Custom Moulded Products and the Importance of Design Specifications in Producing Them
Manufacturers would need a design drawing in order to produce a product with some moulded parts in them. Custom moulded products and products can be manufactured through the specifications that the design would provide. The pattern and all elements of the design are shown on the specification similar to that of an architectural blueprints. Therefore, the design specification drawing is what these manufacturers of silicone moulding would look at so that they will have an idea on what the moulded silicone parts would look like once done. Among the features of the design that will be shown on the specification drawing are the size, shape, colour, thickness, material and pliability of the design.
One of the most used way of giving design specifications to manufacturers of silicone moulding is by computerized programs. With the aid of some software, the product engineer can create drawings in two dimensional and three dimensional, which are then saved in an electronic file. The parts manufacturer will read the electronic file format, converts the digital mechanical designs into a real life custom rubber parts, and this is done with the use of compression moulding or liquid silicone injection moulding processes.
When designing a military rubber keypad for example, the dimensions of the custom rubber keypad are specified on the specification drawing that includes the height, width and thickness of the design. On the specification drawing, the required materials, colour and printing process involved like the ink colours, are placed. All requirements when manufacturing military rubber keypads are specified to ensure production of all parts are uniform and within tolerance.
New designers of custom keypad technology may need assistance from the rubber molding manufacturer’s engineers. To serve as guide, these engineers can provide a set of standards and design suggestions. It is good for new designers of custom keypad products to have knowledge that the minimum requirement of 0.080 for the key pitch dimension is needed, plus a clearance of 0.012 for key and bezel is also needed. By following these mechanical design considerations, the manufacturer can then create a quality custom keypad. Be aware also of the distance from the edge of the keypad’s matte to a key’s diaphragm that is specifically recommended.
The use of coating is the other important information needed by a manufacturer to know. The moulded silicone parts, depending on their intended use, are to be coated with abrasion resistant, chemical resistant or conductive coatings. The parts will be given extra protection from the outside world because of the coatings. Further importance of the coatings would be that it improves the performance of the parts plus making them last longer. Rubber military keypads will be given protection especially in rugged conditions.
In order for a manufacturer to create the required moulds, all of these necessary information have to be supplied.