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.
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.
It's almost impossible to imagine a world without plastic injection molded components. They turn up in just about everything we use, and most of us aren’t even aware of their presence, or the amount of technical expertise that has been used to produce them. From the first glimmer of an idea to the production of the finished product, there is a chain of knowledge that has been incorporated into their design and manufacture, and this process doesn't happen by chance; it's the culmination of many years of experience by highly trained and skilled designers and engineers.
Are you considering injection molding for the production of a current or upcoming plastic parts project? If so, you came to the right place. Injection molding is the ideal process for the production of a wide range of complex plastic components, and can benefit OEMs across many different industries. It’s consistent, affordable, and creates durable, high-quality plastic parts that can withstand just about any environment.
Injection molding is a dynamic, complex process that, simply by the nature of its many variables, requires some testing and adjustments to get it just right before you can start production. Some manufacturers, however, choose to focus on completing the the mold first and then build the process around the finalized mold, thinking this saves time and money. However, this approach typically results in production problems that slow the whole process down, and reduces quality and repeatability.
In many industries, injection molding is a proven solution to complex plastic part engineering and design challenges. However, not all projects are well-suited for the process and will not fully benefit from injection molding efficiencies.
Advancements to polymers and injection molding technologies have contributed to widespread adoption of plastics in the medical industry. All segments of the medical industry have embraced the benefits of plastics, and are looking to incorporate more plastic in their designs in 2018 and beyond. Low cost plastics, for example, have enabled the creation of disposable plastic instruments, syringes, gloves and gowns that, in turn, help reduce the spread of infections within the hospital environment. Plastics have also replaced glass in a variety of laboratory consumables, improving lab safety while reducing consumable costs.
Moldflow analysis is a frequently used term in the injection molding industry but it is often poorly understood. The process uses a sophisticated computer program to analyze and predict the flow and cooling of plastic during all phases of the injection molding process. Since there are different levels of analytical software available, selecting the right one for your project is as important as interpreting the data for successful results.
Complex injection molding is a viable solution for many projects, but there’s often hesitation in using it because of confusion about which material matches the job. While “thermoplastic” and “thermoset” sound similar and both are appropriate for a wide range of applications, the material properties of these two resin categories and how they behave during processing ultimately reveal the best fit.