Challenges of managing an injection molding optics program are quite significant. Precision polymer optics is a highly specialized discipline requiring a detailed knowledge of optical design, mold construction techniques, state-of-the-art mold processing capability, and optical metrology expertise.
Without such knowledge and expertise, it would not be possible to perform the following key program management tasks:
- Identify realistic targets for product performance
- Develop a mechanical design optimized for injection molding
- Evaluate tradeoffs of different tooling approaches
- Develop a realistic program timeline and assign suitable milestones
- Understand potential program risks and develop appropriate mitigation strategies
- Develop a quality assurance plan compatible with the manufacturing process and available metrology equipment
The best of way of tapping to the source of such knowledge and expertise is to develop a relationship with an experienced specialized optical molder. Also, it’s important to follow the best practices for successful injection molded optics programs outlined below.