Injection mold designers and engineers have numerous considerations when planning out the best approach for the mold design of plastic components. Plastic injection molding is used in various industries such as automotive, electronics, medical and defense, to name just a few. When the same part is required in a high volume, engineers choose injection molding to mass produce required components with consistent quality.
Mold Design Derived from Part Design
Every injection molder knows that in order to manufacture a quality part, to specification, you must begin with a quality tool. Injection mold builders today utilize technology such as CAD (Computer Aided Design) and Mold Flow Analysis software to provide an accurate three-dimensional image of the desired plastic part before even cutting steel. These tools provide advanced product and quality planning procedures, and assist the mold builder and the injection molder to work together in producing the part to specification.
Critical Elements of the Part Design
Careful evaluation of all critical dimensions is extremely important when designing a tool. Some parts are designed with thin walls that can succumb to underfill, or a hole that must be within strict tolerances per customer specifications. Knowing up front where the critical dimensions, and required strict tolerances lie is of the utmost importance when designing a tool. Some tolerances can be as tight as + or – .001 of an inch, the width of a human hair! When carving steel from a mold to meet these tight tolerances, it is important to get it right the first time.
Mold Design is Influenced by the Molding Environment
A mold designer must know what specific type of press the mold will run in and the properties of that press such as whether it has a vertical or horizontal clamping system. A vertical press requires shuttle molds with multiple B halves, and is typically used in over-molding, also referred to as insert molding, which is molding plastic around an object typically made of either plastic or steel.
The most common type of injection molding press has a horizontal clamping system where both halves of the mold open and close on a horizontal mounting system, and parts fall into a bin below the mold when it opens and ejects them.
Most injection molding presses have water fittings and lines to run through the mold for instant cooling to aid in the setting of plastic, reducing cycle time. The placement of fittings for cooling systems, electrical connectors and wiring is an important consideration for mold designer to ensure that the mold will fit and work properly in the press.
Michiana Global Mold is an ISO9001:2015 Registered injection mold designing and building company. We have been supplying custom precision injection molds to various industries including automotive, medical, electronics and defense for over 52 years. Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your plastic injection mold designs.