THERMOFORMING TO PLASTICS
INJECTION MOLDING

Process Conversion - Thermoforming to Plastic Injection Molding

Orion Apollo® Solar Light Pipe

Orion Energy Systems, a leading manufacturer of proprietary energy management systems and renewable energy strategies for reducing energy consumption, partnered with EVCO Plastics to convert their Apollo solar light pipe’s acrylic plastic dome from a thermoformed parts produced using plastic injection molding, in order to save cost, speed part production, and improve accuracy and overall part quality.

 

CS12-02

Challenge

Determine the best material, part design modifications, mold design, and plastic injection molding process to manufacture this clear acrylic part faster than the current thermoforming process, while improving accuracy and part quality, and reduced part cost.

  • Covert existing thermoformed parts to those made of injection molded plastics
  • Plastic material compatible with regulations for part use and environment, including hurricane requirements
  • Injection molding of a clear acrylic plastic part requiring high light transmission properties
  • New injection molded part needed to fit other existing components
  • Reduce part cost, while improving accuracy and part quality and speeding part production

Engineering & Technology

EVCO Plastics engineering team worked closely early on with Orion Energy Systems to understand part requirements, and continued close collaboration on design for manufacturability elements, including part design, material selection and testing, mold design and process engineering.

  • Multiple materials were reviewed for high impact and light transmission properties in across extreme temperature and weather condition variables
  • Various materials and parts were tested for light transmission and impact resistance in various temperature and weather conditions
  • Finished parts were molded using the top two materials and field tested to determine the final material

Solution & Results

EVCO Plastics’ expertise in material selection and part and process engineering and design helped Orion Energy Systems find the right plastic material and plastic injection molding process parameters to manufacture the parts faster, at a lower cost, and improve the accuracy and overall part quality and performance over the original thermoformed part.

Early involvement with the customer and their consultant to understand part requirements, and continued close collaboration on design for manufacturability elements, including part design, material selection and testing, mold design and process engineering, enabled the project to be complete quickly and cost effectively and with a better result.

 

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