Compression moulding suits flexible low volume production parts.
Plunketts provide support for design and development, prototyping and production
SIS Pitches, approached Plunkett Associates to take forward their design for an innovative pop-up irrigation system for natural sports pitches.
They were looking to utilize Plunkett Associates knowledge and experience to support their project, taking the design to prototyping and subsequently onto production.
The applications of the product meant that the material used would need to be UV resistant, waterproof and hard wearing. Production quantities would be relatively low (under 1000) and so material selection and process would be critical.
The customer approached Plunkett Associates with vacuum casting as the production method, however with the quantities involved, compression moulding was found to reach a more viable price point with the added benefit of producing a higher performance part. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber was the material of choice in this instance. (See our FAQ section on flexible parts.)
After a couple of tweaks to the design to optimise the tooling, an increased T1 sample batch was produced by our partner supplier in the Far East; this allowed enough parts for a full configuration to be installed on the clients’ site for demonstration and testing purposes.
Initial testing was positive and SIS Pitches have now moved to production. The fact that the process used for prototyping was the same for production, means that SIS Pitches can be absolutely confident in part consistency.