Run
Once we have production tooling and a set of proper specifications, the team at Piper is ready to make the pilot run. This run of products is then shown to the customer to ensure that everyone is happy with the final product.
Step 9: In Production
After a successful pilot run, we are officially “in production.” Batches of the final product are made and send to the customer for distribution.
To learn more about Piper Plastics and our development process, please call us at 800-966-9919. Based in Copiague, New York, our team is always excited to learn about and help develop new dip molded products.