Author Archives: Chip Owen

  1. Leaning Into Lean: Guide to Lean Principles in Manufacturing

    Comments Off on Leaning Into Lean: Guide to Lean Principles in Manufacturing

    Lean principles in manufacturing are guidelines to assist manufacturers in reducing waste and streamlining production efficiency. D&M Plastics is an early adopter of lean principles, which has allowed us to transform our organizational culture and operations. As a result, we are an industry leader in sustainable and efficient manufacturing approaches.

    What Are Lean Principles?

    Originating from the Toyota Production System, lean principles focus on minimizing waste while maximizing value for customers. The five core principles of lean manufacturing are value, value stream, flow, pull, and perfection, all of which improve the efficiency of the production process. Manufacturers can also improve the quality of their products and reduce operating expenses by adopting lean principles. Established companies like General Electric and Toyota have successfully adopted lean principles and set new benchmarks of excellence for manufacturers in every industry.

    The Cultural Aspect of Lean at D&M

    At D&M Plastics, lean principles are more than just guidelines for manufacturing. We embrace them as a philosophy and integrate them into everyday operations. Our daily lean meetings allow employees to share how they have implemented lean ideas to eliminate waste, as well as discuss new ways to improve efficiency in their departments. Our decision-making is guided by lean principles, influencing everything from supplier selection to creating production schedules.

    Since adopting the principles of lean manufacturing, we have discussed over 12,000 lean ideas and implemented 85% of them, with more actively being developed for future adoption.

    How to Implement Lean Principles in Your Manufacturing Process

    1. Conduct an audit of your current manufacturing processes to find inefficiencies and waste.
    2. Focus on employee empowerment by educating and encouraging the use of lean principles. For example, our Lean Training Program teaches employees various lean methodologies. We also request feedback and ideas from staff and implement their ideas the same day, if possible. This approach encourages employees to actively engage with lean ideas and put those ideas into practice. This feedback loop also enhances our efficiency over time, minimizing downtime as much as possible.
    3. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) continuously to ensure proper implementation of lean principles.

    Challenges and Solutions

    Resistance to change can often be a challenge to implementing lean principles. Employees accustomed to older methods may be reluctant to adopt new methods. At D&M Plastics, we encourage employees to adopt new methods by involving them in the decision-making process, allowing them to be stakeholders in adopting and implementing lean principles.

    Strong leadership is crucial in overcoming adoption challenges. Our leadership at D&M is committed to fostering and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement.

    Ready to Go Lean? Transform Your Manufacturing With D&M Today!

    The five lean principles in manufacturing guide the production efficiency and culture of a manufacturing facility. At D&M Plastics, we implement lean principles in our everyday operations, from holding daily lean meetings to offering lean training programs. While it can be challenging for employees to adopt lean principles at first, strong leadership and employee engagement work hand in hand to foster a culture of continuous improvement.

    Founded in 1972, D&M Plastics delivers superior quality plastics with fast turnarounds. We can meet the design parameters of the most complex projects, all while upholding the principles of lean manufacturing and our commitment to environmental sustainability. Contact us or request a quote to learn more about our services and lean principles in manufacturing.

  2. The Essential Role of Injection Molding for Medical Plastic Parts

    Comments Off on The Essential Role of Injection Molding for Medical Plastic Parts

    Plastic injection molding in the medical industry has become standard practice for creating high-quality, tight tolerance, precision parts. The process is highly controlled and repeatable, offering many advantages and making it highly effective for manufacturing.

    Injection Molding in the Medical Industry

    The process of plastic injection molding offers a cost-effective and efficient technique for producing high-quality, precise medical and pharmaceutical products. This method is widely employed in creating a vast array of plastic components used in the medical industry, such as respiratory, anesthesia, testing, and lab equipment.

    In the medical and pharmaceutical industries, plastic injection molding can be a useful method for everything from prototype parts to high-volume production parts. Medical-grade plastics used in injection molding must fulfill strict biocompatibility, chemical resistance, and sterilization requirements as designated by the customer. Furthermore, these plastics can resist chemicals and high temperatures to ensure medical standards are met for a specific application.

    Medical Device Applications

    Diverse medical device applications benefit from injection molding. Here are some common medical device applications of injection molding:

    Diagnostic Equipment

    Medical laboratories and research facilities use various types of diagnostic equipment that can be produced using plastic injection molding. These components include handheld units, lab testing components, vials, medical device components, and dental equipment.

    Handheld and Portable Units

    Injection molding can be used for a variety of handheld and portable medical equipment including:

    Surgical tools and devices. Injection-molded handles on surgical tools deliver an ergonomic and comfortable grip to ensure the utmost precision during procedures. Portable monitors also rely on injection-molded components that can hold up against sterilization, harsh cleaning chemicals, and other environmental conditions.

    Automated External Defibrillators (AED) units. These life-saving devices can be overmolded to protect against shock, moisture, impact, UV exposure, and other threats present in medical environments.

    Communication Devices. EMTs and other medical professionals rely on handheld communication devices for everyday operations. Overmolding these devices with the proper plastic material can protect sensitive internal components from particulates, shock, moisture, vibration, and more.

    Lab Testing Components

    Various types of lab testing components can be made using injection molding. For example, the process is often used to produce diagnostic meters used to read chemical test strips and check patients’ glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and more. Injection molding is also used to make the plastic handle attached to biopsy needles.


    Injection-molded plastic vials are used for numerous reasons throughout the medical industry, including syringes, tamper proof caps, medicine droppers, testers, blood sampling, urine sampling, single-dose medication storage, and much more.

    Medical Device Components

    Medical devices of various types rely on quality injection-molded components for optimal durability, chemical resistance, and light weight. Common examples of injection-molded medical device components include:

    • Drug delivery systems
    • Patient monitoring systems
    • Infrastructure devices for hospital rooms
    • Wound care devices

    Dental Equipment

    The dental industry benefits from injection molding due to its ability to produce dental tools and devices that are resistant to wet environments and tasteless/odorless for patients. Injection molding can be used to create coverings for dental drills and other patient care devices. It can also be used to make dental appliances such as polishing tips, as well as disposable dental equipment like mouth props.

    Benefits of Injection Molding for Medical Devices

    There are many benefits of using injection molding for medical device production. These include:

    Cost-Effective Production

    Injection molding allows for producing high volumes of plastic parts at a low cost per unit, making it suitable for large-quantity production runs starting at 1-2 million units, especially for single use applications.

    High Precision and Consistency

    The high precision and accuracy of injection molding make it an ideal choice for producing plastic medical parts. The process ensures that each piece created is identical to the last, reducing the risk of errors and inconsistencies.

    Design Flexibility

    Plastic injection molding allows for producing complex parts with intricate details and features. This makes it an ideal choice for medical device manufacturers looking to create parts with specific functions and requirements.

    There are also a wide range of materials offering a variety of properties including heat resistance, chemical resistance, strength, durability and flexibility.

    Custom Medical Components and Parts by D&M Plastics

    D&M Plastics’ medical injection molding expertise and technology is the go-to partner for custom plastic injection molding for the medical industry.

    We are ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 certified, proving our capacity and dedication to catering to clients’ unique needs. ISO 13485 is an international standard ensuring that medical devices are manufactured and supplied with appropriate safety and efficacy. This is particularly crucial for companies that design, produce, and install medical devices, including their components and accessories.

