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Among plastic injection molders, there can often be a tradeoff between their ability to custom manufacture parts on an individual basis and their capability to automate the production process for high-volume cost-efficiency. The reality is that, with the proper injection molding partner, automation and its associated benefits can be within the grasp of companies even if they have smaller production runs. Here are three ways that injection molding automation can help level the playing field among manufacturers:
In Part 1 of our short blog series, we discussed the differences between today’s thermoplastics and liquid silicone rubber (LSR) thermoset resins, as well as their common advantages, disadvantages, and applications. In Part 2, we’ll talk about some of the up-and-coming plastic materials making their way onto the injection molding scene, specifically carbon fiber composites and bioplastics.
The plastics industry has been experiencing rapid growth since 2015. In that time, there have been numerous improvements to the materials, technology, and processes used, benefiting both manufacturers and consumers alike. The development of stronger, more lightweight plastics and thermoplastics has been one of the driving forces of growth, along with the use of recycled plastics and greener processes.
Among today’s manufacturers, both 3D printing and injection molding are viable options for producing complex plastic parts and components. While these two techniques were originally considered competing technologies — and in some instances still are — for the most part, both have been recognized for having their own unique advantages, and can even be used together to help optimize production efficiency.
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.
With recent administration changes, the U.S. government is throwing its weight—and dollars—behind defense initiatives. This proposed and actual uptick in spending is providing defense contractors with opportunities to support our troops with sophisticated devices and technologies, and protect them from growing cyber-threats aimed at disarming such military systems.
While the injection molding process is a mainstay for many industries, it isn’t static. Molders are continually challenged with evolving their knowledge and use of emerging tooling technologies, materials and trends to make products that are competitively advantageous and profitable for manufacturers.
Today’s military is more technologically advanced than at any other point in history. This presents many advantages in strategizing for, equipping and executing missions; however, there are also some challenges.
Light weighting for military applications has been a key focus for many defense contractors. Significant strides have been made in converting many components of armed forces gear from metal to plastic, reducing per-soldier equipment loads by as much as 50% while allowing service members to remain lithe, agile – and, above all, safe – when engaged in maneuvers or combat.