Advancements in plastic injection molding technology allow manufacturers greater flexibility and sophistication in part design. At The Rodon Group, we are continually incorporating the newest technologies to remain on the cutting-edge of molding techniques in all sectors. This commitment to growth and innovation has allowed us to continue providing the highest-quality products to our customers.
The following article outlines some of the most recent developments in the plastic injection molding industry and how The Rodon Group has strived to integrate them into the production facility and process.
Sustainability & Eco-Friendly Plastics
At The Rodon Group, we aim to follow environmental sustainability best practices in every action we perform and every project we fulfill. Over the years, we have demonstrated our position as a leader of sustainability in the plastic injection molding industry countless times. Some of the green initiatives we have implemented include:
- Landfill-Free Solutions. Our facility was one of the first to be recognized for its green manufacturing initiatives by Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS), which designated us as a landfill-free facility. All scrap produced within our facility is sent to SWS for recycling or energy-from-waste processing. In this latter technique, our scraps stay out of landfills and go on to generate power for thousands of homes throughout the state.
- Packing Conservation. As packing materials represent a substantial source of waste, we buy our resin in bulk to minimize our contribution to cardboard waste. Additionally, we implement recycling measures for over 20% of the cardboard boxes that enter our facilities and employ servo robots to facilitate an up to 300–400% increase in the fullness of the cartons shipped. These initiatives aim to reduce our overall cardboard waste and use, respectively. To further encourage packing conservation, we also offer all customers access to a returnable and reusable packaging program.
- Energy Conservation. As a member of demand response provider Direct Energy Business, we are continuously working towards optimizing our energy-use behaviors. This effort includes both executing small-scale initiatives such as installing motion-activated lighting and instating more complex demand-response policies such as reducing usage during periods of high energy demand. The PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (one of the largest regulated utility providers in the United States) recognizes our dedication to energy conservation, resulting in our inclusion on the E-Power Energy-Smart Business Honor Roll.
- Non-toxic Materials. All chemicals used in our production process—including colorants, resins, lubricants, and cleaners—are guaranteed to be non-toxic and non-hazardous. In addition, our injection molding resins are certified to FDA, RoHS, REACH, and NSF standards.
- Environmental Stewardship. Each of our employees takes part in our single-stream recycling program. By partnering with AERC Solutions (a nationally regulated and electronics waste recycling provider), we also offer them and their family members the ability to recycle household items like computers and batteries to extend our green initiatives past the doors of our facility into the greater community.
Automation and Connectivity
By capitalizing on advancements in automation and connectivity, we can pass on production savings to our clients. Our two newest equipment acquisitions are:
- Nissei hybrid injection molding machines. We recently added six hybrid molding machines from Nissei’s FNX-III series, including four FNX-180 III models and two FNX-360 III models. Additionally, more recently, we added a 720-ton hybrid machine to accommodate larger parts and expand our molding capabilities to include shot capacities ranging from fractional to 107 ounces and clamping forces ranging from 46 to 720 tons. These hybrid machines reduce energy expenditures up to 47% while offering extreme precision and a host of other production benefits.
- Star Automation servo robot unloaders. These reliable, high-performance unloaders optimize unloading and stacking operations for completed molded parts. Equipped with features such as part present sensors, customizable step programming, and defective product drop capabilities, they allow for faster production speeds with sacrificing product quality.
Both of these new equipment investments have allowed us to better meet complex or challenging customer requirements while maintaining our high quality standards.
As companies increasingly turn to off-shoring practices to remain competitive in the manufacturing sector, The Rodon Group serves as an industry leader in changing attitudes in favor of reshoring.
The term “off-shoring” refers to the practice of relocating company operations to another country to reduce personnel or production costs. Depending on the distance of the relocation country from the home country (and the intended consumer market), off-shoring operations are classified as either:
- Near-shoring: when company activities are moved to a neighboring or nearby country with or without a shared border
- Far-shoring: when the relocation country is farther away
Although off-shoring offers some benefits to manufacturers, there are also barriers and inherent risks to moving operations to a foreign country, such as requiring an understanding of the native language for effective communication and reduction in product quality, respectively.
At The Rodon Group, our reshoring initiative aims to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US to stimulate the economy and reduce the inherent risks of off-shoring. In addition to strengthening the domestic economy, some of the other benefits of reshoring include:
- Better product quality and consistency
- Shorter lead times
- Lower shipping costs
- Greater responsiveness to customer demands
- Smaller risk of IP or regulatory compliance infringement
- “Made in the USA” product status
Our commitment to reshoring has culminated in the development of our Cheaper than China? pricing, which makes supporting domestic manufacturing operations—including plastic injection molding—more affordable.
Metal to Plastic
Despite the introduction of the metal-to-plastic conversion technique in the 1950s, many manufacturers remain unfamiliar with this production practice. However, more recent advancements in plastic manufacturing technology have resulted in the development of enhanced polymers that serve as more cost-effective alternatives to metal construction materials. By using these plastics in place of metal, plastic injection molding companies are afforded significant benefits, such as:
- Cost savings (up to 25–50%) including in:
- Construction materials
- Manufacturing operations
- Packaging and shipping operations
- Greater manufacturing efficiencies due to:
- Part consolidation from multiple metal parts to a single plastic unit
- Faster production times
- Less need for secondary or finishing operations
- Capabilities for higher quality products with:
- Superior tensile strengths
- Enhanced durability and longevity (up to six times the service life)
- Lower part weights
- Greater material and part design flexibility
As an industry-leading, ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer, we fully understand the benefits of metal-to-plastic conversion and take advantage of it to pass the value and savings on to our customers.
Several production stages go into creating and delivering a high-quality injection molded part—i.e., part design, tool building, material selection, and manufacturing. To execute these stages adequately, a company must have—or partner with—experts that are skilled in and knowledgeable of design and engineering, tooling, finishing, troubleshooting, quality control, packaging, and shipping operations.
While you can individually source, select, and communicate with vendors that provide these services, partnering with an experienced turnkey manufacturer streamlines the production process, allowing for faster lead times and lower costs without sacrificing product quality.
As an experienced contractor, The Rodon Group offers a complete, one-stop manufacturing solution to simplify the production process for our customers. Our team provides highly personalized service, working closely with customers from the initial design stage until the delivery of a finished product. By combining our over six decades of experience with our state-of-the-art facility (including over 118 injection molding presses), we can provide our customers with cost-effective, high-quality solutions with faster turnaround.
Contact The Rodon Group Today
As outlined above, The Rodon Group incorporates several innovative practices into their manufacturing operations. If you value this forward-thinking and are interested in learning more about our capabilities, contact us today. To partner with us for a turnkey manufacturing solution, request a quote.