3 Red Flags To Watch For When Reviewing An LSR Molding QuoteJune 9, 2015
For medical device designers and their teams, incorporating liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molded components into a design adds great value. Implantable devices especially benefit as liquid silicone rubber has the necessary certifications for long-term implantation in the human body. Since LSR molding, which is often known as liquid injection molding, is an intricate process that requires a high level of expertise, it’s vital that designers and buyers choose the best possible vendor for their projects. Discover how to separate the pretenders from the experts by learning these 3 key warning signs to look for when you review an LSR molding quote.
Red Flag #1: A Suspiciously Low Bid
For a component buyer who is under pressure to cut costs wherever possible, getting a quote with a very low bid may seem like a stroke of good luck. More likely, however, it is actually a serious red flag that could indicate the vendor doesn’t know enough about molding liquid silicone rubber. The LSR molding process differs greatly from molding other types of thermoplastics and requires high-quality tools that offer superior levels of precision. These tools must have vents, but must not feature any gaps. Experienced LSR molding suppliers understand all these nuances and factor the tool complexity into their bids. If you’re looking at an LSR molding bid that’s much lower than the other bids you’re considering, it’s likely you’re dealing with a supplier who wants to use your project as a guinea pig to try out molding liquid silicone rubber components. Working with an inexperienced vendor is inadvisable.
Red Flag #2: No Questions Or Feedback
A good LSR molding supplier should respond to an RFP with more than just a number. Because the liquid injection molding is so involved and there’s only so much information that can be communicated on a drawing, your vendor should respond with questions and feedback. At the very least, your supplier should ask about venting and the end-use of your device to make sure they have all the information they need. A great vendor should also have suggestions on how to optimize your process, improve your quality and reduce your cost. If your potential supplier responds to your request for a quote with nothing more than the projected cost of the project, they are not the right vendor for your project.
Red Flag #3: No Mention Of Clean Room Manufacturing
As noted earlier, liquid silicone rubber is a great material to use when designing implantable devices. Because these materials are likely going into a human body, they need to be as clean as possible. Another important factor to understand is that liquid silicones generate a lot of static electricity. This causes them to attract any airborne particles in the rooms in which they are handled. Consequently, it is of utmost importance that the LSR molding process be conducted in ISO-certified clean rooms. Making sure your components are as clean and particle-free as possible dramatically cuts down on the risk of end-use failure. If your potential LSR molding vendor does not mention clean room manufacturing, consider it a red flag and explore other options.
Are you looking for a top-quality LSR molding supplier to help you take your medical device design to the next level? Contact our highly experienced molding experts to find out how MRPC combines innovation and experience to produce the best molded components possible.