    D&M Plastics has produced high-precision injection-molded components for over 50 years! Every project benefits from our team’s technical expertise, uncompromising commitment, and excellence. Our engineers are experienced in creating parts that are easily manufactured and at finding creative solutions for challenging issues in the health industry.

    Contact us today to schedule a consultation or request a quote to see our globally competitive prices. Turn parts into partnerships now with D&M Plastics!

  3. The Importance of Design for Manufacturability (DFM) for Mold & Tooling Design

    Comments Off on The Importance of Design for Manufacturability (DFM) for Mold & Tooling Design

    Injection molding design for manufacturability (DFM) processes are necessary to guide product design, mold design, and tooling creation with ease of manufacturing in mind. Properly done, this can enhance the efficiency of production and quality of end-products while also lowering costs. At D&M Plastics, our engineering team has years of experience optimizing part designs for plastic injection molding. Our DFM review process enables us to evaluate part designs and make the necessary adjustments to ensure high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective manufacturing.

    Understanding Injection Molding

    Plastic injection molding is a type of manufacturing process that involves injecting molten plastic materials at high speeds and pressures into a mold. There, the plastic cools and solidifies to form the part. Once cooled, the part is ejected from the mold and the process repeats itself. Because this process is so repeatable, it is commonly used for high production runs that range from hundreds to millions of parts.

    Common plastic resins used in the injection molding process include:

    • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
    • Acrylic (PMMA)
    • Copolymer polypropylene
    • Glass-filled nylon
    • Liquid-crystal polymer (LCP)
    • Polypropylene copolymer acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC ABS)
    • Polyethylene (PE)
    • Polystyrene (PS)

    Injection Mold Design

    When designing the mold for plastic injection molding, it’s important to consider the type of injection molding process that will be used. In addition to standard injection molding, other common types include:

    • Insert molding and overmolding in a vertical press. Using a vertical press for insert molding or overmolding offers quicker yields, increased flexibility for mold design, and the ability to hold the workpiece without having to fight gravity.
    • Stack molding. Stack molding involves “stacking” a series of molding faces together to create several levels or faces for molding. Each face serves as a parting line and is used to produce a molded product. The primary benefit of stack molding is its ability to increase the output of molding operations.
    • High cavitation molding. Cavitation refers to the number of components a mold can make per cycle. Although high cavitation molding comes with higher tooling costs, it reduces the price per part and enhances machine efficiency.

    The design and construction of an injection mold are very complex and can require a considerable amount of time and money. Optimizing the mold design based on a project’s particular requirements will not only reduce costs but will also ensure efficient manufacturing.

    In addition to the type of injection molding, you also need to consider the complexity, application, production volume, and lifetime requirements of the tool. For example, if a mold will be used in high-volume production, it will be most beneficial to invest in more expensive tooling that will last for the long term. For low-volume production, it may be better to use a less costly prototype tool until production increases. Other factors to consider during DFM for injection molds include:

    • Part design
    • Mold material
    • Cores and cavities
    • Cooling system
    • Venting system
    • Ejection system

    Factors to Consider When Choosing Mold/Tooling Options

    When choosing mold and tooling options for a plastic injection molding project, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

    • Production Quantity. High production volumes may require a high tooling cost, but the cost is offset by a lower cost per part.
    • Tolerance, Size, and Complexity. The complexity, size, and geometry of the part will affect the influence the mold and tooling design options. Some parts may require undercut sidepart actions or complex cavity and core configurations.
    • Material Properties. The plastic materials selected for injection molding can also affect the tooling process, as each one has different flexibility levels, heat resistance, and other characteristics.

    At D&M Plastics, we perform injection molding services using a hot runner system. Compared to cold runner systems that require the time-consuming removal of runners from each part, hot runners offer faster cycle times, reduced material waste, and improved part quality.

    Tips for Designing for Manufacturability With Injection Molding

    Before tooling is created, it’s important to incorporate the following key elements into your DFM practices:

    • Uniform Wall Thickness. Uniform wall thickness is critical in preventing thick sections in the finished part. If the part requires different thicknesses, make the transition as smooth as possible to ensure the material flows evenly throughout the mold cavity. This ensures the mold will be completely filled, decreasing the risk of defects. Selecting the right wall thickness plays a key role in production costs and manufacturing speed.
    • Proper Draft Angles. When designing your injection molded part, make sure you incorporate the proper draft angles. By adding a few degrees of taper, the part can be removed from the mold much more smoothly, with minimal scraping and friction. By preventing damage to the part’s surface, the process can move much more efficiently.
    • Avoidance of Sink Marks. Sink marks can occur if part walls are too thick. Sinking can be prevented by using ribs or by carefully controlling the cooling process.
    • Proper Placement of Gates. Gate placement is crucial in injection molding design. The gate is the location in the mold and on the part where the material will be injected into. The gate is typically placed at a thicker, intersectional area of the part where it can be removed without sacrificing the structural integrity of the part.
    • Prioritize Early Collaboration Between Designers and Manufacturers. Early collaboration is key to avoiding costly changes later. By working closely together, designers and manufacturers can optimize part designs and tooling to ensure quality and efficient production.

    High-Quality DFM Services From D&M Plastics

    At D&M Plastics, our experts can work with customers to enhance part designs and create the most effective tooling for their project. Our team can help optimize production for low- and high-volume production runs for injection-molded parts of various complexities. By following DFM best practices and using the right tools and processes, we can achieve high-quality finished products at an affordable price. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or request a quote to get started.

  4. Why Is Uniform Wall Thickness for Injection Molded Parts Important?

    Comments Off on Why Is Uniform Wall Thickness for Injection Molded Parts Important?

    One of the most important factors in ensuring the quality of injection molded parts is uniform wall thickness. Having uniform injection molding wall thickness is crucial because it helps achieve a better structural part, yielding an aesthetic appearance. Parts with varying wall thicknesses can look distorted or incomplete, while uniformed wall thickness gives the part a more professional and seamless look. In addition, it can reduce manufacturing costs by eliminating the need for secondary operations like trimming, and overall reworking of parts.

    Benefits of Maintaining Uniform Wall Thickness for Injection Molded Parts

    Injection molding is the production of parts and accessories from plastic materials. This manufacturing process can mold large and intricate parts in various shapes and forms, as required in different industries. The most common injection molded components are made from polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), nylon (PA), polycarbonate (PC), NDPE, and polystyrene (PS).

    Keeping a nominal, uniform wall thickness offers more advantages:

    Resistance to Warping During the Cooling Process

    During the injection molding process, the plastic material is melted, injected, and held under pressure in a mold, which is then cooled solidifying the material into the desired shape. If the cooling process is not managed correctly, different sections of the part will cool at different rates, causing warping or bending. This can result in substandard parts.

    Uniform wall thickness helps reduce the risk of warping during the cooling process by ensuring that the plastic cools consistently throughout the part. This improves the accuracy of the critical dimensions of the part and ensures that it fits and functions as intended. Additionally, reducing the risk of warping can lessen the need for additional finishing processes or rework due to dimensional inaccuracies. 

    Strength and Durability

    Uniform injection molding wall thickness increases the strength and durability of the component. The consistency also improves dimensional accuracy over time, resulting in better performance and longer usable life.

