Custom Molder Helps Entrepreneurs Choose Optimal Colorants for Successful Product Launches
Eight-year-old product-development startup and custom injection molder Blue Ring Technologies in Davie, Fla., has helped several small to medium-sized companies and entrepreneurs flesh out their product ideas so they can be manufactured efficiently using technologies such as 3D printing, cutting-edge engineering, cost-effective tooling and injection molding. According to its young founder, Joaquin Prendes, color is a critical factor in getting new products noticed, so his team takes extra time to review color options that best match the resins being used. Two products successfully brought to market included the use of the proprietary G2 highly-loaded colorant system from Chroma Colors, McHenry, Ill.
Blue Ring’s 8000-ft2 facility is equipped with Haitian and Milacron injection presses, CNC and EDM machines, and rapid-prototyping equipment. Says Prendes,“We use 3D printing for prototypes before building the tool for molding. This allows us to both test and get an idea of the size and feel of the physical part. We offer 3D printing technologies such as FDM, SLA, and PolyJet. We select which printer to use depending on the requirements, material, tolerance, and size of the prototype to create.”
The company came across Chroma Colors in its early days when it looked for a vendor that would supply small quantities of color concentrates. Since then, Blue Ring has had success in using Chroma’s G2 colorants due to the high quality appearance of parts when they do in-mold sampling. “Our clients are pleased with these concentrates because they match exactly the desired color that they want for their part,” says Prendes. Two recent examples:
SWVL’s fidget spinners are made of PP and colored with five G2 colorants.
▪ Miami-based startup SWVLS manufactures a “fidget spinner” toy that includes two powerful neodymium magnets that alternately attract or repel each other when manipulated by the user. After reaching out to several molders in South Florida, SWVLS owner Jonathan Hammel, opted for Blue Ring. Working with engineer Gerardo Perdomo, Hammel’s team selected the first set of five Pantone colors and requested sample chips in polypropylene from Chroma Color. Says Perdomo, “We helped Jonathan from the design to production. We use a PP homopolymer and five G2 colorants and we have had excellent results in terms of colors and quality of parts.”
Aspire’s IA150 adapter is made of ABS and a G2 colorant that gives it a blue tint that nicely matches the EMST150 product line.
▪ Medical supply company Aspire Products LLC, Cedar Point, N.C., is focused on therapeutic devices targeting coughing, swallowing. and increased breathing capacity. The company recently developed the IA150 adapter to insert into their breathing device, the EMST150 (Expiratory Muscle Strength Trainer), thereby creating a dual-purpose inspiratory-expiratory device. Aspire wanted the part to have a tint of color that was transparent enough that users could view its inner workings during use. Blue Ring advised Aspire’s v.p. of sales John Kontos to try molding the part in several colors to determine which would best meet their needs. They ran the part in a clear tone, along with some smoke-gray and blue colors but during the testing phase, they saw imperfections in the part and did not want to risk any long-term molding problems. Says Perdomo, “We assisted in this project from the concept to manufacturing. We use an ABS polymer for clarity, with a G2 colorant to get a blue tint on the part, which nicely matches Aspire’s EMST150 product line.”
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One of the more prominent trends in processing is the need for higher plastic pressures to mold parts.
It may seem like a dull topic, but it will overcome the emotional experience that follows when you put a new mold into a machine and you find out there is not enough barrel capacity to make a full shot.