Plastic Parts Prototyped for Food Processing


Partwell Group were approached by a food processing client looking to replace OEM plastic components on their food processing machine with some size modifications, the criteria from the customer was clear:

  1. Suitable for the client’s cold and damp environmental condition, will not rust. The OEM part was a metal.
  2. FDA approval as the plastic parts are in direct contact with food stuffs on a cake filling conveyor machine.
  3. An improved level of wear resistance and strength for longevity to reduce machine downtime.

Drawing and Prototyping

The client delivered a sample of the original manufacture component into the Partwell Group engineering office, it was drawn using 3D CAD software and dimensions adjusted to suit, prototypes of the redrawn component were CNC machined using polyethylene material and then checked for fit with the client before full production was commenced.

Using the highly visual 3D software for drawing and then prototyping in polyethylene allowed several versions of the finished component to be considered by the client; this is essential for close tolerance plastic components and in preventing costly mistakes.

High Volume Production

The final high volume production of the plastic component was CNC machined from a more expensive plastic grade, Acetal. Acetal was the material of choice as it offers very close machining tolerances; does not absorb moisture, therefore is perfect for the clients cold and damp environment; has good strength characteristics therefore will resist wear and tear and Acetal is fully FDA approved for contact with food.

Partwell engineers can assist you from a sample component, CAD drawing, sketch or site visit by one of our technical sales engineers. To discuss any bespoke machined plastics requirements you may have please contact the Lancashire based engineering office directly on 01254 295707 or email the team at cnc@­partwell.­com

23rd January 2014, 15:12