    Improved Aesthetic Appearance

    Parts with consistent wall thickness create a much more aesthetically pleasing appearance than parts with varying walls. This is especially important in consumer products or components where visual appeal plays an important role in the product’s success.

    Overall Cost Savings

    Since wall thickness uniformity helps reduce shrinkage and residual stress in the injection molded part, it lowers the required cycle time needed to mold an acceptable part, resulting in cost savings. In a design for manufacturing/assembly (DFM/DFA) review, Engineering will evaluate the part design for strength, and include various elements like ribs to reduce the overall amount of plastic needed. It also eliminates the need for additional finishing operations, such as sanding or painting, furthermore reducing production costs.

    Guidelines for Determining Nominal Wall Thickness Uniformity

    There are several guidelines manufacturers can follow to ensure uniform wall thickness in injection molded parts:

    Use Accurate Tools for Nominal Thickness Measurement

    Manufacturers should use specialized equipment to measure the wall thickness of their parts during production. It is also beneficial to adjust parameters as needed to ensure that all components have consistent wall thickness throughout the manufacturing process.

    Adjust Cooling Parameters

    It is crucial to carefully control the cooling process by adjusting temperature, pressure, and other parameters to prevent warping and reduce sinking. If the part has a wide range of thicknesses, it will cool at different rates which can lead to dimension changes.

    Select the Appropriate Materials

    Selecting the correct resin, based on the part requirements and environment, is crucial.

    Maintain Quality Control Standards

    Manufacturers should practice strict quality control standards and inspect parts before shipment. Doing so can ensure that all their products meet customer specifications.

    Precision Plastic Injection Molding With D&M Plastics

    Maintaining uniform wall thickness is important for ensuring the quality of injection molded components. It provides several advantages, including improved strength, durability, aesthetics, and reduced production and finishing costs. 

    With five decades of experience and expertise, D&M Plastics has an unwavering commitment to provide nothing less than the highest of standards to our clients. By following these guidelines and using the right tools and processes, manufacturers can achieve consistent wall thickness in their injection molded parts. This will produce higher-quality components with improved aesthetics and durability at a lower cost.

    Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our products and services!

  5. Why You Should Onshore Your Injection Molding Operations

    Comments Off on Why You Should Onshore Your Injection Molding Operations

    Onshoring refers to the process of setting up production operations within domestic national borders. Up until the 1980s, most manufacturing companies kept their operations at home; however, the years of globalization led many companies to outsource their production overseas in an effort to lower labor, material, and transportation costs. While offshoring once seemed like the best move, many businesses are starting to reconsider. Companies have begun thinking about total end-to-end production costs rather than solely focusing on direct manufacturing and transportation costs. 

    In recent years, offshore operations have seen rising supply chain issues and higher foreign production costs. As such, companies are finding that even though part costs may be lower, their total end-to-end production costs are higher. For these reasons and many others, businesses have started sourcing their production domestically again, including their injection molding operations. 

    If you’re looking to onshore or reshore your plastic injection molding, D&M is here to help. Since our inception in 1972, we’ve served customers across various industries with quality injection molding services right here in the US. 

    Benefits of Onshore Injection Molding

    Onshore injection molding offers the following key benefits:

    Increased Control Over End-to-End Production

    One of the biggest advantages of onshore injection molding is increased control over end-to-end production. By keeping your injection molding processes domestic, it’s much easier to control certain operational parameters. This results in: 

    • Reduced lead times. Onshoring your injection molding operations results in faster lead times, as finished products won’t have far to travel. This not only reduces transportation costs, but it also increases inventory turns and decreases average inventory. Having lower inventory levels improves business cash flow.
    • Faster responses to quality issues. With offshore injection molding, it may take weeks or months to address defective products if they are transported by ship. While you could expedite shipments to solve quality issues, that often comes with higher transportation costs. A lower-cost offshore component becomes very expensive when you add costs associated with quality issues. By onshoring your injection molding, you can quickly and easily respond to quality problems to save on defective part costs and ensure your parts are ready to ship on time. 
    • Higher quality outputs. Although onshore injection molding can come with increased component costs compared to its offshore counterpart, the added layer of control results in higher-quality end products. 
    • Fewer communication issues. Onshoring injection molding eliminates misunderstandings due to language and other communication barriers. Communicating with your manufacturer is as easy as dialing their phone number or heading directly to their manufacturing facility for inquiries, concerns, or collaborations.
    • Easier and cheaper to audit. Onsite audits are often required to make sure your supplier is complying with all necessary specifications and requirements. Compared to offshore locations, material certifications are more readily available in the US. While an offshore supplier may say that materials meet specifications, it can be difficult to verify those assurances. Additionally, local onsite audits eliminate the need to travel across the globe, significantly reducing travel costs. 

    Lower Business Risks

    In addition to improving control over end-to-end production, onshoring your injection molding operations significantly reduces business risks. Production regulations and standards vary across the world. By keeping your injection molding operations domestic, it will be easier to ensure compliance with all governmental regulations. Working with a local provider also makes it much easier to enforce contracts. 

    What Happens When You Offshore Injection Molding?

    If a company chooses to offshore its injection molding operations to China, for example, it can cause various issues. While offshoring may come with a lower price-per-part compared to domestic manufacturing, it can lead to significant quality and delivery problems, including:

    • The inability to get the component parts they need from their supplier when they need them
    • The inability to produce and ship the final product to their customers per their commitments
    • The inability to meet changing or growing demands

    These problems not only result in increased production costs, but they also jeopardize a business’s reputation with customers. As such, the lower component price is not as important as getting quality parts when you need them. 

    D&M Plastics for Reliable US-Based Injection Molding

    As more and more companies consider their total end-to-end production costs rather than only their direct manufacturing costs, the manufacturing industry can expect to see a continued trend toward onshoring. At D&M Plastics, we can deliver US-based injection molding services with a commitment to manufacturing the highest quality products. With a highly stocked inventory of raw resin materials and strong partnerships with multiple vendors, we can deliver the solutions our customers need without drastic changes in lead times due to supply chain issues. 

    For more information about our capabilities, or for help onshoring your plastic injection molding operations, contact D&M Plastics today.

  6. Helpful Tips For Coloring Injection Molded Parts

    Leave a Comment

    Many virgin plastic resins are natural, transparent, or in a milky-white state. Sometimes, a plastic parts’ aesthetics and final appearance play a significant role in its application and require coloring.

    Painting plastics is expensive, may not last, or may not achieve the customer’s desired aesthetic. For those reasons, injection-molded plastic parts typically use colorants to give a wider range of aesthetic options.

    Incorporating the colorant into the injection molding process can be done in four ways: Compounding, masterbatching, solvent coloring, and dry pigment mixing.

    • Compounding – In this process, the colored pigment is already in the plastic resin from the moment of its creation. This process uses mixing machines to blend specific portions into large or small batches through the mixers that can be delivered to the injection molding machine.
    • Masterbatching – A masterbatch is a collection of highly pigmented plastic pellets that can’t undergo injection molding as-is, so you must mix it well with uncolored resin. The colorant pellets combine with the base plastic pellets, creating the overall desired color.
    • Solvent coloring – In this process, colored pigment oil mixes with a solvent material, and the mixture is sprayed all over the uncolored or neutral plastic pellets. Because the solvent thins the pigment, you can color more plastic with less dye making it more economical on cost and materials.
    • Dry Pigment Mixing – Like solvent coloring, dry pigment mixing uses a base color pigment to coat the outside of uncolored plastic pellets. Instead of liquid, it uses powder which requires drying before the coating phases.

