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.
Quality is an important benchmark in all aspects of an injection molding project, and rightfully so. Producing high-quality plastic parts is always the goal, but how often do you stop to consider what a supplier misstep, a materials snafu or a process miscalculation could do to a project overall? Poor quality — in any form and to any degree — can have far-reaching impact. The solution is partnering with an experienced injection molder that can help you keep quality at the forefront in every aspect of a project:
Almost any reasonable design looks good on paper or even as a prototype, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing when it comes to manufacturing it. On the other hand, using Design for Manufacturability (DfM) to improve part design, injection molding processes and material selection ensures a product or component can be manufactured in a streamlined, efficient, validated, and repeatable way — saving time and money.
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.
Moving an idea from conception through production can take many paths. However, what initially appears to be the "easy route" can sometimes lead to complications, including certain efficiencies being overlooked or lost. Generally, spending more time and effort up front can simplify the process and provide desired outcomes, especially when you enlist the engineering expertise of your injection molding partner.
For all practical purposes, supply chains are extensions of an OEM’s capabilities and services. Injection molders on an OEM’s approved supplier list must demonstrate certain core competencies that help address — and alleviate — OEM concerns around quality, cost, reliability and a host of other factors that could influence outcomes and, ultimately, their reputation and bottom line.
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.