Injection Mold Makers and the Automotive Industry

QC Plastic

Automotive injection mold makers have enhanced the auto industry for decades now, and for good reason.  Injection molding provides consistency, high volume and low cost. It takes an injection mold maker with speed, efficiency, and a main focus on quality and continual improvement to supply automakers with satisfactory product, service and price.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)

Automotive injection mold makers must practice APQP to satisfy the requirements of automakers today.   During this process the cross functional team reviews the product and process design and development, product validation, and assessment with corrective action.  This ensures that any changes are identified, improved design and implementation techniques are addressed, and resources are allocated correctly.  APQP is a vital step for automotive injection mold makers.

ISO 9001:2015

Automotive injection mold making companies are well familiar with the quality standards established by ISO9001 and ISO/TS16949, which is the globally recognized quality management standard for the automotive industry.

ISO Registration brings together standards from across the United States and all of Europe and provides a framework for best practice with regards to the design and manufacture of products for the automotive supply chain. By following these policies, automotive mold makers are continuously evaluating their products and processes for current effectiveness, and areas of improvement.

Total Customer Satisfaction

Injection Mold makers today must practice continual improvement in all processes in order to achieve total customer satisfaction. In the Automotive industry, you need a mold builder to be responsive and act quickly, while considering all options and offering the best tooling practices to the automotive customer.

 

Responsiveness to any and all issues, engineering changes, documentation and sharing cost reduction initiatives are all standard practice for the experienced automotive injection mold maker.

 

 

Michiana Global Mold is Registered to ISO 9001:2015, implementing our Quality Policy throughout the organization with top down management involvement.  We have been an experienced injection mold supplier to the automotive supply chain for over 52 years.  Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your automotive mold making needs. 

History of Plastic Injection Mold Making

Simulation Importance

Plastic Injection Mold Making has been around since the late 1800’s when a man named John Wesley Hyatt first invented a way to inject celluloid into a mold to make billiard balls.  In 1872, John and his brother improved the process and patented the first injection molding machine, which was quite primitive by today’s standards but the concept of injecting plastic through a heated cylinder into a mold was born.  Plastic injection molded parts grew in popularity during the 1940’s as World War II created a huge demand for mass-produced, inexpensive products.

In 1946, James Hendry built the first screw injection molding machine, revolutionizing the industry.  Plastic Injection Molding has evolved over the years and today this manufacturing process supplies products for all industries including consumer, toys, plumbing, packaging, construction, automotive, aerospace and medical.

Part Design

As mentioned above, a wide variety of parts are made out of plastic and more and more parts that are currently made of another material are moving to plastic as a more economical option without jeopardizing part functionality.  For example, law enforcement and military agencies use plastic bullets for target practice, gun parts that were historically made of metal are now being molded in plastic.

Plastic has the rare ability to take the shape and form of almost anything you want it to be.  Parts can be molded with glass filled nylons for added durability.  Some plastic parts are used in engine and braking systems in automobiles and can withstand extreme temperatures.  Some plastic injection molded parts feel more like rubber and are used in a variety of items.  Plastic can be colored to mold in any color desired, UV protection can be added to avoid color distortion.  Very complex moving interior parts with several precise geometric designs are usually manufactured with plastic injection molding.

Tool Design

Once a molder has the part design, the next phase is to design the tool that can produce the part.  A mold built for mass production should always be built with class A hardened steel, but some prototypes are made of less durable steel as they are interim molds.  A reputable plastic injection mold maker will help guide their customer to choose the best type of mold for the job.  In some cases, just one cavity can be completed in a full size mold to be used as a prototype, allowing time to perfect the process prior to building all cavities in a multi-cavity mold.  Michiana Global Mold uses only Class A steel for the majority of their tool builds.

Michiana Global Mold’s engineering mold designers and tool makers can help to guide the customer throughout the mold build phase.  Using CAD software along with decades of experience, Michiana Global Mold knows the best way to tackle even the most complex of tool designs, specializing in injection molds for the automotive industry. 

Horizontal and Vertical Plastic Injection Molds

The majority of injection molding machines are horizontal, which means the mold opens and closes on a horizontal path.  Molten plastic is injected into the mold along the horizontal path through a heated barrel and screw.  When the mold opens and the parts eject, gravity assists with the parts falling out of the mold to the staging location.  These presses can often run without an operator once the mold is set and the process is running smoothly.  These are less labor intensive than vertical molding machines, which usually require an operator or a robotic arm.

Vertical presses are used to mold plastic around an insert of another type of material, usually steel or another hardened part.  This process is referred to as overmolding, or insert molding.  In this type of press, the mold open and closes on a vertical path, allowing the operator to reach in and grab the parts out of the cavities, and load inserts in cavities to prepare for the next overmold cycle. 

Michiana Global Mold. is a plastic injection mold maker with extensive experience in both horizontal and vertical molding.  With a wide selection of state-of-the-art milling centers, we’ve got what it takes to construct quality complex molds, on time and in budget. 

Michiana Global Mold has been in the plastic injection mold making business since the 1962, and employs a cross functional staff with extensive knowledge in part design, tool design, and the molding process regardless of the type of mold, resin, or press needed.  Contact Michiana Global Mold today to see how we can reduce your plastic injection molded project costs.

 

 

What is Precision Injection Mold Making?

mgmold

Not all injection mold making is precision injection mold making.  Some examples of products that do not require such precise molding would be toys, bottles, combs and other miscellaneous items that do not necessitate a stringent level of quality.  Products made for industries such as Automotive, Aerospace, and Government / Military and Ordnance will demand the expertise of a precision mold maker.

Experience is Necessary

Precision mold makers must be familiar with meeting tight geometric tolerances, as narrow as +/- .001 of an inch.  Experience with the plastic injection molding process, especially tooling, is required for a molder to accurately meet rigid tolerances.  Some parts for the above mentioned industries are quite complex with several gates and cam action occurring in the mold.  Expertise in complex molds is required for precision work.

Technology

Automation is also a necessity to consistently meet meticulous requirements.  A process monitoring system is a software program with sensors attached to each press that monitors things such as the pressure, temperature, cycle time and shots molded.  The sensors work with a computer program to keep track of all molding information for each press, contains a scheduling module, and stores all pertinent information for each production run.  While molding, If any of the critical settings should falter out of an acceptable level, an alert system would sound and let the process technicians know to check the process and make any alterations before molding defective parts.

Material Management

With so many different engineering resins to choose from, there are a number of different molding conditions that apply to specific situations.  Some materials are molded with water lines cooling the process, and yet other materials require a hot temperature that can only be reached with a hot oil. The hydrolysis (water content) of the material will also affect the molding process.  Some projects require a complete drying of the material to achieve optimal results.

Controlled Environment

The molding environment must be controlled to maintain a consistent process. Temperature affects the molding process in several different ways, and the experienced precision injection molder knows how to maintain consistency with maintaining a controlled environment.

Quality Practices

Precision Injection Mold Making for demanding industries requires the company to follow necessary quality procedures.  Michiana Global Mold is registered to ISO9001:2015, providing assurance that your mold will meet required tolerances.  These quality standards dictate how a mold maker performs all day to day operations, not just the mold making process, and are enforced from top management down, practicing a stringent quality policy throughout the entire organization.

By practicing quality control procedures such as Statistical Process Control (SPC), and Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), Michiana Global Mold  provides customers with required data to support required specifications.

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is performed for optimal efficiency and cost reduction initiatives are shared with customers.

If your project requires precision injection mold making, consider partnering with Michiana Global Mold to add value to your supply chain.