Tooling is an integral element of the production process and is often one of the most expensive aspects of manufacturing. High quality tooling is essential, otherwise, companies run the risk of manufacturing lower quality final parts that are unable to meet specifications – resulting in higher production costs and longer lead times. Fortunately, there is a manufacturing process that is known for reducing tooling costs and providing high-quality final products: cast urethane. This technique is generally lower cost than other production methods without sacrificing quality.
Smart Ways to Lower Tooling Costs with Urethane Products
Polyurethane products are manufactured in a variety of forms including sheet, rod, tube, and custom molded shapes. Urethane products tend to have lower tooling costs than natural rubber and plastics, making urethane an economical solution for prototypes and low volume production in addition to higher volume runs. Below are some smart ways companies can lower tooling costs with urethane products.
- Lower Initial Investment: some manufacturing methods, such as injection molding, require a significant upfront investment in custom tooling. This is not the case with urethane products. Companies who utilize urethane products avoid a large investment in tooling – in fact, many products, such as PSI’s custom ring seals, have little or no tooling costs. If tooling is required for a urethane product, it is only a fraction of the cost of other manufacturing methods. For this reason, urethane products are especially attractive for low volume runs as well as prototyping since a large upfront cost for tooling is often cost prohibitive for these projects. Additionally, lower tooling costs make urethane products an excellent option when the long-term demand for a given product is uncertain and companies cannot risk a large upfront investment in tooling.
- Shorter Lead Times: the old adage “time is money” is applicable to nearly every aspect of manufacturing. One key advantage of urethane products is the quicker turnaround times. In some manufacturing processes tooling takes a long time to prepare – often months. Tooling that is needed for cast urethane, on the other hand, is typically fabricated more rapidly, resulting in shorter product lead times. Speed to market directly correlates to a competitive advantage since final products are able to reach the consumer quicker and start generating revenue.
- Additional Design Flexibility: product development is an iterative process where the design is often modified and tweaked numerous times before reaching the final design. The cost-effective tooling of cast urethane oftentimes allows for easier design changes with rapid turnaround times on prototypes. This allows companies to move quickly through design iterations, often resulting in a better product design. Additionally, the ease with which designs can be modified by machining, makes urethane a good option for products that undergo routine or frequent design upgrades and customizations based on market feedback. Lastly, polyurethane products offer many design advantages as they are fully customizable, available in a wide range of formulations, hardness and colors, and even able to be bonded to metal and other substrates. At PSI, we welcome the challenge that custom urethane projects bring, and the opportunity to do the unusual and seemingly impossible.
About PSI Urethanes
With over 50 years of experience delivering the highest quality urethane products, PSI Urethanes stands unequaled in helping companies in hundreds of industries around the world apply urethane products to their critical business applications. Since 1966, through our own independent research and activity in the Polyurethane Manufacturers Association, PSI Urethanes has stayed on the leading edge of urethane technology – including developing advances in new materials, comprehensive designs, and processing technologies. Today we are among the most respected and trusted suppliers of custom cast urethane products.
We operate from our 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, which houses an extensive stock of polyurethane products. Our fully equipped manufacturing facility includes a versatile range of processing machinery, which allows us to work on unique, one-of-a-kind projects, as well as high volume components. Our in-house engineering, tooling, and custom mold shop, produces custom and stock production orders with exceptionally fast turn-around times. From conception to prototyping, to final production runs, our technical representatives and design engineers will work closely with your staff to meet your critical tolerances and specifications. You are guaranteed to receive experienced, professional, and personalized service from the first contact through your on-time delivery, with complete confidentiality and dedication to protecting your good name.
Contact us today to see how we can help with your next project, or give us a call at 1-800-888-5156.