    Indeed, color boosts a product’s attractiveness and saleability. Here are some helpful tips to consider when choosing plastic resin colorants.

    Consider Appearance-related Issues

    Hand-mixing colorant and base resin produce the same results as machine-mixing. While melting and injecting will handle much of the mixing of color and base, finding a provider with the knowledge to make the combination properly and know what it should contain is still crucial.

    Be Process-oriented For Better Coloring Results

    Injection molding starts with pellets of the solidified base resin. The base resin is placed into a hopper, heated, and fed into the mold. Plastic colorant should be introduced in a “salt and pepper” mixture of lighter base resin bits and darker color additives at the beginning of the process. This procedure helps to avoid swirling, uneven color or tone, or inaccurate color matching of the finished parts since this process enables the best mixing of colorant with the base resin.

    Differentiate Colorants And Mixture Ratio

    Similar to base resins, not all colorants are made equal. Various color concentrates, and additives can yield different outcomes when combined with different types of plastic resins, resulting in an unsatisfactory appearance. This is why it is essential to have the proper knowledge or to seek expert advice when differentiating colorants and ensuring the right mixture ratio.

    There are specific combination ratios to consider when mixing the elements. Typically, 3 to 5 pounds of colorant per 100 pounds of the base resin is the primary ratio, but this may vary depending on the type of colorant used, the carrier that binds colors, and the base resin. Consulting with an experienced injection molding service provider is advisable to ensure proper colorant differentiation and mixture ratio.

    Determine Resin Compatibility

    Compatibility between resins, colorants, and carriers is essential. Resins are routinely molecularly modified for specific performance qualities. Adding a foreign element to a resin mix, which are the colorant and carrier in injection molding, might impair the performance, especially if the materials react negatively.

    Incompatible colorants can affect a resin’s temperature tolerances and modify a resin’s flexibility, hardness, and moisture or humidity reaction. Incompatibility can make your final part flake or crack. It is essential to carefully prepare formulas and ensure that the colorant and resin are compatible in order to attain the desired results.

    Review Certified Or Graded Use

    As the components of a colorant-resin mixture can be a medical grade or food grade, it is essential to know what goes into the mix. Certifications for quality, safety, and “green” practices are also factors to consider.

    In addition to the colorant, carriers can comprise between 1% and 3% of the final product. The attributes given by this quantity of material can determine whether or not a product receives safety certification. It is also essential to find a provider who can assist you in considering the medical- or food-grade qualities of the colorant mixture and conduct research to ensure that your product will continue to adhere to these standards.

    Color Your Plastic Parts With D&M Plastics

    With color-mixing and injection molding, creating exactly the look you want for your injection-molded parts has never been easier!

    D&M Plastics has 50 years of experience in manufacturing high-precision injection-molded components. We match our client’s requirements for the desired tone, shade, and performance of their plastic products. We use high-quality injection molding colorants to produce aesthetic and quality colored plastics for any commercial, medical, or food-grade application.

    Contact us to request a quote or inquire more about our capabilities and services.

  7. Shoring Up Supply Chain Demand by Reshoring

    Leave a Comment

    Engineering Although reshoring has been a hot topic over the last several years, the conversations have become even more serious as a result of the pandemic, and the significant supply chain disruptions caused by Covid that have occurred in the past two years. Lockdowns, skyrocketing freight costs, port congestion and long lead times have caused major headaches. As a result, reshoring is one mitigation strategy that manufacturers are employing to reduce supply chain risk, especially in light of the potential for continued disruptions. For those reasons and more, many customers have begun sourcing production domestically again. D&M has been ready to help.

    The situation is volatile and changing practically day to day. Right now, parts of China are still under lockdown to control the spread of Covid, a strategy that has been implemented in almost every major city as Covid cases increase. Areas covering roughly 30% of China’s GDP were affected by the outbreaks, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. And even while some of the lockdowns have eased recently and then have been reinstated when Covid reappears, ports have been at a virtual standstill and overall manufacturing production has been severely impacted with long lead times causing huge delays. In addition to delays, there are often quality concerns, and issues of traceability, especially in the instance of medical parts manufacturing.

    Additionally, freight costs from China to the U.S. have also been volatile. According to Freightos, costs during the second week of June 2022 were at $9,585 per 40-foot container to the West Coast from East Asia. Those numbers have come down 57% from the peak of $22,173 in September 2020, but it is still up more than three-fold from $2,700 at the pandemic start.

    Not only have freight costs increased, the processing and transit times to get a container out of China is currently double what it was just a few months ago. That doesn’t include the time to get it processed in the U.S. — only the time from a manufacturer’s dock in China to making a landing at a U.S. port.

    Many manufacturers have historically not considered the full landed costs of offshoring their production. They have focused on direct manufacturing costs and transportation costs but have not considered end-to-end production costs and risks. Although part costs may be lower, total offshore production costs are often higher, and when supply chain risks are factored in, the costs become an order of magnitude higher.

    The current situation has changed the calculus. Many domestic businesses are experiencing both the costs and the risks of manufacturing offshore. These companies are looking to reshore or near-shore operations to mitigate these issues.  We have been able to help.

    Many of our customers are moving programs from overseas and only considering domestic suppliers for new programs.  If you’re looking for a new resource to help reshore your manufacturing, look to D&M.

    Find out why our customers have sourced their parts right here in the U.S. since our inception 50 years ago.  Let us quote your next project and learn how we can help you bring your manufacturing stateside again.

    All my best,



  8. D&M Celebrates 2000 Days Accident-Free

    Leave a Comment

    D&M Plastics announces that on Monday we set a new safety record celebrating 2,000 consecutive days without a lost time accident. In an industry where safety and quality are tightly linked, D&M Plastics is a leader,  specializing in tight-tolerance, highly engineered, precision parts for the medical, electronic, defense, aerospace, and automotive industries.

    We’re very proud of each of our team members who focus on safe outcomes every single day, and have helped us reach this milestone! Safety is critically important at D&M. It helps us provide a great work environment for our employees, and the best possible quality and products for our customers.

    Congratulations to our team of dedicated employees!

  9. The Plastic Injection Molding Process

    Leave a Comment

    Plastic injection molding is a popular process that produces identical plastic parts and goods. A mold is created and then filled with a molten plastic material to take on the design of the product once it hardens. This process is fast, precise, and cost-effective, especially for high-volume orders. D&M Plastics has nearly 50 years of experience in the production of high-precision injection-molded parts with the durability, design flexibility, and reduced assembly costs that our customers have come to expect.

    The Plastic Injection Process

    Plastic injection molding follows a precise set of steps to ensure every workpiece is created with consistent quality and structural integrity. Once the mold is created and manufacturing is about to begin, the process goes through the following:

    1. The Material Enters the Barrel

    Granular or powderized plastic material is poured into the barrel of an injection molding machine down a hopper. Because the material is granular, it can be premixed with other plastics and additives to create a custom substrate for the products. Granular plastics also have a high degree of surface area for easy heating and control.

    2. The Material Melts and Mixes

    Injection molding machines use two different mechanisms (sometimes in combination) to melt the granular plastics into a molten fluid. The first is the direct application of heat. The second is heat through friction. To melt plastic through the second mechanism, a corkscrew twists through the filled barrel, raising the temperature and pressure as it drives the melting material toward the mold. This ensures the material is well-mixed and evenly heated.

