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How Are Lotion Pumps Made?


Plastic lotion pumps, one of the most popular dispensing methods for viscous (thick liquid) products in the personal care and beauty industry, come in all shapes and sizes. Many of these parts are Plastic Injection Molded!  When used as designed, pumps dispense the right amount of product time after time. But have you ever wondered what goes in a lotion pump to makes it work? While there are hundreds of different designs in the market today, the basic principle is the same.  Here is an overview of these components, and how they contribute to the overall functionality of pumping the product from the bottle to your hand.

Generally speaking, a lotion pump consists of the following components :


ActuatorAn actuator, or the pump head, is what the consumer presses down to pump the product out of the container. The actuator is often made of Polypropylene plastic and can have many different designs – and often come with a up-lock or down-lock features to prevent accidental output,. This is one of the component designs that can set one pump apart from another when it comes to the exterior design, it is also the part where ergonomics play a role in consumer satisfaction.

The component that screws the entire assembly onto the neck finish of the bottle. It is identified with the common neck finish destination such as 28-410, 33-400. Often made of Polypropylene plastic, it is often designed with a rib side or smooth side surface. In certain cases a shiny metal over-shell can be installed to give the lotion pump a high-end, elegant look.

Outer GasketThe gasket is often friction fitted to the inside of the closure and it acts as a gasket barrier on the bottle land area to prevent product leakage. This outer gasket can be made from a wide variety of materials depending on the manufacturer’s design : Rubber, LDPE are just two of the many possible options.

HousingSometimes referred to the pump assembly housing, this component holds all the pump components in place as well as acting as a transfer chamber that sends the product from the dip tube to the actuator, and ultimately to the user’s hand. This component is often made of Polypropylene plastic. Depending on the lotion pump output and design, the size of this housing can differ greatly. 

Stem / Piston / Spring / Ball (Interior components inside the housing)These are the parts that can vary based on the design of the lotion pump. Some may even have additional components that aid the product flow, and some designs may even have additional housing components that isolate the metal spring from the product pathway, these pumps are generally referred to have a “metal free pathway” feature, where the product will not come in contact with the metal spring – eliminating the potential compatibility problems with the metal spring.

Dip TubeA long plastic tube made of Polypropylene plastic that extends the reach of the lotion pump to the bottom of the bottle. Depending on the bottle the pump is paired with, the dip tube length will differ.  A properly cut dip tube will maximize product usage and prevent clogging.

How Does it Actually Work?

A lotion pump acts much like a air suction device that draws the product from the bottle to the consumer’s hand despite the law of gravity telling it do the opposite. When the consumer presses down on the actuator, the piston moves to compress the spring and the upward air pressure draws the ball upwards, along with the product inside, into the dip tube and subsequently the chamber.

As the user releases the actuator, the spring returns the piston and actuator into it’s up position, and the ball is returned to it’s resting position, sealing the chamber and preventing the liquid product from flowing back down into the bottle. This initial cycle is called “priming”. When the user presses down on the actuator again, the product that is already in the chamber will be drawn from the chamber, through the stem and actuator, and dispense out of the pump and onto the consumer’s hand. If the pump has a bigger chamber (common for high output pumps), it may require additional priming before the product will be dispensed through the actuator.

Lotion Pump Output

The output of a plastic lotion pump is often measured in cc (or ml). Commonly in the range of 0.5 to 4cc, with some larger pumps with bigger chambers and longer piston / spring components having output up to 8cc. Many manufacturers have multiple output options for each of their lotion pump offerings, giving the product marketer full control of dosage.

Original Post/Credit to http://www.oberk.com/packaging-crash-course/whats-inside-a-lotion-pump

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24 Reasons why 3D printing isn’t expected to take over mass production any time soon.


Unless mass produced items diminish due to either reduced consumption or a widespread and unprecedented decrease in the appetite for mass customization 3D printing will not be taking over the world of Plastic Injection Molding manufacturing.

Plastic Injection Molding & Manufacturing is used for massive industrial production pumping out millions of the same product, extremely quick and accurate to meet market need and demand.

3D printing can speed up the design process and is widely used by industrial designers. Outsourcing a prototype may take days or weeks while using 3D printer takes only hours and the costs are much lower. Additionally designers are able to make multiple concepts based on these models and catch flaws in an early stage.

3D printing still remains slower than conventional manufacturing, it is reasonable to anticipate that 3D printing will probably extend each of its current niches and almost certainly find itself a few more, but large scale manufacturing can be expected to thrive.

Here are 28 reasons why 3D printing isn’t expected to take over mass production any time soon.

  1. 3D Printing is an agonizingly slow operation
  2. 3D Printing specializes in niche applications
  3. 3D Printing has an extremely low throughput per station
  4. 3D Printing is hard to scale
  5. 3D Printing mostly produces small items
  6. 3D Printing is unsuited to volume production
  7. 3D Printing mostly produces plastic-only products
  8. 3D Printing has a limited range of fabrication materials
  9. 3D Printing produces mostly low precision output
  10. 3D Printing produces mostly fragile, low durability products
  11. 3D Printing produces mostly single fabrication material products
  12. 3D Printing is mostly only for products with no moving parts
  13. 3D Printing has mostly a low quality surface finish
  14. The highest spec 3D printers are still dramatically lower throughput than conventional production line equivalents
  15. The cheapest 3D printers can make small, decorative knick-knacks, but not much else
  16. 3D Printing is great for educational and hobby use
  17. 3D Printing is great for making cheap toys
  18. 3D Printing has serious cost issues on almost all large-scale applications
  19. 3D Printing has unresolved technical problems on most fronts
  20. 3D Printing is really only suitable for DIY or small startup usage
  21. 3D Printing’s only serious design role is prototyping
  22. 3D Printing ‘s only serious production role is for making molds
  23. 3D Printing is best suited to the desktop, not factory operation
  24. 3D Printing are like CNC and robotics they are very niche

So even the fastest 3D printer today is still slower than traditional manufacturing. But on the other side, 3D printing does have some advantages:

  1. 3D Printing provides less waste
  2. 3D Printing offers new shapes and structures
  3. 3D Printing provides new combinations of materials
  4. 3D Printing reduces development costs
  5. 3D Printing speeds up the time to market
  6. 3D Printing offers endless customization
  7. 3D Printing provides high precision
  8. 3D Printing has embedded electronics

Since 1946 PM Plastics, has remained a family-owned and operated full-service plastic injection molding U.S. contract manufacturer. We have been proudly manufacturing plastic injection molded plastics parts and products for over 70 years. The products we manufacture are found in your home, office, factories and plants and stores and are used by people of all ages.  Bcause of our 70 years of experience with plastic tooling and injection molding our engineers can help with a part design for manufacturability as well as meeting the structural and design requirements for its intended use.

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Simply G O R G E O U S! Target LED Back Wall System


You saw the beginnings of our LED Lit Back Wall System in our video; Now here is the end result at Target, their bright and amazing Cosmetics section! PM Plastics – High Volume Plastic Injection Molding Experts LED Powered Back Walls and Trays!

Simply G O R G E O U S!