Custom injection molding tools and tips blog

Advantages of Utilizing Robotics in Plastic Injection Molding

Posted by Rena Ivory on Thu,May 21, 2015 @ 01:56 PM

Robotics in plastic processing is the natural progression of technology. It has ushered in a plethora of possibilities that have improved and supported the industry dramatically. 

Motivation for implementing robotics and downstream automation has primarily been to increase productivity, reduce cycle times, increase part quality and facilitate the assembly of small harder-to-handle components. 

Most robots are designed to be helping hands and/or high-tech tools. Using robotics to complete as many tasks as possible generates more time and resources for other required hands-on processes.

Robots are programmed to carry out specific repetitive actions without variation. It is done with extremely high degrees of accuracy. These actions are determined by programmed routines that specify the direction, acceleration, velocity, deceleration and distances. 

Industrial robots often use precise guidance and have the ability to adapt to different part-types using intelligence-based features. These features include; vision, integrated force and sensing capability. Because of this, robotics enables manufacturers to achieve specific levels of flexibility, multitasking and automation of a variety of functions for lower-volume applications.

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Topics: custom injection molding

Why You Must Optimize Cooling and Venting in Plastic Injection Molds

Posted by Rena Ivory on Wed,May 06, 2015 @ 09:25 AM

Two aspects of injection mold design that have great impact on part quality are cooling and venting. If the injection mold has poor cooling, the result could be increased cycle times, scrap and dimensional problems while inadequate heat could result in short shots and poor surface finishes. Venting allows for displaced air in the cavity to escape. If there is inadequate venting, gas burns or non-filled parts can result. If there is too much venting, excessive flash will be the result.

Optimizing Cooling

The biggest problem with the cooling process for plastic injection molding is that a poorly cooled part increases issues that are difficult to resolve. Some of these issues include an increase in cycle times, an increase in scrap, as well as additional problems with part dimensions.

This is why optimization of the cooling processes is so important. Cooling includes a lot of variables such as:

  • The thermal properties of the plastic being molded and the materials used in mold construction
  • Energy balance from melt preparation to cooling cycle time
  • The influence of coolant flow rate on heat transfer efficiency 
  • Mold temperature controller selection
  • Quality design practices for optimum mold cooling

Every plastic part produced requires very specific amount of energy to plasticate solid resin pellets.  This means that an identical amount of heat energy needs to be removed before it will form a stable part. It is important to remember that energy out - needs to equal energy in.  

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Topics: injection mold building

Scientific Injection Molding Facilitates Quality Plastic Components

Posted by Rena Ivory on Wed,Apr 22, 2015 @ 04:07 PM

To best accomplish consistency for the highest quality plastic injection molding components - sound principles need to be applied across the field. Scientific injection molding principles are the only approach to repeatable quality product.

Repeatability is key for injection molding. The nature of this process provides the ability to produce the exact same device over and over with exactitude. Repeatability is essential for considering medical devices - as sterility and precision, process validation and control are of utmost importance to create true reliability. 

There are several factors that effect repeatability: 

  • Fill time for the flowable material into the mold 
  • Screw design 
  • Consistent melt quality 

Critical advantages are achieved anytime these common principles are applied to the process. It is the only way to consistently accomplish controlled production end products. 

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Topics: custom injection molding

Purpose of Project Management for Injection Mold Building

Posted by Rena Ivory on Thu,Apr 09, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

Project management for injection mold building is essential. The project management office (PMO) is comprised of a group of professionals who focus on defining the scope and maintaining the standards set for any injection mold building project to be accomplished by the company.

The goal of an effective PMO is to achieve all benefits from the standardized project management processes, methods and policies. The PMO administrators are tasked with sourcing all required documentation, metrics and guidance for the execution of all project requirements.

The PMO follows every project related task from start to finish. This office provides a strategic tool for keeping decisions and implementations moving in a consistent manner toward every project goal. This is accomplished by detailed reporting on all problems, activities and requirements involved.

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Topics: injection mold building

Why Injection Molders Thrive from Attending the NPE 2015 Plastics Showcase

Posted by Rena Ivory on Wed,Mar 11, 2015 @ 12:54 PM

In order to make great things happen - coming together to learn about advances and new applications within the plastics industry is essential. Working together is key. This means the advances and advantages can be multiplied and shared broadly with those needing a step up.

The International Plastics Showcase (NPE2015)  is the international plastics community’s most important trade show. It is a conference and a learning and networking opportunity that is unmatched by any other event for this industry and has been for over 75 years.   Every Industry Sector is Represented.  This includes the end market, as well as trends, equipment, and every aspect of the latest advances in technology. Every phase of the plastics production process delivers the trusted solutions required for any kind of challenge or issue that may arise for plastic injection molding.     Solutions are the focus - and working with networks means working together - any problem is solved, and every market moves forward.     Here are just a few of the great things that will be achieved:   

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Topics: custom injection molding

Injection Molding Still a Steadfast Manufacturing Process

Posted by Rena Ivory on Wed,Feb 25, 2015 @ 09:57 AM

The custom injection molding process is now more than 150 years old. It remains one of the most dependable manufacturing processes still in use today. The plastics we know of today owe their origins to the late 19th century European and American chemists who experimented with many kinds of rubber and residue from various chemical mixtures.

