Injection mold tooling and part production can challenge even the most experienced product manufacturers. In some circumstances, product designers may have minimal experience working with plastics or be managing a design that requires advanced consultation. Ultimately, the goal that you and your injection molder should strive to achieve is an optimized mold for the type of plastic, part geometry and finish, desired cycle time, production volume and, of course, highest level of cost effectiveness. Where do you begin with so many variables? These are the important aspects every product manufacturer should know about plastic injection molding.
Plastic Injection moulding manufacturer is one of the most widely used methods of producing plastic components because it is cost effective and allows for the use of a wide variety of materials. This frequently fully automated process can produce a high volume of output at a lower cost than alternative production methods.
Mold Price Factors
- Understanding the end use of your part and the volume, complexity, tolerances, surface finish, gating, and moulding material requirements will enable your injection moulding partner to recommend the most appropriate and cost-effective solution for you.
- Mold Size: It is self-evident that larger parts require a larger mould, which in turn increases cost. However, there are cost-cutting measures that can be taken to optimise mould and part design. Additionally, when the material feed system for an injection moulded part is properly sized, the cost of the injection moulded part may be reduced.
- Offshore vs. Onshore Mold Production: There are several widespread misconceptions about offshore mould production and cost savings. Oftentimes, offshore mould production does not result in significant time or cost savings for the mould / part.
Not only are moulds made in the United States of America generally of higher quality, but government regulations occasionally require that tooling be designed and built in the United States.
When faced with a difficult mould build, partnering with a reputable injection moulder with whom you can establish a trusting relationship will save you time and money over the mold’s and part’s life. Multiple cavities, moveable mould components, thin walls, complex textures, gating restrictions, and tight tolerances are all examples of challenging builds.
Part Price Factors
- Part size: Part size is a consideration, with larger parts incurring a higher material cost.
- Part design: The complexity of the part design results in an increase in tooling costs. Collaborating with an experienced design engineer to simplify part design can help reduce the tool’s cost. A well-designed mould will ultimately have lower residual costs over time, as well as lower part reject rates.
- Material selection: Numerous factors can affect the cost of the materials you choose. Is the component required to withstand pressure, weight, temperature changes, or elements/chemicals? Are there any regulatory requirements? High-performance and specialty resins are more expensive. Certain properties of your resin may also increase the cost of mould maintenance.
- Part tolerance:Tolerance-sensitive components will necessitate more intricate manufacturing steps, potentially increasing manufacturing and tool maintenance costs.
- Volume: It’s self-evident that as annual volume increases, the overall cost of part production increases proportionately. However, it is critical to consider volume, not just in terms of parts, but also in terms of production hours. Parts that will be produced in large quantities require high-quality tools with a greater number of cavities. Having said that, the cost per part typically decreases as volume increases.
- Cycle time:Cycle time is another area where well-designed tooling and low-cost components coexist. Rapid machine cycles during the manufacturing process require well-designed tooling and a high level of precision to ensure that the part cools uniformly throughout the cavity impression.
- Gate location: Proper gate placement is critical to part quality. Parts that require design techniques that do not include gate placement on the side of the part may result in an increase in tool cost.
Plastic Injection Molding Manufacturer continues to evolve as a result of technological advancements and advances in resin science. Numerous critical tooling, material, maintenance, and production decisions are made during the communication process between you and your injection moulder. Each party should have a firm grasp on both short- and long-term objectives, which should be communicated early in the design / development process. As with any profession, no two plastic injection moulders are identical. While certain terms, keywords, and phrases carry implicit meaning, it is beneficial to have a working knowledge of the terminology that will be used throughout the course of your project’s completion.
Early Design Consultation
Selecting an experienced injection moulder who offers design consultation is critical to the success of your production process. Creating a manufacturable plastic part entails a number of critical aspects that touch on all aspects of part design, tooling, material selection, and production. To begin, it is critical to design components around functional requirements while keeping the design intent or end use in mind. Consider weight reductions, the elimination of fabrication and assembly steps, the enhancement of structural components, cost savings, and a faster time to market.
Along with early design consultation, collaborating with a partner who offers cutting-edge mould flow analysis technology can save significant time and money. Mold flow software can be used to evaluate the design to ensure that each cavity of the tool produces parts consistently and of the highest quality. A virtual model of the mould is created, and the software predicts how the material will flow into the mould and its cavities based on known data and characteristics of the chosen material. Numerous data points, such as pressure, fill time, and melt temperature, can be analysed. This enables process optimization prior to the start of tool production.
The information presented above provides guidance and recommendations for thoroughly understanding the critical aspects of injection moulding prior to initiating your production process. Whatever elements you believe your project requires, it is always critical to begin with an in-depth consultation to determine what will work best for your product, budget, and timeline.