Cellofoam
 

info@cellofoamna.com | 800-241-3634

Cellofoam North America Inc

 

Celebrating 50 years of commitment to provide customers premium value-added products and services.

 
 

 

Rotational Molding FAQs


1. What type of products does Cellofoam produce using the rotational molding process?
2. Where does Cellofoam manufacture rotationally molded products?
3. How does rotational molding compare with other plastic manufacturing methods such as thermo-forming, injection molding and blow molding?
4. Can Cellofoam help entrepreneurs in the design of their rotationally molded products?
5. Can Cellofoam help in prototyping or contract manufacturing of our rotationally molded product?
6. How Do You Attach Hardware to the Plastic Part?
7. What rate of production can be achieved?
8. Where can I learn more about rotational molding and design?






1. What type of products does Cellofoam produce using the rotational molding process?

Cellofoam North America has been producing a wide variety of both proprietary as well as contract manufacturing rotational molded products for many years.  We produce everything from dumpsters to dock floats, from kayak and jet-ski docks to fuel-saving aerodynamic deflectors for semi-trucks, from plastic bins to oil and gas drilling lubricant tanks to no-wake buoys.   Our engineers, designers, and technicians are always eager for new product challenges.  We typically work with low, medium, and high density polyethylene, including food grade variants, although we have experience in a wide variety of other plastic resins as well.

2. Where does Cellofoam manufacture rotationally molded products?


Cellofoam North America currently manufactures rotationally molded products at our plants in Conyers, Georgia, Whiteland, Indiana, and Sallisaw, Oklahoma.  

 

 

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3. How does rotational molding compare with other plastic manufacturing methods such as thermo-forming, injection molding and blow molding?


Obviously, a lot of considerations go into what type of plastic manufacturing method to employ to fabricate a product.  Design variables are important and usually include considerations of product size and wall thickness, strength or rigidity requirements, temperature range, flexibility, etc.  However, economic principles are often just as, if not more, critical.  Typically, thermo-forming, injection molding and blow molding have very high tooling costs and are thus used for very high volume production runs and enjoy large economies of scale, especially for smaller sized products.  Rotational molding is frequently more economical for smaller production runs and for almost any size production rates of mid-to-large size plastic products.  Further, due to lower operating pressures during manufacturing, the molds for rotational molding are generally significantly less expensive and easier to make.  In a nutshell, rotational molding generally requires far less capital investment and is more responsive; in many cases a product can be designed, molds designed and manufactured, and first products produced in a matter of a few weeks and for an initial investment of a few tens of thousands of dollars.

Rotational molding offers many benefits over other types of plastic molding or even metallic or other material options including:
  • Custom Design: Greater flexibility of size and style, reinforced ribs, complex contours, molded threads, flanges, special fittings or graphic inserts.
  • Shorter Time to Production: Can get new products to market faster and more economically. 
  • Low Cost Tooling: Economical method to produce small or large custom production runs that may require unusual configurations.
  • Uniform Wall Thickness: Absorbs shocks, especially in corners and stress areas.
  • Simultaneously Mold Multiple Components into Single Part: Reduces part count as well as manufacturing time and costs.
  • Lighter Weight than Fiberglass or Metals: Reduces shipping costs and design tolerance requirements.
  • Color Matched Resins Available: Eliminates color chipping, maintenance and the need to paint.
  • Polyethylene and Other Resin Options: Provide UV-stabilized, tough, longer lasting, and corrosion and chemical resistant products.
  • Seamless Hollow Wall Parts: Provide superior strength and the ability to foam inside the walls for additional strength, rigidity, insulation, and/or flotation.
  • Easy to Fill: Both expanded polystyrene (EPS) and polyurethane (PE) foaming are available.  We routinely use EPS and PE in production of marine floats and buoys as well as docks for kayaks, jet-skis, and other personal watercraft so that they will still float even if the plastic skin were somehow punctured or breached.

