As the end of another year approaches, many businesses have already begun planning for 2018. If you’re one of them and have decided to launch a new plastic injection molding project next year, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
If you haven’t been involved in a project recently (or even if you have), you might not be up to speed on the latest technologies in injection molding—technologies that could produce precision parts while helping you get the most out of your budget.
Here are five recent innovations you may not be aware of, yet they could radically alter your planning for a molding project in 2018. At the very least, they will change the way you look at quality, costs, and the material you choose.
Higher levels of precision with scientific molding
Scientific Injection Molding is used to produce complex parts where even the smallest of molding variations can have a serious impact on the finished product. Scientific molding takes the injection-molding process to a much higher level of precision when traditional molding can’t meet the specifications of a part or component.
Using sensors and leading-edge software to monitor each stage of the injection-molding process, it’s now possible to monitor and adjust variations in temperature, viscosity, flow rate, and moisture content. That’s the main benefit of scientific molding: ensuring consistent quality.
Decrease production costs with over-molding
Over-molding is a process in which a single part is created using two or more different materials in combination. Some molds are made to allow previously molded parts to be reinserted so that a new plastic layer can form around the first part. (Think about the steel shaft of a screwdriver with a plastic handle incorporated into the design).
This process is becoming popular because many manufacturers are now adding a soft exterior to their products to enhance the grip, reduce vibration, dampen sound, provide electrical insulation, or just to add a stylish appearance.
Produce parts from two materials with 2-shot injection molding
Two-shot plastic injection molding produces two-color or two-component parts in one process. With the capability to combine different materials, complex parts can now be produced economically and efficiently in large quantities.
The biggest advantage of this process is in its cost savings. Parts containing two different materials or colors can be fabricated with all the speed and economy of the injection molding process, eliminating the labor-intensive secondary operations and replacing them with automated operations. The result: consistent, high-quality components at a significantly lower cost.
Reduce mold cycle times with conformal cooling
Traditional molds have straight-line cooling channels. Now there’s conformal cooling: cooling lines that curve and closely follow the geometry of the part. And when a mold is engineered correctly and equipped with conformal cooling lines, cycle times reportedly can be reduced 20 to 40 percent.
Conformal cooling provides uniform part cooling, which makes parts stronger. This helps to decrease the number of rejected parts, which in turn reduces the chance of a costly recall. Because the risk of product liability is higher in medical and automotive applications, conformal cooling should be an obvious choice in these industries.
Conserve petroleum resources with bio-plastics
Most of today’s efficient plastics are made from the hydrocarbons that come from oil, natural gas, and coal. While these plastics are versatile and durable, they have one undeniably troubling feature—they come from a finite resource that’s not renewable.
Bio-plastics on the other hand are derived from living resources such as sugarcane, wheat, and corn. And while there is a debate on whether bio-plastics are better for the environment, one thing is certain: As the oil reserves continue to dwindle in future years, bio-plastics will assume a prominent place in manufacturing.
To discuss your plastic injection molding projects for 2018 contact us @ (425)-339-0288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org