Service: Plastic Mold Manufacturing, Plastic Injection and Secondary Process (Spray Painting)
Customer: Inventor from US
Product Description: Computer Mouse with Customized Sports Designs (basketball, football, tennis ball, baseball)
Type of Material Used: ABS plastic material + PCB + RoHS compliant paint
Problem: The customer is an inventor who wants to complete a product line for his customized computer mouse, but he doesn’t have a supplier, engineer, or factory to support him. He came to Richfields and we helped him starting from product design up to completing the product line.
Process / Solution: With just an idea in mind, we helped the customer with product development by starting with product design. Our engineers designed the computer mouse products according to its intended function and preferred external appearance. Since this is a computer product, we also made the layout for the PCB. We came up with 2D and 3D files of our proposed product design for the inventor’s approval. Upon receiving customer confirmation of the product designs, we proceeded with the next step: mold design layout.
Since the customer is an inventor and isn’t knowledgeable about layouts of mold designs, our engineering team led the designing of the mold. First, we explained the different parts of the mold design layout. We used NAK80 mold material so that the mold and the produced plastic parts can be polished. We put different parts of the product together into one plastic mold to come up with cost effective mold designs. The mold insert can be interchanged, so that the customer can produce different designs of sports balls without having to invest in many molds. The injection gate locations were designed to achieve the best cosmetic appearance. We also designed the cooling/venting systems of the mold to achieve faster cycle time and cheaper per piece cost. To save further, the mold was designed to fit our 100-ton plastic injection machines. The tool was then manufactured according to the mold design agreed upon. We ran the tool to produce the plastic parts for the inventor. For the plastic material, we recommended the use of ABS for better quality, though HIPS is also used for this kind of products.
The secondary process of spray painting was required for this product. Our factory in China has closed door, anti dust painting facility. Our spray paint facility has 2 line tunnel conveyors, 10 spray paint chambers, 12 screen printing tables, and 6 pad printing machines. We use RoHS compliant, non-toxic paint. For this customer, we used Azko Nobel brand of paint. We used cover painting to achieve different colors for each part. We also bought PCB for assembly together with the produced plastic parts. Before packaging, 100% of the products were tested since these are electronics. We also used a software for testing the functionality of these produced computer mouses. The customer then required us to make customized packaging for this product line, each piece of mouse packaged individually, ready for retail sale and ready to use.
This case is an example of a customer who has a valuable product idea, and we were there to help him materialize this idea. Although this is achievable for most plastic injection molders and factories, we pay extra care in customer satisfaction. Having helped many customers such as this inventor, we anticipate possible quality and cost issues, explain these to our customers, and proceed with mold designs that will safely overcome these problems.