Engineering and Project Mgmt
All projects at Forum Plastics LLC start and end with fundamental mold, process and quality engineering. Project Management within the scope of our contracted work product is performed and monitored to ensure that the technology and services you entrust to our organization are executed to requirements, on-time and within the agreed to cost. A specific Project Manager is assigned to each client and/or project. This single point of contact is your gateway into all matters concerning your project.
Rather than just receive a print and request for quote at the onset of a project, FPL prefers to work collaboratively with your product team. You are the expert in your product and we are the experts in bringing your injection molded and added value work through to fruition. It is our strong belief and operating preference to first understand the objectives of your project. We can ultimately do a superior job for you if we are completely informed on what trigger points are most critical in your application. Sometimes the technical attributes and geometry or aesthetic outcomes are the salient points to a program, other times cost and timing are the critical path to a project’s success as viewed by the client. Most times there is a combination of many requirements that will determine the overall success of a project. Raw material selections, color additives, outside sourcing of metal inserts, component reconfiguration to eliminate tooling complexity or undesirable processing affects are all within the guidance that we have the knowledge to suggest.
Since a majority of the work performed at FPI is of a critical nature to your product, we are often tasked with applications that stretch the technology window. By working in a collaborative team with our clients, we can assess risks up front and jointly agree to robust methods or approaches to mitigate these project risks at the onset.
Supply Chain Mgmt
In addition to all of the resins, color concentrates, printing inks and packaging materials and as a natural extension of our insert metal molding and secondary added value operations we can source all of the goods for your project. Forum Plastics LLC has the infrastructure to manage the contracts, logistics, warehousing, and cash flow to provide full management of the entire supply chain on added value projects. Whether it is custom thin wall tubing, specialty screw machine components, custom packaging or off the shelf springs we have the resources to manage this supply chain from beginning to end.
Our Facility - Producing Medical Injection Molding
Forum Plastics operates a clean space with over 20,000 square feet of molding and assembly areas in our Waterbury, CT location. We leverage 38 presses ranging from 11T to 180T, robotics and scientific methodologies to maximize operational efficiencies for superior value to our customers.
Forum Plastics maintains the ISO 13485 medical injection molding facility above and beyond the minimum standards required for this rating. Many of the parts that are molded support our finished medical device assembly operation; pad printing, ultra-sonic welding, heat staking, in-process inspection, and final packaging.
Vendor Managed Inventory
For over two decades now, Forum Plastics LLC has supplied major medical device manufacturers and complex commercial clients with a broad array of SKU’s, specialty logistics and planning services. We pride ourselves on anticipating client needs and managing our raw and finished goods inventories in such a fashion as to mitigate the potential risk of stock outs.
The oldest configuration model we have worked to is one called “World Class Model” delivery. In this logistics model, annual blanket orders are received with annual usage volumes. Each week a pull for the discrete part numbers and quantities demand is provided and later that week, the parts are shipped. Forum is responsible for maintaining sufficient inventories to support the requirements. We also work to rolling forecast models with weekly updates and a four week fixed schedule, of which half of the fixed schedule is ocean freight lead time. Visual pull systems with pre-determined packaging quantities and OEM printed packaging with direct shipments to clients are also a method of logistics we are experienced in. There is a cost associated with running such programs, so the right combination of product value and demand velocity must be evaluated when considering such Vendor Managed Inventory programs.
Turnkey and Partners
When medical OEM’s want a turnkey solution up to and including final packaging, sterility and even order fulfilment, Forum Plastics LLC can facilitate that requirement. Based on our strong reputation and business relationships with many full service contract manufacturers, we can provide a full turnkey solution set to your needs. We are glad to have the opportunity to bring together our skills with those of other reputable service providers we have a strong relationship with to ensure your end objective is met, regardless of the level of complexity or the type of operations required; medical, commercial, mechanical, electrical, electronic, or electro-mechanical.
The more operations we provide to you as your supply chain partner, the larger value proposition we offer. Once we manufacture the base molded or insert molded component, there are inherent efficiencies for Forum Plastics LLC to add further value. Some derived benefits to the customer are that the component is already planned in our internal schedule for manufacture so there is less planning and logistics required on your part since you only have to source the higher value part number. In addition, the component does not have to be repackaged for transit to another added value supplier saving transit and packaging costs. Effective lead times are reduced in the full value scope of work since multiple in-transits are not required. Lastly, a reduction in the cost of quality will occur for the higher value assembly since our last operation inspection will serve as the added value incoming inspection for subsequent operations and one instead of multiple Quality and Receiving documents and supplier interfaces will be required for the higher level assembly.
Forum offers such secondary operations, in addition to pad printing, as machining and drilling, ultrasonic welding and insertions, multi-component assembly, gluing, press fitting, sizing, labeling and elastomeric slitting.
Quality and Validations
As a premier supplier to the medical device industry and OEM’s of complex commercial products, Forum Plastics LLC has to have a robust Quality System to ensure we are meeting the demanding and ever changing requirements of the marketplace. If we are to truly add value to your supply chain, then we must perform not only on our strong engineering platform, but across all sectors of our enterprise. We see the attribute of Quality, not as a means of checking if the parts produced meet requirement, but as the systemic nature of how we do everything within the confines of our business. We treat both our internal and external customers with the same level of respect and effort, so that our performance in every measurable attribute is considered key to success.
Forum continually tracks and monitors our client’s ratings on customer service, product quality and conformance to schedule. We are ISO 13485:2016certified (see our accompanied certification in PDF format). Our quality system has been audited by and passed, without non-conformances by all of our large and small OEM’s.
Since every client has a different approach to product and component validation, FPL has developed several templates for validations dependent on client needs. We have the ability to provide clients with a range of validation intensity to suit your requirements. Our goal is to provide your organization with the scope of a validation required to suit your system needs without expenditure of studies that do not add value to the robustness of the product realization process.
Forum Plastics LLC routinely performs a full complement of Quality confirmations which collectively comprise the Validation Package or PPAP. Our manufacturing systems have all undergone an IQ/OQ/PQ protocol, inclusive of periodic routine maintenance checks and reviews. Our Quality Metrology Department has state of the art measurement equipment and a protocol of training inclusive of our Optical Inspection Systems and GD&T. Of course all of our measurement equipment, regardless of departmental location, is on a full calibration schedule. Our capabilities and outputs range from partial First Article Inspections on design changes up to and including new Part Submission Warrants, Design Records, Process Flow Diagram, PFMEA, Control Plans, Production Engineering Samples, Gage Reproducibility and Repeatability Studies with calculated MSA, FAI, Initial Process Studies, Capability Studies at varying parameters, Design Documents Package, Certifications, Records of Compliance and Preventative Maintenance Plan.
We employ one Quality System approach, whether the client is medical or commercial based. We maintain product retains for every run and a full documentation package for a minimum of seven years from date of manufacture.