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Hello Everyone,

 

I'd like to start by introducing myself.  My name is Ed and I'm new to the ceramics business.  Literally all I know is what I've googled so far.  What I'm trying to do is find the best method to mass produce stoneware ceramics.  I wanted to get everyones opinion here on it.  I would like to be able to create up to 10,000 small yet complex pieces a month or more from a few different designs.  From what I have read there is the slip-casting method of creating a mold and then using slip to pour into the mold and wait for it to dry and then glaze and fire the piece.  The problem I see with this method is I don't think I could reach the quantity of pieces I would like with slip-casting all by myself working full-time or with the help of 1 or 2 people.  

 

Another method that I've read about is ceramic injection molding.  With this method it seems like I can meet the production goal of 10,000 pieces or more.  I was wondering if anyone has made stoneware with ceramic injection molding?  If anyone has experience with CIM could you shed some light on the costs involved in the process.  Also if there is another way that would be better than anything I mentioned please let me know.

 

Thanks

Ed

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You dont provide enough (or any) information about the item you are interested in producing for anyone to even BEGIN to point you in the right direction.  I can tell you that asking about CIM here is probably barking up the wrong tree--if you are interested in industrial ceramic production like CIM or sintered pressed powder ceramics--this isn't really the right place.  10,000 pieces a month is well above the production capacity of any single potter I know....  If you are interested in industrial production, check with a ceramic engineer, or someone with a background in material science and and understanding of process engineering specifically related to the ceramic field.

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For molds you will need a master mold maker to make the master molds and then the working molds

I once had a mold business making 1-3 thousand a month of aromatherapy lamps-it took 3 people to do that.

Mark

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Guest JBaymore

Hi.  You are into the realm of industrial production.  This forum is for more of the handcraft end of the broad spectrum of ceramic activities.  Few on here have expertise in the industrial side of things.  Contact ACerS (American Ceramics Society) as Chris suggests.

 

FYI........

 

 

 

 

Note that unless you hold a patent on the object you want to produce (and can afford to defend it), you are likely going to quickly be competing with "offshore" production capabilities and price points.  Even in Japan... "the land of ceramics",  the production capabilities and costs in China and Southeast Asia have caused the closure of scads of the medium and quite large "production" ceramics facilities in Japan.

 

Do you business plan well.

 

best,

 

...............john

 

PS:  A place I work in Japan does injection pressure casting.  But unless you speak fluent Japanese .... that is not a lead that will be productive.  Plus "everything is different" in Japan relative to ceramics when compared to the US (or most everywhere else).

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Being a small business owner myself, I'm not sure that trying to make these objects yourself is the best way to go since you have little to no experience with clay. It takes a great deal of knowledge and experience to make ceramic items via any method. Ceramics has thousands of variables. I'm thinking you may be better off outsourcing (not necessarily overseas) the making of the item to someone who already as the equipment and know-how to do it, and you could then focus on the marketing of the items.

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It does sound to me as if you are biting off way too much too fast, with no experience behind you. If you are determined to make these objects yourself, perhaps you should spend a year or so learning how to fabricate (with whatever method you choose) ceramic items and seeing them through all the various processes before going into full-on production. Or, as Neil suggested, hire someone else who does have this experience to do it for you.

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