Now viewing: plastic machining

Chris Passanante
By Chris Passanante
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 00:00

Last week, to highlight Elite Plastics’ plastic machining technology, we introduced a plastic machined prototype part. One of the many benefits of plastic machining is that it allows us to have greater control over production quality and also make post injection molded modifications to parts. Secondary machining can include fine trimming and de-gating, taping holes, and more.

The plastic knob we produce as part of a larger assembly for a medical part that takes advantage of plastic machining. Abbot Vascular’s MitraClip is used for mitral valve repair procedures (heart surgery). Since this is a part used in a surgical environment, it’s critical that it functions flawlessly, with no quality issues. 

The clear knob is one of many parts to the assembly that are injection molded at Elite Plastics. From there our specialized machining capabilities were utilized to modify the part for its necessary function. Once molded, the knob is drilled creating four holes. Two of the holes create access to the center holes so the machines fourth axis can create the threads. This operation allows the knobs to be attached in the assembly without extra hardware.

Secondary machining is just one of the many benefits of Elite Plastics’ machining center. It is a great option for parts that need to be implemented with other tooling or hardware, as well as parts that may have two versions that are only slightly different. Utilizing machining can allow for design modifications without the need for an additional tool – saving both time and money!

By Chris Passanante
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 00:00

A while ago we posted two articles touching on the plastic machining capabilities of Elite Plastics - Plastic machining capabilities at Elite Plastics and Benefits of plastic Machining. Recently, our plastic machining capabilities have grown as we’ve upgraded equipment and expanded our capacity.

Plastic machining offers a number of valuable uses when manufacturing plastic parts. Machining can be utilized for secondary machining, taping holes, trimming and de-gating, prototyping, and it even can be used to fabricate full parts from one piece of plastic. Our plastic machining department is equipped with a state of the art vertical milling center with a fourth axis. It has a work capacity of 40” x 20” x 25” and a spindle speed of 12,000 RPM with a 1,400 RPM tool change. To ensure that the parts are free of contaminates, we use air instead of coolant.

Plastic machining is a very cost effective option when prototyping new parts. Since parts can be fabricated completely, it eliminates the need for costly tooling, and allows you to verify the part design and functionality before investing in a tool.

One great example of how our plastic machining capabilities can be utilized for prototyping projects is a connector panel we provided for a customer as a prototype. This connector panel was made from flame retardant plastic. The fabrication of this prototype started with a blank piece of plastic. All of the features are machined into the front and back within our machining center.  The panels were used to test fit and function for a new product, before developing tooling.

Stay tuned for another post discussing how secondary machining was utilized to create a custom solution for one of our medical customers!

By Chris Passanante
Friday, December 20, 2013 - 17:49

Last summer we announced the addition of our new plastic machining capabilities. We’ve always been able to offer some plastic machining work, but we created a dedicated machining area and added equipment. Plastic machining has been a growing need for our customers, so this fall we upgraded our plastic machining equipment to better serve our customers.

As we discussed in our blog last year plastic machining offers multiple benefits to customers. Whether an injection molded parts needs to be modified for another use or de-gated, plastic machining creates a lot of possibilities. Some of the benefits that plastic machining offers includes costs savings, prototyping, quality control, de-gating and fine trimming, taping holes and other tooling or machining.

Our new machine is a computer automated vertical machining center with some additional features to ensure the highest quality results. The biggest parts we can machine are 40 inches by 20 inches. To prevent any contamination and enforce our quality standards, the machine is kept free of all coolants. In addition, the new equipment features a high pressure air blast which help clear plastic chips and the cooling process.

Currently we serve customers in nearly every industry with ou machining capabilities. Depending on the plastic part, machining may be the process of choice. To learn more about plastic machining please contact us!

By Chris Passanante
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 16:26


In the last post we announced our new machining capabilities at Elite Plastics. This week I want to touch on the benefits of plastic machining.

  • Cost
    • Depending on order quantity, utilizing machining over a tool can result in significant savings. For lower volume parts, tooling isn’t necessary – eliminating the cost of tooling, and reducing the NRE (non-recurring engineering).
  • Prototyping
    • Need a quick prototype of a new part? Machining allows for fast turnaround of prototypes, while also making prototyping of plastic parts affordable, by cutting out the tool cost.
  • Quality control
    • Having our own machining capabilities means increased control over our quality and production. By not having to sub contract machining, everything can be done in house. This means less handling and paperwork and ensures the GM Nameplate quality and level of detail.
  • Fine Trimming/De-gating
    • Many parts require a smooth finish. Machining can be used to remove the gate from an injection molded part, making the surface smooth and gate free.
  • Taping holes
    • Machining allows the ability for holes to be taped rather than using an unscrewing tool. The result is a huge cost savings, depending on quantity, and allows better control of threads and holes.
  • Tooling or Machining
    • There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use a tool or machining. Well, machining may eliminate the tooling cost it increases the price per part, so depending on volume size tooling may be more affordable. But if you need to change an existing part, secondary machining may make more sense.

To learn more about the benefits of plastic machining at what capability is the best fit for your part, please contact Elite Plastics.

By Chris Passanante
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 13:23

GM Nameplate’s Elite Plastics division now features plastic machining capabilities.  While Elite Plastics has always been able to do some plastic machining work, they re-organized and now have a dedicated machining area. This new capability offers numerous benefits to customers that you can read about in our blog next week.

Plastic machining is ideal for secondary machining of injection molded parts. For injection molded parts that need to be modified for another use, using the machining capabilities is a cost effective solution that doesn’t require the need for an additional tool.

The new capability means that Elite Plastics and GM Nameplate can offers greater control over part quality and production process. Some uses of machining include de-gating, taping holes, forming threads and faster prototyping. It is even possible to machine parts simply from a block of plastic.

Watch the accompanying video to see our plastic machining in action.