3 Secrets for Creating Injection Mold Designs That Stand the Test of Time
Plastic injection molding was invented in the late 19th century with the first molding machine patented in 1872 by two brothers, John and Isaiah Hyatt. While the device was simple by today’s standards, it led to the rapid growth of a burgeoning plastics manufacturing industry.
Today the injection molding industry is going strong. Injection molding is a manufacturing process for producing parts by injecting molten material into a mold.
Companies can get molds from manufacturers around the world. But not all molds are created equal. They range from very high-quality molds to very low-quality molds. The difference in injection mold manufacturing is not just about the bottom line. It’s also about manufacturing molds that do not create production problems down the road. It’s also about creating injection molds that when properly maintained will last millions and millions of runs, known as shots.
Here are three secrets of creating the best injection mold designs for everything from car interiors to medical devices to children’s toys. These are best practices for creating molds that stand the test of time — and deliver value over the long haul versus causing expensive production problems.
Explore different avenues to find the right solution
The majority of injection mold manufacturers have developed their process for producing molds and don’t veer from what they know. However, the best molds are created by understanding exactly what a company needs from their molds and considering several options to find the perfect way to create new molds. This is also an ideal way to improve existing molds.
Creating unique solutions in collaboration with each customer delivers several advantages. By working one-on-one with engineering experts, companies get molds with the most robust designs and functionality, created to meet their specific needs and business goals.
Go above and beyond the standard processes
Molds produced with standard practices often start out working well. But too often any one of a variety of performance problems can develop. For example, inferior molds can result in issues such as short shots, burning of the resin, flashing at the parting lines, and sink marks in the surfaces. All these problems result in wasted time and resources, including production downtime as companies work to separate good and bad products.
However, it is possible to go beyond standard practices to create mold designs that work precisely for the job at hand and don’t require extensive repairs to correct problems created in the mold-making process. This involves thinking, creativity and exploring the options for making molds that deliver superior performance.
To ensure that customers’ new mold startup is smooth and fast, the injection molds should first be tested with a documented process on dedicated sampling injection machines. Taking this extra quality assurance step into account will give companies an ideal mold startup experience.
Build molds that are built to last
Too often, companies purchase mass-produced or low cost injection molds to save money. But these inferior molds have unpredictable lifecycles. While one may last the quoted length of time, another could last half that time. This can be a serious problem that impacts production efficiency, including downtime and output.
Creating injection molds that are built to last a minimum of one million shots requires creative thinking, the highest standards, state-of-the-industry equipment, and seasoned mold design and engineering expertise. It also requires thoroughly understanding the customers’ needs based on issues such as press size, materials and critical dimensions.
Producing quality molds also requires reviewing new molds with the client to ensure the finished design meets their needs. This eliminates hindsight mold changes, manages modification costs, and avoids delays in production.
At A1 Tool, we are creative thinkers who build tools to the highest standards with state-of-the-industry equipment. Our in-house design, manufacturing and mold sampling ensures accurate parts with the productivity and innovation companies need today to stay competitive and profitable. Our team of seasoned, on-staff mold designers continually produces the most innovative engineering solutions, always creating economical and repeatable solutions that meet companies’ precise requirements.
Learn more about what makes A1 Tool Corporation one of the industry’s leading mold makers. Download our comprehensive injection molding guide today.