Tech­ni­cal article

Opti­miz­ing rub­ber and plas­tic parts:
How much poten­tial is there?

01.12.2021   |   Jäger Gum­mi und Kun­st­stoff GmbH


Secure the start of production

Find out which fac­tors influ­ence your SOP!


Few com­pa­nies exploit the full opti­miza­tion poten­tial of rub­ber and plas­tic parts. As a rule, they tend to devote their atten­tion to met­al com­po­nents or their man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es. Yet it is worth pay­ing more atten­tion to elas­tomers and plas­tics. They often hold the poten­tial to cut costs, reduce man­u­fac­tur­ing times, min­i­mize scrap rates, reduce the car­bon foot­print and, ulti­mate­ly, increase cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, the fol­low­ing key areas offer oppor­tu­ni­ties for improve­ment with regard to rub­ber and plastics: 
Com­pa­nies that want to real­ize opti­miza­tion poten­tial in these fields must deal with the sub­ject mat­ter in detail and seek dia­log with their sup­pli­ers. This arti­cle will help you to avoid typ­i­cal mis­takes and to cor­rect­ly clas­si­fy the val­ue of the func­tions of rub­ber and plas­tics. Among oth­er things, you will learn: 

Poten­tial for opti­miza­tion in design

In design, opti­miza­tion poten­tials arise main­ly from a flex­i­ble, pro­duc­tion-ori­ent­ed design of the com­po­nents as well as the prod­uct itself. One chal­lenge here is that design­ers often come from the met­al sec­tor and align their focus accord­ing­ly. Since they have only lim­it­ed knowl­edge of elas­tomers and plas­tics, they con­cen­trate on opti­miz­ing the met­al design, their core com­pe­tence. Over­com­ing this tun­nel vision is the first chal­lenge in opti­miz­ing rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents in design. 

Choos­ing oth­er materials

There is great poten­tial for opti­miza­tion in mate­r­i­al selec­tion and, relat­ed to this, in prod­uct design. It often makes sense to put the mate­r­i­al used for a mold­ed part to the test and crit­i­cal­ly exam­ine whether an alter­na­tive mate­r­i­al might not bet­ter meet the require­ments. On the one hand, mate­ri­als man­age­ment is con­stant­ly evolv­ing, and on the oth­er, com­pa­nies some­times make deci­sions when devel­op­ing a new com­po­nent that turn out to be wrong in ret­ro­spect. In both cas­es, it is worth ques­tion­ing the choice of mate­r­i­al and, if nec­es­sary, chang­ing the mate­r­i­al.

It often also makes sense to rethink the design of a com­po­nent in par­al­lel. Mate­r­i­al selec­tion and prod­uct design go hand in hand. In some sce­nar­ios, for exam­ple, it is pos­si­ble to reduce the weight of a com­po­nent through a design change that pro­vides for less mate­r­i­al while using a more robust plas­tic. Mate­r­i­al costs, the ser­vice life of the mold­ed part or its car­bon foot­print can also be sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved by such changes.

Prac­ti­cal example 

Some time ago, a cus­tomer approached us with the order to opti­mize the pres­sure rollers of his con­vey­or belts. These were rel­a­tive­ly ener­gy-inten­sive and cost­ly to man­u­fac­ture. Our tech­ni­cal experts replaced the part with a core made of lighter polypropy­lene encased in a vul­can­ized rub­ber com­po­nent. This reduced man­u­fac­tur­ing costs as well as mate­r­i­al and ener­gy con­sump­tion. You can read the details in our Case Study.

Pres­sure roller with plas­tic construction
Pres­sure roller with sol­id rub­ber sheathing
Before: Pres­sure roller with sol­id rub­ber sheathing
After: Pres­sure roller with plas­tic construction

Design­ing com­po­nents for production

Some­times com­pa­nies approach rub­ber and plas­tics man­u­fac­tur­ers with design draw­ings that are not suit­able for pro­duc­tion. In some cas­es, for exam­ple, recess­es for seals are miss­ing — or a mold­ed rub­ber part is designed in such a way that it is dif­fi­cult to remove it from the mold after vul­can­iza­tion. Such design errors lead to delays in the prod­uct devel­op­ment process because they have to be rec­ti­fied before the pro­duc­tion can start. The poten­tial for opti­miza­tion lies in tak­ing rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents into account at an ear­ly stage of pro­duc­tion and, if nec­es­sary, bring­ing in tech­ni­cal experts who have more expe­ri­ence with these materials. 

