Industrial design is a process of design applied to products that are to be produced and manufactured in volume; in our case by thermoforming or CNC cutting. It is the creative act of determining and defining a products form and features, which takes place as part of a process.
Transformed Plastix utilises its own designer for many projects. However, when specialised design is required, or finite engineering analysis is needed, Transformed Plastix may involve a designer from our experienced pool of external design engineers.
Transformed Plastix has a mantra which is to save the client costs during the design phase. Designers have specialised skills and have gained these in differing work environments. Transformed Plastix has access to specific designers such as pallet designer, automotive designer, hydrodynamic designer, and designers with outstanding Italia flair like Pininfarina, Zagato, Bertone. By using our design team to manage the process; bringing in and utilising specialised skills where required, you pay only for the work done on the project.
The design process for Transformed Plastix follows a strict process guideline:
- Customer correspondence or a meeting to detail the design parameters and customer expectations
- Invite specific support functions to this meeting to ensure the developed design brief is something that is possible; within our own equipment capabilities, and Transformed Plastix have an ability to source the right materials for the application
- Transformed Plastix complete the design manually or from a scan with the objective of creating CAD for approval
- Customer must approve CAD before the continuation of the design and manufacture process
- Transformed Plastix provide tooling options best suited to the application, material selection, and design
- Tooling for the project commences – there are three possible interim steps:
- Provide a hand-made sample
- Pre manufacture a one off prototype tool and up to 4-5 components for further evaluation material and design validation
- Provide a 3D printed part off the CAD for validation before production of tooling
This can also provide an interim step for marketing to have parts for pre-launch validation and customer feedback, allowing for final modification prior to full tooling commitments.
Printing 4-5 parts a month for presales to justify forward orders for tooling investment is also an option we provide.
Once Transformed Plastix obtain production tooling:
Production of “ALPHA” prototype. These are generally produced and hand trimmed at a volume between 5-10, depending upon the JIG and Trim requirements for the finished part.
Transformed Plastix obtain one part, as a master part, back from the customer. The “ALPHA” approved part. This process is repeated until it is approved. The unit is completed and signed off at each stage. We follow a naming convention second “BETA” third “GAMMA” etc.
Transformed Plastix produce a JIG and CNC trim programme from the final approved part. This is the one signed off at stage 1.
Should the “ALPHA” prototype not be the signed off part because of a trim or tool modification then Transformed Plastix move to the next naming convention.
The next CNC trim part off the JIG is named the “BETA” (or next name depending on the final version in stage 1) the convention names are from the Greek alphabet:
Prototyping is again repeated until approved. Approval at this stage is usually for the trim only and sometimes a trim fitment test.
When approved, Transformed Plastix obtain a final sign off part which is retained for visual comparison and as a root analysis part in the event of a Q&A issue. This is the “MASTER” signed off part; dated and version listed. The client may also keep a sample at this stage.
The design process can take a minimum of 5 weeks. If everything aligns, production is normally based around the material suppliers lead time from the time of sign off at STAGE 2, and it is linked to the minimum order quantity required for the order. This can vary from supplier to supplier, should custom finishes or colours be required these are always linked to a manufacturing MOQ.
Transformed Plastix often stock materials for a customer committing to a supply agreement for an agreed period and quantity which will consume the manufacturers MOQ.
Should that not be an option, Transformed Plastix can purchase the materials in the MOQ or have them cut from stock sheets if the volume is not conducive to a custom run. This is done on behalf of the client who will be billed in full for this stock and therefore will own the stock. Transformed Plastix will provide safe storage for the materials on our site along with the custom tooling.