    3. The Shot Sizes Are Measured

    Each mold needs a precise amount of molten plastic to fill the mold completely without running the risk of errors, air bubbles, or excess material going to waste. This precise amount is called the shot. Factors such as the shot size and injection pressure impact the speed of injection, which ultimately determines the consistency of the material quality throughout the workpiece.

    4. The Mold Closes

    Molds are made of two pieces that sandwich together, with the internal cavities making up the dimensions of product the mold will produce. The mold must close with enough pressure and strength to resist movement once the pressurized plastic is injected into the mold. Manufacturers must also keep the mold closed for long enough to allow for thorough cooling and hardening but not so long it holds up the production process.

    5. The Plastic Is Injected Into the Mold Cavity

    The injection machine pushes the molten plastic fluid into the mold’s cavity. The material is injected with enough pressure to ensure it reaches all of the pathways and edges of the mold cavity and the mold is filled before the material can cool and harden. Both the speed and pressure of the injection determine the quality of the finished part.

    6. The Molten Material Cools

    Once the molten material leaves the heat nozzle barrel of the injection machine or the hot runner system, it immediately starts to cool and solidify. It will take on the shape of the mold cavity and start to gain its permanent characteristics of hardness, bendability, and color.

    7. The Mold Opens

    Professional manufacturers will ensure the mold is closed for enough time to set the plastic and no longer. Once the determined time has elapsed, the mold will automatically open.

    8.  The Part Is Ejected

    Mechanisms within the mold or injection machine will push the newly created workpiece out of the mold and onto an assembly line below. From there, the piece can be taken for any smoothing, finishing, and packaging steps that are part of its total production process.

    The Cycle Begins Again at Step #4

    Now that the mold is empty, the injection process can begin again. Professional systems move from step to step quickly for a seamless cycle of production.

    Choose D&M for High-Quality Plastic Injection Molding

    At D&M Plastics, we specialize in high-quality molding services from start to finish. We maintain over 30 presses and a cleanroom to produce an extensive array of standard and custom plastic parts. We’ve been an industry leader in reliable production and excellent customer service for almost five decades. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or request a quote to start your order.


  10. Best Practices for Plastic Injection Molding Design

    Leave a Comment

    Injection molding is a manufacturing process used for mass production of plastic parts and components. A press injects molten plastic resins into carefully engineered mold cavities under high pressure to yield large volumes of consistent pieces. The process is highly versatile as molds and materials can be adapted to meet specifications for unique applications across many industries.

    D&M Plastics boasts over five decades as an industry leader in injection molding. Our ISO 9001:2015 certified quality management system and ISO 13485:2016 certified quality management system certified facility houses 30 presses, a cleanroom, and a tool room. We perform injection molding using a variety of high-performance plastics to create parts horizontally and vertically with tolerances as close as ±0.001″. In addition to standard injection molding services, we offer overmolding, insert molding, two-shot molding, and mold labeling, which positions us as a single-source injection molding provider for partners across many industries, including aerospace, electronics, and medical.

    Best Practices and Considerations

    The injection molding process is a cost-effective and highly customizable approach for mass producing plastic components. The design process requires close collaboration between designers, molders, and other stakeholders, each of which should follow best practices and make important considerations to deliver the best value.

    Material Options and Consequences

    Stakeholders must consider specific tolerance requirements, strength, electrical resistances, flexibility, durability, thermal properties, flammability, and weight when selecting the appropriate plastic for a job. Though they may be easy or inexpensive to source, some plastic varieties may be challenging to mold, so molders and designers must agree on material selection.

    Critical Tolerances

    Injection molded parts have an average tolerance of ± 0.250 mm (0.010″), and while tighter tolerances are possible, they come at an additional cost. To minimize impacts on finances or production time, designers and molders can add extra clearance to account for tolerance variations and create plans for post-machining, fixturing, adjusting gate locations, and more.

    Sink Marks

    The appearance of sink marks depends on various factors such as gate location, nominal wall thickness, and material. To address the issue of sink marks, it is important to ensure wall thicknesses at the base of a rib or boss do not exceed 60% of the perpendicular or nominal wall, core out solid sections to reduce thickness, or add additional design features like ribbing.

    Steel Safe Areas

    To address tight tolerance requirements, some designers and molders add steel safe areas to complex sections of a design before mold production to provide clearance for easy machining after initial test shots. These design features can prevent further delays and tooling expenses later in the process.

    Gate Location

    Proper gate location ensures the flow of molten plastic through the mold. Factors, such as where the heaviest cross-sections of a component exist and the necessary flow path needed to maintain design aesthetic and function, are essential in determining the most suitable gate locations for an application.

    Shutoff Angles

    A minimum shutoff angle of 3° to 5° and optimally 7° is often required by a molder to leave adequate space between the core and cavity of components that include snap-fits, holes, or handles.

    Draft Angle Orientation

    Tapering the sides of the vertical walls in a mold allows for quicker, easier ejection of components and reduces the risk of surface blemishes. Feature height, surface finish, parting lines, and part geometry are necessary considerations when determining the correct angle to minimize these effects. Optimal part design would involve allowing 2° minimum draft throughout the part except for areas where draft is detrimental to fit and function.

    Texturing and Draft

    Texture can play a role in both the aesthetic and function of a part, but larger relief angles are required for these surfaces. Draft angles should be increased by 1° to 3° depending on the extent of the surface texture.

    Scheduling of Critical Startup Phases

    Close collaboration between designer, molder, and other business stakeholders is necessary to ensure that project timelines are coordinated effectively and that milestones are met. From ordering materials to establishing quality standards, these partnerships help drive product development and manufacturing.

    Secondary Operations and Fixtures

    Upfront discussions about the possibility for further machining or finishing can align goals and investment expectations ahead of production, while minimizing production problems and delays.

    Injection Molding by D&M Plastics

    By working closely together from the start, stakeholders involved in the injection molding process can avoid costly production delays associated with materials or component design. D&M Plastics has been an industry leader for decades, and our highly skilled team has extensive injection molding experience and can guide you through the entire injection molding process from design to production. To learn more about our capabilities, contact us or request a quote today.



  11. Focused on Solutions

    Leave a Comment

    D&M Plastics has launched a new video spotlighting its solutions-based, problem-solving capabilities. The 2-minute video highlights a customer case study of a medical parts supplier who approached D&M with a challenging manufacturing problem for a mold they’d had problems with for several years.

    The customer had been quoted for a costly repair, and even told by other vendors that they needed an entirely new mold.  Since the part was used in a respiratory device, demand was especially high, and the customer was on a tight timeline.

    Using automation and robotics, D&M was able to streamline production and assembly – saving the customer time and money.  Molding 8 pieces of 4 parts, and then automating the assembly at the press to produce the final part, D&M was able to manufacture an assembled part faster, and at a lower cost. Watch and learn more.