Sim­u­lat­ing the flow behav­ior of the compound

Flow defects are uneven­ness in the mate­r­i­al struc­ture result­ing from sub­op­ti­mal flow behav­ior of the rub­ber or plas­tic com­pound with­in the mold. If the design draw­ings are not designed for pro­duc­tion, the raw mate­r­i­al will flow into the mold in a man­ner that results in folds or uneven­ness in the final prod­uct. Flow defects are not only unsight­ly, but can also affect the sta­bil­i­ty of the com­po­nent, for exam­ple, by form­ing fractures. 
FEM cal­cu­la­tion to avoid flow errors
On the one hand, pre­vent­ing flow defects is a mat­ter of expe­ri­ence. Expe­ri­enced design­ers devel­op a feel­ing for the flow behav­ior of a rub­ber or plas­tic com­pound over time and can esti­mate it well, at least for sim­ple geome­tries. For more com­plex shapes, it is advis­able to sim­u­late the flow behav­ior of the mate­r­i­al with the aid of the finite ele­ment method (FEM) and spe­cial soft­ware. In case of doubt, it also makes sense to con­sult experts. 

Avoid­ing unnec­es­sary complexity

Some­times com­pa­nies design mold­ed parts that are too com­plex for the appli­ca­tion. The rea­son for this is usu­al­ly that the rub­ber or plas­tic design has to be aligned with the met­al design. This results in effi­cient and inex­pen­sive met­al com­po­nents whose cost advan­tage is negat­ed by com­plex rub­ber or plas­tic parts that are dif­fi­cult to man­u­fac­ture. A bet­ter approach is to design to keep all com­po­nents as sim­ple as pos­si­ble, regard­less of material. 

Stan­dard­ize mold­ed parts

Com­pa­nies that man­u­fac­ture mul­ti­ple prod­ucts or prod­uct lines should con­sid­er stan­dard­iz­ing their rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents. This way, they can sup­ply their entire line with the same mold­ed parts instead of hav­ing to keep start­ing new devel­op­ment projects. This plat­form design is com­mon­place in the auto­mo­tive indus­try, but oth­er indus­tries can ben­e­fit as well.

On the one hand, the mod­u­lar design of rub­ber and plas­tic mold­ed parts low­ers devel­op­ment costs because the design depart­ment can more eas­i­ly use stan­dard com­po­nents and pur­chas­ing can real­ize economies of scale by order­ing larg­er quan­ti­ties of uni­form items. On the oth­er hand, devel­op­ment times are reduced because the design of cor­re­spond­ing rub­ber or plas­tic parts is no longer necessary.

Tip: Get mate­r­i­al experts on board as ear­ly as possible 

In order to exploit the poten­tial described here, mate­r­i­al exper­tise in the field of rub­ber and plas­tics is required. Com­pa­nies that lack this knowl­edge should there­fore work togeth­er with a spe­cial­ist devel­op­ment part­ner as ear­ly as pos­si­ble and involve the lat­ter’s experts in the devel­op­ment team right from the start. This makes it eas­i­er to design com­po­nents cor­rect­ly right from the start. Expe­ri­ence shows that the ear­li­er this part­ner receives all the rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion in the form of a spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheet, the more effi­cient the devel­op­ment project will be. 

Opti­miza­tion poten­tial in process technology

The sec­ond major opti­miza­tion block con­cerns the pro­duc­tion process­es, i.e. every­thing that hap­pens after the raw mate­r­i­al is pur­chased and before it is shipped from the logis­tics cen­ter. The main aim here is to reduce through­put times, down­times, the reject rate and the use of resources. The most impor­tant levers are pro­duc­tion plan­ning and tool design.

In con­trast to the oth­er opti­miza­tion areas, process tech­nol­o­gy is almost exclu­sive­ly the domain of the rub­ber or plas­tics sup­pli­er. Cus­tomers have rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle influ­ence on the actu­al pro­duc­tion of mold­ed parts. If they nev­er­the­less want to real­ize opti­miza­tion poten­tial in this area, they must take care to select sup­pli­ers who demon­strate the appro­pri­ate com­pe­ten­cies.

A pre­req­ui­site for all opti­miza­tion mea­sures in process tech­nol­o­gy is a thor­ough analy­sis of the arti­cles to be man­u­fac­tured and the gen­er­al con­di­tions with regard to pro­duc­tion on the cus­tomer side. This includes the fol­low­ing questions:

Here, too, man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies should seek an exchange with a devel­op­ment part­ner in advance. Their know-how makes it eas­i­er to devel­op process­es that can be ide­al­ly inte­grat­ed into the pro­duc­tion plan. 

