DEF Tanks

Blow Molded DEF Tanks

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires all diesel engines larger than 3 liters (.79 gallons) produced after January 1, 2010 to be equipped with a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) or urea system. These systems remove nitrogen oxide (NOx) as it leaves the engine and helps increase fuel efficiency by reducing overall fuel consumption.

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If you have an annual production volume of 3,000 parts or more, we should talk. Whether you’re sourcing a new def tank supplier or simply updating your benchmark, you deserve an accurate and timely quote. Regency will deliver. Worst case scenario is it’s not a good fit and you walk away with some design optimizations. What’s there to lose?

Successful DEF Tank Manufacturing

Regency Plastics has a proven track record of engineering and manufacturing technical blow molded diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tanks, also known as urea tanks, for diesel vehicles and heavy machinery. Why choose Regency over other DEF tank manufacturers? It’s quite simple – we can achieve difficult part geometries that our competitors usually shy away from. Our services and capabilities include:

  • Engineering and design support
  • DFMA optimization, including mold flow analysis and blow molding simulation software
  • Proficiency in molding durable, UV-resistant materials such as HDPE
  • Valve and venting system integration
  • Ability to manufacture in portrait and landscape orientation
  • Secondary operations such as riveting and assembly
  • Leak testing
  • Quality assurance

Blow Molding vs. Rotomolding

Traditionally, rotomolding has been the choice process for DEF tank manufacturing due to it’s ability to produce consistent IDs and ODs. Oh, how the times have changed. Recent advancements in blow molding technology have allowed the blow molding process to be combined with compression molding, offering consistent control of tight I/OD tolerances. Today, the benefits of blow molding as an alternative to rotomolding for DEF tanks are unquestionable:

  • Lighter part weight
  • Shorter cycle times and lower cost (@ 3,000 pieces break point)
  • Porosity – the blow molding process uses one solid parison resulting in parting line integrity while rotomolding uses lose material melted down in-mold creating voids in the wall of your product, especially at the parting line and near inserts
  • De-flash material is reusable in blow molding

Case Study: Converting a Rotomolded DEF Tank to Blow Molding

The Market

The customer is a Tier 1 supplier of custom fluid management solutions – including DEF tanks – to heavy-duty vehicles, machines, and equipment for the construction, agriculture, transportation, and aerospace industries.

 

The Challenge

The customer was overburdened by sourcing six different rotomolding suppliers to meet their annual DEF tank production volumes. Aware of the inefficiencies and risks associated with this sourcing model, the customer sought to rationalize their supply chain to two or fewer DEF tank suppliers.  One problem – all six rotomolders were at capacity. The process they’d been using from the beginning couldn’t scale to the customer’s high-volume production needs.

The customer had looked into blow molding as an alternative manufacturing method for high volumes, but couldn’t justify the higher tooling costs. That is, until they met with the technical blow molding experts at Regency Plastics.

 

The Solution

Drawing from over three decades of blow molding design, engineering, and manufacturing experience, the team at Regency Plastics worked with the customer to enhance the DEF tank design to be compatible with the blow molding manufacturing process. Coupled with Regency’s ability to design and build all tooling in-house, the customer now had a design in-hand that would see tooling payback in one year or less – in other words, the tooling would literally pay for itself in one year’s time.

 

The Result

The customer now has a single scalable source for DEF tanks that meet all production and performance requirements at a 37% reduction in piece price.

Cost Drivers Roto Molding Blow Molding
Tooling $150,000 /yr $200,000 /lifetime
Production Rate 2 parts /hr 70 parts /hr
Piece Price $35 /part $22 /part
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