  12. What is Plastic Injection Molding?

    Leave a Comment

    D&M Plastics has been an industry leader in injection molding for nearly 50 years. Driven by a dedication to quality, our team is ISO 9001:2015 certified quality management system and ISO 13485:2016 certified quality management system certified. Our 56,000-square-foot facility houses 30 presses, a cleanroom, and a tool room, leaving us well-prepared to serve as your single-source injection molding provider.

    what is plastic injection moldingPlastic Injection Molding

    Plastic injection molding is a manufacturing process that uses machinery to melt and pressure-inject plastic resins into precisely constructed molds for the mass production of plastic components. Material and design can be adapted to address the requirements of a wide array of applications in industries from aerospace to medical. Plastic injection molding is highly versatile, easily scalable, fast, and cost-effective.

    There are three key steps in the plastic injection molding process:

    1) Product Design

    This initial step requires close collaboration between designers, molders, and product stakeholders to ensure that function, aesthetics, manufacturability, and other considerations are adequately addressed before creating a mold. Attention to detail in this step will prevent unexpected expenses later in the process.

    Using CAD software, collaborators will make decisions regarding factors such as:

    • Material selection
    • Critical tolerances
    • Gate styles and locations
    • Draft and shutoff angles
    • Texturing and finish requirements
    • Wall thicknesses

    Once the design is complete, a prototype may be made for further analysis.

    2) Mold & Tooling Design

    After the design is approved, a mold, runners, gates, sprues, and any other necessary tooling must be engineered for use in the injection process. Mold design is crucial to the project’s overall success, as errors in this step could result in the production of aesthetically displeasing, functionally deficient, or otherwise incorrect products. The tooling development stage also provides another opportunity to minimize product defects by fine-tuning or revising details from the initial design stage to improve manufacturability.

    Mold material selection is a critical element of mold design. Commonly used core metals include stainless steel (hardened or pre-hardened), aluminum, and a beryllium-copper alloy. Material selection for the mold depends on factors such as:

    • Cavity requirements (single or multiple)
    • Estimated cycles or runs
    • Product material
    • Project budget

    The primary goal of the mold-making process is to produce a mold that is manufacturable, durable, functional, and low maintenance at the lowest possible cost. Upon completion of the mold design, sample parts are filled and approved, and the tooling process is documented before manufacturing begins.

    3) Manufacturing (Creation)

    When designs are complete and a mold has been cast, manufacturing or product creation can begin. There are four stages in the manufacturing cycle:

    1. Clamping— mold halves are closed and clamped together
    2. Injection— molten plastic is pressure-injected into the mold cavities
    3. Cooling— plastic cools and hardens to the shape of the mold cavities
    4. Ejection— mold opens, and the plastic part is pushed out

    Manufacturing of a component lasts only seconds to minutes depending on the size, material and complexity of the part, so the process can be repeated rapidly to create a large quantity of consistent, high-quality components in a short window.

    Advantages of Plastic Injection Molding

    Plastic injection molding is a highly versatile approach for producing plastic parts, offering numerous advantages over other manufacturing methods. Some of these benefits include:

    • Scalability. After the designs and processes are fleshed out, it is inexpensive and straightforward to increase production volume.
    • Detailed features and complex geometries. The high pressure used to fill molds forces molten plastic to firmly adhere to the mold’s shape, allowing the material to capture details more adequately.
    • High-efficiency production. Once molds are designed and processes programmed, run cycles take mere seconds or minutes to complete, and outputs are more consistent.
    • Enhanced product strength. Ribs or gussets can be included in the mold design to account for the flexibility or stiffness required of a component.
    • Ability to use multiple plastics simultaneously. Co-injection provides an opportunity for filler plastics to be combined with the base resin to improve product strength, reduce material costs, or provide the physical or mechanical benefits of another plastic.
    • Flexibility. From materials to color to design, the plastic injection molding process is easily adaptable for any application.

    Plastic Injection Molding by D&M Plastics

    Plastic injection molding is versatile, cost-effective, and efficient. The D&M Plastics team can guide you through the entire plastic injection molding process, from product design to manufacturing. We offer an extensive range of plastic materials and have onsite capabilities for end-to-end service, including value-adds like overmolding, insert molding, mold labeling, and more.

    For more information on our injection molding capabilities, request a quote or contact us today.

  13. Avoiding Plastic Injection Molding Defects

    Leave a Comment

    D&M Plastics utilizes the latest plastic injection molding technology to create high quality parts for a diverse range of industries. Typically used for mass production, plastic injection molding is a process which allows manufacturers to create immensely high volumes of the same part within tight tolerances. While this process has numerous advantages, errors in the plastic injection molding process or tooling setup may cause defects that impact the appearance or functionality of the final product. Understanding these potential issues makes it easier to avoid them in future projects.

    Click to Expand

    Avoiding Plastic Injection Molding Defects

    Avoiding Plastic Injection Molding Defects

    Here are some of the most common defects to watch for during the plastic injection molding process:

    Burn marks

    These discolorations appear on the outer surface of the component and may be black or rust-colored. They are often caused by trapped air or resin overheating within the mold. Shorten the mold cycle time or lower the mold temperature to avoid burn marks. Adding venting can help with trapped gas.

    Flow lines

    Although they typically do not impact the functionality of a product, flow lines—off-color streaks or patterns across a product’s surface—may look unprofessional when visible to consumers. This defect is caused when plastic cools too rapidly during the injection molding process. Increasing the nozzle diameter and injection speed will help prevent flow lines.

    Short shots

    Short shots weaken the part and are commonly caused by a lack of molding pressure, which results in trapped air within the product.

    Sink marks/voids

    When the plastic does not have enough time to cool within the mold, the surface material may shrink inward. This results in surface depressions known as sink marks. Increasing pressure and cooling time can help avoid this defect. Proper part design is necessary to avoid sink marks, i.e. uniform wall stock rather than uneven/thick walls. Uneven cooling speeds may also create voids (internal sink marks) within the part. Limit the risk of this defect by increasing the injection pressure or choosing low-viscosity materials.

    Weld lines

    Weld lines are caused by multiple molten materials colliding at too low a temperature, resulting in a thin line where the materials did not properly bond. This defect can weaken a component. To help plastic injection molding materials bond properly, increase material temperature and injection speed or eliminate partitions within the mold. Proper gate location can help to avoid weld lines.


    Often caused when residual resin is left in a mold from a previous project, discoloration impacts the aesthetics of a part. Occasionally, discoloration may also occur when the coloring agent is unstable. Utilizing a high-quality coloring agent and thoroughly cleaning the production equipment between production runs helps reduce the risk of discoloration.


    One of the more serious defects is delamination, which presents as a flaking surface layer that separates from the surfaces beneath it. Generally caused when the resin is contaminated or exposed to excess moisture, delamination will negatively impact the strength of the part. It can be avoided by properly storing the resin pellets and increasing the temperature of the mold.


    Jetting appears as a distinctive snaking spray line on the product’s surface. It typically occurs when the molten material is injected too quickly without contacting the mold’s wall. Jetting ultimately weakens the part but may be avoided by increasing the temperature of the material and lowering the injection pressure. Proper gate location can help to avoid jetting.

    Eject marks

    When a part is ejected too early or with too much force, it can be left with unattractive markings. Waiting until the part is fully cooled and reducing the force of the ejector rods can reduce the likelihood of eject marks.

    About D&M Plastics

    At D&M plastics, our experienced team crafts high quality molded products at competitive prices from our ISO 9001:2015 certified quality management system and ISO 13485:2016 certified quality management system certified facility. We can mold parts in both vertical and horizontal molding machines at tolerances as low as ±0.001 inches and offer insert molding, overmolding, and cleanroom molding to meet specialized needs. Visit our injection molding services page to learn more, or request a quote to see how we can help with your next project.

