Popular across many industries, overmolding may initially appear to simply enhance the aesthetics of a device, adding a contrasting color or texture. However, overmolding’s lightweight functionality also elevates ergonomics, deadens vibration, and improves a device’s grip and feel.
Increasingly popular with manufacturers of consumer products, medical devices, and portable devices, overmolding improves functionality, performance, and aesthetics.
But, what is overmolding? And, more importantly, how can it affect how products are designed and profits achieved?
Confusion about which plastics align with a particular application causes uncertainty about when to use custom injection molding. As a result, OEMs may not take advantage of how plastics benefit product design.
“Thermoplastic” and “thermoset” sound similar, and both categories offer choices appropriate for complex applications in a range of markets. However, it's the properties and processing behaviors of the materials within the categories that ultimately reveal the best choice for your injection molding project.
Plastics are extremely versatile, making them sought-after materials across a range of industries. For instance, in the United States the transportation/automotive and construction industries are two of the three major markets that account for the more than $31 billion spent annually on plastic components and products.1
According to global aging data compiled by the United Nations, by 2050 1 in 6 people in the world will be over the age of 65.1 That's a dramatic jump from current statistics that place the same segment of the population at 1 in 11.1
As a result — and in light of spikes in medical demand due to COVID-19 for all age groups — healthcare is rapidly shifting from clinics and hospitals to in-home care and smaller, non-traditional facilities.
Overmolding is a value-added injection molding method for improving plastic and metal substrate performance and aesthetics. While seemingly simple, the process has a number of underlying complexities that must be carefully considered to ensure your overmolding project meets all goals and expectations.
Manufacturers tasked with making products that serve a wide range of functional and aesthetic purposes often turn to multi-material injection molding for solutions. Specifically, the choice is overmolding vs insert molding. While the two processes are similar and often thought of as interchangeable, there are some key differences.
Constantly evolving, the medical industry requires OEMs to be forward-thinking in providing solutions that address trends and challenges. One such OEM, Smiths Medical, sought to change the design of its existing pulse oximetry portfolio to include enhanced functionality and improved manufacturability. At the project’s inception, they partnered with the U.S.-based injection molding experts at Kaysun to help refine and ultimately accomplish their goals.
Medical grade polymers are quickly becoming the preferred material for a broad range of surgical devices. In certain applications, the robust mechanical properties of medical molding polymers allow complete removal of metal from the surgical device design. In other instances, plastic and metal components can combine to create an enhanced product, with attributes that would not be possible in either an all-metal or an all-plastic device.