Custom plastic injection molding is used by companies of varying sizes across diverse industries. This process sounds fairly complicated on the surface yet it is more straightforward than most assume. Let’s take a look at the basics of custom plastic injection molding to help our audience obtain a comprehensive understanding of this unique process.
What is Custom Plastic Injection Molding?
This is a manufacturing process that generates parts and products. The liquid form of materials is injected to create a mold. Thermoplastic polymers are often used during the injection molding process. Additional materials including glass and metal can also be used. Diminutive pellets of materials are heated to a temperature of 200 to 400 degrees Celsius to create a molten liquid. The hot liquid is pushed through a nozzle and transferred to a mold. The internal cavity of the mold functions as the negative of the part that is generated.
Molten parts are allowed to cool before being taken out of the mold with ejector pins. The material hardens and turns into a solid. The mold cavity is opened, allowing air to reach the part and providing it with an area to fall. It falls and is subsequently ejected with pins.
Why Do Companies Use Custom Plastic Injection Molding?
There are numerous benefits to injection molding. Companies opt for this process as it allows for full automation, resulting in high production rates. Such mass production of parts and products occurs in a timely and accurate manner.
All sorts of materials can be used in the injection molding process. Several different materials can be combined to form the ideal material properties in the product resulting from this process. Combining different injection molded materials is referred to as co-injection molding. There is minimal waste in this process as unnecessary material is subsequently re-purposed for other parts and products.
Companies tend to favor custom plastic injection molding as it permits the generation of extremely detailed parts that are quite intricate in design. As soon as a company’s part is adequately designed for production through injection molding, there is minimal finishing work necessary. It is also possible to use mold inserts to generate new parts. This allows for the altering of the internal cavity without having to fully re-design or re-machine the tooling.
The Downside to Custom Plastic Injection Molding
There are hardly any negatives to custom plastic injection molding. The only negative is the fact that companies do not have the machinery or tools necessary to perform injection molding in-house. This highly specialized work must be performed by custom plastic injection molding experts.
The Considerations When Custom Plastic Injection Molding
The small stuff matters a great deal when it comes to custom plastic injection molding parts. Plastic parts are generated from molds that are extremely detailed. The mold design is typically created with the assistance of engineering design experts and the manufacturer’s specialists. Once the design is finished, work must be done to ensure the end product is of acceptable quality. An alliance with the proper manufacturer will generate products that look highly detailed and polished to perfection.
Price is also worth mentioning. Custom injection molding has become quite the popular method for the generation of plastic parts partially because it is not egregiously expensive. Do some digging into the pricing of custom injection molding and you will find the prices are quite fair. It is possible to generate a wide variety of materials in considerable quantities without breaking your budget. Part of the reason why this process proves affordable is the fact that it is almost always fully automated. This level of automation spurs a high output rate that allows for mass production at reasonable prices.
Language is one of the most interesting aspects of custom plastic injection molding. This process has its own unique verbiage. Those who aren’t familiar with “shop talk” will benefit from learning some terms. As an example, a gate is the area in which hot material enters the mold. Flash is the extra plastic that seeps out of the mold. The cavity is the hollowed out portion of the mold in which the hot material is injected to form the custom part. The runner is the waterway or channel in which plastic moves from the molding machine toward the gate.
Vestige is the residual material that seeps out of the gate. Shear is a force that creates heat when resin layers contact one another throughout the plastic injection mold process. Spruce is the waterway channel that links the runner to the molding machine nozzle.
The Price of Custom Plastic Injection Molding
Custom plastic injection molding involves varying costs that result from different portions of the process. The final cost of a specific project hinges on all sorts of variables. Different techniques like blow molding and thermoforming have idiosyncratic costs. Though the mold is central to cost, the subtle details of each particular project matter a great deal. A quote for custom injection molding is determined by input like drawings, sample parts, prototypes and beyond. Each input must be analyzed to pinpoint the ideal molding solution.
Everything from tolerance tightness to additional cavities, mold size, core metal, core machining and part complexity impacts the price of custom plastic injection molding. Do not assume this process is beyond your company’s price range. Determine what you are looking for from the custom plastic injection molding process, obtain a quote and you will likely be pleasantly surprised as to how affordable it is.