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Injection Molding Still a Steadfast Manufacturing Process

custom injection molding

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.

Reasons Why Mold Fill Simulation Enhances Your Plastic Product Design

plastic part simulation

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.  

Color Consistency in Plastic Injection Molding

plastic component

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   

Injection Mold & Molding Terminology for Plastic Components

injection molding

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.

Trends for the Medical Device Industry

medical device components

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. 

Goals for Injection Mold Fill Simulation

injection mold fill simulation

Mold filling simulation can be a critically helpful tool for the injection molder as well as the plastic part designer.  The process involves software that virtually simulates the filling, packing and cooling of any molded plastic part.  It also allows the mold/part designer to make essential decisions about the design before the mold is manufactured. This is a big advantage, as it is the point when design changes will be significantly less expensive.

Gate Location and Part Filling Simulation Advantages  

Gate locations and part filling are the foremost concerns when it comes time to consider part and mold design. The simulation is used to provide an accurate visual representation of how the molten plastic will fill the mold.

You can determine which areas might fail to fill with plastic, where any weld lines may develop - along with the ability to determine if those welds will hold properly when the time comes. The software makes it possible to assess the structural soundness of the design. This also helps the designer determine where the gates should be located. 

Resin Determinations are Also Enhanced by Mold Filling Simulation

Assessments can be made concerning a specific resin as well.  The software will calculate the pressure inside the filling plastic - this ability makes it so you can determine any other potential problems. There are other evaluations that can be made as well. Discover when the material is sheering, or what temperatures and pressures need to be.

This and other data is not only helpful for designing the part, but can also be used to decide if a specific material will work with any given part design.. 

The heating and cooling of the mold can be simulated through the entire molding cycle. It can be simulated over many cycles, and will help to determine the size and location of any necessary cooling lines. 

Because the cooling lines will affect how or if the part warps - this also allows for the potential warpage of the part to be viewed, analyzed, and adjusted for.  Any areas of the mold where the temperature is not as controllable - will always be visible through the simulation as well.    

Why a Documented Tool Transfer Procedure is Important

injection molds

Its big news when you decide to transfer your injection molds to another vendor for production. There are several reasons why a company may want to transfer injection molds from one location to another.  Your new injection molder should provide a seamless plan for mold transfer with minimal or uninterrupted production.

Only the people directly involved with the molding process understand the impact of the condition of the mold, quality specifications, resin selection and part geometry has on manufacturability.  For a profitable future, the evaluation phase is important. Every injection mold transfer requires planning upfront, investments and communications so as to achieve expectations and goals of the project. However, there will be discoveries and events that were not planned for. Complete understanding of the project goals should be in place and clearly defined with your new injection molder.

Purposes of Texturing, Coating and Surface Finishes for Injection Molds

injection mold finishes

There are many processes that enhance surface finishes for the injection molding process. This can include texturing as well as coatings.

The Scope and Range of Texturing

Texturing is highly desirable for the accomplishment of a very specific look, feel or function. Texturing can provide specific desired effects such as creating a perceptual finish like wood, leather, sand, stipple and so on.

Textures have the capacity to transform a part's appearance as far as glossiness or matt finish, to diffuse light on a clear part, to provide visual contact by using various texture approaches. Nine times out of ten adding a texture works to improve on difficult to mold parts by hiding things like:

  • Splay lines
  • Flow lines
  • Knit lines
  • Blush marks
  • Witness and Parting lines

 Simple Additions like Gloss or Matting Add a Genuine Richness

Any time you change a part's appearance or add texture to a core you have an opportunity improve things like holding the part onto the mold without having to do manual undercuts - which can ultimately lead to sink marks. Adding texture can also mean establishing a company logo or pattern onto the most visible areas of the part.

Adding texture also disperses pressure over the largely even area which also reduces the likelihood of sink marks - while providing enough hold value for the mold to eject properly.

Other Significant Advantages of Texturing

You can even hide shadow marks by creative use of texture applied across slides and lifters when the front class A side is polished. 

Trapped gasses escape more quickly when texturing is applied because venting to parting lines can happen from within the cavity. Paint also holds better due to texturing during second molding operations.

Plastic flow creases can also be eliminated through the addition of textured thickness which also adds strength, non-slip qualities and even as an added safety measure. 

Fine Texture for Sticky Labels and Film Adherence for Hard Plastic Substrates

Applications of texture onto label areas helps with the stickiness, glue applications and film adherence. Pricing considerations are affected by:

    How MAPP’s Benchmarking Conference Supports Plastic Injection Molders


    The Manufacturers Associate for Plastics Processors (MAPP) is managed by plastic industry leaders. The organization has had a long history of helping plastic processors stay competitive. The marketplace has needed those able to help keep the competitive-edge in an ever-changing economy from within plastics marketplaces. 

