Category Archives: injection mold making

Hot-to-Cold Injection Mold Making Experts

 

 

Most injection molders and injection mold makers are well familiar with the standard mold base, consisting of two halves, referred to as the A and B side of an injection mold.  The standard mold base will have two sides, and gates where the plastic will flow into the mold, through a ‘channel’ to get to the cavity or multiple cavities where the parts will mold.   This standard mold base is also called a cold runner mold.  

 

When the polymer resin hardens in the cavity to form the part, it hardens in the channel as well, which is also called the runner or the sprue.  In most cases, the runner is scrap, and will either be ground up and kept in raw material inventory as regrind to possibly be used in future jobs that will allow it, or it will simply be thrown away.  

 

Some injection molders grind up runners and keep the regrind material, but it can pile up and become an eyesore as most injection molding jobs require the use of 100% virgin material.  Even if it can be reused, it’s value is greatly diminished if it is stored in inventory.  Some molders feel it’s not worth the space on the floor to keep regrind material.  

 

If this runner is large, it can be a huge expense built into the part production, as the cost of the material is one of the biggest, if not the biggest expense of producing the part.   In some cases, especially for extremely small parts, the runner is larger than the part being produced.  In cases such as this it may be advisable to construct a hot runner mold.

 

A hot runner mold has a nozzle at each cavity supplying plastic directly into the cavity, rather than flowing through a ‘channel’, creating a runner.  This is a big saver if you can avoid creating a large runner for a high-volume production job.  

 

Hot to Cold Injection Mold

 

A hot runner mold may be worth the investment in cases of excess waste with high volume, although it is typically quite a bit more expensive than a cold runner mold.  Another option is called a hot-to-cold mold which is a hybrid of the two.  

 

Rather than have a nozzle at each cavity, there is a nozzle supplying a shortened runner system, supplying material to more than one cavity, thus greatly reducing your material cost.  A benefit of a hot-to-cold mold as opposed to a hot runner mold is the cost, it is generally less expensive as there are not as many nozzles and inner workings.  

 

A hot-to-cold mold is often the most economical option, providing significant cost savings with a reduced runner size, while not imposing the added cost burden of a full hot runner mold.  

Michiana Global Mold is experienced at constructing cold runner, hot runner, and hot-to-cold runner molds.  We have been in business for over 50 years, providing high performance tools with complex, precision designs.  Contact us today for a FREE design consultation and to learn more about how Michiana Global Mold can reduce your purchased injection mold costs.  

 

Injection Mold Making Technology

Injection molding is the mass producing of plastic parts with a steel mold, an injection mold, designed with cavities to mold the desired part.  Injection molding uses thermoplastic resins, also called polymers, typically in a raw pellet form, that melt and flow into the cavities in the mold, forming the part, then it is ejected once it hardens.  The time that it takes for the mold to close, plastic to flow into the mold, the polymer to set and eject upon mold opening is called the cycle time.  Injection molders are always looking for ways to increase the cycle time, as time is money and when you can mold a part faster, you can mold more per hour, per day and per week.  

A skilled injections mold maker will have the knowledge to design the mold with the most appropriate attributes to reap the best cycle time while still delivering the desired part to the customer specification.  Michiana Global Mold is accustomed to constructing complex, precision injection molds within +/- .001”, which is about the thickness of a human hair.  

Injection Mold Making Equipment

Injection mold makers are well familiar with the precision equipment used to carve out steel cavities, forming a perfect plastic part.   Computer aided design, and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) equipment is a key tool for designing a perfect tool.  The designers at Michiana Global Mold use Unigraphics CAD/CAM software to design the mold fit for producing a desired part.  This alerts the mold maker and the injection molder to any critical areas such as thin walls or a critical dimensional tolerance that must be met, prior to cutting steel.  

Milling machines, conventional EDM and wire EDM machines are a necessary tool, along with high speed CNC machines, drill presses and grinders.   Michiana Global mold, located in Mishawaka, Indiana with an offshore mold making facility in China, utilizes all of these mold making equipment tools, and more.  We have over 50 years of experience constructing complex tooling for demanding industries such as the Automotive industry where 0 ppm (parts per million) defects is the norm.  The key to a quality plastic injection molded part, is a quality injection mold.  

No one understands this better than Michiana Global Mold, your one stop shop for mold making and tooling services.  We do everything from constructing insert cavities and prototypes to full service high volume precision production tools.

