With the rise of electric vehicles, new technologies, and tougher fuel standards, the automotive industry is booming these days, and so is the plastics industry. With manufacturers looking to make lighter, less expensive components, while also installing new electronics and their housings, there have been numerous innovations involving plastic automotive parts and designs in 2020, and there are even more on the horizon.
How expensive is injection molding? It's a common question, and it's also deceptively simple. Any injection molder can quote you a price. Since you expect to pay for the service, it's not necessarily a matter of understanding if or even how much you'll invest injection molding.
Rather, knowing when to strategically invest in the process is key in managing the cost of injection molding to achieve exceptional outcomes.
Manufacturers are always looking for practical ways to streamline product design, engineering and production, which leads many to supplier consolidation.
This is particularly true in the case of custom injection molding, where working with a single injection molding supplier that possesses the expertise and capabilities to meet your needs reduces development time and associated costs, improves logistics, and optimizes processes.
Our world is one of handheld devices. Medical facilities depend on portable digital devices to care for patients. Contractors align studs with pocket-sized levels. Troops rely on high-performance equipment and field gear. Households are stocked with all kinds of gadgets to make life easier.
As injection-molded plastic parts continue to gain popularity as versatile solutions for complex applications, OEMs in a variety of industries carry at least one injection molding supplier on their approved vendor list.
The question isn’t one of need, but rather if the injection molder is a supplier because of convenience or strategy. Continuing injection molder relationships based on limited past experience, price point, or anything other than proven capabilities is risky; inconsistencies in product quality or delivery expectations can break your supply chain. Suddenly you could be left scrambling to stop the domino effect of the disruption, and probably ignoring other business growth opportunities.
Each new plastic injection molding project has three inherent goals: performance for the customer; production efficiency for the manufacturer; and, reliability for the end user.
These goals are reasonable. The challenge lies in accomplishing all three within a desired timeframe and budget.
To do so, injection molding plastics engineers turn to Design of Experiments (DOE) to identify flaws during the process design phase that might otherwise derail project success.
When it comes to remaining competitive in the global marketplace, speed matters. Manufacturers want injection molded parts that deliver the most product functionality at the lowest cost — and they want the parts quickly to get to market first and fastest.
Injection molders understand the pressure manufacturers are under. They're also attuned to how injection molding design, engineering, and production expertise can greatly speed up development time.
Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) is a symbolic language that is used on engineering drawings and computer-generated models. It communicates geometric dimensions and allowable tolerances for various parts. Not only is this a useful exercise for product design, it’s also helpful on the manufacturing floor because engineers and operators can quickly see the degree of tolerance that is required for each part.
Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards coupled with heightened consumer sensitivities to the environmental impact of using fossil fuels are tightening fuel consumption requirements for the auto industry.