Real Product Opportunity

I’m currently working for a major corporation that pressure forms very large parts. As you can imagine, after the parts are molded, cut-out, and cleaned, there is a lot of wasted scrap that is “down cycled”. What I’m thinking is that there is alot of opportunity to “design-in” products/components/widgets in these unused areas of the mold that would otherwise be tossed, but am having trouble coming up with a small (think shoe box) item that would be an one part, pressure formed piece other than a bucket…

Ideally, the “widget” would be something that could be used towards developing nations or some other charitable cause, but I’m also open to anything else.

Any ideas?

Interesting idea. I used to take advantage of similar “scrap” space in printer’s runs, putting things into the margins of a press sheet to experiments and print for free…

to be able to advise further, it would be helpful to know what materials you are pressing, the process, etc. I’d imagine that it might even be possible to modify a tool so that on first pressing a fully finished “secondary” part/object is created…

FWIW though, I don’t honestly know how much response you may get however as this type of thing would normally be in the realm of a design project for a consultancy of sorts, even if done pro bono if it was indeed for charitable cause…I’d be happy personally to discuss the opportunity if you like. Feel free to PM me or email at info (@)



PS. Nice to hear how as a manufacturer you are thinking outside the box and looking into useful modifications of your process for a net total gain… it’s pretty rare, even with these “green” times upon us… It certainly is an interesting opportunity…

while the idea is laudable it is fairly old. The excess scrap produced from cutting out vacuum and or pressure formed parts has always been distressing to many involved, for decades.

Unfortunately, any idea like you describe has usually been negated due to liability. Small extra bit in the tool making use of said scrap area can affect the draw of the prime part. Or, the thought that the prime parts’ draw could be affected is sufficient to negate any action when manufacturing companies start contemplating shipments, net part price, tooling costs to maintain or replace, etc.

Process modelling tools are very good now but they still have difficulty accurately modelling formed plastics non linear behaviour. Problem enough to not predict away the thought of potential liability to the prime parts’ draw on a forming tool.

I have seen pressure form tools with multiple different forms creating parts with minimal scrap. They were not completely successful, and eventually replaced with indivdual tools.

But, experiment.

Can’t the scraps go into regrind? Maybe you should talk to this company that uses post-industrial recycled plastic:

You beat me to it.

Recycling depends upon the actual plastic material & process. There are tons of companies that will buy it from you.