When it comes to injection molding partners, OEMs have two options: commodity or custom. In essence, the choice is that of pared-down services or comprehensive problem-solving. Both approaches have their merits, and the application often drives the decision.
However, if framed as a value-add for an OEM beyond immediate project need, custom injection molders often win the day. Their advanced capabilities and in-house services streamline supply chains — a quality and cost management win for OEMs — but there’s more. When a sophisticated process like plastic injection molding assembly is called for, custom injection molders are instrumental in buying down risk.
Insert molding is one of several injection molding processes that can provide effective solutions for a wide range of design and production needs.
Whether insert molding or another multi-material injection molding technique, such as overmolding, is the best option for you depends on factors including the component’s application, design, materials, and complexity. These factors have implications for consistency in molding across all injection molding processes.
The consumer market is demanding. The need for and availability of products is largely predicated on economies wherein consumer purchase confidence can be fickle. It leaves consumer market OEMs to balance product quality, performance, and cost to remain competitive.
It also compels them to be purposeful in creating and maintaining their supply chain. Suppliers that have proven proficiencies across a range of needs provide a stable framework upon which an OEM can build a versatile — and valuable — partnership.
The escalation of political, trade, and pandemic-related tensions have called manufacturers and their suppliers into question. Some supply chains are snapping under the strain, and OEMs are left to find answers for — and rectify — costly failures.
Nearly half of respondents to a recent Thomas Industrial poll placed “Fabricated Materials (machined, stamped, extruded, or molded material)” at the top of the list of things needed for supply chain stabilization and consistent production.1 With that comes close scrutiny of custom injection molding companies when OEMs are streamlining suppliers.
International trade tensions and pandemic-related developments have brought heightened awareness to reshoring. US-China decoupling has American manufacturers reviewing all of their overseas relationships, and 69% of respondents to a recent Thomas Industrial survey indicated they “are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to North America.”1
Given the unstable political and public health environments, it’s hardly a surprise that the majority of American companies in the manufacturing and industrial sectors are considering decoupling. In fact, about one-third of company leadership teams have already moved manufacturing out of China, or have action plans in place to do so within the next two to three years.1
Injection molding tooling is at the heart of injection molding. Whether it’s a complex application or simple part, plastic injection tooling – more specifically, tooling design – determines the quality of the injection molding process and the parts produced.
Medical device design engineers often make allowances for the impact that the molding process has on plastic part manufacturability. They carefully consider a variety of design factors like the materials chosen, the part shape and features, surface finish, and the properties of the tool itself. So, why involve an injection molder early in the medical device development phase?
Involving an experienced injection molder early in the design process safeguards against adverse outcomes that a designer may not have anticipated.
The overall safety and performance of a vehicle is dependent, in part, on the plastic components used throughout the vehicle. Many people think that when it comes to cars, plastic parts are features like the dashboard, seats and floor mats. But thermoplastics are used in much more important places throughout a vehicle, many of them under the hood in the car’s powertrain and fuel systems.
Globally, the annual injection-molded plastics market is currently valued at approximately $260 billion, with a projected 5% CAGR over the next five years.1
These substantial numbers validate the continued and increasing reliance on injection-molded solutions for a variety of applications across industries. They also indicate how much the role of a custom injection molder has changed, shifting from general supplier to trusted partner.