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Injection Molding is a standard method for manufacturing plastic products and is used to make a variety of parts in automotive, medical, consumer and industrial applications.
Reasons that injection molding is a popular technique include:
Capable of high production rates
Simple to Complicated shapes are possible
High tolerances can be maintained
A wide range of materials may be used
Extremely cost efficient with low labor rates
Injection molding is accomplished using an injection molding machine, plastic resin and a mold. The machine consists of two segments:
Clamping Unit – holds the mold closed under pressure
Injection Unit – melts the plastic resin and rams the molten plastic into the mold
The Benefits of Injection Molding
Many Sizes Many Machines
Machines come in many sizes, optimized to produce various sizes of part, and are characterized by the clamping force the machine can produce
A mold is most commonly constructed out of aluminum or steel, but other materials are possible. It is constructed in two halves with the shape of the part precision machined into the metal. Molds may be extremely simple and inexpensive or highly complicated and expensive. The complexity is proportional to the part configuration and the number of parts per mold.
Thermoplastic resins come in the form of granules, and are the most popular type of material used in injection molding. There are many thermoplastic resin types with a wide range of material properties suitable for a great number of product applications. Polypropylene, Polycarbonate, and Polystyrene are examples of commonly used resins. In addition to the vast material options which thermoplastics offer, they are also recyclable, versatile and easily melted for processing.
Six Steps of Injection Molding
Clamping – The clamping unit of the machine presses the two halves of the mold together
Injection – Melted plastic from the injection unit of the machine is rammed into the mold
Dwelling – Molten plastic which has been injected into the mold is held under pressure to ensure all areas of the part are filled with plastic
Cooling – The hot plastic is allowed to cool into the final part shape while still in the mold
Mold Opening – The clamping unit of the machine disengages and separates the mold into two halves
Ejection – the finished part is ejected out of the mold
Short Run - Master Mold Frame System
When applicable, Sovereign Plastics offers modular tooling solutions that incorporate the use of a ‘Master Mold Frame’ allowing for the use of modular mold inserts (speed bases) and Master Unit Dies (MUD). These solutions significantly reduce both project cost and lead times.
The ‘Master Mold Frame’ includes all the components of a typical mold base, less the cavity and core elements.
These special bases incorporate features that accept, ‘part specific’, cavity and core inserts. By using these ‘off-the-shelf’ modular units, tool construction costs and lead times are thereby greatly reduced.
This allows Sovereign Plastics to control setup cost and offer first article or small production run at very competitive low volume price.
Injection molding is a great technology for finished production on a massive scale; however, it is also useful for prototypes that are used in initial product design or for consumer and/or product testing.
The possibilities and applications for utilizing injection molding to produce plastic parts are seemingly infinite and offer manufacturers a cost effective method for producing reliable components.
We are flexible enough to do short run molding as well.
Advanced Molding Techniques
Sovereign Plastics is continually striving to introduce new products and new ways to deliver them. We have brought 3 axis robots to the mix to help with speed of process, along with accuracy and repeatability.
We produce our own end of arm tooling to ensure that it is built to our specifications and costs are contained, with as little impact to the customer as possible.
The aluminum we use in house is a special alloy that makes for quick machining while maximizing strength, along with other advantages, such as, the rate in which this aluminum dissipates heat.
The objective is to minimize upfront cost to the customer without jeopardizing quality or speed.