injection mold

12 Steps for injection molding production

Drawing offices may perform many types of work depending on their industry branch and project scope. An organization with an injection molding development focus often follows an organized plan which details each stage from client inquiries through delivery of finished injection molded product. Many activities associated with plastic product use are determined by function.

Vehicle manufacturers rarely design and produce all their parts themselves, opting instead to subcontract these out to component suppliers. An engine contains electronic and mechanical parts which must meet predefined specifications; additionally they should be suitable for installation into specific locations with operating parameters specified clearly enough that any installation occurs quickly without incident or malfunction. Component manufacturers strive to enhance both their product’s performance and quality alongside end users to meet these objectives.

A typical, step-by-step description of the stages of design and development for injection molded components in this category is given below:

  • Step 1

Clients seeking a particular plastic product are often not familiar with all of the details and are therefore in need of the professional experience and advice of a specialized plastic producer to clarify their initial thoughts. In such a situation, if a range of viable options is presented, opinions will be focused and decisions will be made with greater certainty.

  • Step 2

An injection-molded engineering company’s Chief Engineer or Design Authority must produce the specifications for its molded products, including all applicable legislation that the product must comply with, and the level of configuration control a product must maintain throughout its life cycle. There is no doubt he will seek advice when he is confronted with aspects of the plastic injection molding design that he does not understand or where technology is involved on the fringes of the design.

The company must, however, carefully prepare a top executive plan because at the outset the organization must decide whether it wants to entertain or participate in proposals for achieving client satisfaction. In the current job market, while the firm may reap great rewards, it may not be able to meet its financial and labor needs and deliver on its commitments. Perhaps they do not wish to take the risk, and given their available production capacity, they prefer not to bid on a potential order.

  • Step 3

It is important to consider these drawings as provisional at this stage. As a plastic part of this exercise, specialists within the organization contribute their views so that feasibility can be assured.CAD (computer-aided design) is extremely useful as part of this preliminary stage. In the system, any information that can be defined mathematically is stored and displayed. Following the establishment of the basic geometry, design variations can be kept, and sections of previous proposals that were found to be satisfactory can be continuously used in redrawing the alternatives. It is possible for the designer to take a printout at any point in the injection molding development process so that others can offer suggestions and comments. An important consideration at this stage is determining the level of configuration control. Lots of times, the reasons for and against taking a decision (Optioneering) need to be recorded formally.

A firm order must be accepted at a later date so that the company understands the extent of its commitment. As part of this commitment, not only must you have the technical ability to design and produce an excellent product, but also the financial abilities to implement the product on the production line.

plastic part design
  • Step 4

Initial design work produces a concept, which must be approved by our customer before being put into motion. Before investing any resources into development of our product, it is vital that we confirm with them what dimensions and operating parameters will be included as part of a large assembly comprising our product.

  • Step 5

Once everything is in order, working drawings will be created if all requirements have been fulfilled by our proposals and hopefully satisfy customers through these drawings – they do not represent production drawings but working plans intended to outline construction methods.

A design review should ensure all design requirements are being implemented efficiently and reliably, and guarantee supply going forward.

  • Step 6

Once designed and prototyped, production methods of manufacture should begin on small batch or prototype production runs. Here injection molding may not be utilized and components that might otherwise need molding may instead be machined from solid for reduced casting costs.

  • Step 7

To determine whether operational requirements in a specification have been fulfilled, prototype tests should be run. This may lead to design modifications. Along with extreme temperatures and humidity exposure tests, product tests often include vibration exposure as well.

Validity can only be verified through proven test results.

Reviewing and assessing the design at this stage will enable team members to see that progress on all technical fronts is acceptable.

  • Step 8

Once performance targets of the prototype have been confirmed, production drawings can begin. Modifications will be made to prototype drawings so full-scale production processes may be utilized during manufacture; and planning must also take into account loading plant efficiently through factory hallways before starting paperwork processing.

  • Step 9

After producing the prototype, various manufacturing methods should be utilized to manufacture a final plastic injection-molded product with exact specifications in mind. Verifying that all specifications remain uncompromised before any manufacturing starts should ensure its success.

  • Step 10

Once equipment has been tested in its operating environment and performance has been evaluated thoroughly, full scale production specifications can be released for release.

  • Step 11

Machines aren’t the only tools utilized in production; other resources must also be considered, including jigs, fixtures, tools, gauges and inspection procedures as well as equipment used to transport materials between production lines.

  • Step 12

On occasion, teething issues arise; samples should be collected to make sure all plants and equipment function as expected before full production can resume. Any downtime must first be eliminated in order to begin full scale production.

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