Low Volume Production
At Paragon we pride ourselves with the quality and innovation of our Rapid Prototyping solutions, but our focus is on fulfilling and exceeding all of our customer’s requirements and supporting them with their route to market.
Once the development phase is nearing completion and designs are finalised, following prototype production, we are often asked to provide either low volume solutions or a bridge to production. Typically this will be either to test the market with a new product or to launch a high value, niche product. We can offer a range of solutions to this end, but the key benefit is that the initial tooling costs are significantly lower than high volume production processes. Subsequently production parts can be manufactured quickly and with a lower investment allowing a quick route to market and the opportunity to make a financial return, helping to avoid cash flow issues.
Rapid Prototyping materials have advanced significantly over recent years and now offer enough stability and functionality to be used for low volume manufacture.
The solutions we offer at Paragon are tailored to each specific project depending upon the required mechanical properties and the production volumes and include Vacuum Casting, RIM Moulding, Silicone Moulding and outsourced Injection Moulding for higher volumes.
As a result of significant improvements in printing accuracy, build speed and the progress made with material properties, this now also includes 3D printed parts for functional tests, and even for low volume production using the SLS process.
At this point, the simple 3D printing concept becomes Additive Manufacturing (AM), which offers many benefits over traditional production techniques:
- Mass customisation at no additional process cost
- Local manufacture for reduced costs and lead times
- Complex, free form designs
- Stronger, lighter parts
- Reduced carbon footprint, as material is selectively “added”
Inevitably there is always a balance between the processes mentioned above and the justification of aluminium or steel production tools, but for low volume manufacture, these routes are not only quick and cost effective but they also allow easy tool modification, giving the luxury of on-going product development during early production.