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What Is Injection Molding?
Injection molding machines have gained popularity in the mass production processes since their introduction in the 1930s. Injection molding is the process that manufactures parts of products in large numbers.
The injection molding machine injects a molten material into a mold. Commonly used materials include molten plastic, thermoset elastomers, metal, glass, or polymers. Mass production companies depend on this process because it enables to produce identical copies of the same part thousands or even millions of time is close succession.
The parts could be simple components of a device to sophisticated parts such as those of an airplane. The process begins by feeding the desired material into the machine through a funnel (also known as a hopper) that leads into a barrel. Feeding can be automatic, manual or by use of a vacuum.
Summary of How Injection Molding Machines Work
In the barrel, a heating component melts the material and keeps it in the molten form. An injector that uses hydraulic system then forces (or injects) the molten material into a mold cavity. The material cools down and solidifies in the mold cavity. Clamps on the cavity then open to release the part the now assumes the shape of the mold.
Benefits of Injection Molding Machines
The benefits of injectionmolding machines run the gamut. While there may be some demerits associated with them, many manufacturers agree that the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. If you are considering buying this machine for your mass production processes, here are some reasons to convince you:
Successful mass producers thrive on the efficiency of their operations. Once you design the injection mold to your client’s specifications and pre-program the presses, the molding process will happen incredibly fast compared to the other molding methods.
Depending on the size as wellas the complexity of the mold and the material used, the production rate can range from a few parts to several tens of parts per hour. This means high production output with resultant cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
2. High Levels of Accuracy
Injection molding is such an accurate and precise technology. Typically, it can fabricate almost any type of plastic, metal, glass or polymer part. Design restrictions could be present, but the mold cavities allow the resultant product to extremely precise.
The accuracy of an injection molding machine has been determined to be within 0.005 inches. Any comparative manufacturing or processing method cannot obtain such a level of accuracy. If there was a small dent in the mold cavity, you could be sure to find in all the products produced in the same line.
3. Detailed and Complex Part Design
Injection molding machines can create very complex parts, in uniformity and mind-boggling numbers. The complicated parts are also identical even if there are millions of them. High-quality injection molding machines put in place key design elements to ensure optimal precision and quality of your parts.
The reason for this is the fact that injection molding machines subject the molds to extremely high pressure. The hard pressing of the material against the mold adds several small details into the design of the part. Such intricate details may not be possible with other molding methods.
The most critical design elements that ensure the production of detailed and intricate parts include wall-thickness, boss design, rib design, and corner transitions. Weld-lines, gate placement, and adequately placed vents are additional elements that ensure the finished part is top-quality and accurate.
4. Extremely Low Production Cost per Unit
Injection molding is an automated process. There is no need to employ a workforce to produce the parts. Injection molding machines or robotics performs a majority of injection molding. Only one or two operators (depending on your needs) control and manage the system that runs the manufacturing process.
The significant reduction of the overheads resulting from the automation can significantly reduce the manufacturing costs. Further reduction in production cost per unit comes from the reduced labor force. The lower cost of production will pass on to your customers. The costs drop even more as you increase the number of parts you make.
5. Low Scrap Rates
Injection molding results in very little if any scrap compared to the traditional methods such as CNC machining. The latter process involves chopping off a substantial percentage of chunks of original material to make the final part. Installing an injection molding machine means you’ll be doing your part in protecting the environment due to reduced waste.
Most machines for injection molding have a way of recycling waste materials. The sources of the scrap are the runners, the sprue, the gate locations, as well as overflow material leakage out of the mold cavity itself (flash).
All manufacturing firms areencouraged to ensure environmental sustainability. Therefore installing top quality injection molding machines is a significant drive towards your mass production firm achieving eco-friendliness. The low scrap rates will save you lots of money because there will be little material wastage.
Additional Advantages of Injection Molding
You have just learned five of the most important benefits of injection molding machines. Other benefits include design flexibility, the use of different materials at a time, ability to add inserts, minimal finishing requirements, good dimensional control, excellent color control, and good product consistency.
Furthermore, it is one of the few molding methods that can allow you to produce tiny parts. Parts produced via injection molding are often stronger than those produced by other molding methods. Such strength results from the ability to inject fillers to manipulate the chemical and physical properties of the material used to make the finished part.
Wrapping It Up
If you have a mass-production business, do not hesitate to buy an injection molding machine. It can catapult your business to greatness within record time due to high efficiency, low cost of production, reduced waste and optimal product consistency among others. The process is eco-friendly and sustainable. Compared to other molding methods, injection is at the top.
Many companies produce injection molding machines, and this could be confusing if you are new to this manufacturing technology. However, you can work with established brands that have proved their worth over the years by making high-quality machines for injection molding. You only need to do a little research.