4. Can Cellofoam help entrepreneurs in the design of their rotationally molded products?


Certainly!  Cellofoam North America is a leader in design and development of rotomolded products as well as rotational molding manufacturing. With years of experience in this field, you can rest assured that our dedicated team of engineers and designers can help launch your idea into the marketplace. 
Cellofoam has worked with numerous entrepreneurs to help develop everything from SCUBA-based submersibles to cattle guards and has the experience you need to meet the unique challenges associated with developing your new product.

5. Can Cellofoam help in prototyping or contract manufacturing of our rotationally molded product?


If you are looking for a turn key solution for your rotomolding needs, Cellofoam is ready to assist.  From concept to design to finished product, we have decades of experience bringing ideas from their beginning phases all the way through to the marketplace.   We can work with you as far as manufacturing prototypes if you prefer, or even long-term, large-scale, contract manufacturing to make your product concept a reality.  Our committed team of custom rotational molding product professionals can help you through every step of the product development cycle, including:
  • Concept Development
  • Conceptual and Detailed Design
  • Tooling and Mold Design & Fabrication 
  • Rotational Molding Manufacturing
  • Assembly and Other Secondary Manufacturing Operations 
  • Foam Filling (both polyurethane and expanded polystyrene foams)
  • Logo and Branding Implementation
  • Testing and Quality Assurance
  • Packaging & Shipping 
  • Long-term, low-to-high rate, Contract Manufacturing
Our engineers, designers, and technicians are always eager for new product challenges.  Email us directly at roto@cellofoamna.com and let’s discuss what Cellofoam North America can do to help you get your product to market.

6. How Do You Attach Hardware to the Plastic Part?


Nearly every rotationally molded part has multiple molded-in male or female threaded inserts, which provide strong anchoring points to allow other components to be fastened to your product.  Inserts on the kayaks and stand-up paddleboards we contract manufacture, for example, are used to connect tie-down straps and other gear.  We also use a variety of other inserts for adding features such as rollers or casters to the bins and dumpsters we are contracted to manufacture.  

Inserts are loaded into the mold prior to entering the oven and held in place with fasteners.  When heated in the oven the liquefied resin encapsulates the insert and holds it firmly in place once cooled.  After the cooling cycle during de-molding, the fastener is removed leaving the encapsulated insert embedded within the finished plastic part.  A wide variety of commercial-off-the-shelf mold-in inserts are available including strengthening support bars incorporated directly into your rotational molded component.

7. What rate of production can be achieved?


There are a lot of variables involved in overall production rates including part size and complexity, number of molds, oven and cooling cycle times, part wall thickness, type of resin employed, and secondary labor operations.  Many of our products are produced with oven heating and cooling cycle times totaling from 50-70 minutes.  Cellofoam North America uses a variety of different ovens, all having multiple arms each of which can hold multiple molds, including both Ferry® Industries’ carousel and Rotoline® shuttle types.  Some of our Rotoline® ovens are as large as 5.0 meters in diameter, meaning we can rotationally mold plastic parts just a bit smaller than that.  The larger ovens sometimes allow for half a dozen or more products to be produced at a time depending upon number of molds available and part sizes.

8. Where can I learn more about rotational molding and design?


One excellent source is our international industry association, the Association of Rotational Molders (ARM) at www.rotomolding.org.   ARM has compiled an extensive library of literature on rotational molding and has published a detailed design manual.  They also have a smaller design guide called The Introductory Guide to Designing Rotationally Molded Plastic Parts that provides a great overview of the process, advantages, design rules, tools, etc.  Another very good source is the book, “Practical Guide to Rotational Moulding” by R. J. Crawford and Mark P. Kearns (Smithers Rapra Press, 1998, ISBN: 978-1859573877).   

Finally, if you have some questions about possible development or contract manufacturing of your product, including its rotational molding design, our engineering and design professionals are available to help.  Just contact us at roto@cellofoamna.com and let’s talk about what Cellofoam North America can do to help you get your product to market.

     

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Cellofoam North America Inc
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