Injection by injecting the material into a mold is a popular manufacturing technique that produces identical products in vast quantities. Combining a range of materials creates a design for making the molding process easier.
Conveying systems are used to introduce grains of plastic material into the injection mold machine. It is followed by injecting the plastic melt under pressure into the cavity using runner systems. You may specify the mold’s form using specialized equipment and techniques. After cooling and being released from the mold, you would have a complete item. To ensure that every component is the same, you repeat this procedure. Below are the types of injection molding machines and their benefits and drawbacks:
Types of injection molding machines
1. Hydraulic Injection Molding Machines
Before the 1980s, the only kind of plastic injection molding machine was a hydraulic machine. A Japanese business launched the first all-electric injection molding machine in 1983.
2. Electric Injection Molding Machines
During the 1980s, electric injection molding machines were readily accessible, and as a result, they soon became popular in producing high-precision plastic components. The complete electric servo drive injection molding machine positional precision (of 0.0001 in) is incredibly high in today’s market but at a very high price.
3. Hybrid injection molding machines
Hydraulics and electric motor drives are combined into a single varying AC drive power supply that may be activated at any time. Both Electric Injection Molding Machines and Hybrid Injection Molding Machines provide the advantages of both kinds of injection molders.
Advantages of injection molding
· High-yield efficiency
Cycle times may be as low as 10 seconds after producing the molds. Depending on your molds, it may have anywhere from 10,000 pieces to well over 100,000 parts in medium and high-volume production runs. Using a multi-cavity or family mold, which produces many pieces from a single press, may sometimes help boost output. An effective front-end design and order procedure is equally vital when outsourcing your plastic injection molding.
· A varied selection of materials
You have access to a wide variety of plastic materials, and the one you choose will rely on the characteristics you want from the finished product. In addition, you are not restricted to working with plastic since Protolabs also provides molding services for liquid silicone rubber. You may also employ fillers in the molding material, which gives additional strength to the finished item. Additionally, you have a wide variety of color options to choose from.
· Great detail
You must inject molten plastic into the mold while you turn the pressure up to its maximum to complete the operation. It causes the plastic to be pressed firmly against the molds, which creates complicated and detailed forms with great detail.
· Low cost of labor
There is a single operator who can handle and manage a large portion of the plastic injection molding process via the use of machines and robots. As a result of automation, production costs may be significantly lowered because of decreased overheads.
· You can repurpose material
For all its advantages, injection molding produces significant post-production waste. Sprues, runners, and other plastic scraps may be readily regained, melted, and repurposed to save money and the environment.
Injection Moulding’s Disadvantages
Despite all the benefits of injection molding, there are, of course, certain drawbacks:
· High start-up costs
Before a product can go into production, it must go through multiple designs and modeling stages. Design and manufacture of the injection molding tool are required to create the molds. Mold tools are complex and time-consuming to develop, and they are the most expensive part of the injection molding process. Part cost and reproducibility for tens of thousands of moldings are very cheap after the process is complete.
· Long initial lead times
An industrial 3D printed product typically has a lead time of 3-5 days, while CNC machined parts may be supplied in 5-10 days. Injection molding, on the other hand, requires a lengthier lead time. Tooling production may take up to seven weeks, while part production and delivery might take anywhere from two to four weeks. Sometimes, the final mold is not ready for manufacturing for months, and any design revisions might add to this period.
Using injection molding is a beautiful experience! The variety of materials and colors is enormous, and there are no “abs like” that in 3D Printing; it is the actual thing. The parts have tight tolerance and are reproducible. Tooling is the foremost possible issue, although there are various choices to meet most needs.