- Product Development
- Mold Making
- Rotational Molding
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Get started today designing and building your molded product.
Staff design engineers offer product development services to optimize your design specifically for the rotational molding process. The rotomolding process offers many unique advantages to other plastic processes. To maximize these benefits, virtually all early stage product development will require some refinement.
We'll suggest ways to reduce cost, shorten production cycles, minimize seams, simplify and speed assembly, strengthen walls and corners, improve rigidity, enhance textures, add thermal value, locate graphic placement, and simply help improve the product's design or function.
Our engineering and tooling services are offered without any obligation of production. THAT'S RIGHT... whether you choose to use our molding services or not, we're happy to help bring your product life.
One of the hallmarks of the rotation molding process is the relatively low cost of tooling for prototyping and ultimately production runs. Sterling is a leader in tool design, mold making and mold fabrication services ensuring customers the most economically efficient path to market.
Once our team has helped to optimize your design for the rotomold process, we'll manufacture your tooling and either ship to your molder and we'll put it into production.
24/7/365 nonstop production. Our "arms" are in constant motion molding parts all day, every day. Nobody does it better. It's about Service with a capital S and regular customer communications. We have the capacity and the flexibility to mold your products or parts to meet your schedule. With more than 30 molding arms constantly in process we can manufacturer quickly, or build inventory as required. We deliver quality products and are committed to longterm sustainability programs in our products, processes and materials.
To complete the OneSource offering, Sterling provides competitive turnkey services for assembling and warehousing products, and cost effective delivery to your customers. Rotationally molded products are typically large volume, light weight items, and can be expensive to store and ship. Sterling's 250,000 sq ft of production and warehouse space is designed to support customer's drop-ship business. Why ship the product twice when we can deliver it for you.
How does your involvement with customers generally begin?
Our involvements typically starts from the very beginning. The customer will contact our sales department to outline the project, and at that point they will set up a conference call or a face-to-face meeting to discuss the project.
Do customer typically submit a drawing right away, or is it just a concept idea?
That all depends on where they are at with their project. Some customers come to us with a fully designed product that we just have to redline to make sure if fits our molding process, others may come to us with a rough sketch of what they want, and some just have nothing at all and we have to start from scratch. I think that is what makes us unique is the fact that no matter where they are in the process we can help them get them product to the finish line.
What kinds of evaluations do you go through to be sure it is engineered properly for rotomolding?
There are a number of things we look for when designing and evaluating a project. We look for sharp corners or even very small radii, in rotomolding typically these type of areas like to trap air/gas bubbles which result in porous edges. Another area we look at is does the part have the proper draft built into it and are there any areas the create an undercut that would prevent the part from being able to be de-molded. We also review the model to make sure that there are no areas that are narrow and deep that may prevent heat transfer in the mold itself. Without heat transfer in the mold the plastic will not form in those areas. The last major thing we look for is the actual interior volume of the mold. There must be enough volume in the mold to accommodate the proper charge weight of the part. A general rule of thumb is 1 cu.ft. of interior volume can hold up to approx. 21 pounds of resin. The charge weight of a part dictates the wall thickness. The same mold can produce parts with different wall thicknesses just by increasing or decreasing the charge weight. So for example, if the part requires 42 lbs of resin to create a part with a wall thickness of 3/16" it would need approx. 2 cu.ft. of interior volume, but the mold only has 1.375 cu.ft. of interior volume. So it would not be able to produce a part with a 3/16" wall thickness. The customer would then have to do one of two things, increase the interior volume or decrease the wall thickness of the part. These are only some of the major things we look for, there could be some other areas that we find on occasionally that need to be modified.
Is there a typical timeframe that you try to adhere to? Two days, two weeks, two months?
Every project is different. It really depends to the scope of work. I have seen some jobs take a day to design and some have taken a lot longer.
Have you had conversations with clients about their experiences with other designers or molders? ...how does Sterling stack up... easy to work with, fast results, etc
I have not heard directly from the customers, but I have heard through other people that our turnaround time for a design is fast and our level of professionalism is top notch.
How involved are you with the actual mold design and specification?
Very involved. We layout how we want the mold to look and how they are to operate one they are complete. We create the complete list of specification for the tooling group.