Cynthia Schulte
By Cynthia Schulte
Friday, October 2, 2015 - 14:41

BEAVERTON, OR (October 2, 2015) – Elite Plastics, a division of GM Nameplate, participated in National Manufacturing Day today by hosting 40 students from a local high school. National Manufacturing Day is put on by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The day is meant to build public awareness of manufacturing careers and to underscore the large role that the industry plays in the U.S. economy. There are many preconceived notions about manufacturing and MFG Day attempts to show that it is a very technical industry where skills are learned on the job rather than in a university classroom.

Renee Wakeen, HR Manager of Elite Plastics, described the day as, “a great opportunity to connect with the community and share insight into the plastics manufacturing industry.”

The event consisted of a plant tour which allowed students to see facility operations. While in the plant, students participated in a hands-on activity that allowed them to interact with the plastic manufacturing processes. Students were able to take part in building their own whistles, a project that allowed them to see the lifecycle of a part from molding to decorating to final assembly. Each student left with a whistle that they had helped make themselves.

Students learned about job training, skills needed for manufacturing positions, and career opportunities within the industry. Elite Plastics was happy to host the students for a successful Manufacturing Day event.

About Elite Plastics

Elite Plastics, a division of GM Nameplate, is the custom manufacturer of plastic parts and components with a dedicated facility of lean manufacturing experts. Elite Plastics has been manufacturing in Beaverton, Oregon for over 30 years and serves nearly every industry with plastic components. Currently, Elite Plastics’ plastic capabilities include plastic injection molding, compression molding, plastic machining, plastic and elastomer decoration, and value-added assemblies.

Bruce Wold
By Bruce Wold
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 11:24

During project planning it is very important to ensure that each of the parts will be produced consistently. To do this, the manufacturing process must be qualified to ensure that it is repeatable and stable, both dimensionally and cosmetically.  At Elite Plastics, this qualification process is broken down into four sections including design qualification, installation qualification, operational qualification and performance qualification. We will explain them in further detail below:


Design qualification (DQ)

During this initial stage, Elite Plastics receives the design print and goes through a tolerance review to determine whether the tool can be built as the customer has requested.


Installation qualification (IQ)

The Elite Plastics team then begins qualifying how to install the tool so that the process can be repeated in the same way during future production runs.


Operational qualification (OQ)

At this point, design experiments are conducted and variables are tested to identify where the part is best suited to run. To do this, parts are taken from multiple conditions and are submitted to metrology for measurements. Based on the measurement results, the next step is performance qualification.


Performance qualification (PQ)

Finally, features, dimensions and cosmetics are evaluated. The production process is run and a predetermined number of parts are randomly selected and inspected by metrology to measure whether the process is deemed to be both repeatable and reliable.


One strength of Elite Plastics is the high quality standards that are adhered to. To uphold these standards, our team goes through this series of qualification steps for every project to ensure that parts meet our customer’s needs. 

Chris Passanante
By Chris Passanante
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 09:33

In a complex manufacturing industry, it is important to have a set of unique terminology to understand industry-wide common practices. Basic terminology in the plastics industry is provided by the Society of the Plastics Industry Cosmetic Specification of Injection Molded Parts to give manufacturers, suppliers and customers a common language to communicate through.

As a plastics manufacturer, Elite Plastics has a long list of unique vocabulary, so we’ve compiled some of the most common tooling terms used when discussing projects with our customers here:

Taking a tool down: A common process of performing maintenance on a tool

Venting a tool: Creating an opening in the cavity so that gasses can escape while material is being injected into the tool

Inserting a tool: This occurs when a damaged section of steel is replaced for repair or when multiple versions are slightly different

Tool crash: Like a car crash, this can happen in both major and minor incidents, but it means a tool has been damaged

Qualifying a tool: Establishing a manufacturing process that is both repeatable and stable

By Bruce Wold
Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 10:24

As the final post in our tooling classification series, today we will be discussing class 101 tools.

This last tooling classification offers the highest quality compared to its counterparts. When project production volume begins to exceed one million parts, it is a good time to choose a class 101 tool. Stainless steel inserts are used along with water resistant corrosion lines to extend the tool life. While this tool costs more than other classifications, it provides a longer life and is the best choice for the duration of large projects.

Through this blog series we have hoped to explain the different aspects of each of the four tooling classifications. At Elite Plastics, class 102 is the most commonly used, but each class has its own benefits and challenges.

Read our other blogs in the classification series:

Tooling classification overview: 104 (part 1 of 4)

Tooling classification overview: 103 (part 2 of 4)

Tooling classification overview: 102 (part 3 of 4)

By Bruce Wold
Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 12:05

In this latest post of our tooling classification blog series, we will be discussing the most commonly used tool here at Elite Plastics: class 102.

Classification 102 is a higher volume production tool and is generally heat treated for wear resistance. This is important because the tool warranty is on the higher end of the spectrum, from around 500,000 to 1 million parts. As a higher production mold, this tool has tighter tolerances.

Read our other blogs in the classification series:

Tooling classification overview: 104 (part 1 of 4)

Tooling classification overview: 103 (part 2 of 4)

Tooling classification overview: 101 (part 4 of 4)

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