What is Pre-Mass Production?
Pre-Mass Production is a fast manufacturing technique for low quantity production that is done with real or equivalent materials, which the necessary tests and analysis, or field tests can be performed before moving to the real mould.
Moreover, it’s also an absolutely perfect choice for low quantity (like 100 to 1,000 units) productions.
It’s a method that can be followed without needing any mould investments. Among these methods are Silicon Moulding, RIM, or Aluminium Moulding.
How does Pre-Mass Production Work?
The analysis made on the data planned for production, the attributes expected from the pre-mass production, and quantity information are brought together to determine what manufacturing technique will be used.
Production with Silicon Moulding Technique:
While silicon moulding technique is used as a prototyping technique, actually it is also a pre-mass production technique. The master needed for silicon moulding can be created with the help of a 3D printer or CNC. With this silicon moulding, which is based on master model, parts can be manufactured in a short time.
Production with RIM (Reaction Injection Molding) Technique:
In RIM technique, differently than silicon moulding, polyurethane or aluminium mouldings are usually preferred. A 3rd raw material, which is a result of the mixing of 2 different materials, is injected inside these mouldings.
Compared to silicon moulding, much higher quantities of units can be produced with RIM technique.
Production with Aluminium Moulding Technique:
Aluminium moulding is actually no different than conventional injection moulding. Since CNC processing time is quite long when injection mouldings are made of industrial steel, it can be highly costly both in the terms of time and resources. However, since aluminium can be processed much faster than CNC, costs are much lower.
Production quantity with aluminium moulding can differ based on the size of the part, used material, and needed pressure, it can provide a production from 1,000 to 5,000 units.
Pre-Mass Production Applications
Silicon Moulding Applications:
Silicon moulding method is usually preferred for the parts that will be tested. It is more costly to make necessary changes on a mould during the tests. Therefore, reaching the final phase with the parts created through silicon moulding based on the test results would provide a less costly and time friendly approach before the mass production.
The parts created through silicon moulding are also used for marketing efforts, since they are very close to the end product with their high surface quality and appearance. Moreover, end products can be manufactured through silicon moulding at low quantities and fast when the time is essence.
Compared to conventional methods, silicon moulding technique provides a much more economical solution for such cases.
RIM is a very common method used for pre-mass production, especially in the industries like automotive, home appliances, or defense. It’s possible to manufacture very low quantities like 400 to 500 units a month.
For instance, since the commercial vehicles like buses or tractors produced in low quantities, the injection moulding investment can prove to be quite costly. In such cases, polyurethan structures like cladding materials can be produced by RIM technique.
Aluminium Moulding Applications:
This is a method that serves well for all the industries that manufactures plastic parts through conventional injection technique. It is possible to shortten the moulding time to produce the first group of products faster, pre-mass production with real material, or end products at low quantities. Compared to the conventional methods, moulding costs are much lower.
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Advantages of Pre-Mass Production Applications
- The most important advantage with pre-mass production techniques is the time saved.
- Pinpointing the needs of change during the tests before moulding phase, the waste of time and resources can be prevented.
- It minimizes first investment costs for low quantity or one time productions.
- It provides serious advantages when it comes to reaching the market sooner and fast.
- It is not necessary to wait for mass production to start with marketing efforts.
Important Factors in Pre-Mass Production
- In some cases, cost per unit may be higher compared to conventional methods.
- Original raw materials may not be possible to use in all cases.
- To decide correctly for a pre-mass production method can prevent a lot of unnecessary problems.