We define Volume Manufacturing as that final phase of plastics manufacturing where very high volumes (up to millions of units) of annual sales are being achieved on a steady basis. At Plas-Tech this sometimes means that some aspects of production move outside our facility and is outsourced locally in Ontario or locally with respect to the customer. For plastics this generally occurs after the design has been through the various stages, from prototyping to fabrication, and is now frozen (requiring few, if any, changes) so that the larger investments in moulds and tooling may be made with less risk. For example, an item that has been vacuum formed may now be rotary injection moulded or a product that has been machined may now be injection moulded and weld-assembled in mass quantities. Typically, these applications will require moulds that can cost several tens of thousand of dollars compared to fabrication moulds and tooling which costs in the hundreds and low thousands of dollars. However, the higher setup is quickly compensated by the low unit costs which result from minimal material wastage and low labour input due to completely automated systems.
Strategically, Plas-Tech does not engage in injection moulding since there are many excellent, low-cost suppliers available today in Ottawa-Gatineau, across Ontario, Canada and overseas. We prefer to remain an expert on what we do while supporting the customer on making the transition over into this domain. Often the customer that has trusted Plas-Tech through all the phases since Design Consultation will continue to trust us to scope and select suppliers and manage production in the high volume range as well. The business model and technical approach in this realm can vary as much as the parts themselves. We can support customers in ways ranging from Plas-Tech owning and maintaining the moulds which are kept at our supplier locations to the customer owning moulds that remain at their own locations. The same can be said of the material, designs, intellectual property and finished goods in inventory. The customer can determine how far down the manufacturing stream they want to venture – we will support them.