Before you endeavour to produce a part via injection molding considers a few of the following things:
1. Financial Considerations
1.1 Entry Cost: Preparing a product for injection moulded manufacturing requires a large initial investment. Make sure you understand this crucial point up front.
1.2 Production Quantity
a. Determine the number of parts produced at which injection moulding becomes the most cost effective method of manufacturing
b. Determine the number of parts produced at which you expect to break even on your investment (consider the costs of design, testing, production, assembly, marketing, and distribution as well as the expected price point for sales). Build in a conservative margin.
2. Design Considerations
a. Part Design: You want to design the part from day one with injection moulding in mind. Simplifying geometry and minimizing the number of parts early on will pay dividends down the road.
b. Tool Design: Make sure to design the mold tool to prevent defects during production. Consider gate locations and run simulations using mold flow software like Solid works Plastics.
3. Production Considerations
a. Cycle Time: Minimize cycle time in as much as it is possible. Using machines with hot runner technology will help as will well-thought-out tooling. Small changes can make a big difference and cutting a few seconds from your cycle time can translate into big savings when you’re producing millions of parts.
b. Assembly: Design your part to minimize assembly. Much of the reason injection molding is done in southeast Asia is the cost of assembling simple parts during an injection molding run. To the extent that you can design assembly out of the process you will save significant money on the cost of labour.
4. Decide what kind of plastic you would use
In the plastic injection molding industry, different kinds of plastic are being used to craft certain products. If you are planning to use a wide variety of plastics for your products, get a machine that would be able to handle it with ease. Not all machines are created equal, which means there might be some machines that would have a difficult time producing certain kinds of plastic. Versatility is the key in the plastic industry, which is why you should take it in as another deciding factor.
5. Pick the machine type
Plastic injection molding machines have three distinct designs, namely fully electric, fully hydraulic, and Hybrid. These machines run on pumps, and choosing between hydraulic and electric plays a factor on how you should do maintenance on it, along with how well it would perform. This would also help you look for the right kinds of parts to use in case that you would have to repair it.
6. Pick the right size
Plastic injection molding machines come in different sizes, which mean the bigger machines would be able to create larger products. Size is also a factor when it comes to machine maintenance, as larger machines would need more care and regular checks to keep them running well. Size is also a factor in production cost, as smaller machines might be able to consume less electricity, while using a bigger machine would significantly need more power.