August 2005 Design Tip


Timing, they say, is everything. From catching a bus to tuning an engine - from Comedy Central to Wall Street - you've got to have timing if you want to get ahead. Of course, if your goal is real injection moulded parts at a great price and blazing-fast, you always come out ahead at Protomold, but here's a bit of arcane knowledge that might help you get your parts even faster.

Like most everyone else, design engineers like to clear their desks before going off to relax for the weekend. For this reason as much as any other, we at Protomold often see a surge in RFQs and online orders on Fridays. Also like most of us, the service reps at Protomold - those hardworking folks who answer your questions, resolve any issues, and do final entry of your order - work five days a week. So if you place an online order on a Friday you probably won’t hear back from us with an order confirmation and proposed gate and ejector pin layout until the following Monday. (We can’t start milling your mould until you’ve approved the gate and pin layout.)

Reviewing the gate/ejector pin placement from Protomold:

So here's the tip: If possible, try to place your online order in the middle of the week. That gives us a couple of business days before the weekend to send you an order confirmation with a proposed gate and ejector pin layout to review. If it looks good, you can give things like quantity, material, surface finish requirements and colour a final review and then simply click on "Approve layout" before you head off to the lake.

Sample order confirmation screen from Protomold:

Of course if you can find someone willing and qualified to stick around and approve these things in your absence, you can get a jump on the weekend and head for the lake on Wednesday. (Seriously, though, if you’re as busy as a lot of our customers, designating a backup approver when you place your order is a very good idea.) So place those orders by Wednesday and spend your weekend with a clear conscience and a clear desk.