  14. Most Common Materials for Plastic Injection Molding

    Leave a Comment

    At D&M Plastics, we specialize in performing high-volume injection molding using state-of-the-art equipment and technology to create tight-tolerance precision parts down to 0.001 inches. Our capabilities include:

    We also offer many value-added and secondary services, full service support, and real-time production analysis.

    plastic injection molding materialsCommon Materials for Plastic Injection Molding

    Depending on the end-product’s desired properties, there are a multitude of plastic injection molding material options.


    This material offers very predictable shrinkage, making it ideal for projects which require particularly tight tolerances. Polycarbonate is naturally transparent, strong, and durable, and is a popular choice for protective gear, eyewear, and window parts; however, it is not safe for food applications.

    Nylon (Polyamide)

    Nylon’s strength makes it an ideal material for mechanical parts, sports equipment, and medical products. It is highly resistant to wear and chemicals, has a high melting temperature, and is durable against impacts.


    Acrylic is transparent, and manufacturers often use it in place of glass as it is scratch resistant and has high tensile strength. This material is tasteless, odorless, and free of BPA, making it ideal for food applications.

    Polyoxymethylene (POM)

    This acetal resin commonly replaces metal in automotive or mechanical parts, such as gears or ball bearings. It has high levels of strength and rigidity, and is resistant to alcohols, motor oils, and many other solvents. However, POM cannot withstand nitric acid or hydrochloric acid.

    Polystyrene (PS)

    Polystyrene is budget friendly and available in two types: High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), which is opaque, and General Purpose Polystyrene (GPPS), which is transparent. Polystyrene is popular for single-use items such as petri dishes and food packaging, but it is not environmentally friendly and does not offer significant strength or heat resistance.

    Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

    ABS is a flexible and affordable engineering grade plastic with high amounts of strength and toughness. It is resistant to scratches, offers good impact resistance, and is lightweight. Common uses include electronic casings, phone adapters, and wall socket plastic guards.

    Polypropylene (PP)

    Popular for food packaging, PP is highly resistant to moisture and chemicals. This thermoplastic has a high melting point and is durable, with good impact resistance and flexibility. In addition to its use in the food industry, PP can be found in automotive components, athletic apparel, and many household objects.

    Polyethylene (PE)

    Polyethylene is available in two types: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE). It is affordable, lightweight, flexible, and moisture-resistant, making it one of the most popular plastic injection molding materials. PE can be found in a wide array of products, including prescription bottles, plastic bags, trash cans, and geomembranes.

    Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

    TPU provides high levels of tensile and tear strength, withstands high temperatures, and replicates the elasticity of rubber. Manufacturers commonly utilize this material in cable insulation and power tools.

    Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)

    TPR combines plastic and rubber, resulting in a material that can withstand harsh environments and chemicals. It is highly impact resistant and is commonly used in catheters and headphone cables.

    D&M Plastics for Your Plastic Injection Molding Needs

    For over four decades, D&M Plastics has provided our clients with industry-leading custom injection molding solutions. If you have further questions about the best plastic injection molding material for your needs, our team of experts is here to assist you. Learn more about our services, or request a quote to get started on your next project with us.

  15. Martin Tremonti Joins D&M as New Chief Operating Officer

    Leave a Comment

    D&M Plastics, an industry leader in custom injection molding for over 40 years, is pleased to welcome Martin “Marti” Tremonti as Chief Operating Officer. Tremonti brings nearly three decades of experience in manufacturing operations, both nationally and internationally.

    Marti is an excellent addition to the D&M team, and has a proven track record of success in building strong teams and efficient processes that impact business growth while utilizing lean initiatives that drive key metrics. It’s a great fit.

    Tremonti comes to D&M with a wealth of experience in manufacturing and operations. He is a 26-year veteran in automotive manufacturing operations, with 17 years at Magna International, where he helped to establish an international facility which launched a new program that integrated into an existing production line, while upgrading and improving systems and operations. Tremonti holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University.

    “D&M has obviously been doing great things for its automotive, medical, electronics and defense customers, with 40 years of success,” said Tremonti. “I’m looking forward to continuing our operational excellence — building strong teams and efficient processes for continuous improvement.”

    For more than 40 years D&M Plastics has provided our customers a comprehensive guarantee of quality, delivery, and price. D&M specializes in tight-tolerance precision parts for the medical and electronics industries, and in 1993 was the first U.S. full-service turnkey manufacturer awarded ISO-certification. In an industry where precision counts, D&M has high ranks, with an external defect rate of 17-PPM’s versus an average industry rate that is 10x higher. The D&M manufacturing team stands behind our customer goals and outcomes, and has more than 275 combined years of injection molding experience. D&M is a privately held company, located in Burlington, Illinois just outside of Chicago.

    We’re proud to welcome Marti to the D&M team!

  16. Partners in Innovation

    Leave a Comment

    2020 hasn’t been “business as usual” for anyone. Find out how D&M was able to pivot to provide our customer with the support they needed to meet increased demands on a tight timeline in this video.



  17. What Sets Us Apart

    Leave a Comment

    When I bought D&M Plastics in May 2013, I knew I was buying an injection molding company with a relentless focus on quality. As the story goes, in 1993, D&M became the first ISO 9001:2015 certified quality management system custom injection molder in the United States. Everything we do emanates from a quality process mentality. But a relentless focus on quality isn’t enough. What really sets D&M apart is our approach to problem-solving. Faced with a problem that no one else can solve, we employ a disciplined, creative, scientific methodology to find the answer. I have seen it work countless times on myriad projects.


    Customers Trust D&M Quality


    Before I bought the company, D&M had discovered how to overmold sensor rods that were used in the magna ride suspension system. The problem was how to mold a thin wall of plastic concentrically around a small diameter rod over a length of more than 15 inches. Our customer had tried without success to do this and ultimately brought the problem to D&M. Our team developed hypotheses, tested them, analyzed the results and finally found the solution.

    Several years later, the customer took the business away and gave it to someone who said they could do it cheaper. Within a few months, however, the customer was back. It turned out the “less expensive” solution didn’t work, and cheap was suddenly expensive. D&M has now been successfully manufacturing these overmolded rods for over 15 years, and our customer believes we’re the only company on the planet who can do it.

    A track record of success

    In another situation, a customer was manufacturing thin-walled cases for relay switches with tolerances of 0.002 inches in their plant in Malaysia . The part was being molded in an eight-cavity tool using a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) that was specially formulated to withstand very high and very low temperatures, with extremely high tensile strength. This resin was so difficult to mold, however, that the cases had a very high defect rate and defective parts were getting into the customer’s relay assembly line and constantly shutting it down.

    The customer came to D&M for a solution. Taking a scientific approach to understanding the resin and its molding characteristics, we were able to produce defect-free parts at a lower cost. This makes us the only company to have successfully run this specially formulated LCP in a 16-cavity tool with a hot runner system. Read more specifically about how we did that here.

    In the bag

    Most recently, D&M had a customer who was making a respiratory bag bushing using a 50-50 blend of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and ethylene ethyl acrylate (EEA). They were experiencing high defect rates because EEA is an adhesive and the manufacturer only recommends a 5 percent blend for injection molding applications. Blending it at 50-50 reduces the processing window to the point where it is almost impossible to injection mold. Nevertheless, using a disciplined scientific approach, D&M was successful in making defect-free parts in the quantities and at the price that our customer required.

