Expertise: All the pieces fit together
DS Smith Plastics, Injection Moulded Products uses the latest techniques and state-of-the-art software to design and develop their products. Our current capabilities and our 50 years of experience, has lead us to create our total product development process.
Our team of experienced professionals works closely with clients to evaluate and define all technical requirements and optimize the design for a durable and reusable packaging solution. With the assembly of presentations and drawings, and careful attention during consultations, we are able to establish the most suitable solution up to the finest details.
On the basis of an idea, a drawing or a product description we develop several customized solutions for the customer.
Based on drawings and presentations and in close consultation we then further develop the most suitable solution to the smallest detail.
Following a complete geometrical definition of the product, we proceed with calculations, simulations and adjustments and manufacture a prototype of the future product with our 3D printer based on the requirements of the customer.
The prototype is designed using different techniques (FDM, SLS, SLA,…). Depending on the chosen technique, a fully functional prototype is manufactured.
After approval of the drawing of the prototype the mould drawings are developed and we proceed to make the necessary preparations to set-up the mass production of the product
3-D PRINTING OF PROTOTYPES
Thanks to our recent investment in a high quality 3D printer, we can now offer our customers with a limited number of prototypes in a very short time frame.
3D printing technology considerably reduces our production lead-time during the development stage and it allows the design of a broad range of prototypes.
Our printer works on the basis of FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling). In practice this means the printer builds an object layer by layer using a heated extruded plastic material. 3-D printing is a simple and proven technology that provides flexibility. The FDM technology lends itself perfectly to produce strong and functional plastic elements made in one piece.
Our printer produces parts with a maximum dimension of 400 x 350 x 400 mm, in up to ten different colours. The raw materials are UV-resistant ASA plastics providing a nice aesthetic look and feel.
If the prototypes are intended to be used for promotional pictures or market studies, we are able to provide the product in various final finishes (textured, high gloss, soft touch, etc.)
DS Smith Plastics’ Injection Moulding business has its own test centre. Based on years of experience, a series of quality tests have been assembled to guarantee the highest levels in quality, performance and a long life cycle of all reusable plastic packaging.
Our experts can also analyse the material behaviour of the reusable plastic crates during use, storage and transport.
The tests can be executed, if desired, in the presence of the customer. Only when the crate behaves perfectly following each test, a mould release report will be drawn up. Following the report, the production can start.
We ensure the test area has constant environmental conditions, such as the air humidity level and the temperature.
Below is an overview of our most important tests:
- Vertical stress resistance test
- Dynamic resistance of handles test
- Drop test
- Impact test
- Detergent resistance test
- Vibration resistance test
- Heat resistance test
- Sun test
- Aging test
- Inmould Labels test
- Scratch resistance of the Inmould Labels
DEVELOPMENT OF MOULDS
A mould is the starting point of every injection moulding process. The design of this mould has to be perfect; otherwise it will be impossible to produce a high quality end product. Due to our years of experience in the development of injection moulds we can guarantee an efficient and durable production.
To design a mould we start with the final approved design of the end product. On the basis of that design our technical designer creates a DFM design (Design For Manufacturing). This design guarantees that the product will comply with our quality standards, but also that it will be released from the mould without any issues.
Based on the design and a solid technical specifications manual a team of specialists will decide on the mould’s final shape. Sometimes these are specific moulds that remain the property of the customer; however, we also invest in standard moulds that can be used by different customers.
Depending on the requirements of the customer we apply the most innovative technologies to our moulds. We have long been using the technology of gas and water injection, and also IML (In Mould Labelling) and TPE (ThermoPlastic Elastomer) are techniques we have been applying successfully.
Our high quality moulds ensure that we receive orders from across the globe.
NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
The starting point for developing a successful new product is on one hand, understanding what the customer needs or wants, and on the other hand, having a thorough market insight.
New concepts are developed by our Research & Development team in close cooperation with our customers, partners and other organisations such as universities.
There are various ways to develop a new product.
For instance, we can perform a market study of the existing products, and offer our customers solutions that are recognisable and that have a proven track record.
However, for certain products we start with an idea from scratch.
Due to the extensive application range and the flexibility of injection moulding, we are able to offer our customers numerous solutions, which can later on be turned into prototypes.
Based on those prototypes our customers can perform their own market study.
If required, we can manufacture a testing mould to produce an entire series of prototypes with the aim of testing on a large scale before starting mass production.
Launching a new product onto the market is a complex process. Our experts have the knowledge to manage an entire project and guide each step in the right direction.
At any time during the process, we can offer customers 3D printed prototypes in a short timeframe. To ensure the product meets our quality level standards that can guarantee a long life-cycle, we conduct a series of performance tests. With a focus in advancing our technology and experience in the packaging industry, we continue to build the innovative injection moulded products.