Production injection molds are used to mass produce plastic injection molded parts. Injection molding is the producing of specially designed plastic parts by injecting with pressure and clamp force, plastic in a molten state into cavities carved out in a steel mold where the plastic will harden and set to the shape of the mold, thus producing the part.
Injection mold makers sometimes produce a prototype tool to test out a part design and function prior to manufacturing full production requirements. Production molds are used for long term production requirements. A prototype tool is used only for short runs to produce sample parts for testing and will not support full production.
With proper planning and mold design, a custom mold maker will design and manufacture a production mold that will meet all product specifications and geometric dimensions. Some of these dimensions must be met with the tightest of tolerances as close as .001”, or about the width of a human hair. Carving out the cavities of a steel mold to produce a plastic part within these tight tolerances is no easy task, especially when taking into consideration the properties of the thermoplastic resin including cooling and shrink rate, which can have a great effect on the final dimensions of the part after solidifying.
If a change is required of a production mold, skilled mold makers can perform what is called an “engineering change” to alter a dimension or tolerance within a part. If the change is feasible just by altering some dimensions in the steel, mold makers can simply adjust some dimensions in the current tool and avoid the need of constructing a new mold altogether.
Skilled and experienced mold makers will utilize advanced quality product planning procedures to ensure that the constructed production mold will produce parts to spec the first time, planning ahead for critical fill areas and ensuring parts to print.
Michiana Global Mold is an experienced full-service tool and die shop, constructing high performing injection molds with quality steel. We are an ISO registered mold making facility, applying our strict quality policies in all processes. Contact us today for a FREE design consultation and to see how we can assist with your next injection mold production requirements.