Silicone injection molding requires specialized capabilities, a highly skilled team, and sophisticated equipment. In many ways, when manufacturing silicone products, traditional molding methodologies simply do not apply. As a result, it’s important to know what to look for when seeking an experienced contract manufacturing partner.

At MME group our clean room silicone molding and assembly experience means we are well suited to help engineers and business leaders understand the requirements and considerations involved when manufacturing medical and other highly regulated products.

In-House Silicone Manufacturing Facilities & Team

An in-house silicone molding and assembly team can help ensure quality and consistency is maintained through each stage of the product development process. Streamlined communications also lead to cost savings and reduced lead times. As a more cohesive unit, an in-house team working in an in-house facility can more effectively meet a businesses’ end-to-end product development needs, whether working with silicone or other materials.  

Precision Automated Tooling and Molding

Silicone requires extreme precision in both tooling and molding. In order to maintain its form, tooling must be able to withstand extreme temperatures and the effects of thermal expansion. During the molding process, automated manufacturing means shot and size controls are implemented with great precision. This is crucial in the manufacture of medical and other highly regulated silicone products.

Clean Room-Specific Molding and Assembly

In many industries sterilization is crucial. Dedicated clean rooms and related certifications indicate that a contract manufacturer is up to the task. At MME, for example, we have two dedicated silicone clean rooms for molding, and a dedicated clean room for assembly. We are also ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 certified, and ITAR and FDA registered for medical and government contract manufacturing and assembly.

A Partnership Model

Technical expertise counts a great deal, and should always be closely considered. Additionally, however, when seeking a manufacturer to work with it’s important to speak to those who adhere to a partnership model. At MME group, everything we do is geared toward developing and maintaining the latest technological capabilities while providing robust manufacturing solutions. All of this, of course, is designed to help successfully bring exceptional products to market.

Finishing assembly of nebia shower

Both consumers and business owners many times assume “waterproof” means, well, waterproof. Though it may seem counterintuitive, a waterproof rating - from a product development and manufacturing standpoint - does not always align with the everyday understanding of that term. In other words, a waterproof device may not be able to withstand being fully submerged for long periods or at any significant depth.

So, just what does “waterproof” mean and how can a business ensure it’s protected from litigation involving waterproof claims? And, what system can a business use to measure a product’s water resistance levels so those details can be appropriately communicated to the end consumer? The answer involves IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, which govern dust and water protection levels.

Understanding the IP rating system is crucial as miscommunications between engineers, marketers, and others, can and have led to lawsuits when water resistance capabilities do not match those advertised. And, from a marketing perspective, if a product’s ability to resist water is an important market differentiator, the engineering team will need to ensure those specifications can be met.

In short, by making sense of the system that governs waterproof ratings, businesses can work with contract manufacturers and others to help ensure a product is sufficiently protected. In doing so, a product can be used as designed, and marketing and promotional materials can reflect usage and regulatory realities.

Understanding “Waterproof” and the IP Rating System

Common IP ratings that are typically considered waterproof include P67, IP66, and IP65, among others. So, what exactly do these ratings mean? Let’s break it down.

  • IP - This stands for ingress protection.
  • The first of two numerical digits - Solid particle protection rating.
  • The second of two numerical digits - Liquid protection rating.

So, in this instance the very common IP67 designation has a solid particle protection rating of 6 and a liquid protection rating of 7.

Solid Particle Protection IP Rating Classifications

Solid Particle Rating
Protection Against

0

No protection

1

Object >50 mm

2

Object >12.5 mm

3

Object >2.5 mm

4

Object >1 mm

5

Protected against dust

6

Dust tight

Liquid Protection IP Rating Classifications

Liquid Rating
Protection Against

0

No protection

1

Dripping water

2

Dripping water when tilted at 15°

3

Spraying water

4

Splashing water

5

Water jets

6

Powerful water jets

6k

Powerful water jets with increased pressure

7

Immersion 3 feet in depth

8

Immersion, 3 feet or more in depth

9k

Powerful high temperature water jets