Michiana Global Mold is Registered to ISO9001:2015, delivering custom injection molds to a wide array of industries demanding high volume long lasting performance with the best available pricing.  We offer rebates on multi-tool programs and discounts with offshore molding options.

Contact us today for a FREE design consultation, and to see how Michiana Global will provide value added services in your supply chain.

Ejection Systems and Lifters in Injection Molds

 

The ejection system is a very important part of an injection mold design.  The ejection system must correspond to the stroke of the press, and work in perfect harmony with any auxiliary equipment utilized in the press.  The ejector pins must also be placed where they will eject the part without causing any damage to the part.  This can be tricky with small intricate molded product, it may be difficult to find the right angle to eject an oddly shaped part with critical dimensions or thin walls.  In some cases, lifters must be used just for this purpose, to eject the parts properly and without causing damage.

If lifters are required this must be apparent prior to building the mold.  This is where an experienced mold designer will determine the best placement of any required lifters in the ejection system.  A lifter is part of the ejector plate, activated during ejection.  They are usually angled and slide up when required during ejection, allowing the part to mold all dimensional features properly.  

If auxiliary equipment is attached to the press such as sprue pickers, the ejector system, whether it includes lifters or not, must always accommodate any automated auxiliary equipment.  Sprue pickers are automatic robots that reach into the mold when it opens to grab the sprue, also called the runner, and move it out of the way usually dropping into a bin or grinder to grind up and re-use the material.  A two-stage ejection system is sometimes used with a robot grabbing the sprue, and the parts falling onto a conveyor or into a bin below.  

Utilizing the latest technology with CAD/CAM software, Michiana Global Mold can design your complicated precision injection mold with an ideal ejection system.  We have experience designing and building precision molds requiring complex ejection systems, utilizing lifters, and accommodating the injection molder’s press specifications.  

Contact Michiana Global Mold today for an expert mold design and injection mold construction with quality steel and components.  We have been an integral supplier of injection molds for over 50 years, employing skilled designers and journeyman mold makers.   Michiana Global Mold is registered to ISO9001:2015, adhering all processes to our strict quality policy.  Contact us today for a free design consultation of your next mold building project.

There are Many Advantages for an ISO Certified Company

complex-oem-mold-corvet-part-300x200There are many advantages for an ISO Certified Company, a company that has passed a rigorous audit of their quality systems and processes.  Conformance to ISO9001, a globally accepted set of Quality Standards, provides a uniform set of measurement systems for various organizations, including injection mold makers.   A Certificate of Conformance is issued upon successful completion of a detailed and systematic audit performed by an external highly trained auditor.

These International standards have recently been upgraded to the latest version of ISO9001:2015, upgraded since ISO9001:2008.  For ease in managing systems and audits, the newer standards are very similar in structure to the previous version, although there is added focus on risk management and leadership engagement.

Following ISO standards is beneficial to many companies in various industries including manufacturing, service and health care businesses.  Companies that provide design responsibility such as manufacturers, molders and plastic injection mold makers realize many advantages internally and externally with conformance to ISO9001:2015.

Conformance to ISO is a Valuable Tool

With the sheer volume of global trade, an ISO Certified Company has a valuable tool to provide advantages for their customers.  Conformance provides a level playing field for companies to recognize the level of quality practiced in an organization, in all   It shows your customers that you passed a rigorous audit of all processes in your organization, with the ultimate goal of providing total customer satisfaction.  ISO Certified companies basically provide confidence to their customers that they take their quality, and customer satisfaction seriously.

Not only are OEMs large and small given confidence from their suppliers’ conformance to ISO standards, they are also able to skip some steps in their vendor qualification process.  When a supplier provides an ISO Certificate of Conformance, OEMs do not have to audit as many systems in order to qualify them as a supplier.  This saves Engineers and Management of OEMs time, and money.

Including ISO Registered suppliers provides added assurances that you are working with a responsive, quality minded business.  Conforming to ISO Standards will lead to improved efficiencies.  These continual improvement methods lead to increased profits.

What all of these advantages ultimately lead to is Total Customer Satisfaction.  The reason that any business does what they do, whether they provide services or make widgets is to provide total customer satisfaction.  An ISO Certified Company has the infrastructure in place to provide their customers with total satisfaction through product and process improvement.

Michiana Global Mold is Registered to ISO 9001:2015, implementing our Quality Policy throughout the organization with top down management involvement.  We have been supplying top-quality, custom precision injection molds for over 52 years.  Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your injection mold building needs.  

 

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.