What are the advantages of injection molding?
Injection molding offers many advantages. It minimizes molding costs and is a highly repeatable method of producing high precision plastic or elastomeric parts. Once set up, it can make a large number of parts per hour, using a variety of different plastics as well as other materials such as liquid silicone rubber.
Here, we'll take you through the key benefits of injection molding and explore when it's more appropriate for you to consider alternative options.
Injection Molding Advantages
1. High efficiency and productivity
Once a mold has been developed, the process is very fast, with cycle times as short as 10 seconds. It's ideal for medium to high volume production, from 10,000 parts to over 100,000 parts, depending on the mold you use.
Sometimes you can increase throughput by using a multi-cavity mold or a series of molds where multiple parts are produced on a single press to further increase manufacturing speed.
If you're outsourcing molding, it's also important to consider an efficient front-end design and ordering process - take a look at our on-demand manufacturing.
2. Low cost per part
For high volume production runs, the cost per part is very low. Even for medium production runs (10,000 to 25,000 parts), you can reduce costs by using aluminum molds instead of steel molds.
You can make the same product over and over again. This is ideal when you need to produce high volumes of parts with high tolerances and reliability.
4. Wide range of material options
You can choose from a wide range of plastic materials depending on the properties required for the final part. And you're not limited to plastics - Wintech-T also offers liquid silicone rubber molding.
You can even use fillers in the molding material, which will add strength to the finished part, and you have a wide range of colors to choose from. Talk to us about what you need your part to accomplish - there are often many different options.
5. Low Waste
The molding process produces very little waste compared to many other manufacturing processes. Even if there is any unused or discarded plastic, you can recycle it for future use.
6. High Detail
The process involves injecting molten plastic into a mold under very high pressure. This presses the plastic tightly against the mold, resulting in intricate shapes and lots of detail.
7. Little or no post-processing
Generally, you will need very little post-production as the parts usually have good post-production aesthetics. We can produce molds with special finishes that show up immediately on the molded part. You can even have your logo or text engraved on them.
1. High start-up costs.
Because customized tooling must be created for each injection-molded part, initial start-up costs are high, which is not economical for low-volume production. Tooling for simple designs and small production runs can cost between $2,000 and $5,000, but tooling for large, complex molds for mass production can cost several times that amount. While you can reuse these molds time and time again and save money on mold costs, it's worth considering the upfront cost of the mold. An injection molding manufacturing partner can help you maximize your budget and refine your mold design so you can produce the best parts at the best price.
2. Long initial lead times.
CNC machined parts can be delivered in 5-10 days, and industrial 3D printed parts typically have a lead time of 3-5 days. However, injection molding has a longer lead time. It typically takes 5-7 weeks to build the mold and 2-4 weeks to manufacture and ship the part.
To some extent, this long lead time can be attributed to the complexity of the mold itself. In addition to the negative molds that contain the parts, these molds also have complex runner and water cooling systems to facilitate material flow and faster cooling. Months of design and testing can be required before the final mold is ready for production, and any design changes can further increase turnaround times.
With the expertise of a manufacturing partner, you can avoid common mold pitfalls that can cost you weeks of time and thousands of dollars. They can also help speed up the design, testing and production phases.
3. Design changes are costly.
With 3D printing, whenever you make a design change, you can simply upload the file and print the new part, but that's not the case with injection molding. If you make design changes, you may need to create a new mold from scratch, which means more time and money invested in the project.
To avoid costly design changes and simplify the demolding process, avoid undercuts and sharp edges, make sure wall thicknesses are uniform, and increase the draft angle. If you need some guidance, an experienced manufacturing partner can provide expert design advice.
Injection Molding with Wintech-T
The efficiency and high repeatability of injection molding has many advantages. However, it's easy to make a costly mistake that can delay production by weeks. That's where a trusted manufacturing partner can help.
When you partner with Wintech-T, our team of experts can guide you through the entire production process and answer any questions you may have about the pros and cons of injection molding. Ready to get started? Contact us today.
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