Gas assist was coupled with coinjection for this Kubota sub-compact utility tractor to reduce resin content and minimize cost. Kubota and Bemis Contract Group of Lenoir, NC, partnered on the redesign to eliminate a paint requirement, simplify assembly, consolidate parts and improve the product's versatility and appearance. One of the solutions was molded-in color, said to be the first in this industry category. The coinjection tool provides the hood with integral mounting features that ease assembly, and improve driver visibility. Coinjection also allows use of reprocessed core materials. Gas assist was used for the structural hand rails that were consolidated with thin wall control covers. The materials used for the project were thermoplastic olefin (TPO), glass-filled (15 percent) polypropylene and an alloy of polycarbonate and PBT.
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
A new high-pressure injection-molding technology produces near-net shape parts with 2-inch-thick walls from high-performance materials like PEEK, PAI, and carbon-filled polymers. Parts show no voids, sinks, or porosity, have more consistent mechanical properties, and are stronger.
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