Category Archives: plastic injection molds

How is a Shuttle Mold Used?

 

 

A Shuttle mold is a mold system with one A side, and multiple B sides.  This is used in a vertical clamping press, as opposed to a horizontal clamping press.  A vertical clamping press is used for over molding, also referred to as insert molding.

 

Insert molding occurs when plastic is molded around an object such as a metal or even another plastic insert.  A shuttle mold system is used on a rotary table press so that there are two, three or sometimes four bottom sides, rotating around on the table allowing an operator or a robot to place the insert into the cavity in the mold.  When the bottom side spins around, the top half of the mold will come down vertically clamping onto the B side to mold plastic around the insert.  

 

This system can be labor intensive requiring an operator to load inserts, and unload molded product, unless the job is set up with automatic robots for this purpose.  This is different than most horizontal molding processes in which the there is one A and B side of the mold, sliding on a horizontal plane, coming together for the injection molding process, then the parts are automatically ejected with an ejector system falling into a desired location, usually a bin or box underneath the mold.  

 

Most horizontal injection molding jobs are fully automatic once the mold is set in the press, some can even run in a lights-out situation if automated auxiliary equipment is established.  A vertical molding press with a shuttle mold system typically employs an operator, although they can also be automated.  

 

Some examples of insert molding would be electrical wire harnesses that are partially encased in plastic, or even knives or silverware that have plastic molded around a metal object.   Shuttle molds are used in plastic injection molding for various industries including Electronics, Consumer Goods, Automotive, Aerospace and Military / Defense industries.  

Michiana Global Mold has experience constructing precision shuttle molds, and virtually any other type of plastic injection mold base used in various industries.  We are a valuable supplier to the Automotive industry with complex tools meeting tight geometrical dimensional specifications.  Contact Michiana Global Mold today, and ISO9001:2015 Registered mold maker.  

 

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.  

 

Michiana Global Mold is an ISO 9001 Certified Company

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Michiana Global Mold is an ISO 9001 Certified Company providing full service design engineering capabilities and custom injection molds since 1952.   Implementing the Quality Policy throughout the organization, with Top-Down Management Involvement, MG Mold believes in empowering all employees by providing equipment with technological advances to complement the vast  experience of our skilled staff.

This combination of experience and technology enhances the skills of our expert engineers, mold designers and journeyman mold makers, resulting in dedicated functional team.

We maintain a capital investment program providing modern equipment with improvements in efficiency. Continual improvement projects are performed at regular intervals to provide our customers with quick turn-around on quality precision molds, no matter the size or complexity.  This investment in equipment and efficiency allows us to share in cost saving efforts and offer rebates to high-volume customers.

Michiana Global Mold is an ISO 9001 Certified Company in two locations, domestically located in the Midwest United States, and overseas at our off-shore mold building facility in China, our partner company Modular Mold Solutions. This allows  us to provide both semi-finished and fully finished molds at an economical price, saving up to 40% on your tool package.   This savings can be realized on all tool types: Prototypes, Production and Insert Molds, Hot Runner and Cold Runner Molds, Shuttle and Over Molds, Unscrewing Molds, Collapsible Core Molds, and 3-Plate Molds.

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

 

Plastic Injection Mold Design Considerations

mgmold1Injection 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.  

 

Plastic Injection Mold Designs Requiring Cam Action and Lifters

Engineers have many factors to consider when it comes to plastic injection mold designs, including cam action and the ejection system.    Once a mold designer has evaluated all geometric tolerances on the part print, they will typically create a CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawing of the part to aid in the design of the tool.  While reviewing part requirements and the tooling necessary to mold the part, it will become apparent if any Cam Action, or specialized ejection system is necessary.

What is Cam Action

Cam action refers to the mechanics necessary to create an undercut feature, a hole in a part would be an example.   Cam action occurs on sliding plates that would slide in when the plastic is molding around it to create the feature such as a hole, then it must slide back out in order for the part to eject properly.  If the pins or mechanics that molded the feature like a hole did not slide out of the way, the part would be lodged on that pin and would not fall out.  A cam device will pull the side-action mold surface out of the way to allow ejection from the mold.

cam-action-1-minPictured is an example of cam action; the sliding plates have barrel like rods attached to move in during the molding process creating holes in the part.  They slide back out when finished for proper ejection.

cam-action-2-minThis photo shows cams in a closed position, while molding the hollow geometrical shape of the part.

Lifters and the Ejection System

The ejection system is what pushes the part out of the mold after a fully formed plastic part has been molded.  In some instances, some help might be required for proper ejection.  This is where lifters would be included as a mechanism in the ejector system.  A lifter is an angled feature that is part of the ejector plate system, and is activated upon ejection.

The ejection system has several considerations during the injection mold design.  The ejection pattern and stroke of the press must correspond with the mold design.  Proper location of ejection pics is crucial to properly eject the mold without damaging the finished part.  In some instances, lifters are the only option to ensure proper ejection.

lifter-example-iso-view-cut-away-1An example of lifters assisting with ejection

 

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.  

 

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.

 

 

Resin Injection Molding

3D printing

Molding With Plastic Resin

Resin injection molding is the manufacturing process of molding raw plastic pellet into usable parts.   Thermoplastic resin is the most common type of plastic used in the polymer molding process.  The resin, or plastic pellets, is used by injection molders to make parts for a wide variety of industries.

 

Custom injection molding is the process used by custom molders to make parts that are designed by others, typically engineers in the Automotive, Aerospace, Consumer Electronics, or Medical field.  Injection molding is also used for the Furniture, Construction, and Toy industries, although precision molding is required for the former mentioned industries requiring a high level of quality with tight tolerances.

 

Each resin has a melt temperature when it becomes pliable, which allows it to flow through an injection molding press, into a barrel and screw, where it is injected with pressure into a steel mold forming the desired parts.  After forming, the mold ejects the parts and closes again to prepare for another cycle.

 

Characteristics of Thermoplastic Resins

 

Thermoplastic resins have a unique ability to be strong and durable, yet also lightweight which makes is a desirable material for several functional parts. They can be reinforced with glass filled polymers, or they can have a rubber like appearance, and several variations in between.  They can be made into virtually any color, size or shape.  This flexibility is the main reason that plastic resins are the material of choice for supplying various industries with necessary functional parts.  Some examples:

 

  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyethylene (low or high density)
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
  • Polypropylene (Acetal)
  • Polyphenylene Ether (PPE)

 

The experienced molder has all procedures in place to provide full traceability throughout the resin injection molding process up to and including shipment of quality parts that meet or exceed customer specifications, along with proper documentation.  Contact Michiana Global Mold today to see how we can help you with your injection molding needs.