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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.

Press Considerations for Injection Mold Design

 

 

When constructing plastic or rubber injection molds, in addition to the part design the molding environment that the tool will run in is of the utmost importance.  A mold designer must be aware of the injection molding process that the tool is designed for, the press it will run in including the clamping system and whether or not it is a vertical or horizontal clamping press.

 

Each injection molding press will have a particular clamping pressure that is either delivered in an electric or hydraulic system.  Some molders prefer to use all hydraulic presses, while some have a mix of hydraulic and electric, while other molders use only electric machines.  There are some benefits to both, but the mold designer must be well aware of the power and pressure utilized in the press of choice prior to designing and constructing the injection molds.

 

A mold designer, and mold builder will need to know the tonnage of the press, the clamping orientation and clamping pressure whether it is electric or hydraulic, and they will also need to know the barrel capacity of the press.  This will determine how much material will be able to flow into the mold, and based on cycle times and cavitation, will determine whether or not the tool is designed to meet projected production volume requirements.

 

Each injection molding press will also have a certain type of mounting system to secure the mold in the press.  A toe-clamping system is most common, although a skilled mold designer can adapt the tool to fit even a custom designed mounting system.  The platen must be large enough to hold the mold but it must also allow enough room to pass through the tie-bars when loading or unloading the mold.  The tie bars hold the mounting platens in place which securely hold the mold in the press, and also contain the ejection system allowing opening and closing of the mold.

 

Michiana Global Mold has vast experience designing complex, precision molds for various industries, meeting all requirements of our customers molding environment.  We are valuable addition to any supply chain, providing proven solutions with high performing quality steel molds.  Contact us today for a free design consultation, and to learn more about our discount and rebate programs.  

Expert Injection Molds from Concept to Completion

 

Choosing the right injection mold supplier for your project is an important decision.  Every injection molding project begins with a quality constructed injection mold.  You need to choose a supplier that can handle your project, no matter the complexity or precision tooling required.  

At Michiana Global Mold, we are experienced in constructing quality precision molds, taking into account all necessary design considerations from the beginning resulting in a perfect mold for your application.  Michiana Global Mold employs expert mold designers, utilizing the latest in technological advancements with CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design / Computer Aided Manufacturing) Software.   Download our FREE Book on Design Considerations for Various Molds.  

Michiana Global Mold will partner with your business from the beginning, providing you with options that will give you the best value for your mold construction project.  We use CAD/CAM along with mold flow analysis when necessary, to pinpoint any critical dimensions before cutting steel.  

We have full in-house design capabilities with expert experience in all facets of design construction and machining.  We can construct fully functional molds, mold inserts, over molds for insert molding, mold compositions, and adaptations including engineering changes.  

We have the skill and experience to produce best in class automotive injection molds, satisfying even the most stringent of quality requirements.   As an ISO Registered tool shop, we are familiar with following documented guidelines, providing excellent workmanship to meet precision tolerances.  We will identify problem areas before they would become a problem.

Our staff includes journeyman moldmakers that have vast experience with tool construction for a wide array of industries.  We have the knowledge required to provide precise, technical tools for various applications including those required in the automotive industry, consumer electronics, medical, and military / ordnance requirements.  

Contact Michiana Global Mold today to learn how our vast experience, knowledge, and technical capabilities will add value to your supply chain.  We partner with our customers from the beginning, providing quality, precision molds for a wide array of applications over various industries.  Michiana Global Mold is an ISO Registered injection mold construction supplier, providing quality class A steel molds since 1952.  

Top 5 Benefits of ISO Certification

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An Overview of the Benefits of ISO9001

 There are many benefits of ISO certification, a globally recognized and accepted set of quality standards applicable to companies in various industries.   Conforming to ISO9001:2015 provides many benefits to manufacturers in all industries including plastic and steel production for automotive, consumer electronics and military and defense.

Businesses that provide design work such as injection mold makers have additional standards and responsibility to their customers, and the supply chain to which they contribute.  Producing quality product, on time, and within customer specifications is key to providing exemplary customer service.   ISO standards prompt companies to detail and audit all systems in their business, implementing corrective actions when those processes are not meeting their goals, applied to all processes, not just manufacturing.