    MAPP remains the biggest grassroots organization in the US plastics industry. They are serving well over 280 member-companies that represent more than 125,000 employees.  This national non-profit Trade Association was primarily founded for plastics manufacturers.

    MAPP delivers access to powerful networking industries for its members. With over 2,000 industry professionals who are intimately involved with the organization - they provide many different channels for expediting solutions and building the much-needed momentum for continued growth. It also furthers development in areas with a big positive impact on the plastics industry. 

    MAPP’s Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference 

    This benchmark event begins in October going from the 16th to 17th, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN.

    The theme for the year is “Leadership Unleashed.” This event is designed not only to inspire - but to educate and motivate processors on how to improve the positive influence they can have on the many people working around them. 

    Becoming a better leader is not something that just happens. The best leaders continuously work to improve themselves.  The 2014 Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference will help everyone who attends - to do just that!

    Kick Off Presenters Deliver Motivation and Inspiration

    Jack Daly is a highly popular public speaker who delivers on topics of sales, management, customer loyalty and personal motivation. Daly addresses crowds of professionals and will be the keynote presenter at the 2014 MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference.

    Daly is the only returning keynote speaker from our 14-year history of benchmarking conference events, and Daly will deliver his newest material on how organizations can improve their sales penetration substantially.

    Participants will become motivated to action as Daly has such an incredible way of positively influencing the open-minded. He is always ready to implement new concepts or innovative methods.

    Daily inspires audiences all over the world. He draws on 20 plus years of business experience. Former CEO of fast-growing companies, Jack Daly ranks highest as a speaker since the inception of the Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference in 2000.

    Business Entrepreneurs Deliver Education

    Troy Hazard, a serial entrepreneur, has created, grown and nurtured eleven businesses over two decades. He consults with successful companies and has for over 25 years. Due to his business career, he has grown a variety of businesses ranging from a recording studio and real estate brokerage to a leading franchise-consulting business, and a production studio.

    Hazard’s "lessons-from-the-edge" provide attendees with powerfully refined tools to apply to their own businesses.

    Troy hosts his own television show “Gettin’ Down 2 Business”, which airs into 35 million homes each week. He also co-hosts “The Big Biz Show” on CBS Talk Radio Network. His book, Future-Proofing Your Business – real life strategies to prepare your business for tomorrow, today - says it all.

    David Nelson is a master trainer. He presents Vital Smarts in Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer Training and Change Anything Trainings.  Nelson delivers unique skills to help teams implement crucial skills. Some of these skills include increased communication, production efficiency and collaboration. 

    Tips on Precision Swiss Screw Machining Materials

    Swiss screw machined components

    When it comes to Swiss screw machining, Swiss turning is required to make the small, slender, complex and precision components. This is only possible because of this machine's unique design. 

    For a Swiss turning machine - the bar-stock material is gripped tightly. Then it is advanced by the sliding headstock. It then travels through a guide-bushing into the machining section.   

    Tips for Materials to Use:


    • 6061 Aluminum is heat treatable, weldable, and formable. Corrosion resistant. Often used within electronic hardware.
    • 7075 Aluminum has high mechanical properties offers improved stress corrosion, cracking resistance, increase strength – Suitable for components for aircrafts.


    • Acetal provides high-strength and stiffness. It gives enhanced dimensional stability and ease of machining with good wear properties, especially in wet environments.  
    • Delrin is used a lot for insulators or bearings and has good machinability properties.
    • PEEK has excellent chemical, thermal and water resistance.  It maintains a high heat resistance strength and excellent radiation resistance.  It is excellent abrasion, shock and fatigue resistance.
    • TEFLON has outstanding chemical and weathering resistance and UV stabilized.
    • Nylon has good machining properties and used for insulators, bearings etc.

    Stainless Steel  

    • 17-4 Stainless Steel has excellent corrosion resistance and is heat treatable used in many medical or aerospace applications needing corrosion resistance and hardness.
    • 303 Stainless steel is used for electronic hardware, automotive, aerospace, medical instruments and many applications requiring corrosion resistance.
    • 304/304L stainless steel provides better weldability and formability and is slightly more corrosion resistant.
    • 316/316L stainless steel has even better corrosion resistance and used for medical implants, surgical instruments and aerospace applications.
    • 347 stainless steel offers good mechanical properties at high temperatures used for high temperature products like gaskets, rocket engine parts, expansion joints, aircraft collector rings, exhaust manifolds, chemical production equipment.
    • 416 stainless steel can be heat treated so it can be used for applications that need less corrosion resistance and more hardness.
    • 420 stainless steel can be hardened through heat treatment and is good for shear blades, needle valves, dental and surgical equipment, pump shafts etc.
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