Plastic spacer and cover for COVID fighting UV lamp
Updated: Jan 25
New product releases and innovation are inevitable actions for the growth of the company. And not only this. During the period of the pandemic, fast and resilient companies contribute to the long-lasting fight against covid-19 with their solutions. Recently, "Micromolds" has had a contract to mould plastic components for our client's Bacteo newly developed product - a portable UV lamp.
About our client
During the first hit of the coronavirus, three entrepreneurs noticed that there either is a deficit of a disinfecting technology - Ultraviolet Light (UVC) - against covid-19 in the market or existing UV lamps are not efficient enough. To solve this problem Bacteo company was established to create safe and user-friendly UV lamps that would help disinfecting large areas during the global pandemic.
Disinfection lamps kill harmful microorganisms with a short-wavelength ultraviolet light and it is scientifically proven that this method is also effective for inactivating viruses, including coronavirus. These UV lamps may be used in various public institutions to clean the infected surfaces and reduce the spread of the virus.
We are proud to have contributed with such an innovative and socially responsible company to turn its ideas into reality and we will soon explain how.
Plastic Spacer and The Cover
After we had received CAD drawings of the part, our engineers had already started to design the moulds for injection molding and optimize for manufacturability. The material used is ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate). This plastic is similar to ABS but has better weather, especially UV resistance, thus this material is widely used for outdoor products. The picture below shows the part and the mould together still in the design phase.
ASA material was also used for the plastic cover as well as for cover undercuts. Since the project was on a strict schedule there was a lack of time for testing and prototyping. Tooling process was also done rapidly. Since the estimated production levels were not large, we decided to use manually operated inserts to form undercuts instead of inclined ejector pins.
It was difficult to guess how tight the undercuts should hold the cover in position. We were told that the cover should not be easily detachable as it will be used as an exterior component, however, it must be detachable if service for the product would be needed. We decided to go through empirical practice and prototype “on the go” within the mold itself because we had an opportunity to cut deeper into the core to shape higher ribs which would increase rigidity of the undercuts.
After the first try we immediately noticed that the hooks were too loose, thus we agreed to increase the height of the ribs by milling a deeper mold section marked in red. After the second trial the undercuts were successfully shaped in required tightness and the production launched.
We are happy that we are able to help companies to maintain their resilience and ability to rapidly adapt to the market changes and capture given opportunities, moreover, to contribute to the overcoming of this COVID pandemic period and the improvement of people's health.