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Aluminium Vs steel- prototype tooling and moulding

02 March 2016

What are the benefits of aluminium prototype tooling? RP Technologies have put together a Q&A guide about prototype tooling & injection moulding.

RP Technologies is asked many questions about prototype tooling and moulding. Mostly by potential customers who are trying to evaluate if aluminium tooling is suitable for their products. The company thought it would share some of those questions with you; it may help to make your own mind up about prototype tooling...

Q: How many parts will an aluminium tool produce?
A: This depends on many factors. How many parts do you need your tool to produce? RP Technologies supply components into many different industries, some customers require 10 parts, some 10,000 and this has to be considered at the time of making the tool. Its tooling can be a cost effective solution to a handful of parts, or it can produce an aluminium tool to be capable of 100’s of thousands of parts. 

Q: What materials can you produce parts from when prototyping with your tools?
A: Its aluminium tooling is very robust which enables it to mould in most thermoplastic material. From polypropylene and ABS to high temperature metal replacement engineering polymers like PPS, HTN and PEEK.

Q: How long does it take to manufacture tools and mouldings?
A: This depends on the complexity and how busy the company is at any given time. Its produced simple non complex tools and mouldings in a couple of days, to very complex tools in several weeks. 

Q: If I have a tool made by RP Technologies can I have additional parts made at a later date, and who owns the tool?
A: Once you have a tool produced by RP Technologies it stores it on-site which enables you to call off as many parts as required, at any time. As long as it’s making parts from your tool ,the company guarantee the quality of the tool and parts for the duration of your project. All of the tooling produced is the property of the customer.

Q: If I have a production tool that's late, can you supply a quick turnaround on a tool and support our production?
A: Yes this is a common occurrence for many OEM’s and the company often support production for several months.

Q: How much cheaper is aluminium tooling against steel tooling?
A: This again depends on the levels of complexity, by rule of thumb it's around 30-40% cheaper. Aluminium tooling also has much shorter lead times, which in itself offers reduced time to market and the potential for substantial cost savings.

Q: Is it possible to have parts over moulded or mouldings made from soft materials with aluminium tools?
A: Yes, the company can process materials like TPE / TPV as over-mouldings or straight forward mouldings. It also offers insert moulding and have a wealth of experience with complex features.

This list of questions is far from exhaustive but RP Technologies hope this information gives a small insight into some of the benefits. Further details of the capabilities can be found on the website.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to call on 0121 550 5868.

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