Have you ever seen the show, “How It’s Made?” It’s a fun look at the manufacturing process of many of the products we use every day. In my role, as manager of the Customer Success Marketing program, I’m constantly looking at our customers in search of the next success story to share, and I love researching what they make. We serve such a wide spectrum of industries, and each is unique in their manufacturing process.
What is Injection Molding?
Injection Molding is a process that touches most of the things we use every day. As a matter of fact, injection molding is one of the most common methods of manufacturing plastic parts. However, the injection molding process can be used in a variety of materials including metals (the process is called die-casting) and glass, but most commonly thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers. Let’s start with the smartphone you grab first thing in the morning, then the kitchen utensils you use to make breakfast and then there’s all the parts in your car that work together to get you to work. Each of these things contain parts that were created using injection molding.
The first step in manufacturing a part through injection molding is designing and creating the mold, which is no small task in and of itself. Many of our customers provide this service. One example is Asyst Technologies, a supplier of insert molded products located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Asyst not only designs and develops the mold prototype to meet their customers’ exact specifications (the mold must be perfectly concise, down to .01 of a millimeter), they can also manufacture the injection molded plastic parts once the mold is created. Watch this video to learn a little more about Asyst Technologies and how they’re becoming an Effective Enterprise.
Once the mold is created, small plastic pieces are melted down to insert into the mold. The tools used ensure that the plastic is melted at even temperatures – this is important in order to maintain the integrity of the product. Once the plastic material is soft enough, it is injected under high pressure into the mold. The cooling process can take up to 85 percent of the cycle time for the entire process.
Some of the benefits of Injection Molding are the lower scrap rates and the repeatability of the process. It allows manufacturers to produce a high volume of parts while keeping consistency in the brand and quality of the product.
ERP Built for Industrial Manufacturing
QAD understands that no two companies are alike and a one-size ERP solution doesn’t fit all either. We have specialized expertise in six specific industries — learn more about QAD Cloud ERP built just for your industry.