Plan­ning tool­mak­ing sensibly

There is great poten­tial for improve­ment in the cre­ation of mold con­cepts. Whether rub­ber or plas­tic, injec­tion molds are pre­ci­sion tools whose geom­e­try must match the design spec­i­fi­ca­tions exact­ly. Even the small­est devi­a­tions from these spec­i­fi­ca­tions can jeop­ar­dize the func­tion­al­i­ty of the com­po­nent. Accord­ing­ly, detailed prepa­ra­tion and expe­ri­ence are need­ed to effec­tive­ly rule out errors that jeop­ar­dize on-time project com­ple­tion.

In elas­tomer and plas­tics pro­duc­tion, tool­mak­ing is a major project-inter­nal con­struc­tion site that includes all process steps com­mon in pro­duc­tion and requires, among oth­er things, con­cepts for design, man­u­fac­tur­ing, and trans­port. This com­plex process can­not sim­ply be short­ened or accel­er­at­ed. Instead, com­pa­nies should allow suf­fi­cient time for mold construction.

Prac­ti­cal example 

Pro­tec­fire, a fire pro­tec­tion spe­cial­ist based in Lue­beck, Ger­many, approached Jäger with an inquiry for an extin­guish­ing sys­tem to fight engine fires in bus­es. The require­ment was for a rub­ber blad­der that would press extin­guish­ing liq­uid into the lines in an emer­gency. Jäger devel­oped a cor­re­spond­ing elas­tomer com­po­nent for the cus­tomer and cre­at­ed a mold con­cept that guar­an­tees reli­able core cen­ter­ing and thus high qual­i­ty. More details about this project can be found in our Case Study.

Rethink­ing the num­ber of cav­i­ties in the mold

The pro­duc­tion time of injec­tion mold­ed parts depends, among oth­er things, on how quick­ly the raw mass is dis­trib­uted with­in the mold. The speed of dis­tri­b­u­tion, in turn, depends on the design of the mold, in par­tic­u­lar the num­ber of cav­i­ties. The more cav­i­ties there are, the more raw mate­r­i­al can be inject­ed into the molds at the same time and the less mate­r­i­al has to be dis­trib­uted via chan­nels. At the same time, sprue-relat­ed mate­r­i­al loss­es decrease, since less rub­ber or plas­tic remains in the chan­nels.

How­ev­er, as the num­ber of cav­i­ties increas­es, so does the size of the mold, which increas­es its cost. At the same time, the mold must also fit into the injec­tion mold­ing machine and can­not be arbi­trar­i­ly large. Both fac­tors must be care­ful­ly con­sid­ered. Build­ing a larg­er mold is not always the best solution.

Reduce scrap

Mate­r­i­al that remains in the chan­nels of the mold after the mold­ed parts are fin­ished must either be recy­cled or dis­posed of. This increas­es unit costs, espe­cial­ly in the pro­duc­tion of rub­ber com­po­nents, because the vul­can­iza­tion process is irre­versible. For this rea­son, reduc­ing sprue loss­es is an impor­tant opti­miza­tion approach in process tech­nol­o­gy.

In par­tic­u­lar, hot and cold run­ner tech­nol­o­gy should be men­tioned at this point. Both tem­per the sprue sys­tem sep­a­rate­ly and thus pre­vent the mate­r­i­al from hard­en­ing pre­ma­ture­ly. In the case of plas­tics pro­cess­ing, the chan­nels are heat­ed so that the com­pound first solid­i­fies in the molds. In the case of elas­tomer prod­ucts, on the oth­er hand, the chan­nels are cooled.

Bet­ter con­trol of pro­duc­tion parameters

Down­times are always a prob­lem in pro­duc­tion, because if a machine or sys­tem is not run­ning, it does not gen­er­ate any prof­it. There­fore, it is also impor­tant to opti­mize down­times in the rub­ber and plas­tics sec­tor.

The pri­ma­ry con­trol levers for this in the injec­tion mold­ing process are the tem­per­a­ture, the injec­tion pres­sure and the cool­ing or heat­ing dura­tion of the mold, which in turn influ­ences the cycle times. Added to this are the selec­tion of the appro­pri­ate mate­r­i­al and intel­li­gent mold design. The lack of cus­tomer influ­ence is par­tic­u­lar­ly notice­able in these areas. There­fore, when look­ing for sup­pli­ers, com­pa­nies should make sure to choose pro­duc­tion part­ners who have the appro­pri­ate competencies.

