Is Your Current Plastic Materials Supplier a True Full-Service Partner?


Complex applications can lead to unanticipated — and often complicated — injection molding issues. To head off potential problems OEMs turn to plastic materials suppliers for advice on materials selection, design improvements, and processing best practices. Leveraging the in-depth materials expertise of a supplier is a wise and important connection to make.

However, reaching out to your supplier for a materials correction after a defect is found or a production run is ruined could be a costly delay. Instead, consider the benefits of looping a supplier into the project from the outset.

Building a collaborative team that thinks beyond plastics to the critical design, engineering, and production phases could be the key to identifying and solving missteps before they become full-blown problems.

Sound too good to be true? Perhaps the aspiration doesn’t square with your experience with suppliers. Maybe you’ve found certain promised capabilities to be lacking. The truth is, not every materials supplier is able — or willing — to be a true full-service partner. Evaluating these three things before choosing or switching suppliers could save time, money, and frustration:

1. Design and engineering depth

What’s working? What’s not? A product is only as good as its design. A materials supplier with in-house engineers and technicians dedicated to finding answers to these questions adds depth to materials and product solutions.

A knowledge base of analytical capacity and practical experience in Design for Manufacturing (DfM), mold fill analysis, tooling, and secondary processes provides opportunities for design and materials optimization and meaningful improvement. A supplier with these capabilities and collaborative spirit gives OEMs fresh perspectives that complement the expertise of their existing design and engineering teams.

2. Innovative thinking

A materials supplier that challenges the status quo can be highly beneficial for OEMs. A genuine curiosity and proactive approach to finding materials that work — or work better — fuels innovation. There may be more than one viable solution to a problem, and a willingness to think differently often reveals the best option.

3. Custom Solutions

A materials supplier must be an active listener. Leaning into a solution before fully understanding a problem could lead to more problems. Find a partner that drills into the details first, and then sets about crafting a solution. “Stock” materials could solve a challenge, but nuances matter in injection molding. Aligning materials characteristics, behaviors, and needs is a top priority, and often requires decades of materials expertise and proactive development to maximize customization.

The Teknor Apex Advantage

When it comes to making quality parts, the benefits of having a full-service partner that understands the importance of the interplay between design, materials, and process cannot be overstated. If one of these three pillars is not fully optimized the overall process window for making quality parts will become significantly reduced — creating more room for problems to arise. Teknor Apex is proud to be a partner that is willing to listen and learn your challenges and then share our expertise to optimize each phase of your project:

  • Design: Teknor Apex can help with preliminary designs by assisting the customer in optimizing the part using Moldflow analysis. We also support our customers with FEA’s to verify part performance in end use applications.
  • Process: Teknor Apex can offer specific injection molding training for polyamide materials. Learn how to fully optimize your plant through new learnings from proper moisture analyzers to performing advanced DOE’s to optimize process and cycle times.
  • Materials: Our process of solution driven innovation can customize specific formulations to fit exact customer needs (higher flow, improved properties, aesthetics, etc.)


At Teknor Apex, our reputation is built upon a customer-centric philosophy that ensures every one of our customers is truly a partner, with access to:

  • Experienced application development engineers and sophisticated analytical and technical labs that enable innovative new product development
  • The promise of highly tailored solutions for the toughest challenges, regardless of industry or product
  • A talented, well-rounded Teknor Apex team that lives out our seven core values
  • A unique infrastructure that offers unrivaled material testing and quality control
  • Six specialty divisions staffed by professionals with nearly a century of collective expertise

As a full-service plastic materials supplier, our plastics expertise doesn’t begin and end at materials, nor does our commitment to our customers. Whether you are seeking a product revamp or undertaking a new project, we are the value-added supplier you need to help inform decisions and achieve successful outcomes. Contact the Teknor Apex team today to learn more.