There are different processes that operators use to manufacture plastic parts. These include rotational molding, compression molding, plastic extrusion, injection molding, vacuum forming and vacuum casting. With different manufacturing processes, you may be uncertain about the right one to produce your plastic parts. Knowing the benefits and limitations of each method can help you establish the proper technique for you. The following is a discussion of the critical benefits of injection molding. But first, what is injection molding?
Injection molding is a highly repeatable process that involves injecting melted plastic into designed molds, where they cool and take the shape of the mold before being ejected from the machine. The process is quite fast; this allows companies to create high-volume identical plastic parts with good tolerance at a low cost per part. The process has several applications in different industries – from automotive to medical. While this manufacturing technique offers various benefits, seeking out the best injection molding service is vital to leverage the benefits. Below are the top benefits of injection molding.
Allows for complex geometries
One advantage of injection molding is that it can produce the most intricate and complex shapes per the client’s specifications. The process uses extremely high pressure; this causes the plastic to press harder within the cavity, taking every detail of the mold cavity. You can expect outstanding detail in designing; no other manufacturing process exerts as much pressure on the plastic as injection molding.
To optimize the precision and quality of the parts, the design should be made perfectly. The result of poorly made designs is inconsistent parts of poor quality. Using the wrong design for high-volume production can also result in outrageous costs. For this reason, you want to ensure you have the right tool design to attain impressive details and geometries.
Strength is one of the factors to consider when designing a plastic part. The flexibility or rigidity of parts depends on how the client intends to use the final product. If some parts need to be rigid, fillers can help increase the strength while reducing the density of the plastic. A client will receive sturdy and durable molded plastic parts per their specifications. Injection molding is the only one that allows fillers, making it the preferred manufacturing method whenever solid and durable pieces are needed.
The injection molding process is relatively fast and has a higher production output than other processes. Once the mold is designed per the client’s specifications, the remaining process is straightforward. This manufacturing method’s speed depends on the parts’ size and complexity; the average cycle time takes approximately 15-120 seconds. Since the cycle time is short, producing many parts within a limited time is possible. The efficiency of this process benefits the manufacturer and client – it increases a company’s potential revenue and profit margin. Conversely, the customer doesn’t have to wait for a long time to get their products.
High repeatability and reliability
Injection molding is highly repeatable; you can use a single mold to produce thousands of parts before needing a new one. The lifespan of a mold varies depending on its material. For example, an aluminum mold lasts 5,000 and 10,000 cycles, and you can use a steel mold for over 100,000 cycles.
Most manufacturing processes require human labor – this can be expensive due to the cost of paying workers. Human error is rampant in such methods, meaning some final products may be faulty. But with injection molding, most processes are automated; machines and robotics perform them. Usually, a single person can oversee the whole process, reducing manufacturing costs. This benefit can quickly be passed on to the customer, making the process cost-effective for the producer and client.
Although injection molding produces little post-production waste material than other manufacturing processes, it still generates scraps. Plastic is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn’t decompose. When disposed of on land or water, it can be detrimental to the environment. The best thing about injection molding is that the process easily regrinds, melts and reuses any leftover plastic parts to save on material and reduce manufacturing waste. Considering a company’s green initiative is essential when looking for a high-volume injection molding partner. Eco-friendly companies are keen not to pollute the environment; they use state-of-the-art machinery to minimize waste.
Injection molding has various benefits to offer. Even so, working with a trusted manufacturing partner is vital to avoid any expensive mistake that sets the production back weeks.