Often, complex applications requiring custom injection molding have design and/or materials characteristics that need specialized manufacturing, as in the case of tight tolerances. An experienced injection molder has solutions to address all types of scenarios, but scientific molding expertise adds unique value.
Scientific molding is a systematic approach to the injection molding process that provides at least 10X greater control of part consistency than traditional “trial and error” molding methods. It’s a precise path to repeatedly meeting project specifications and producing defect-free parts. Both goals are top priorities, and just two of the benefits of working with a molder with deep scientific molding knowledge.
5 (more) benefits of scientific molding
In many ways, results drive profitability. Lacking a repeatable injection molding process for attaining results can quickly erode margins. The data-driven accuracy of scientific molding creates time and cost efficiencies that maximize profits. Scientific molding ensures injection molding process repeatability because of tightly controlled:
- Engineering principles that combine specially trained engineers, advanced sensor technology, and sophisticated software to understand plastics at the molecular level during injection molding and quickly correct any variations.
- Part design optimization through Design for Manufacturability (DfM) to proactively define, refine, and document part design to leverage and optimize all facets of manufacturing.
- Tool design optimization through comprehensive analysis of data related to mechanical functionality, cavity pressure balancing, gate seal study results, and other tooling variables in relation to specified material settings.
- Materials selection that accurately aligns with required melt temperatures and cooling specs, fill rates, injection speed, pack and hold pressures, and other material-specific variables.
- Process and part quality standards that consolidate data, physical testing, and laboratory benchmarking to eliminate part inconsistencies, defects, or failure.
Design of Experiments (DOE): The math behind scientific molding
With all that scientific molding has to offer, engineering the most robust process window for injection molding is essential. This is the purpose of DOE.
Specifically, DOE is a branch of applied statistics that uses input and output variables in controlled tests to determine certain values, such as part failure probability.
DOE gathers part measurement data and analyzes them in conjunction with external influences in order to construct a mathematical model, or DOE matrix, as illustrated here:
Engineers use a DOE matrix to make key decisions about each injection molding project. DOE allows them to accurately retrace steps, resolve any contradictions, and determine next steps for establishing the most robust process window.
It’s certainly not math for math’s sake. With scientific molding and DOE, injection molding becomes even more dynamic, efficient, and beneficial for manufacturers in a range of industries. Explore more in our white paper, An OEM’s Guide to Scientific Molding. Click the button below to download your copy now.