Q1: I saw your explanation of how sintered plastic may help me overcome certain obstacles in my product development, but how do I determine whether it will work for me?
A: Once you've determined that you have a filtration, venting, diffusion, aeration, wicking, sparging or muffling issue that you are trying to resolve, it is important to identify the conditions in which the sintered media needs to function. Some applications need to handle exposure to caustic chemicals or permit certain gases or liquids to pass through the media while preventing the ingress of certain contaminants. Perhaps your goal is to optimize venting to promote heat and pressure equalization inside and outside of an enclosure. Sometimes the goal is to prevent the ingress of water, oils, liquids, or even airborne molecular contamination (AMC) that could affect sensitive electronic parts. Working with our engineering team, our chemical compatibility chart, and other aids, Polystar Technologies partners with our customers to identify, test and validate potential solutions.
Q2: I have a part idea, but no drawing – can you help?
A: Our engineering team can work with you to translate a rough idea into a part drawing or 3D model. Depending on the scope of what you are require from us, we may or may not need to charge for this service.
Q3: How do you handle confidential drawings?
Polystar Technologies and our customers often operate under the protection of mutual non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). If you do not have an NDA form you prefer to use, we can provide a standard one.
Q4: Who owns the tool once it is made?
The physical tooling is owned by you, the customer. However, all dimensional and production data is the proprietary intellectual property of Polystar Technologies. Tooling and specifications will be released with the completion of a transfer of technology agreement or licensing agreement that is satisfactory to Polystar Technologies.
Q5: How much does a tool cost?
This depends on a variety of factors including part size, part geometry, expected annual production, and such. Depending on dimensions, the cost for a proof-of-concept prototype tool could range from several hundred dollars to several thousand. Once prototypes have been tested and evaluated, a production tool could cost several thousand dollars or more.
Q6: How do you handle volume commitments?
There really is no single way to handle volume commitments. We willingly work with our customers to determine the best possible scenario for their business. One of the most effective ways to ensure the best possible per piece price is for you the customer to issue a blanket purchase order. If you know you are going to require 120,000 units in a calendar year, then issuing a purchase order for all 120,000 units with a specified number of shipments to complete the order, allows us to offer a lower individual piece price. As you may well expect, the cost/piece will be higher for 12 individuals orders of 10,000 units vs. one order for 120,000 units with multiple shipments.
Q7: What type of volume do I need to do business with you?
Polystar Technologies has customers with projects that only require a few hundred parts per year and customers who source several million units. We handle short and long run projects. Our business model to date has been one of being a contract manufacturer. Because of this, we make everything per customer specifications. Because our products are unique to each customer, we do not supply off-the-shelf specification sheets. However, we can say that we are able to reverse engineer and make products that appear nearly identical to what you are currently sourcing in form, fit, and function. We are confident that with some development time and effort, we can provide you with replacements for components supplied by other manufacturers.
Q8: What color options can you provide?
Sintered media is typically white, but we can provide standard colors, or color match to a sample provided.
Q9: How can Polystar Technologies improve pricing or performance with our existing parts?
There are many options which we can suggest to help improve the cost structure on existing parts. However, each case does need to be evaluated on the basis of its own requirements. We suggest a conversation with one of our application engineers to determine the best possible solution for your business.
Q10: I’m unhappy with my existing sintered plastics provider. Can you run my mold?
We can provide you with the questions you will need to ask your current supplier for us to determine if we can run your mold. Polystar Technologies can run many standardized molds; however, if a proprietary mold was used, it may be difficult or impossible for Polystar Technologies or any other molder to take over your project without incurring retooling costs.
Q11: What does Polystar Technologies make in-house and is anything outsourced globally?
All of our parts are molded at our plant in Burnsville, MN. We strive to provide customers with the highest quality, low-cost tools possible by obtaining bids from trusted regional toolmakers.
Q12: What kind of turnaround can I expect? On tools? On production parts?
Depending on their size and complexity, tools typically take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to be built and sampled. Our current lead time for production parts is five weeks; this of course will vary depending on customer demand at the time of order.
Q13: Have you worked with my industry or type of part before?
Polystar Technologies’ products are used in a variety of sectors including safety equipment, analytical laboratory, medical device, sensors, electronics, industrial, commercial and consumer products, fragrance delivery and more. We continue to offer prospective customers lower-cost, high-quality alternatives to their current supply sources.
Q14: Do you have design engineers who can assist me?
Polystar Technologies has an experienced team of design engineers capable of everything from conceptualization of the project through product release. We are more than happy to partner with your team on issues regarding feasibility, moldability, functional application and more.