Use elec­tric­i­ty from renew­able ener­gy sources

In terms of the car­bon foot­print, it is worth­while to use elec­tric­i­ty from renew­able ener­gy sources. Ide­al­ly, com­pa­nies pro­duce this them­selves, for exam­ple, through solar cells on the roof. In this way, they can simul­ta­ne­ous­ly reduce their ener­gy costs (at least in the long term). 
Pho­to­volta­ic sys­tems in industry
How­ev­er, it is not always pos­si­ble or eco­nom­i­cal to pro­vide your own capac­i­ty for ener­gy gen­er­a­tion. For exam­ple, if there is too lit­tle roof space avail­able or the build­ing is unfa­vor­ably designed for solar cells, this option is not avail­able. In this case, com­pa­nies should at least make sure to book a tar­iff with their ener­gy sup­pli­er that includes as much green elec­tric­i­ty as possible. 

Opti­miza­tion poten­tial in mate­r­i­al selection

The chal­lenge in mate­r­i­al selec­tion is to find a mate­r­i­al mix that is best suit­ed to the intend­ed use of the prod­uct. This not only has a pos­i­tive effect on the qual­i­ty of the prod­uct being devel­oped. Smart mate­r­i­al selec­tion deci­sions can help reduce the over­all cost of the prod­uct (e.g., by reduc­ing mate­r­i­al usage) and improve the com­pa­ny’s car­bon foot­print (e.g., by reduc­ing process-relat­ed waste). Wrong deci­sions, on the oth­er hand, dete­ri­o­rate the func­tion­al­i­ty and reli­a­bil­i­ty of the com­po­nent — and thus of the machine or plant.

Key suc­cess fac­tors in select­ing the right mate­r­i­al are exper­tise and expe­ri­ence. Com­pa­nies achieve the best results when they inte­grate mate­r­i­al experts into their devel­op­ment team right from the start. This not only enables fast, tar­get­ed selec­tion of the right plas­tic or rub­ber com­pound, but also close inte­gra­tion of com­pound devel­op­ment, com­pound pro­duc­tion and analy­sis of phys­i­cal prop­er­ties. The num­ber of devel­op­ment cycles can thus be kept to a minimum.

Using stan­dard materials

Com­pa­nies that use spe­cial­ly man­u­fac­tured mate­r­i­al com­pounds for their rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents often suf­fer from high pur­chase prices. The rea­son for this is that the mate­r­i­al sup­pli­ers’ knead­ing machines require a min­i­mum quan­ti­ty of raw mate­ri­als to oper­ate. This is usu­al­ly also the con­trac­tu­al min­i­mum pur­chase quan­ti­ty for the cus­tomer. In the case of spe­cial mix­es, it is sim­ply not pos­si­ble to pur­chase accord­ing to demand. For exam­ple, if the sup­pli­er pro­duces five tons, the cus­tomer must also pur­chase five tons, even if he only needs one ton. Oth­er­wise, the sup­pli­er would not get rid of the remain­ing four tons, because they are indi­vid­u­al­ly adapt­ed to the spe­cif­ic require­ments of a com­pa­ny.

The sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent when com­pa­nies order stan­dard blends. There are so many cus­tomers for these that indi­vid­ual cus­tomers can also order small­er quan­ti­ties than the capac­i­ty of a vat. This means that orders can be placed in line with demand.

Tai­lor­ing the mate­r­i­al to the application

When it comes to mate­r­i­al selec­tion, two extremes can often be observed. Some com­pa­nies focus on price and choose a mate­r­i­al that is as inex­pen­sive as pos­si­ble. Oth­ers opt for the pre­mi­um option and use a mate­r­i­al that far exceeds their require­ments. Both can have neg­a­tive con­se­quences.

Min­i­miz­ing the price often results in the rub­ber or plas­tic com­po­nent being of low qual­i­ty and hav­ing to be replaced fre­quent­ly. This results in fol­low-up costs that quick­ly put the low pur­chase price into per­spec­tive and lead to unde­sir­able delays. In addi­tion, there is a risk that cheap parts will have a neg­a­tive impact on the com­pa­ny’s car­bon foot­print from a process and mate­r­i­al per­spec­tive.

The oth­er extreme, the unnec­es­sary selec­tion of pre­mi­um mate­ri­als, increas­es pro­duc­tion costs with­out offer­ing any real coun­ter­val­ue. In some cas­es, the increased prop­er­ties do not even play a role for the end prod­uct. “A lot helps a lot” is not always the right solu­tion in the rub­ber and plas­tics sec­tor.

