4 Signs You Need A Specialized Plastic Manufacturer

Edited 3/14/2024

You’ve clarified what kind of product you need, the specifications it needs to meet, and the environment in which it will need to perform. Now it’s time to wade into the world of design, material selection, and production. We understand that this part of the process can get overwhelming.

Here, we wanted to relay the four signs that you need to seek a specialized plastic manufacturer for your plastic machining or manifold project.

1) Your Product Needs to Perform in a Challenging Environment

Many machined plastic parts and manifolds need to perform their function in extremely harsh or challenging environments. It’s imperative to select a material that will hold up to even the most difficult of conditions. Most engineers and design experts should have some level of experience in their respective fields and a demonstrated relatability with yours. What's more, these experts should be ready to guide you through the material selection and design process. They have an extensive knowledge of each material’s capabilities AND limitations, as well as an understanding of the unique requirements of your particular project. Without these, we find it best to seek another manufacturer ready to handle the responsibility.

2) Your Project Requires Adherence to a Certain Set of Standards

Reputable manufacturers usually have a long history of working with clients in industries that require adherence to a specific set of standards. Strict regulations within the medical, life sciences, and the military industry (among several others) can prove difficult to meet with other manufacturers that lack the experience or ability to meet them.

Here, we advise to look for certain certifications and ask for tangible proof on a manufacturer's dedication to quality. Manufacturers — if they don't already have it downloadable on their website — will happily send these documentations for your review. Although certifications vary from sector to sector, some apply to nearly all industries and sectors, including ISO 9001:2015. Using this ISO as an example, this certification is required to deliver a final product that adheres to any and all industry-specific quality and productions standards. Ensure that the manufacturer has intimate familiarity with your industry’s unique requirements that will translate to a stress-free design and production process. This is something we cannot stress enough.

3) Your Project will Require Micro Machining (or another highly precise machining process)

If your project requires a highly precise machining process, then you will very likely need specialized plastic machining. Ensure that the manufacturing teams are experienced in producing highly precise plastic machined parts, including those using micro machining technology. They need to have the capacity to perform the following:

  1. Produce micro components to your specifications,
  2. Produce in small and large quantities, and
  3. Can hold to tolerances of +/- .0005 or better.

Focusing on the handling, inspection, finishing, and assembly of these exacting components (instead of just the design process), manufacturers should be able to successfully machine even the smallest plastic parts.

4) Your Project Requires Quick Turnaround, Without Sacrificing Quality

Many plastic manufacturers focus on speed and price. While those stand important, they forget to mention keeping to good quality in their products. Without quality, then you might as well throw money out the window while traveling on the interstate.

Seek a manufacturer that can incorporate high quality with the other two. If that company has aspects like numerous high-performance 3 to 5 axis CNC machines capable of rapid-production precision machining on their factory floor, then this company is worth investigating further. The combination of high-performance machines and unique bonding capabilities mean that you can expect your high-quality plastic machined part or manifold in the shortest possible time. Some manufacturers can deliver basically configured, short-run, multilayer bonded manifolds in as little as two weeks* (like Controlled Fluidics).

The One Sign That Indicates an Ill Fit

Using Controlled Fluidics as an example, we concentrate our efforts primarily on high-performance projects in the medical, research, defense, aerospace, and life sciences industries. We specialize in providing well-crafted, highly technical solutions for specific design needs as seen in these demanding industries. If you are looking for mass-market plastic design solutions, we are not a good fit. We strongly urge you to seek a partner that is well-versed in creating these products and would provide the assistance you need to be successful.

This comes down to doing your due diligence and research when it comes to choosing a plastic manufacturing partner. Some specialize in other areas that relate to your industry better than others. If something doesn't fit or seem right, then please find another manufacturer who is willing to listen to all your concerns and adapt appropriately.

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