Injection molding is a great manufacturing option for high-volume production runs. It works with most polymers, including all thermoplastics and some thermosets.
A reputable injection molding partner can help OEMs shorten their product development timeline. They can also offer insight and resources throughout the design process. This helps avoid problems with moldability and saves money in the long run.
Plastic injection molding is a cost-effective method for high-volume production of complex plastic parts. Throughout several manufacturing cycles, the hardened steel mold used in this method can create millions of pieces, more than repaying the initial expenditure.
It can also produce parts with extremely tight tolerances, allowing them to fit and function as intended. It can even be used to replace metal components, which saves OEMs money by reducing weight without sacrificing strength or dependability.
Injection molding is an ideal solution for various products, including automotive components, aerospace parts, and consumer goods. Its fast cycle times allow for large numbers of precise parts to be produced in an hour, reducing lead time and boosting productivity. Injection molding is also compatible with various materials, allowing designers to choose the best plastic. This will enable them to design parts that require a variety of properties, such as fire resistance or scratch resistance.
Plastic injection molding is incredibly flexible, offering many design options for your product. For example, you can use threads or hinges in your product by adding inserts to the mold before the plastic is injected. This increases the quality of your part and reduces assembly time.
Additionally, injection molding can produce a wide range of surface finishes that don’t require additional machining, including matte finishes and unique textures. This makes it an excellent option for things that need to fulfill specific aesthetic standards, such as medical devices.
However, injection molding requires a high initial investment in the creation of molds. This can prevent product developers with limited budgets from using this manufacturing method. Choosing an injection molding company that also offers CNC machining or 3D printing can allow you to use this process for low-volume production runs and prototyping. These services can help you get your product to market faster. They can even save you money over the life of your product.
Many companies are surprised that injection molding can be cheaper for low-production runs than CNC machining or 3D printing. While the initial investment in the steel mold is high, it can recoup itself over the long run by saving machine time and eliminating costs for discarded parts.
A lean design for the product can help reduce costs, too. For example, by adding an appropriate draft to the part for easier ejection and keeping wall thicknesses in line with best practices, you can shorten cycle times and reduce waste.
Businesses should also consider using carbon-based mold coatings to limit wear and tear, as well as improve mold maintenance. This can save money by reducing the need for costly repairs and avoiding the risk of seizure. It can also improve performance by lubricating moving parts and making them more resistant to shear stress. This is a very effective way to prevent damage to the mold and can even extend its lifespan.
Injection molding is a process that can create complex and detailed plastic parts that are difficult to produce through other methods. However, the initial cost of injection molding can be high, especially for small production runs. This is because custom steel or aluminum molds must be created, which takes a long time.
Unlike CNC machining or 3D printing, which can print a new part when a design change occurs, injection molding requires the creation of a whole new mold. This can be expensive, and companies with limited budgets should consider other options for their product development projects.
Injection molding is often used for medical and other industrial products that require a lot of precision. It also offers high durability and reliability. New and improved plastic materials can now withstand harsh environmental conditions on par with — or even better than — metal components. These improvements have helped manufacturers reduce the weight of their products without sacrificing strength or dependability.