Design teams are always trying to come up with something better—better shapes and designs, better performance, better materials, and most importantly, a better cost. If there's a way to give their product an edge over the competition, the design team will do everything they can to incorporate it into their process and product.
Cost, of course, is a huge factor. After all, there is only so much you can do to reduce costs when you follow Lean practices and/or consistently use the same set of materials, designs and processes. Often it's just a one-percent gain here, a one-percent reduction there.
Creativity and Flexibility Matter
For designers, creativity can help solve several challenges. If a part is designed to be one component instead of several, for example, you can save significant time and costs during production and assembly. However, it's difficult to be creative when you are limited by material choices—especially metal.That's why many of today's manufacturers are exploring金属 - 塑料转换options.
If I told you switching from metal components to plastic could save you up to 50 percent in operational costs without compromising function or quality—and even improve design choices and options—would you be interested? Of course you'd be! You'd also be skeptical, perhaps thinking something along the lines of“你不能用塑料取代金属。我去年买了那个雪铲怎么样？塑料休息。“
Well, it’s time to change that mindset.
Benefits of Metal-to-Plastic Conversion
Comparable tensile strength
Up to 50 percent lighter weight
Lower manufacturing costs
Increased market stability for material cost
Up to six times longer tool life
25 to 50 percent savings in production costs
Maximizing thebenefits of engineered plastics in metal-to-plastic conversion以几种方式实现。多种金属部件可由一个注塑塑料部件代替，无需紧固件和组件。颜色也可以添加到塑料熔体中，消除了绘画的二次操作。此外，当您比较成本时，与金属板相比，塑料对零件成本具有标称的影响。
If you haven’t worked with plastic, this all may sound unbelievable-b.ut it’s true! Plastic parts can be just as tough as metal parts, and meet the sametight toleranceswith fewer secondary operations.
采用适当的设计，塑料部件可以表现和金属对应物。事实上，塑料提供了更大的设计灵活性，因为它们可以设计成具有比金属更好的特定物理和化学特性。此外，还有很多选项可供选择 - 超过25,000个工程材料可用于制造应用。高性能混合和混合动力车也可以定制设计，以满足非常具体的机械，热，化工，电气和环境性能要求，通常以低于金属部件的成本较低。
Why Today's Manufacturers Are Making the Switch
10年前，在一系列行业上，10年前被认为是不可能的。塑料正在取代消费品的金属，制造和自动化设备，牙科和手术工具，泵送设备，气动，拖拉机屋顶，宠物笼托盘，外壳（水表，割草机，电源设备），燃料箱，散热器，水管，推车，医疗器械，LED照明系统，包装材料，食品加工系统，折叠桌，公用杆横杆，EMS设备，紧固件和输送带部件。Even the wood in wooden pencils is being replaced with thermoplastic because it is more durable and can be produced at lower cost.
Not being limited to metal (or a few standard plastics) opens up a much wider range of design options for engineering and design teams. They can think in more creative ways about complex geometry, performance in harsh environments, shielding considerations, weight and structural limits, thermal management, and product differentiation—both for performance and how the product looks on the shelf. It is much easier to create complex shapes and parts (often of smaller size) using injection molding as well. Plastic allows for uniform thinner-walled parts thanks to its high injection pressure capabilities, replacing the more costly (and heavier) thicker-walled die-cast metal parts. The costly assembly of metal parts can often be replaced by a single injection molded part too, eliminating the need for welded joints between metal parts and also eliminating risks for leakage.
As material suppliers continue to develop high-strength thermoplastics that are increasingly impact-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and heat-resistant, more companies are converting metal components to plastic. Learn more about metal-to-plastic conversion by reading our whitepaper,金属塑料Conversion: Revolution the Manufacturing Process.