When engineers are developing products that require a polymer solution—albeit rubber, insulation, or other material—deciding exactly which materials to use and finding a supplier is an integral part of the product development process. Performance of those materials is not the only concern, either: chances are you’re working within budget and time constraints and need to have expectations clearly defined. In addition to providing materials or a manufactured component, a good supplier is also your partner. Here are some questions you might have during the product development stage that an experienced supplier can address.
What is overmolding?
Overmolding is the process of using a foam application to mold over a tube, pipe, or piece of metal. The process has the capability to change the aesthetics and performance of a piece of equipment. While its primary application is to provide a clean, textured finish to an application, overmolding can also be used to address heat and noise concerns that may come up. The versatility and range of applications make the overmolding process a vital part of the manufacturing process. Though it is a relatively common process (for example, you may see overmolding on the handles of a pair of pliers), overmolding has many applications that are more complex and demanding.
A lot of effort goes into creating any kind of medical device, and the approval process is often long. Naturally, a significant part of a manufacturer’s focus is on making sure the device works and complies with safety standards. However, comfort should also be at the top of your list of concerns when designing devices that enable patients to monitor and maintain their health. If a product is made for home use, part of its effectiveness is ensuring that patients will actually use it, and if they find it cumbersome and inconvenient, they may not.