You might not realize it, but many of the products you use on a daily basis were wholly or partially constructed using injection molding. This process is very commonly used to manufacture a large number of identical products. With many parts and products now made from plastic, injection molding has become one of the top manufacturing methods in the world.
Why Is Injection Molding so Useful?
There are numerous advantages to using injection molding. The first is that the cost of production is much lower when compared to other options.
Advances in injection molding machines have also made this technology more affordable. With plastic, it is easier to automate the process so that it consistently produces identical parts of the same quality. These machines can work around the clock and do not suffer from injury or lack of focus, both of which can affect human workers.
Additionally, working with plastic materials allows for less costly tooling after initial investment, so you don’t have to take a hit on your production budget if a run has defects.
Another advantage to using injection molding is that there’s less waste. Cutting parts and products from metal, wood, or other substances often leaves a large amount of scrap that cannot be reused. With injection molding, that’s not the case. There’s very little wasted plastic resin and certain materials even allow you to recycle faulty parts.
A common challenge with production is the run-time, especially when working with other materials other than plastic. Injection molding can expedite this process while producing nearly the same quantity. The efficiency of the machines and automation offers a synergy that will drastically reduce the time spent on each run. The more of the process you’re able to automate, the faster it will go.
You’re also able to manage your team better and utilize their skills in other areas reduce time spent on less important tasks. Your workers don’t have to manually operate the machines allowing them to focus on the tasks that require human ingenuity and creativity— rather than doing repetitive work. This will result in quicker response times and faster runs.
What Materials Are Used?
Choosing materials plays a major part in the overall quality of the finished product. You can use most types of polymers and plastics in this type of molding. Twenty years ago, manufacturers had more than 18,000 different types of materials to use. Now, that number has vastly increased. There are approximately 750 new molding materials introduced every year.
Deciding on the right material for your project depends on what properties you need the final product to have. Different materials have different qualities, so you’ll want to do some research during the mold design phase to determine which is right for each type of part you need to be manufactured. In most cases, the strength of the material is the deciding factor, but that’s not always true.
Many common materials used in injection molding include nylon, polystyrene, polyethylene, phenolic, and Epoxy. The molding requirements are often different for different types of materials. For example, the first three materials listed above are classified as thermoplastics, while the latter two (phenolic and Epoxy) are classified as thermosetting plastics. It’s important to understand the differences before you begin manufacturing.
What Products Are Made Using Injection Molding?
Injection molding is used in many different industries. In fact, it’s likely that every mass produced product has something in it that was created by injection molding. The advantages of using this process have simply made it too cost-efficient to use other, outdated manufacturing techniques.
Here are some of the products you use on a daily basis that include parts made from injection molding:
- Automobile parts
- Consumer Products
- Cosmetic Covers and Lids
- Plastic Housings or Casing
- and more…
Many of these products take advantage of the fact that plastic products are generally lightweight yet durable. They can also easily be sanitized, which is why they can be used in various housings for all sorts of applications.
An Exciting Future
Injection molding has already become a huge world-wide industry, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. The fact that this process makes it very easy to produce large numbers of identical parts very quickly has made it invaluable to manufacturers of all types of devices and products. Since there’s a large range of materials that can be used, there’s almost always at least one material that contains the properties you need for your project.
If you’re in need of parts manufactured for a new project, consider using injection molding. You’ll likely find that its cost and completion times simply cannot be compared to other methods.