In today’s competitive environment, OEMs are looking for opportunities to reduce costs while maintaining product quality. While there are a number of factors that contribute to the cost of silicone injection molded products, we will focus on the top 3 ways to reduce cost: efficient part design, process automation, and consolidation of suppliers.

Efficient Design

In order to save cost on your silicone injection molded product, companies need to ensure the product is as easy to manufacture as possible! This will result in more efficient production, better quality, and lower cycle times. Below are some best practices that will help you reduce cost. Click here for additional tips on how to successfully Design For Manufacturability (DFM).

  • Minimize material: look for opportunities to reduce solid part sections and replace with more hollow sections. In the case of injection molding, use of gussets and ribs will often provide the required strength while using less material. It may seem like a small reduction in material but when multiplied over many production runs the result can be a large decrease in manufacturing costs! Additionally, devices that weigh less are cheaper to transport and store, further reducing costs.
  • Optimize Cycle Times: when it comes to production, time is money. Devices with easier ejection from the mold result in shorter cycle times and lower part cost – and this is accomplished with the appropriate draft. Draft is an essential element in part design and is simply the angling of walls to allow easier separation and removal of the product from the mold. A lack of draft makes it nearly impossible to remove the part. OEMs should ensure adequate draft in the part design to reduce cycle times and save cost.
  • Simplify the Product: several design features impact part cost such as tight tolerances and engraving. These all drive up cost and directionally reduce production efficiency. OEMs should work with their supplier to look at design alternatives and should ensure any complex features are “must-haves”!

Leveraging Automation

Automation, and the efficiency it brings, has become a vital component in the manufacturing of silicone injection molded products. Automation within the manufacturing process can occur during the design phase all the way through secondary operations. Companies should work with their manufacturing partner to design with automation in mind. For example, medical devices that are smooth are more suitable for automated assembly processes. Also, OEMs should be mindful of assembly order and ensure part orientation is consistent. These design consideration help ensure automated processes downstream are optimized and efficient.

Robotic work cells deliver speed and accuracy, resulting in lower cycle times and higher product quality. With an automated production line, personnel no longer have to execute the repetitive, time-consuming tasks – reducing the risk of human error and allowing personnel to focus on more value-added responsibilities. Additionally, in the case of injection molding, a highly-automated process can be controlled by as little as one operator, lowering labor and manufacturing costs.

Supplier Consolidation

The only constant in the manufacturing world is change. Over time, OEMs often find they have acquired a large supply chain that can be challenging and time-consuming to manage. One cost-cutting measure is to consolidate your supply base to one or two strategic partners. When partnering with a provider, like ProMed, customers receive a complete manufacturing solution that strengthens their supply chain. Additionally, since every step in the manufacturing process builds upon the next, it is cost-effective to partner with a supplier that can start and end the project with you – from the concept and design phase through production and secondary operations! There are many benefits to supplier consolidation including:

  • More purchasing power: by consolidating your supply chain, you will gain purchasing power. This can be in the form of negotiating lower manufacturing and transport rates due to higher annual spend, or lower raw material expenses due to more volume purchased.
  • Improved communications: by consolidating your suppliers, your points of contact are greatly reduced, possibly down to a single point of contact at your key supplier. This allows for a central, more customized level of support. This will also inevitably improve and simplify your supply chain communications, resulting in a better final product.
  • Easier to manage: a smaller supplier base is simply easier. There are less suppliers to setup and manage within internal systems, and the relationship is easier to manage.

About ProMed

ProMed has specialized in cleanroom manufacturing of components, assemblies in the medical industry since 1989. We’re now celebrating 30+ years! We utilize state-of-the art technology, draw from an experienced technical community, and take a creative systematic approach to provide you with a dependable, high-quality and overall cost-effective solution to your manufacturing needs. We are now a full-service provider of molded components and assembled products, including molded silicone components, combination components which incorporate pharmaceuticals, and value added assemblies.

ProMed was founded to address an industry need for cleanroom manufacturing of silicone components, specifically those having a medical application. We have garnered a reputation as the world benchmark of implantable silicone components and assemblies – and are one of few companies in the world to provide contract manufacturing of drug-eluting products. Additionally, our ProMed Caribe division specializes in the molding of silicone components, sub-assemblies, and assemblies, and is offered as a “lower cost” option for projects.

Contact ProMed today at 763-331-3800 to discuss how we can reduce the cost of your next molding project!

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3 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Silicone Injection Molded Products
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3 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Silicone Injection Molded Products
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Three ways to reduce the cost of silicone injection molded products: process automation, supplier consolidation, and design optimization.
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ProMed Molding
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