When embarking on a new manufacturing project, there are endless variables to consider. The proper selection of materials combined with ensuring quality workmanship is among the most important decisions.
When searching for manufacturing partners to bring your ideas to life, there can be a dizzying selection of options to choose from. Who is the best choice? Where to even start?
Polyurethane is no different. I bet you’re asking yourself, how can I ensure that my cast urethane component will meet my high-quality requirements?
The key factors below should help you make your decision when it comes time to choosing a urethane manufacturer.
Do you need assistance with your designs?
Not all polyurethane producers have the capacity to fully assist with the conception of your idea. If you need more assistance, look for a producer that has full 2D and 3D rendering abilities, and is able to assist with CAD and solid-works design.
Your manufacturer can not only help with existing design modifications, but also design and prototype parts from the ground up. Having access to multiple varieties of 3D printers allows for rapid mold and test part production.
Your example parts could then be produced within a matter of hours instead of days, or even weeks. Having a solid part in your hand helps for quick design modifications to be made before larger production runs are initiated.
Most urethane shops do not have the capacity to design in-house and rely on outside parties to assist them with drawings and renderings. This adds cost, and also a degree of complexity to your process flow.
Selecting a manufacturer with in house design ability is always the right choice.
Capacity to Make Molds
One of the most imperative parts of cast urethane manufacturing is the mold. Does your polyurethane partner make their own molds?
They should. If they don’t, then you are paying them to find a shop that will.
This adds extra cost to your project and increases the complexity of quality control. Mold issues are unable to be dealt with in house, meaning project delays as you wait for a third party to modify any unsatisfactory molds.
If there are any revisions that need to be changed in the final design, you will be forced to send your molds away from the manufacturing location, adding logistical complexity.
Make sure you select a manufacturer that has full control over the mold making process. This ensures complete quality control over the final parts and means happier end-users.
There is a huge variety of urethane prepolymers available for purchase in today’s manufacturing world. The two-part “DIY” kits seen are not at all comparable to more complex thermoset blends with performance additives.
Is your polyurethane partner using high-quality pre-polymers? Make sure to verify that the compounds being used in your job have been properly selected for your specific job, as different materials have different properties.
Ask your polyurethane producer which performance additives they are able to add to the material blend to increase wearability and longevity.
If you have correctly chosen a urethane manufacturer, they will have a suitable quality policy in place to ensure only the best finished products. With all the complexities involved in polyurethane production, it is important to closely monitor the variables involved.
Production parts should be monitored at regular intervals to ensure high quality. Having a partner that has total control over the production from start to finish means any issues can be quickly identified and rectified on-site.
The Choice is Clear
Now that you know more about the key considerations and questions you should ask when choosing your polyurethane manufacturer, you’ll be well on your way to creating the highest quality product for your customers. Choosing your manufacturer is one of the most important decisions you will make in your production process so we urge to not take the decision lightly.