    We solve our customers’ most difficult molding challenges with discipline, creativity and a rigorous scientific methodology. Quality is only half of the equation — our ability to problem solve is truly what sets D&M apart, and why our customers keep coming back. That’s the D&M competitive advantage.

    If you have an injection molding challenge that needs a world-class solution, put the experts at D&M to work for you.

    Be well,


  18. Doing our part during a pandemic.

    Leave a Comment

    Since D&M was founded in 1972, we’ve been providing tight-tolerance precision parts for the medical and other industries, including defense and automotive. In fact, we were the first U.S. custom injection molder to receive ISO-certification in 1993.

    Today, as the uncertainty of COVID-19 grips the world, the supply chains for our nation’s healthcare industry and our food supply are more critical than ever. Since 2000 we have produced and shipped more than 4.8 billion medical plastic parts and 1.4 billion devices to the healthcare industry. Additionally, we manufacture parts that are used in testing for foodborne bacteria in the food processing industry. D&M will remain open and operational in order to continue to support our customers in these critical supply streams.

    At the same time, we are equally committed to the health and safety of our employees. For that reason, a primary focus for our team meetings, which precede each of our three shifts daily, has been on safety measures to ensure our employees stay healthy. Those team “huddles” now occur with team members standing at least 6 feet apart. In those meetings, we continue to remind everyone of the World Health Organization’s recommendations, and, in addition, employees have shared good ideas that we have implemented, such as keeping frequently used doors within the plant propped open to avoid having to touch doorknobs or levers unnecessarily.

    D&M is following all health and safety advice by WHO and CDC, and we have encouraged frequent handwashing as well as providing hand sanitizer on the manufacturing floor, social distancing, the use of gloves and keeping work areas sanitized. Employees who do not feel well are asked to stay home and we have agreed to pay their wages for up to two weeks. We do not want employees who become sick to return to work before they are well simply because they need a paycheck. If an employee tests positive for the coronavirus or comes in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, we are requiring that they self-quarantine for 15 days. Employees who are at home sick for three days or more will require a doctor’s note before returning to work, for everyone’s safety.

    We have encouraged any employee who may be experiencing stress or feeling overwhelmed, to speak with family members or friends, and we offer an Employee Assistance Network which provides professional counseling at no cost to any employee or their family members, should they need additional emotional support during this difficult period.

    These are unprecedented times. We are committed to continuing to supply our customers so that they can deliver the parts and services required to support front line medical staff and others disaffected by recent events.

    Be well, stay safe, and please let us know if there’s a way we can help support your needs.

    – Chip

  19. Quality is No Accident for D&M

    Leave a Comment

    At D&M, we take safety very seriously.  In fact, it’s something we have been focused on since I bought the company roughly seven years ago.

    For us, the safety of our people is absolutely the most important thing. That’s probably why on January 31, 2020, D&M celebrated 1,460 accident-free days. That’s a total of four years of manufacturing days without a lost time injury.  Among our many accomplishments, that may be the one for which we are most proud.

    Part of our dedication to safety stems from our relentless focus on quality and our belief that safety and quality are inextricably linked. That link supports the fact that our external defect rate is 17 parts per million, while the average for injection molding companies our size is 1,038ppm.  Big difference.

    manufacturing safety meeting

    Our commitment to safety means that at every team huddle before every shift, each of our employees is encouraged to bring up any safety concerns they have– even if it has already been reported to a supervisor. Encouraging a dialog around safety, while keeping communications open and earnest helps eliminate issues before an accident or injury occurs. Everyone understands that safety is every team member’s responsibility.

    To us, it’s just good business to care about safety – your personal safety and the safety of those around you. That translates to healthier, happier and more productive team members, who feel valued and respected as human beings. It just makes logical sense that if your employees feel they are valued, they care more about the work that they are doing. But that connection is more than just a hunch, with academic research also supporting the notion that the most important ingredients for both successful quality management and safety management programs are the commitment of management and the involvement of employees.

    We care about our employees, they care about the work they are doing, and in the end, it positively impacts our bottom line in a way that also creates value for our customers. Win-win for everyone, really.  That’s why at D&M we play it safe. Everybody. Every shift. Every day.

  20. Plastic Injection Molding Guide

    Leave a Comment
    Plastic injection molding is a fast, accurate, and cost-effective method of manufacturing plastic parts. During the process, manufacturers melt plastic resin and inject the liquefied resin under pressure into molds. When the plastic cools, it is ejected from the mold as a seamless plastic piece.

    Injection molding can create plastic parts of varying size and complexity, which makes it suitable for diverse applications in a wide variety of industries, including:

    • Aerospace
    • Automotive
    • Defense
    • Electronics
    • Medical
  21. At D&M, we’re molding the 21st Century.

    Leave a Comment

    To us, molding the 21st Century is a responsibility we take very seriously. Not only are we molding parts that will go into future technology in a variety of life-changing industries, but we’re also helping to shape young minds as we help the next generation learn about the importance of manufacturing.

    It’s why we’ve made a commitment to participating in Manufacturing Day each year, and it’s an even bigger part of the reason we invite students into our plant or go out to meet students where they are in the community as well.

    Helping kids learn more about manufacturing is good for everyone.  When we bring manufacturing into the classroom, kids learn how integral it is to their everyday lives, and it opens their minds to new ideas. They start to think about all of the millions of parts that compose the world around them.

    When we bring these big ideas out into the classrooms of America, or when students come to us, we can inspire the next generation of manufacturers.  They begin to truly understand why manufacturing is so important to all of us, and that the industry that built America is still going strong.

    Take three minutes to watch these two videos. One is a visit to our plant by a class from Larkin School’s Secondary Transition Education Program (STEP), and the other is Streamwood Middle School’s AVID program.  Both groups of students inspired us with their enthusiasm.

    Providing opportunities for everyone to learn and sharing new ideas is always a good thing.  At D&M, we want to be a part of that.

    Thanks for reading, and for taking a minute to watch.




  22. Welcome to the D&M Blog

    Leave a Comment

    If you’re here, you’ve already experienced some of what makes our new website better for our customers. With a new design and an expanded user experience – including this blog — we hope you’ll find all the bells and whistles that help to set D&M Plastics apart from our competition.

    The new site will be better for anyone who visits and is looking for custom injection molding services, but especially those looking for creative solutions to their toughest molding problems, needing a molder with medical ISO certification, or just researching domestic providers who can streamline their process.

    With more companies searching for processing solutions in the U.S. versus overseas, we wanted a site that could meet customers wherever they are in their search for plastic injection molding services.  And the site features a handy Request for Quote tool so you can submit your project and get a response within 24-hours.

    The new How We Work, and Molding Services sections have been the most popular since we launched the new site, so be sure to check those out, and don’t miss our Case Studies to learn more about the D&M experience and end-to-end solutions.

    We’re all about helping our customers find the right molding solutions. We’re looking to align with potential customers in a true partnership — to optimize production and improve your bottom line.

    Our new site helps us tell that story and makes it easier for potential customers to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, because at D&M, we’re not just selling plastics, we’re solving problems.

    We hope you like the new site and our blog. Please let us know in the comments section if there are topics you’d like us to explore here in the future. Thanks for reading!