All the services you’ll need for prototyping and low-volume manufacturing

overmoulding-servicesOvermould are the established leading UK experts in overmoulding delivering outsourced electronics encapsulation and overmoulding services & expertise right from the design stage through to production.

Now we have extended our overmoulding services to include 3D printing, injection moulding and rapid prototyping, providing our customers with a one stop shop for the full range of technology and skills needed for the production of prototypes and low-volume production parts.

Our experienced team will work with you to decide upon the most appropriate materials and method of production to turn your devices into products, quickly, accurately and cost effectively.

Injection moulding, usually associated with high volumes, can be ideal for functional prototyping, pilot runs, and low-volume production of on-demand parts using our in-house low cost tooling.

Industrial 3D printing is an advanced manufacturing process best adopted for rapid prototyping, complex designs, multipart assemblies and even functional, end-use parts. Our 3D print service has a full workshop engineering capacity to continue your development process.

We can take your project further along the production process with electronics assembly, CNC machining, laser cutting and forming. Our CNC machines for turning, milling, routing and profiling, grinding and polishing can be applied across a full range of commercial industrial plastics.

With this full range of technologies at our disposal, we are the perfect partner for all your prototyping needs.

And when you’re ready, we are equipped for low-medium volume production, in house so we can take you through the entire journey from prototype to production. As your production volumes grow, and it becomes economically viable, we can supply you with the overmoulding equipment for your own in-house manufacturing. We’ll back you up with our industry-leading expertise.

If you’re working on a new project, talk to us today about making it a reality.

Design & Manufacture of Low Pressure Moulding Mould Sets & Tooling

Mould sets and tooling for Low Pressure Overmoulding

Mould sets for low pressure overmoulding are normally manufactured from aluminium and precision-machined to form the features of the desired part. Aluminium is well suited for mould-set manufacturing due to its excellent heat transfer properties (i.e. short cycle times) and is economical from a cost and time perspective.

Aluminium mould-sets are relatively soft and care must be taken not to damage the cavity surface. If the component to be over-moulded has steel or hard glass filled components, it is recommended to have steel inserts in the mould cavity to reduce any wear on key tool components. This is generally required when moulding connectors. Mould-sets can also be manufactured from tool steel such as P-20. It may be required to cross drill steel mould-sets to ensure sufficient cavity cooling.

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Overmoulding for Strain Relief

Strain reliefA strain relief is a standard feature in cables for relieving the stress and tensions between the rigid connector or device and the flexible cable. The point at which a cable exits a connector body or other component can be a critical failure point because of repeated flexing therefore a well-designed strain relief is vital for the mechanical and electrical integrity, optimum lifespan and general performance of all types of cables.

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Low Pressure Overmoulding versus Potting or Encapsulation

Overmoulding protects electronic products from the environmentIn electronics, encapsulation or potting is the process of pouring liquid resin over electrical and electronic components, circuit boards and completed electronic assemblies for electrical insulation and to protect the product against thermal shock, vibration, moisture and corrosive substances.

The process typically consists of 7 -8 steps including a curing period. Depending on the product, higher temperatures can be used to reduce cure times; but this increases the risk of thermal damage. Potting compounds cure exothermically, and these cure reactions can generate heat to damage electronic components. It’s not uncommon, for example, for potting compounds to heat up by 200°C or higher, as they cure.

Aside from this risk of damage to components, potting can be a messy process that can have many other problems associated with it, not least of which is wastage!

A fast, cleaner and lower cost alternative to encapsulation or potting  is Low Pressure Overmoulding.

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Low Pressure Overmoulding Materials & Process Overview – Henkel Technomelt

MacromeltUnprotected electronics and PCBs are vulnerable to moisture, dust vibration and damage. Overmoulding allows you to protect, strengthen and seal electronic components and parts without damaging them. Specifically, low-pressure moulding is the process that lies between injection moulding and potting. It is basically injection moulding at very low pressures with hotmelt adhesives.  The process is fast, with products finished in seconds. Continue reading