Rosti China installed a new IMD (In Mould Decoration) manufacturing cell for one of its long standing customers. IMD has been very well received as it achieves an increased level of cosmetic design not possible with conventional painting/plating processing. IMD designs are predominately used in flat geometries, however these parts are very complex 3D components, with a stretch ratio in excess of 45%.
The Rosti way was to assess risks and potential failure modes and effects, the outcome yielded significant challenges which lead to Rosti treating this initiative as an exploratory technical development project completely separate from the usual main stream new product introduction programs. The main challenges revolved around: stretch ratio, resin and part flow length.
Table1: critical to quality (CTQ) factors
These challenges were overcome by Rosti pulling together all partners involved, resin suppliers, equipment suppliers and decoration foil suppliers. The critical to quality items above were overcome through digital simulation and analysis. This reduced physical resource and costs to optimize the development cycle to reach market as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Stretch ratio: Rosti part had complex three dimensional curves both in line of flow and cross flow. Geometric splices were made to assess the high and low stretch areas;
Resin: Rosti part was a Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) + glass fibre content, this is a high temperature engineering polymer.
Flow length: Rosti part was 1.2mm wall section over a length of 210mm.
Rosti’s conclusion of the digital development and the hundreds of scenarios that were run delivered a high success confidence to be achieved which enabled physical tooling and development to be started. From point of launching steel tooling to having proof of concept and production part process approved was less than 3 months. This was only possible through the deep understanding of the process difficulties and building robust simulation models to work through all potential scenarios to optimize tool, process and automation design. This process/project shows the commitment to innovative technology development and the boldness to proceed into a project like this when the experienced market leaders were openly stating that this is a high risk low success application. With attention to detail and the drive of the development team the result was a perfect example of Rosti’s concept to reality philosophy.
Rosti offers a complete range of managed and contract manufacturing services, delivering turnkey projects, from concept to reality. With production sites across Europe and Asia, we offer manufacturing capabilities worldwide, executed using the most up-to-date processes and solutions.