The No Molds Required Technology allows for the custom fabrication of plastic enclosures, panels, and other plastic parts without the need for expensive molds.
On a weekly basis, customers of Envision Plastics are adding value to their product lines utilizing a relatively new or unheard of manufacturing technology called NMR (No Molds Required). NMR is allowing these firms to design and manufacture custom plastic electronic enclosures without the need for molds in a span of a couple weeks, rather than a couple months like with newly developed injection molded or thermoformed parts. This manufacturing process ultimately creates great value with new product development in both the cost and lead time elements of a design plan.
Most of the applications for NMR are based around the product development at OEMs in the medical, communications, and industrial controls fields. The volume of plastic enclosures made per year fit these industries well as the sweet spot for NMR falls between 10 – 8,000 parts annually. They range in complexity from simple two piece snap together enclosures housing single PCBs, to machine display bezels the protect and “dress up” LCD panels and touch screens. (Read More)
How often have you wondered what life would be like without having to worry about paying tooling charge after tooling charge for products in early development? Or having to work with shops in foreign countries to get tooling made and parts produced within reasonable lead times? Well, now you have a new choice — Envision Plastics and Design.
White Bear Lake, MN--Design flexibility and shorter lead times are among the reported benefits of a "No Molds Required" (NMR) manufacturing technology that is enabling Envision Plastics & Design to fabricate custom plastic housings without using tooling or molds. One of only a handful of companies worldwide that are currently employing NMR technology, Envision claims that its niche capability can save customers "thousands of dollars in tooling," while shaving weeks or months from development time. The company uses common materials, such as ABS, polycarbonate, and high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), to fabricate custom enclosures and other plastic parts in quantities ranging from prototypes to short runs of up to 5,000 pieces. Other materials used include acrylics, PETG, and Kydex®, a high-performance thermoplastic sheet from Kleerdex Company... (Read More)
NMR Technology (No Molds Required) is a technology Envision Plastics and Design uses to manufacture custom plastic panels, plastic electronic enclosures, displays and other plastic parts with no tooling or molds. NMR fits low volume production needs which where non-implantable medical diagnostic device volumes typically are.
After looking at the wide array of products Envision Plastics custom manufactures, one can easily see that the NMR plastic fabrication technology reaches many markets and industries. However, the realm of medical device manufacturing stands out as a market who has embraced this niche product and service offering from Envision Plastics time and time again.
Customers from all over the United States and Canada have used the No Molds Required Technology for their custom plastic enclosure needs with respect to their medical device cases, frames, panels, or displays. Within the medical device industry, many specialty areas have implemented NMR produced items. These include: ultrasound, MR, wound therapy, pharmaceutical packaging, cardiovascular, and even dental. The medical device manufacturers in these areas are both small start-ups using venture capital funding as well as Fortune 500 firms including Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, Medtronic, and GE Medical Systems.
Despite typical production volumes being low (which fits the NMR niche market well), orders are consistent and often repeat. Not only do the specific part orders for enclosures repeat, but the technology is utilized again and again by developers at these medical device firms. Some firms have developed dozens of different plastic medical enclosures over the span of a decade – proving just how well NMR has been received in the medical industry. Sure, some medical device manufactures have large budgets for hard goods and R&D. However, saving up to $250,000 on a mold by using NMR Technology can make any project come in under budget!
A Minnesota plastics fabricating company is taking a few pages out of the metals, and even wood assembly, playbooks to make plastics enclosures that fill a rapidly growing niche for low-volume applications, particularly in the medical market. (Read more)
NMR Technology (No Molds Required) is a technology Envision Plastics and Design uses to manufacture custom plastic panels, plastic electronic enclosures, displays and other plastic parts with no tooling or molds. NMR fits lower volume production needs which is at the same volume level as precision sheet metal fabricators typically are. (Read More)
Engineers and Project Managers utilize the No Molds Required Technology (NMR) for their plastic applications in varying ways. Some use it for panels, shields, brackets, or other miscellaneous projects that benefit from manufacturing with no tooling. However, most product applications of NMR are plastic electronic enclosures. In the past, designers have used off the shelf enclosures, cheap project boxes from the hardware store, sheet metal housings, or maybe even unnecessarily purchased a mold for their parts. The NMR Technology offers a great new way to manufacture custom plastic enclosures for endless electronic applications. (Read More)
Since their conception in 2001, Envision Plastics and Design has been in the education business. Not in the academic sense, but rather in educating engineers, designers, and buyers. The No Molds Required plastic fabrication technology Envision utilizes is not new per se, but it is new to a lot of people due to its niche origin.
