Q: What is Plastic Injection Molding?
A: Injection molding starts with small pellets compounded to meet certain physical properties. These pellets are then dried and fed into a hopper, which allows the plastic to be gravity fed into the feed throat of the machine. The machine then melts the plastic in a heated barrel, and injects it under high pressure out of the barrel and into your mold cavity. The injected plastic quickly fills the cavity (or cavities), and is then allowed to cool while the machine fills its barrel for the next cycle. As the plastic cools, it changes back to a solid. After a set amount of time, the mold opens, exposing the part, and hydraulic ejector pins push the part out of the cavity.
Q: Is injection molding the right process for my product?
A: Volume is a major driver when making the decision to use injection molding as your manufacturing process. If you need 1000+ parts, it’s probably the best solution. Since tooling is expensive, the need to produce high volume is necessary unless your parts have specific material specifications that require an injection molded resin.
Q: What information is needed to quote my molding project?
A: Please complete our basic RFQ form. In order to quote an injection molded part we will need information on the part weight, the type of material, how many cavities in the mold, and the quantity to be quoted. If some of this information is not available to you,.. a 3D CAD model of the part is the easiest way for us to get this information. We use Solidworks, so that would be best, but any .STEP, .IGES, or parasolid file will work. From the model we can determine all the information we need to quote the project.
Q: What is the volume and material criteria?
A: Our sweet spot for volume production is between 10,000 and 750,000 parts per year. Our main requirement is that the part that has undergone a manufacturability analysis and can be molded. If you’re unsure if your part meets the criteria, we will evaluate the part for you. Some materials are not designed to be injection molded. If you project requires one of these materials, such as silicone, we will not be able to produce the parts.
Q: What material should I use?
A: There are almost 100,000 materials in the marketplace today, so it can be very overwhelming, but when we learn about your application we can recommend grades that are readily available, and less expensive. Ie.: Will the part be outside? What kind of abuse will it need to withstand?
Q: How long does it take to build an injection mold?
A: It depends on how many parts are needed and the complexity of the part geometry. Simple molds can be completed in two weeks or less. The typical lead time is between 4-6 weeks, but some complex parts could take two months to design and manufacture the tool.
Q: Do you offer prototype tooling?
A: Yes, but only to evaluate the prototype part prior to producing production tooling. We do not build prototype tools as a service. We are a high volume molder and the amount of production parts from a prototype tool is limited.
Q: Do you offer value added services such as assembly, packaging, pad printing, or fulfillment?
A: Yes, we provide packaging, labeling, and assembly services to our customers. In the event that your project requires a service that is out of our expertise, we can recommend one of our 3rd party approved vendors to work with. We can also manage this service giving you more time to concentrate on your business. Up to you.
Q: Can you really beat China pricing?
A: Yes, by removing the risks associated with manufacturing offshore we can deliver a part price that can beat China pricing. Download our report on the 5 things that you need to know before manufacturing in China for more information.
Q: What type of maintenance does Plastimold perform on their molds?
A: All molds have moving pins in them to eject the part out. Maintenance will include periodic greasing of these pins, as well as all other moving components, and cleaning of the cavity and core surfaces. We offer a lifetime mold guarantee. If your mold starts to deteriorate we will take all the necessary steps to keep it in top condition.
Q: Does Plastimold offer design and prototype services?
A: Yes, Plastimold offers design and consulting services on complex and simple projects. We also can supply 3D printed parts from our in house printer. Having owned several different 3D machines and experienced in a wide variety of 3D printed materials, we can advise you on the best solution for your project.