Conforming to ISO standards also means that you have a written plan, detailing needed resources and expected goals for all business processes including business strategy and planning, sales and marketing, production, quality, and customer service.  ISO 9001:2015 puts added emphasis on risk management and leadership engagement, all necessary components of successful, globally competitive businesses.

Here are the Top 5 Benefits of ISO Certification

  1. All Processes are Identified, and Audited for Effectiveness

Processes includes the required resources needed to attain a specified goal.  Each process has an owner, a person responsible for successfully attaining specified goals.   The process owner determines the best way to measure the effectiveness of a process, and implements corrective actions when necessary.

  1. Contributes to Goal-Oriented Teamwork

Process owners must utilize human capital as a resource, creating one goal-oriented team.  Each team member should be aware of the company’s quality policy, and know how their role in the organization contributes to the overall business goals.

  1. Improved Efficiency Produces Improved Profits

Improving efficiency always equates to an improved bottom line.  Time is money, and continual improvement projects like Value Stream Mapping can improve efficiencies and profits for any business process.

  1. Utilizes Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) business improvement process.  
  • Plan – Establish your objectives and a plan to achieve them
  • Do – Execute your plan with a structured framework
  • Check – Audit results against your objectives
  • Act – Make corrections and improvements.

The PDCA system Can be applied to any process and is utilized throughout the entire ISO process.

  1. ISO Certification Focuses on One End Result – Total Customer Satisfaction

Conformance to each and every standard ultimately leads back to total customer satisfaction.  Why does a business do what they do?  Customer Satisfaction is required for any business to survive, let alone thrive and grow.  With focus always on customer satisfaction, one of the major benefits of ISO Certification is that the business has the framework to keep current customers delighted and grow with referrals by providing continued exceptional customer service.

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

 

Cost Saving Options for Prototype Tools

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The Value of a Prototype Mold

Constructing a prototype mold for testing purposes can save you money by perfecting your part design prior to building a production injection mold.    A prototype mold is the only type of mold that can be constructed of aluminum because is not intended for supporting any long term production requirements.  A prototype mold is a good way for an engineer to see exactly how their new part will function in a real-life scenario, without the expenditure for a standard steel production mold.   A prototype mold can cost considerably less than a Standard Mold, in some cases thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, while providing the benefit of developing your product to perform exactly as intended.

Some other economical options for injection mold construction would be a MUD Unit, or what one if the project is certain but tiny details are still in question, you may want to build a standard mold with a prototype cavity, develop only one of a multi-cavity tool to perfect the part before constructing the remaining cavities.

Versatility of MUD Units

A MUD (Master Unit Die) Unit refers to a universal steel frame that fits into a press, allowing for an insert mold to slide in or out for quick changeovers.   A MUD unit frame is extremely valuable for production runs that require just in time delivery, when the volume requirements do not dictate a standard mold expenditure.  The ability to quickly switch out insert molds reduces machine down time and labor costs.   Some molders prefer to use MUD units on jobs that run in the same material, allowing for smooth set up and production runs.   This is an economical option that many molders can offer to their customers.

Standard Injection Molds

A typical standard injection mold is used in a horizontal clamping press, with two halves, an A & B side, that move together to form the desired production part(s) inside the closed mold.  A standard mold will have either one or multiple cavities, the carved out area with specific precision geometrical shapes prepared to mold the desired part.  In some cases, an engineer may be certain of needing an 8-cavity standard mold for high volume part production, but may want to perfect the design prior to constructing all cavities.

Michiana Global Mold has vast experience constructing prototype tools, insert tools for MUD units, and prototype cavities in multi-cavity tools.  Michiana Global Mold has been a superior supplier of high quality plastic injection molds for various industries including automotive, consumer electronics, medical and defense, for over 50 years.    We are an ISO9001:2015 Registered mold builder, maintaining high customer satisfaction through continual product and process improvement.

 

 

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.  

 

Injection Mold Makers and the Automotive Industry

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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.