Injection Molding Basics: How Plastic is Transformed from Pellets into Products
You can probably agree with us that plastic has become a vital element in our society today. So many objects are being fashioned out of it and it is quite hard to imagine a life without them, don’t you agree? With this in mind, it is understandable why injection molding has transformed into a huge enterprise we all know today.
Relatively 30 percent of the plastic commodities in the world are manufactured using injection molding basics, and a very large portion of this chunk is made through customized injection molding machinery. Various steps are implemented during the entire process after a prototype has been created, tested, and finally approved for use.
The very first step is mold clamping. This unit is just one of the three major parts on an injection molding machine; the mold, the clamping, and the injection unit. The clamps act by holding the mold as the molten plastic is being injected while the mold is put under intense pressure, and the plastic is being cooled.
The next step entails injection of the molten plastic. Upon the start of the process, plastic pellets made of special resin or special formulation is placed into a very large hopper. They are then transferred into a cylinder where they are heated until melted. This makes plastic very easy to mold. It stays there because it is placed under high pressure that is maintained by the clamps, waiting for the injection molded plastic to finally cool and harden.
The next phase entails dwelling. This process is just checking if every part of the mold is filled with molten plastic. After this phase, the process of cooling will start and will only end when the plastic takes form into a solid material. The mold would then be opened and the hardened plastic will be ejected from it. The mold will be rid of any plastic residue or extra parts and will be ready to use for another batch of manufacturing.
Just like any manufacturing process, there are pros and cons associated with plastic injection. For a plastic manufacturer, the pros outweigh the cons most of the time:
- It keeps production levels very high.
- A great tolerance level in the commodities can be replicated.
- Labor costs are minimized because majority of the work is done by the plastic injection molding machine.
- Scrap costs are also minimized because precision in manufacturing produces minimal or no waste at all.
But cons can also be taken into consideration as it can be a deal breaker for much smaller manufacturing companies:
- The machines are very costly.
- Operating costs are also initially very high.
Thankfully, companies that specialize in customized injection molding can help the smaller manufacturing companies. They can even make a prototype of custom buckles with the exact dimensions that a client wants, make it undergo the entire process and show an initially finished product, complete with estimates that the customer can ponder and consider with.