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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

      
      
      
      
    MAPP

    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:

    Aluminum

    • 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.

    Plastic 

    • 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.

    3D Printing Teaches Another Old Dog Some New Tricks

      
      
      
      
    3D Printed Parts

    Article Published on September 10, 2014 by 3D Printing, Industry News and Written by Scott J Grunewald.

    Employee-owned injection molder, Crescent Industries, has announced the addition of their new 3D printing services to enhance their already comprehensive injection molding production, tooling and clean room assembly services.

    The firm’s new Stratasys Objet Eden 500V16 3D printer was brought in to not only provide basic 3D printing services, but to enhance their injection molding services by offering design and prototype review, quality inspection, component fixtures and end of arm tooling. The consequent rapid prototyping services allow their customers to catch design flaws in the early stages of production, eliminate costly delays with the early correction of production or design flaws, and create custom part installation tools and guides designed and manufactured right alongside production parts and components.

    Crescent’s new 3D printing services also offer customers the ability to produce limited production runs of products or samples. Materials available range from basic ABS to the Vero family of rigid opaque materials, flexible rubber materials, high temperature materials to test hot air and hot water flow and even materials optimized for dental and medical applications.

    Not only has Crescent gained a new source of revenue by adding 3D printing to its offerings, but it’s created tremendous added value to its already existing line of services. This is becoming a familiar story. Many traditional manufacturing companies have kept 3D printing at arms length, seeing it as either an overhyped fad or as a competing service that would draw away customers.

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    What are Causes of Flash in Plastic Injection Molding?

      
      
      
      
    plastic injection molded components

    What are Causes of Flash in Plastic Injection Molding?

    Flash is a thin layer of plastic that flows outside of the cavity where the two halves of the injection mold meet. Flashing on a part can occur for several reasons - from variations in the process to material to tooling trouble. 

    Flash can appear on the part’s edge along the parting line of the mold. It can also occur anyplace where the mold has metal meeting metal to form the boundary of the part.

    Flash during the injection molding of a part can occur during the filling (first injection stage) or during the pack/hold (second stage). It can occur with conventional parts - and with thin-walled parts.

    Preventing Parting Line Mismatch With The Tool

    To best way to prevent parting line mismatch in the tool is to clean off any plastic, dirt or contaminants that could keep the mold from closing properly, especially behind slides and inside the leader pin bushings.

    Solving potential flash issues means ensuring correctly fitting mold plates by making sure the mold is sealing properly and cleaning the molding press from any obstructions.  Since molding pressure can deform mold plates during injection and packing, sometimes pillar supports need to be added and mold plates need to be thickened to reduce or eliminate flash.

    The mold plates should have adequate surface area that seal off at the parting line, evenly distributing the clamp force during molding.  This is especially important in the area around the part cavity, where a sufficient "land" of seal-off area should be provided.  Any situation where the seal-off area is uneven or inadequate should be avoided. 

    Flash Can Be Caused By Improper Venting 

    If flash is present, the mold should be checked for adequate vents. Check with the supplier of the plastic resin being used for their recommendations of vent size.  On older tools that are showing wear, vents may have to be re-machined.

    The viscosity of the plastic being molded determines the depth of the vent.  Stiff materials can utilize deeper vents - but fluid materials require thinner vents. In either case - the concept is to remove air from the mold as fast as possible with as deep a vent as the material viscosity will allow.

    Clamping Pressure Challenges

    If the part passes the first stage short shot test without flash, the pack/hold phase may be pushing the parting line apart.  Increasing the clamp tonnage may be the solution. Size the mold to run in the proper machine to ensure that adequate clamp pressure will be used.

    Tips to Consider When Selecting a Contract Manufacturer

      
      
      
      
    Crescent IndustriesPartnering with a contracting manufacture to produce your device is a process that requires deep knowledge of both the industry and the product. 

    When it comes specifically to injection molding contract manufacturing - these tasks of specialized work can include:

    • Part and mold design,
    • 3D printing,
    • Injection mold building  
    • Injection molding 
    • Assembly and packaging  
    • Other secondary applications to complete a project

    In order to assure that you are choosing the contracting partner that will help carry both parties into the earning margins desired - it is essential that a set of criteria is used to establish the perimeters for how to choose that partner, including the specifics of what things to look for.

    1) Select a contract manufacturing partner whose production methodology and culture emphasizes safety and hazard elimination.

    Most injection molding companies already understand how important on the job accidents and turnovers can have as an effect on overall cost. It also affects quality and timely completion of any manufacturing project.

    This means you should always be sure your chosen contract manufacturer has a safety program already in place.

    2) Demonstrates an excellent record of on-time deliveries.

    Delivery-related performance metrics need to be tracked and improved on.

    It is essential to choose a partner that already understands this importance, and has these metrics analyzed and available for you to review.

    3) Lean manufacturing inventories and materials management systems can help reduce costs.