It is bet­ter to tai­lor the mate­r­i­al pre­cise­ly to the require­ments of the appli­ca­tion sce­nario. Out­liers in the direc­tion of price or prac­ti­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics are rarely helpful.

Pay atten­tion to secu­ri­ty of supply

Sup­ply prob­lems in the mate­r­i­al area often have an impact on the entire val­ue chain, as the lack of indi­vid­ual com­po­nents affects the man­u­fac­ture of oth­er prod­ucts. Com­pa­nies whose rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents are reg­u­lar­ly unavail­able should there­fore con­sid­er switch­ing mate­ri­als. There are often alter­na­tive mate­ri­als that have com­pa­ra­ble prop­er­ties and are sig­nif­i­cant­ly eas­i­er to pro­cure.

It is also worth keep­ing an eye on the raw mate­ri­als mar­kets. Sup­ply prob­lems of cer­tain mate­ri­als are often the result of fore­see­able devel­op­ments. Those who rec­og­nize these can take coun­ter­mea­sures at an ear­ly stage. If in doubt, it makes sense to seek exchanges with rub­ber or plas­tics pro­duc­ers who know the mar­ket better.

Min­i­miz­ing envi­ron­men­tal and health impact

Sub­stances that are harm­ful to the envi­ron­ment or health have long since become a busi­ness risk. In addi­tion to author­i­ties and reg­u­la­to­ry bod­ies, cus­tomers are also pay­ing increas­ing atten­tion to sus­tain­abil­i­ty aspects and reject­ing prod­ucts that are poten­tial­ly harm­ful to the envi­ron­ment or their health. It is there­fore worth­while to pay close atten­tion to such aspects in man­u­fac­tur­ing, both in the selec­tion of mate­ri­als and in the man­u­fac­tur­ing process. Exam­ples include the use of biodegrad­able mate­ri­als, the avoid­ance of microplas­tics and a reduc­tion in CO2 emissions. 
Tip: Plan mate­r­i­al selec­tion sufficiently 

When devel­op­ing a new mold­ed part, the selec­tion of the mate­r­i­al is one of the fun­da­men­tal steps. Par­tic­u­lar­ly when it comes to com­pounds that are devel­oped specif­i­cal­ly for a prod­uct or com­po­nent, com­pa­nies must cal­cu­late a cor­re­spond­ing lead time for this, because the com­pound must be test­ed exten­sive­ly in the lab­o­ra­to­ry with regard to its prop­er­ties. This process takes time, which must be planned in good time to avoid delays in the prod­uct devel­op­ment process. 

Opti­miza­tion poten­tial in sup­ply chain management

The Coro­na pan­dem­ic has demon­strat­ed just how vul­ner­a­ble glob­al sup­ply chains real­ly are in times of cri­sis in all sec­tors of indus­try. One impor­tant area for opti­miza­tion is there­fore the resilience of the com­pa­ny’s own sup­ply chain. To date, many pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies have based their sup­ply chain man­age­ment pure­ly on price, sourc­ing their plas­tic and elas­tomer mold­ed parts main­ly from Asia. How­ev­er, the low­er pur­chase price offered by these man­u­fac­tur­ers can also have downsides: 
For these rea­sons, switch­ing sup­ply chains to Euro­pean sup­pli­ers holds great poten­tial for opti­miza­tion — cur­rent­ly more than ever. 

Switch­ing sup­ply chains to region­al suppliers

Region­al pro­duc­ers of rub­ber and plas­tic mold­ed parts may be some­what less expen­sive than their com­peti­tors from low-wage coun­tries. On the oth­er hand, they offer a num­ber of advan­tages that are par­tic­u­lar­ly notice­able in times of cri­sis. For exam­ple, their basic deliv­ery times are short­er because they are geo­graph­i­cal­ly clos­er to the cus­tomer and the inner-Euro­pean rail and high­way net­work does not con­tain any seri­ous bot­tle­necks. In addi­tion, all bor­der con­trols are elim­i­nat­ed with­in the Schen­gen area. As a result, the deliv­ery reli­a­bil­i­ty of Euro­pean rub­ber and plas­tics sup­pli­ers is cor­re­spond­ing­ly high. In addi­tion, there are few­er approval dif­fi­cul­ties because the cus­tomer and sup­pli­er are locat­ed with­in the same legal area and fol­low the same regulations. 

