This new technology saves thousands of euros for some companies

Outsourcing the manufacture of role-playing game figures using the traditional injection molding technique can cost between €5,000 and €10,000 and a two-month wait.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 March 2023 Friday 23:25
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This new technology saves thousands of euros for some companies

Outsourcing the manufacture of role-playing game figures using the traditional injection molding technique can cost between €5,000 and €10,000 and a two-month wait. If, instead, the production is carried out within the company, the cost can reach, at most, €100 and the wait, two days. Where is the magic? Now a new technology makes it possible to inject these pieces from industrial silicone moulds.

With this, in addition to the enormous economic and temporary savings, millimeter precision of the details of the master piece is achieved, the one that we want to replicate, and a higher quality.

Modeling or modeling and role-playing games are two of the sectors that are already using this technology for their miniature soldiers, villains with skull faces or characters from the manga universe, driven by the growth in demand from the pandemic, according to a report by market research company NPD Group.

Board games, jewelry or toys and, in general, the industrial sector of plastic manufacturing are also already benefiting from this new way of producing, both on a small and large scale.

“We sell the technology, the injection machinery, the thermoplastic material and the silicone mold creation system together with the necessary supplies, to the client and it is he who, by himself, produces his final piece in his own factory; we are not competing with our clients”, explains Ferran Navarro, CEO and co-founder of SiOCAST, a pioneer company in this injection model. The material they use to make molds is silicone.

It has a texture similar to plasticine - therefore, it is extremely moldable and adaptable to the details of the object that we want. Two hours later, this mold can now be injected with the plastic that, once cooled, will give rise to the final piece.

This definitive piece will have all the quality of details and customization possibilities never seen before. The process allows the company to manufacture locally and on demand, thus avoiding overstocking.

"It is revolutionary because it is changing the way companies produce, which are becoming more agile and efficient with their rapid response to the market," adds Ferran Navarro, who highlights the benefit that this technology can bring to the local industrial fabric "because with each of the installations that we carry out generates new jobs, between two and 20 depending on the characteristics of the company”.

Another of the advantages of the process is its respect for the environment, basically because, as we said, emissions from transport are avoided by resorting to foreign suppliers and the accumulation of stocks. On the other hand, “our material is ecological, it is made from vegetable oils, it is recyclable and reusable, and no plastic waste is generated in the manufacturing process of the pieces. Our technology bridges the gap between 3D printing and traditional manufacturing”, points out the CEO of the company.

The SiOCAST factory, which carries out this innovative form of plastic injection into silicone molds, is located in the recently inaugurated DFactory, the great commitment to industry 4.0 of the Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona. There, key companies in the sector share synergies to boost manufacturing innovation with technologies such as AI, the cloud, machine learning, 3D printing or robotics. Thanks to its advances here, SiOCAST has already brought this technology to more than 60 countries.

“The benefits of locating in DFactory are many. For example, being able to improve the materials used in the process or cover new industrial sectors that require more complex techniques. And it is in this ecosystem where we find the partners and also the showcase for what we are developing”.

The circle closes with a positive effect of this innovation on the Spanish industrial fabric, which thanks to this technology can redevelop productions that were previously not feasible due to costs, delivery times or minimum orders.

SiOCAST has found its place in DFactory in a large space to be able to develop its technology and place its plastic injection machines, but also, "in this cluster there are more implementation models, such as companies that prefer a coworking space, and then There are the common spaces, which facilitate comfort for those who settle in, or also a large terrace, to eat or have some leisure time as well.

It is a building not only designed for economic activity, but so that people can be comfortable and can carry out their work in a pleasant way, thanks to the open spaces and the light”, points out Pere Navarro, State delegate to the Consorci.

The newest thing that SiOCAST is working on is an evolutionary toy that incorporates artificial intelligence and augmented reality, in such a way that it changes over time, "it is a mixture of a toy with a video game that is incorporating updates every month."

If metal molds had to be ordered every month to modify the toy, as would be done with traditional processes, the costs would be unaffordable. For this reason, after five years of development to launch it on the market, now its creative company can make its dream come true thanks to this new technology.