    When you choose to partner with a contract manufacturer who uses lean manufacturing inventories and materials management systems - you will eliminate costs due to avoiding the purchasing of excess raw materials for a project

    4) Stressing Quality as a Core Part of the Internal Culture.

    Another huge cost saving step includes making sure that the injection molder you choose already has a quality assurance program with cross-checking systems in place.

    This always avoids unnecessary costs as well as delays because selecting a contract manufacturer that stresses quality as part of their manufacturing culture - you have a staff of production operators who are already trained to assure the highest potential for the finished product.

    This should always be a given for the project management for any new products to prevent missteps and errors.

    What is Antimicrobial Materials for Plastic Injection Molding?

      
      
      
      
    plastic injection molding

    When antimicrobial materials are used in plastic injection molding for medical device components, the reduction in infection is significant and measurable. 

    Healthcare acquired infections are known as HAI's within the industry. The statistics for these incidences have caused alarm in some medical communities. 

    Tracking the reduction of health device induced infections is a standard part of the process - and serves to help highlight when a change such as the addition of antimicrobial materials to the medical device manufacturing process is really working.  

    Antimicrobial Material Performance within Plastic Injection Molding Processes    

    For decades it has been a common practice to rate the impact of healthcare acquired infections tracked by the CDC in the U.S., and by similar organizations around the world.

    A focus for preventing these infections gathered significant momentum by July of 2008. The Steering Committee for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections was created under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    The group released an initial action plan in 2009, which made its focus on prevention in acute care hospitals, then ambulatory surgical centers, then end-stage renal disease hospitals.

    In April 2011, HHS launched a goal of decreasing HAIs by 40% compared with 2010 rates, with 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients and more than 60,000 lives saved over the next three years. Ten strategies were developed and implemented - designed to eventually end all HAI's. These include engagement with:

    • Frontline clinicians
    • Healthcare executives
    • Healthcare administrators
    • Clinical leaders 
    • Healthcare Advocates 
    • The government 

    Among these strategies are those that focus on research, reporting, and metrics and the tools to support them; outreach and education, incentives and oversight.

    Materials for Building the Strong Antimicrobial Performance 

    Design features and inherent material properties are required in the most invasive devices, which deliver their own sets of difficulties for minimizing infection risk.

    Facts on Clean Room Injection Molding for Your Medical Device

      
      
      
      
    clean room injection molding

    The specifics of clean room injection molding have intensified as the need for cleanliness has only increased with time. Regulating the levels of cleanliness continues to be an area of expanding focus. 

    Clean room areas require a steadily maintained level of control due to the effects of environmental pollution, which lead to part contamination. These pollutants include;

    • Dust
    • Chemical vapors
    • Aerosol particles
    • Airborne microbes

    These particles are measured as per the amount found within a specified size - which is by the cubic meter of air. Anytime plastic is injected into a steel or aluminum mold to form a needed part - no matter what device it may be for - clean room injection molding has been applied. 

    Clean Room injection molding has become irreplaceable for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Cleanliness is not only essential but regulated very specifically. It must adhere to strict medical manufacturing protocols. These are mandated to operate under the ISO 13485:2003 certificated procedures for medical devices. 

    There are also several classifications of clean rooms. A fully certified ISO 7 clean room is 10,000 pollution particles per cubic meter, or foot. An ISO 8 certified clean room is 100,000 particles per cubic foot. The type of clean room needed for manufacturing depends on specific product requirements or on specific customer considerations. 

    Why You Must Perform Injection Mold Maintenance

      
      
      
      
    injection mold maintenance

    Injection mold repairs are expensive. This means it is critically important for companies who use injection molds to perform regular maintenance.  This is simply the best way to protect this investment.  

    Injection mold maintenance means performing these tasks regularly - so your mold does not break down easily.  You will find the quality of the plastic component is affected by the condition of the injection mold that is responsible for producing your plastic part.

    Once molds have undergone several cycles - qualified manufacturers will perform inspections, maintenance and cleaning. Different molds also age at different rates. This means scheduling maintenance carefully.

    Things to Consider

    Your schedule for maintenance should be set carefully. The environment where your mold is used should be taken into account i.e; 

    • Levels of moisture 
    • Extreme temperature 
    • Amounts  of pressure
    • Oxygen exposure  

    Also consider what kind of product the mold is producing, and any issues that may arise from choice of materials. Rust constantly wants to erode steel - and injection molds are not immune to gathering rust especially when they are allowed to work 24/7.

    Rust takes no time at all to eat away at a mold. This is why regularly scheduled cleaning of the injection mold is mandatory to remove rust. This prevents mold break downs, and other out-of-spec components. 

    Common Issues for Injection Mold Maintenance

    The most common injection mold problem is water leaks.  Water leaks occur at static seals and where dissimilar metals make contact.  Companies that wait to fix water leaks after the machine stops producing quality parts or after it completely breaks down tend to be far more costly in the long run.

    People tend to forget about the effects of unscheduled production downtime or increasing damage to the mold.

    Cleaning Using Ultra-Sonics

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