Build­ing a strate­gic sup­pli­er network

Redun­dan­cy is an impor­tant opti­miza­tion fac­tor in sup­ply chain man­age­ment. If you source all your rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents from one sup­pli­er, you cre­ate an arti­fi­cial bot­tle­neck, whose fail­ure can have seri­ous con­se­quences. It is there­fore advis­able to build up a strate­gic sup­pli­er net­work in order to be able to switch quick­ly to anoth­er sup­pli­er if nec­es­sary. It should also be borne in mind that some rub­ber and plas­tics pro­duc­ers have their own sup­pli­er net­works and there­fore have a cer­tain basic redun­dan­cy. It is there­fore not absolute­ly nec­es­sary for the cus­tomer to coor­di­nate all sup­pli­ers him­self. More­over, in this case, the terms of the part­ner­ship can be laid down in frame­work agree­ments to pro­vide addi­tion­al security.

What role does sus­tain­abil­i­ty play?

Indus­tri­al com­pa­nies bear a great respon­si­bil­i­ty in the imple­men­ta­tion of nation­al and glob­al sus­tain­abil­i­ty goals. This results in numer­ous oblig­a­tions, but also oppor­tu­ni­ties to bet­ter posi­tion one’s own orga­ni­za­tion for the future. This is illus­trat­ed again and again by the exam­ple of com­po­nents made of rub­ber and plas­tic. Their pro­duc­tion is fun­da­men­tal­ly ener­gy-inten­sive, how­ev­er, depend­ing on the sce­nario, there are oppor­tu­ni­ties to reduce ener­gy con­sump­tion and pol­lu­tant emis­sions to the bare min­i­mum when design­ing prod­ucts and process­es. The deci­sive fac­tor in this con­text is a sen­si­ble tri­ad of

Sus­tain­abil­i­ty tri­an­gle of pro­cure­ment, devel­op­ment and production
As ear­ly as the pro­cure­ment of mate­ri­als and pre­cur­sors, com­pa­nies should con­sid­er their sup­ply chain from eco­log­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and social per­spec­tives. Reli­able, trans­par­ent process­es and short sup­ply chain paths make it eas­i­er to imple­ment cor­po­rate social respon­si­bil­i­ty guide­lines. In turn, com­mu­ni­ca­tion char­ac­ter­ized by open­ness leads to low­er project costs and lead times. 
Jäger relies on Euro­pean partners 

About 96 per­cent of Jäger Gum­mi und Kun­st­stof­f’s sup­pli­ers are based with­in the Euro­pean Union, 80 per­cent of them in Ger­many. These sup­pli­ers are specif­i­cal­ly select­ed on the basis of their cer­ti­fi­ca­tion accord­ing to the envi­ron­men­tal stan­dard DIN EN ISO 14001 and (ide­al­ly) DIN EN 50001. Com­pa­nies that want to make their pro­cure­ment sus­tain­able there­fore have ide­al con­di­tions open to them. 

The devel­op­ment and design of a rub­ber or plas­tic prod­uct have a major influ­ence on the nec­es­sary use of raw mate­ri­als in pro­duc­tion and the prop­er­ties of the end prod­uct. Accord­ing­ly, it is impor­tant to iden­ti­fy and exploit poten­tial sav­ings in terms of mate­r­i­al and ener­gy use. The results are prod­ucts with low weight, a low reject rate, a longer ser­vice life and eas­i­er main­te­nance options. Process­es such as 3D pro­to­typ­ing and the finite ele­ment method (FEM) make it eas­i­er to real­ize even more com­plex prod­uct ideas quick­ly and efficiently. 


There are numer­ous opti­miza­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties in the (new) devel­op­ment of com­po­nents made of rub­ber or plas­tic, from mate­r­i­al selec­tion and tool design to sup­ply chain man­age­ment. Com­pa­nies wish­ing to exploit these poten­tials should seek dia­log with their sup­pli­er in good time. Many improve­ments result from clos­er coop­er­a­tion between cus­tomer and sup­pli­er, espe­cial­ly in the area of process tech­nol­o­gy. It is also impor­tant to con­sid­er com­plete prod­uct devel­op­ment, not just design and man­u­fac­tur­ing. Sup­ply chain man­age­ment in par­tic­u­lar often holds poten­tial that has a major impact on ener­gy and mate­r­i­al con­sump­tion, pro­duc­tion costs and the car­bon footprint. 

How to secure the start of production 

Learn which fac­tors influ­ence your SOP! 

Share this post!

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on xing
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on xing
Share on email

Covid-19 Contents