Plastic injection molding is everywhere; from toys to space shuttle turbine blades, there are few manufacturing processes that haven’t utilized this technique.
7 Advantages Plastic Injection Molding Can Offer to Your Business
It is a manufacturing process that produces large volumes of parts by injecting molten plastic into a metal mold, after which it is cooled down to a solid-state.
It’s typically used in mass-production processes where a specific part needs to be created thousands or millions of times.
This manufacturing process is preferred over other plastic manufacturing techniques due to its significant advantages. It’s reliable, efficient, and also easy to implement.
Here’s what you need to know about what plastic injection molding can do for your business:
How is plastic injection molding used?
Today, plastic injection molding is used in several industries, including aerospace, consumer products, construction, automotive, medical, plumbing, packaging, food and beverages, and toys.
Its applications are endless and you’d be surprised how many everyday items are made with this manufacturing process.
Some of the most common things made using plastic injection molding are food containers, filtering components, parts for windows and doors, medical monitors, heat pumps, and even beverage caps.
Advantages of Plastic Injection Molding
Plastic injection molding offers excellent durability as compared to other production methods. It introduces many possibilities in terms of how reliable and durable you want the plastic parts to be.
For example, you can improve the density and strength of the injection mold by adding fillers. These fillers can improve the overall quality of each part produced and ensure they’re durable against several factors. For example, this Kydex 6200 fire-rated sheet has been specifically designed to withstand fire on mass transit vehicles.
The most time-consuming aspect of plastic injection molding is designing the mold itself.
You need to create it according to pre-programmed presses and the customer’s specifications. Once this is done, the actual process is relatively quick and straightforward.
It usually doesn’t take a lot of time and allows for the creation of numerous parts from just one mold. That’s why it has a high production output rate that makes this manufacturing process quite efficient and cost-effective compared to other methods.
Hot-runner injection mold systems usually produce parts faster and with more consistent quality, but changing colors and accommodating heat-sensitive polymers isn’t an easy process.
A huge advantage plastic injection molding offers is its versatility. You can use several types of plastic at the same time.
This technique is called co-injection molding, where different polymers are injected into the same mold.
Plastic injection molding uses several thermoplastics, which are polymers that turn molten under extremely high temperatures and solidify in cooler temperatures.
Examples of thermoplastics include polycarbonates, nylon, polyethylene, and polypropylene.
Plastic injection molding involves subjecting the mold to extremely high pressures.
Hence, the plastic in the mold is pressed harder against it relative to other manufacturing processes that use molds. This pressure allows for the addition of details in the manufacturing process.
Moreover, you can design highly complex and intricate shapes that would otherwise be too challenging and expensive in other manufacturing processes.
You can easily add features like side holders or threads and eliminate the need for secondary operations, which is a standard with other functions.
This manufacturing process is entirely automated; the majority of plastic injection molding is executed by robots and machines, which are managed and controlled by a single operator. Automation, which has already proven how it benefits the manufacturing industry, helps reduce manufacturing costs.
Additionally, since plastic injection molding requires fewer operators to control, you’re spending less on labor which allows you to pass the cost-saving onto your customer.
Apart from this, automation also results in greater accuracy in mold creation. Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided design (CAD) allows for tight tolerances resulting in more precision.
Unlike other manufacturing processes, which involve cutting off plastic from blocks or sheets, plastic injection molding results in relatively less wastage.
All the raw material you’re using i.e., the molten plastic, will be utilized thoroughly when poured into the mold and solidified into a part that you can use.
Apart from this, thermoplastic can also be recycled, and any wasted material can go back into the injection molding press. This is known as regrind, and there are usually quality control rules in place to limit the number of times regrinding is allowed.
These factors ensure that plastic injection molding is an eco-friendly process which is especially useful when you want to be conscious of the environment during the manufacturing process.
You can use every piece of material you haven’t used in the mold and repurpose it for other projects.
As a manufacturing process, plastic injection molding is incredibly repeatable. This aspect allows you to produce thousands of parts in a single day, with all these parts having similar quality.
As long as the material is selected correctly and the design is spot on, the rejection rate for this manufacturing process will typically be lower than one percent.
This feature is especially crucial when maintaining quality and consistency is essential, which is the case for high volume productions. Hence, plastic injection molding is especially handy for quality control.
Plastic injection molding is a beneficial manufacturing process for many applications. It can result in several advantages, as highlighted above, and is definitely worth considering if you need to produce a high volume of parts.
Today, plastic injection molding has a lot to offer to manufacture companies.
As long as you have a reliable company on board that can help you execute the process, you can start reaping its benefits in no time.