If you want to produce some customized rubber parts for a project or for a business product, you may be looking at different manufacturers' prices. There are a lot of factors that can make up the price of a customized part, such as machining costs, material costs, labor costs, etc. Here are four tips to help stay within your budget.
1. Limit Undercuts in Your Designs
With manufacturing methods, like injection molding or die casts, the more protrusions or undercuts you have in a design, the more difficult it can be to manufacture and to remove the rubber from the die/mold. The good news is that rubber is more flexible than other materials, like plastic, so it can be a bit more forgiving with these types of details and come out of the mold more easily. However, if complex parts can be manufactured separately as more simple components and then put together later, that can be a good way to reduce overall costs.
2. Avoid Unintentional Add-ons
Black is the most common color for rubber products since carbon black is the most common reinforcing filler in rubber products. The overall price of your product can increase if you add pigments, so if your rubber product doesn't need any color, it may be best to go with a standard black. Besides watching for pigment add-ons, be sure that you avoid detailed finishes if they aren't needed. Some manufacturing processes — like mold polishing or bead blasting — may add finer cosmetic detail to your product, but they also increase the price.
3. Check Your Material Specifications
Rubber products are made up of a base polymer, oil, a curative, and a filler. There are different rubber brands that have different ratios of these components. The base polymer is usually the largest percentage of a given product, but if you want to lower the price, a manufacturer may be able to introduce a larger percentage of filler and less polymer. Your manufacturer can go over different material specifications to make sure that your chosen rubber will meet the application requirements.
4. Lower the Tolerance Limit
The manufacturing tolerance is the allowable difference between two parts' corresponding dimensions — or the margin of error between the computer design and the final product. Although CAD/CAM equipment is incredibly precise, there can still be small differences between identical components after manufacturing. If you opt for a high tolerance, then the overall cost will increase because workers will need to inspect the parts and use special measuring tools to reduce any differences. Obviously, if you need incredibly precise products, then you'd want to increase the tolerance. However, if you want rubber parts that don't require such precision, you should go with a standard tolerance to reduce your costs.
Reach out to a manufacturer today to discuss custom rubber part manufacturing.