One of the many benefits of working with a custom converter is tapping into your partner’s material expertise. Through consultation and collaboration, a converter should be able to help you identify the ideal materials and converting processes for your specific application – instead of modifying your design to accommodate available stock components.
If you’re new to working with a custom materials converter, here’s a quick idea of how the process works.
Understanding the challenges.
It's important to identify all the challenges – as well as the opportunities – of your product early on in the process. In addition to the specifications and tolerance requirements of a custom component to fit into the design, be sure to consider other challenges such as:
- Purpose of the product – does it need specific functionality?
- Where the product will be used – do any environmental conditions need to be considered?
- Durability – is the product intended for temporary or long-term use?
- Manufacturability – how many do you need, how quickly, and at what cost?
- Certifications – does your industry have requirements for manufacturing facilities?
Working with your converting partner.
Once you have all the challenges identified, your materials converter can come up with a solution that addresses all the needs. In most cases, the right materials and custom converting can enhance a product’s design, quality, and user experience.
The process of custom converting generally follows these steps:
1. Identifying materials
With new, innovative materials hitting the marketplace every year, it can be difficult for product designers and engineers to keep up with the latest technologies and trends. On the other hand, a custom converter has a deep understanding of materials available, their strengths and weaknesses, and their performance. They also have first-hand experience in how different materials can work together for custom applications.
Your converting partner can use this expertise to recommend high-quality stock materials that fit your design and overcome your challenges.
2. Selecting converting technology
Once materials are selected, your converting partner will also recommend the optimal process (or processes) to transform the raw material into a finished component. The converting approach should be based on the materials, size, tolerance requirement, quantity, and other factors.
3. Developing and testing the solution
For complex components, your converting partner will create a prototype (or multiple prototypes in one run, depending on the converting process). After testing, modifications can be made to ensure quality of the final piece. Once the component is approved, final preparations will be made for full production.
When the component or prototype is approved, the converter begins manufacturing and assembling the materials to your specifications. Depending on the product design and in-house capabilities, you can have the converter deliver the individual components or the final products.
Better solutions for better products.
When outsourcing materials converting, the goal should be to improve product quality, streamline your manufacturing process, and cut costs. In order to achieve those objectives, partnering with a trusted converter and establishing a collaborative process are keys to developing a custom solution.
Get started with custom converting.
At Tapecon, we have over 100 years of experience helping customers solve their complex product challenges. Learn more about our custom materials converting capabilities.