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Topics: custom injection molding

Reasons Why Mold Fill Simulation Enhances Your Plastic Product Design

Posted by Rena Ivory on Wed,Feb 11, 2015 @ 10:36 AM

Mold filling simulation helps mold builders stay competitive. It does this by enhancing efficiencies and helping to better meet customer expectations - while also creating more business opportunities. Mold fill 3D simulation is a very helpful tool for injection molders and plastic part designers because it uses software to simulate the filling, packing and cooling of a molded plastic part virtually.  

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Topics: engineering services for injection molding

Color Consistency in Plastic Injection Molding

Posted by Rena Ivory on Wed,Jan 28, 2015 @ 10:28 AM

Color consistency for injection molded parts poses a challenge.  This becomes apparent when it comes to mating parts in any assembly where colors need to match 100 percent.  

Pre-colored plastic is used in the injection molding process so the molded part emerges in the specified color and finish.  There is no need for painting, plating or other finishing steps. The color becomes an integral part of the component, and the color is not just on the surface. The advantages to this approach include:

  • High quality, long lasting – no paint scratch, peeling issues
  • Coloring withstands harsh environments
  • Eliminates secondary operations for lower costs
  • Environmentally friendly process eliminates or reduces environmental impact 
  • FDA compliant molded-in coloring available
  • Flame-retardant grades available

Achieving Custom Colors

  • Choose a predefined color - usually Pantone
  • Assure raw material availability - as not all Pantone colors have material available   
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Topics: custom injection molding

Injection Mold & Molding Terminology for Plastic Components

Posted by Rena Ivory on Thu,Jan 08, 2015 @ 01:20 PM

Injection molding technology continues evolving with the market and with the advances in science. Injection molding is the process used in producing plastic components for a variety of industries.

When plastic resin materials are heated the resin will flow, and can then be injected into a mold. An injection mold consists of two halves referred to as the “A” side and the “B” side. The “A” side is where the molten plastic enters the mold - and the “B” side contains the ejector system which removes the parts.

Injection Molding Includes Many Terms and Components

Injection molds are required to have many components in order to make high-quality plastic parts. Below is some of the terminology used to describe the components and processes that are required when producing injection molded parts:

  • Sprue – this connects the nozzle of the injection molding machine to the main runner, or cavity
  • Runner – this component conveys the melted plastic from the sprue to the gate and into the part
  • Gates – these are the openings that allow the molten plastic to be injected into the cavities of the mold
  • Cold Runner – this design involves the plastic entering into the “sprue” and then traveling through the “runner” where it then enters the part cavities through the various “gates.”
  • Hot Runner – this design is an assembly of heated components used to inject molten plastic into the cavities of the mold.  Hot Runners usually make a mold more expensive to manufacture but allow savings by reducing plastic waste and reducing the cycle time.
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Topics: custom injection molding

Trends for the Medical Device Industry

Posted by Rena Ivory on Wed,Dec 17, 2014 @ 12:28 PM

In today's business climate there is a lot to be aware of. So much, in fact that embracing the learning curve can feel like scaling a mountain. There is an unprecedented amount of change happening not only in the markets and in the way marketing is done - but also with emerging technology, materials and new applications.   

Developing the right strategy and implementing an effective business plan loom in front of the forerunning companies who are attempting to scale these industry heights.    

Understanding the trends that are driving these changes - can deliver quality climbing tools to those in key positions. It can also serve to level the playing field for those companies who are truly paying attention.

Medical Device Manufacturing

Access to recently developed materials, new technological deliveries and access to new markets are only a few of the trends that have affected changes in the medical device market and industry.

China has a 2020 universal health care goal. Mexico, Brazil and other developed countries are rising quickly into the global market, and the need for these technologies is only going to continue to grow.

New Trends Driven by Telemedicine

Telemedicine has already begun reducing the number of emergency room and office visits needed by children and the elderly. The telecommunication advances have made it far easier for those in vulnerable situations to move to address issues at lower cost levels.

Telemedicine technology has catapulted the ability for clinics to track distribution and consumption of medications, the success levels of physical exercise as well as the ability to diagnose. 

Navigating the Trends

Keep a close eye on the markets, the new electronics technology, the advances in medical device manufacturing technology and advances in how the industry is required to change for new marketing approaches. These are major impacts for any industry, let alone an industry as important to our world's health and well-being as the medical device industry. 

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Topics: custom injection molding

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