As one scrolls and navigates Envision Plastics’ website, it is quickly realized that this “new” fabrication method certainly is not rocket science. However, the ingenuity of the process is and the results thereof are quite impressive. Due to its compatibility with new project development, Envision has focused on marketing and selling to mechanical designers and engineers who may be in the market for a custom plastic housing or plastic fabricated part. No matter the means of selling, whether is a cold sales call, or a stumble across the website through Google search, the question is always the same in scope, “What? How do they make that without a mold?” This leads to Envision’s next challenge – educating the prospective user of the value of the NMR Technology. (Read More)
When defining markets, companies first typically choose to enter the consumer market or B2B market – and sometimes both. Then they further identify a more specific customer base by industry – Medical, Agricultural Equipment, Telecommunications/Web, Defense, Automotive, etc. What determines these labels or the decision on what markets to sell within is driven by what type of product they manufacture or service they offer. Fortunately, for worldwide customers of custom fabricated plastic products, Envision Plastics’ NMR Technology appeals to all of the above (Read More).
Since Envision Plastics opened their doors in 2001, they have given many tours and seminars to local engineering groups and schools such as: Globe College, SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers), and White Bear Lake High School. Students and Engineers eager to learn “what’s new” find Envision’s No Molds Technology very exciting and worthwhile to explore. “I never realized that this was an option! What a better way to make an enclosure!” said one veteran SME member. These comments are typical responses to the value of NMR. “The typical taught model of plastic product engineering revolves around straight fabrication or molds. When students or engineers find out they can have both – without the expense or lead time of a mold, they are ecstatic!” says Brian DuFresne, Sales and Marketing Manager at Envision Plastics (Read More).
When production lines of thousands of electric handheld devices like iPhones, Garmin GPS units, or even Xbox controllers are manufactured, it is typically in a linear process assembly line. At the conclusion of this assembly line (or during) there are inspection measurements taken. In the past, some contract manufacturers have approved devices they thought were acceptable functionally, but realized after manufacturing concluded that the actual color shade of the product was off - essentially, making the product unsuitable for market. Imagine several hundred completed and ready to ship iPhones getting scrapped in final quality inspection just because the color as was off? Well, that situation happens. (Read More)
While partnering with DuFresne Manufacturing, a Minnesota sheet metal fabricator, Envision Plastics developed custom specialized back lit signage for ThyssenKrupp Elevator (TK). These uniquely fabricated products helped to revolutionize the TK product line.
The most basic back lit signage models come from taking a clear plastic (polycarbonate or acrylic) and fixturing it inside an application specific custom sheet metal wall frame. However, just using clear plastic does not present the “wow” factor. What creates that is the application of white paint, digital ink (white) back printing, or even sandblasting the plastic prior to putting it up on the wall. (Read more)
Despite being leaders in No Molds Required Plastic Fabrication, Envision Plastics has looked beyond fabrication of common materials such as ABS, HIPS, Acrylic, Kydex, and Polycarbonate, to alternate materials, like Dibond, Alucabond, and Alupanel. These alternative materials fall under a category dubbed ACM - Aluminum Composite Materials.
ACMs contain two layers of thin aluminum which have a layer of polyethylene between them. Sheets of these materials come in various thicknesses, but most often 3mm (.118”) and 4mm (.157”) thick. The cap layers of aluminum (top and bottom) can be between .008 and .012 thick and the polyethylene makes up the rest of the overall thickness. (Read More)
In the previous part of this series on Aluminum Composite Materials, the materials were defined with respect to what they are, how they are fabricated, and the advantages of using ACMs.
ACMs such as Alucabond, are often used in architectural design and is typically thicker and more durable than other brands or forms of ACMs. You can see this material on facades of buildings and structures. Sometimes, as a stand alone exposed exterior piece of structure, sometimes with the buildings walls supporting other purposes. Dibond and Alupanel on the other hand are used more in the signage industry. The surfaces of ACMs are smooth, cosmetic, and provide a nice surface for printing. However, Envision Plastics and Design had a different end use in mind….the manufacturing of panels, displays, and enclosures. (Read More)