Top five benefits of plastic injection moulding
Plastic injection moulding is now commonplace in a variety of industries where products are produced on a massive scale. There are many advantages over traditional plastic machining which are sometimes not obvious at first glance. We will now take a look at the top five benefits of plastic injection moulding compared to other manufacturing processes.
When mass-producing components it is vital that they are the same so that they are as efficient and durable as possible. While each plastic injection mould will be different, it is believed that accuracy during the moulding process is to within 0.005 inches. If you think about it, if you are creating a particular component for a machine then it needs to fit correctly to work. The way in which plastic injection moulds are used to build these components ensures each one is identical.
The greatest cost in the early stages of creating a plastic injection moulding line is the mould itself. Depending upon the complexity these can cost many thousands of pounds, but once it is finished, there is a massive reduction in ongoing labour costs compared to traditional manufacturing methods. In a world where competition and pricing can make or break a business, the ability to create identical components with minimal human supervision should not be underestimated.
Once an injection mould has been created, then it can be used to produce an array of similar yet slightly different components. This may involve mixing different materials, for various levels of durability and strength, or utilising different coloured materials, for visual impact, to name but two options. This ability to quickly adapt to different environments and consumer demand is priceless in the world of business. As the underlying injection mould does not change there is any further additional expenditure required in this area.
When you consider various manual or part-manual processes to create plastic components, there can be significant wastage. Whether this is wastage from the actual component manufacturing process, or when applying the finishing touches, it can add up over time. The fact that plastic is injected at high speed into the injection mould ensures that there is minimal if any, wastage and there is limited additional “finishing work” to do. It is also worth noting that any material wastage can be recycled by simply adding the plastic back into the molten plastic reservoir. In a business world where environmentally friendly products and recycling play a growing part, this is a significant benefit of the plastic injection mould process.
Speed of processing
If we compare the rate of plastic injection moulding to other component manufacturing processes which include manual work, there is only one winner every time. The consensus seems to be that cycle times for plastic injection moulding vary between 15 to 30 seconds – in reality, this will depend upon the complexity of the mould itself. In essence, the process is identical whatever the basic design, the injection of liquid plastic at high speed into a mould. While there is obviously additional costs and time taken to create the automated process, in a world where competition is rife, and price points are vital, the plastic injection mould process plays a pivotal role. We can only imagine how the manufacturing industry accommodated an excessive demand for particular components when the process was more manual based.
The world of plastic injection moulding has developed significantly over the years, and in reality, you only need to look around you to see the results. Accuracy, the speed of manufacture and material costs all have an impact on the end price of any component. The ability to create identical components ensures maximum efficiency when in use. There is also the opportunity to add different mixes to the process for durability and strength as well as different colours for visual effect.
The cost of everyday items would be significantly higher today if it were not for the plastic injection moulding process.