Not taking the time to properly determine shrink rate can have a big impact on the quality of an injection molded part's geometry, performance, and appearance.
To facilitate this calculation, materials suppliers typically provide shrink rate numbers based on ASTM Standard D955 and a .125-inch thick plaque with a specific gating size and location. Although a good place to start, this value is usually not accurate enough for many products, especially critical, highly complex parts.
Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) Minneapolis — the midwest’s largest medical technology trade show — is slated for October 31-November 1, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and it’s a can’t miss event for anyone involved in the design, manufacture or distribution of medical devices and components.
Not surprisingly, the medical industry in the United States is one of the most heavily regulated. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has a strict protocol around medical device tracking, particularly Class II and Class III devices that are intended for life support away from a primary care facility or whose failure would likely cause serious adverse health consequences.
Cooling is one of the most critical parts of the injection molding process. Not only is it the longest part of the process — taking up more than 80 percent of the cycle time — but it's not smart to cut corners when it comes to cooling. In order to achieve precise, tight tolerances, the cooling rate must be carefully controlled — not rushed to completion.
U.S. manufacturing in a variety of industries has gained traction in recent years. Counterbalancing the business uptick many are experiencing, however, is the strain of a workforce in transition.
Manufacturers are always looking for practical ways to streamline product design, engineering and production, leading many to supplier consolidation. Reasons for this make good business sense, and include reduced development time and associated costs, improved logistics, and a single point of contact.
In the case of custom injection molding, however, even these compelling business reasons may not be enough to overcome the difficulty of finding a single supplier that possesses the injection molding expertise and capabilities to optimize your process and meet your needs.
Design teams are always trying to come up with something better—better shapes and designs, better performance, better materials, and most importantly, a better cost. If there's a way to give their product an edge over the competition, the design team will do everything they can to incorporate it into their process and product.
There is no question that manufacturing complex parts takes injection molding to a much higher level. More knowledge, skill and expertise are required, as well as sophisticated infrastructure, equipment and environmental controls.
The degree of specialization surrounding complex part molding means that not every molder is proficient in or can even offer this service. Here are four key areas to explore to ensure a molder's capabilities align with your injection molding needs.