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CASE STUDIES

 PLASTIC MOLDING CASE STUDIES

M & E Plastics LLC takes pride in the innovative plastic molding solutions we offer our customers.

The following case studies are representative of the many projects produced for clients and highlight our commitment to quality and service.

CASE STUDY 1

Conversion of a diecast/machined transmission accumulator piston to an injection molded/machined component.

Transmission Accumulator Pistons  Transmission Accumulator Pistons

M & E Plastics LLC has been a leading provider of custom thermoset and thermoplastic molding services since 1995. Our success as a manufacturer has led to many long-term relationships with Tier 1, 2 and OEMs. In this project, we facilitated the conversion of die cast machined accumulator pistons into tight tolerance injection-molded equivalents. 

The powertrain accumulator piston is used for automatic transmissions in select automotive models across the globe. Originally made using an aluminum die cast process, an OEM had asked us to create an injection molded counterpart which could reduce both their price and weight per unit. They also requested our help in accelerating their daily production volume by using a plastic alternative. Our company had already successfully converted another OEM part from a previous project, so we already had the engineering factored in for tooling and mold shrink. Using our 225-ton injection molding machine, we produced the 31-gram piston using mineral reinforced, heat stabilized nylon plastic according to the customer’s supplied specifications. We machined the piston’s O-ring grooves using our Hurco CNC system and bored a .311 “O.D. hole that featured tolerances as tight as +0.001." Prior to commencing operations, we conducted intensive testing on all the tooling required to maximize turning output. 

Our team worked extensively with plant engineers during the entire conversion process ensuring that automotive quality control standards were maintained during prototyping and through production. It was vital that all aspects of this conversion conformed to ISO standards and PPAP submissions for automotive standards. The result of this project was that a plastic conversion greatly reduced energy costs for production, decreased porosity contamination, improved machining results, and provided easier O-ring installation for plant workers. The customer was extremely pleased with our ability to meet tight deadlines while delivering a high-quality product that ultimately improved their bottom line and increased their production output. To learn more about our ability to convert die cast parts to injection molded alternatives, please contact us.  

Please review Summary 1

for details for  this case study. 

 SUMMARY 1 

Project Name:

Power Train Accumulator Pistons

Process:

Injection Molded / CNC Turning Center

Equipment:

225-ton Injection Molding

Machine /Hurco CNC

Overall Part Dimensions:

18mm OD * 7.5mm ID x 15mm OAL

Tightest Tolerances:

ID +/-.02mm tolerance

Material Used:

Mineral reinforced/heat stabilized nylon

Material Finish:

Machined O-ring grooves as well as turned

OD, a bored hole to .311 +/-.001

Industry for Use:

Automatic transmission accumulator piston

In Process Testing/Inspection

Performed:

Parts to print submitted to customer using

AIAG -PPAP process

Volume:

250,000 per part number/annually

2-part numbers

Delivery:

Based on plant requirements 

Delivery Locations:

GM Powertrain plants

Standards:

ISO 9001/Customer supplied print

Thermoset Molded Bushing for Steering Column

Steering Column Assembly Component Steering Column Assembly Component

CASE STUDY 3

SECTOR: Automotive (Steering Column Sub-Assembly)

CUSTOMER:  PLASTICS MATERIALS SUPPLIER / TIER 1 CUSTOMER

PERSPECTIVE:  Performance, Innovation and cost

RISK FACTOR: High (fit & function reliability)

GOAL(S): Replace a Steering Column Sub-assembly "Bushing" which was a metal machined part to a plastic molded part that would meet the design and functional needs at a lower weight and cost ratio.

As you are probably aware, the advancement of technology in our world today is moving so fast we can no longer predict the future of practically anything.  For instance, "every 12 to 18 months, computers double their capabilities exponentially and so do the information technologies that use them."  We buy a computer, and it is typically obsolete almost before we get it set up at home or work.  This phenomenon of change can be applied to nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Custom molded plastic/composite parts are no exception in this quest for higher quality, greater reliability and enhanced durability along with lower cost.

One of our ''SUPPLIERS OF CHOICE" and a TIER 1 Automotive Sub-assembly supplier to an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) invited us to support their quest to produce a replacement part that was being manufactured from a metal material  to a molded part that weighed less and lasts longer.

A Graphite / Teflon material was selected by the team that would meet the design and functional characteristics desired.

The team reviewed the design details and began designing the tooling requirements to produce the prototype for testing and validation.  

A one (1) cavity tool was developed to produce sample parts for testing and validation of the Part, Materials and Process.

The tooling was completed, and parts were produced which not only produced a part that was lighter, more durable and met all of the design and functional requirements, the material selected by the team also produced a part that was self-lubricating which error- proofed the system for this failure mode.

 SUMMARY 3 

Project Name:

Steering Column; Bushing

Process:

Thermoset Injection Molding

Equipment:

375-ton injection/compression IMM

Overall Part Dimensions:

18mm OD * 7.5mm ID x 15mm OAL

Tightest Tolerances

ID +/-.02mm tolerance

Material Used:

Thermoset resin infused with PTFE and graphite

Material Finish:

High gloss with a centerless ground OD

Industry for Use:

 Automotive

In Process Testing/Inspection Performed:

D gauged, od centerless ground and Rc testing

Volume:

500,000 annuals

Delivery/Turnaround Time:

500,000 annuals

Delivery Location:

OEM Powertrain plants

Standards Met:

ISO 9001:2008/Customer supplied print

More Information Coming Soon!More Information Coming Soon!

CASE STUDY 2

Injection Molded Sleeve,

Seal/Sizing Shipping

Seal Sizing Shipping Sleeve Seal Sizing Shipping Sleeve

It is important that we consider the components primary, secondary, tertiary, etcetera - function in the development of these components during the development of the quality assurance process which monitors the precision molding manufacturing process that creates the product. 

  This case study illustrates this

thought process.


The initial discussions for this component within APQP process (Advanced Product Quality Planning) studied the primary function which is to protect a shaft on the sub-assembly during shipping. However, this component has two additional functions which need to be addressed that changed the requirements significantly for manufacturing.  Sizing and positioning of the seal on the sub-assembly before shipping are two additional functions that require more attention.

Please review Summary 2

for details for this case study.  

SUMMARY 2

Industry for Use: Automotive

 

In Process Testing/Inspection

Performed:

Parts to print submitted to customer using

AIAG -PPAP process

Volume:

N/A Porotype 

Delivery:

Based APQP Requirements

Delivery Locations:

GM Powertrain plants

Standards:

ISO 9001:2008/Customer supplied print