Manufacturers cannot afford to lose any time in getting their products to market. Advances in technology come rapidly, ratcheting up competition for market share. To ensure success, products must be designed and produced with ultimate precision and efficiency. That efficiency depends on eliminating production delays caused by inconsistencies in the manufacturing process.
Early injection molding practices that are still largely used within some industries are no longer sufficient to address the needs of complex products and applications. The traditional approach is founded principally on “after the fact” knowledge, meaning parts are molded, then inspected, measured, and “tweaked” until product specs are met. Engineers are left to make educated guesses about which parameters need adjustment. If those hypotheses prove incorrect, the process is scrapped and started over with no guarantee of initial or repeatable success — a costly and inefficient way to do business.
A Break from Tradition
Enter scientific molding. This systematic approach to injection molding uses the key steps of the scientific method (developing and testing a hypothesis, drawing conclusions, and proving reproducible results) to create a tightly controlled and repeatable manufacturing process. The result? Consistently high-quality, defect-free parts. Ken Glassen, Kaysun VP of Engineering, gives an overview of what’s involved:
The Benefits of Scientific Molding
Sophisticated computerized data collection and analysis techniques allow for the development of a robust injection molding process, making scientific molding most advantageous during the molding stage after the tool has been developed and scientifically qualified. The detailed sensor data that’s gathered allows specially trained engineers to completely understand — down to the molecular level — what’s happening during each stage of the injection molding process. Any variation in key parameters such as temperature, flow rates, viscosity, moisture content, etc., can be detected and corrected in seconds.
Equipped with these insights, engineering teams are able to accurately document the specifications, settings, and steps required to ensure reproducibility over time and across equipment. Since identical parts can be reliably produced with tolerances as tight as +/- .001 inches, scientific molding is particularly valuable for complex applications within the automotive, defense, medical, and consumer/industrial markets.
Scientific molding isn’t new, but its importance continues to gain traction as OEMs are leaning into the solutions that precision injection molding provides. Learn more about the latest trends, insights, and discussion around scientific molding through our white paper, Scientific Molding: A Manufacturer’s Guide. Click the button below to access your copy now!