Tag Archives: injection mold

Choose the Proper Gate Location in Injection Molds

The gate is the mechanism that allows the plastic resin to flow into the mold, and every plastic part design must take careful consideration of the type and the location of gates.  There are various styles of gating mechanisms typically used in injection molding, and each style will have an effect on the finished product.  The style of gating chosen can affect the visual appearance of the part, the likelihood of warping or sink marks, and proper packing to meet dimensional tolerances.

 

Avoid Defects from Gate Location

 

To avoid defects when processing, place your gate location at the heaviest cross section for maximum fill and packing to avoid sinks and voids.  Experienced mold designers will also know when to consider adding a second gate location, which may be necessary in complex geometrical shapes to obtain proper fill throughout the part.  

 

The location of the gate should allow for automatic or manual de-gating, designed with the minimal length of flow path to minimize visual flow marks.   In cold runner molds, the part is usually ejected attached to the runner and gate, de-gating removes the part from the runner system.  Some processes include automatic de-gating with robotic arms that grab the runner out of the mold separating it from the part or parts.  

 

Gates in Hot-Runner Tools

 

There are basically two types of gating systems used in hot-runner tools, where the plastic is injected directly into the cavity to avoid runners altogether.  In a hot-runner tool, the gate may be either a thermal (or hot-tip) gate, or a valve gate.  The hot-tip gate solidifies the resin at the tip nozzle immediately upon high pressure injection into the cavity, stopping the flow of plastic to the cavity.  

 

A valve gate is used when the plastic may not solidify completely upon injection, and therefore a valve slides over to cover the nozzle tip and stop the flow of resin.  Either type is effective and cost efficient when used properly in a hot-runner system mold.  

 

Michiana Global Mold is experienced with constructing cold and hot-runner tools, with various styles of gating mechanisms involved.  We are skilled with determining the optimum gate location for precision molds required to produce complex geometrical parts.

 

Michiana Global Mold has been exceeding customer expectation with high performing injection molds since 1964.  We have vast experience with all types of molds and mold base components. Contact us today for a FREE design consultation and to speak with one of our knowledgeable design engineers.  

 

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What are the Differences of ISO 9001:2015 and 9001:2008

ISO 9001 is a set of internationally recognized standards that provides a uniform way of measuring a company’s internal quality systems.  ISO was first introduced in 1987, and is administered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.  

The latest version of ISO9001:2015 is replacing the prior version from 2008, as a new standard is introduced about every seven years.  When first introduced in 1987, the standards focused on documentation, saying what you do, and how you do it.  Defining job descriptions, work instructions, and quality checks and balances was a big part of the initial introduction of ISO standards.  

The updated version that came next in 1994 enhanced upon “say what you do”, and added “say what you do, and do what you say” (and prove it).   Further documentation was required to show that you are actually doing what you say you are doing.  Internal audits are emphasized with honest findings, and corrective actions.  

The ISO updates in 2000 turned focus to “continual improvement” and “customer satisfaction”.  Continual improvement projects must be identified, and customer satisfaction must be measured.   The ISO9001:2008 version went into greater depth of all prior versions, emphasizing processes, process owners, measurable goals and how they impact continual improvement and total customer satisfaction.  

With the most recent updates of ISO9001:2015, there is even greater emphasis on business management and leadership, and top-down management involvement.  Each employee should be aware of the organization’s mission statement, quality policy, and what their role is in achieving these goals.  Top management should be involved with communicating the quality management system, and the importance of each employee’s role to the organization.

ISO9001:2015 puts more emphasis on risk based thinking, and having contingency plans in place.  The bottom line is that businesses that adhere to an ISO compliant quality system are poised for the future, with quality systems in place that focus on total customer satisfaction.

Total customer satisfaction reaps many benefits in customer retention, increased volume of business, and new business referrals.  The efficiencies recognized when implementing ISO leads to cost-efficient improvements, thus saving time and money.  

Michiana Global Mold is a superior plastic injection mold designer registered to ISO9001:2015 in the United States, and ISO9001:2008 in China.  We offer offshore mold making options, rebate programs and high-volume discounts.  Contact us today for a FREE injection mold design consultation.  

Domestic Mold Maker with Offshore Mold Capabilities

Buyers of injection molded components are continuously faced with pricing challenges, they must provide to their customers the absolute lowest cost for injection molded components, and that begins with the cost of the tool.  Investment into the plastic injection mold is often the largest up-front costs injection molders face, and this price can make or break a contract with an OEM seeking the lowest cost world-wide.  

Today’s global economy is far different than two and especially three decades ago, prior to NAFTA and the mass sourcing of manufactured parts to overseas companies.  The cost difference is not as steep as it used to be with offshore companies rising to the occasion, improving their supply chains and quality systems and their overhead along with it.  There are still some attractive cost strategies to be used, however, if you have the right connection and know how to go about sourcing with offshore companies.  

Where to Begin Sourcing an Off-Shore Injection Mold Maker

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to get started working with an offshore company, specifically a mold making company in China.  Without proper planning and implementation, the endeavor can end up costing you more than it should.  

You are sourcing overseas to save money that you can pass on to your customers, you surely don’t want to invest more into it that you will get in return.  In many cases, having an overseas source for molds determines whether you get the contract or not.  It is not an option of whether you have a mold maker in China, it is a necessity and the only question is how to go about it.  

Domestic Sourcing Provides Return on Investment

Rather than try to contact a Chinese company directly, or use a broker to help you, working with a domestic mold maker with partnering companies in China gives you quick return on your investment.  With a domestic provider, you do not have to worry about the language barrier, currency conversions, lead times and most importantly – the quality of the tools you are sourcing.  

Michiana Global Mold is a domestic mold making company with a partnership in China, providing full-service overseas injection molds, headache and hassle-free to you.  We take care of everything from the language barrier, quality concerns and lead times, giving you one point of contact in our US location to fully coordinate all aspects of your tool build.  

Both of our mold making facilities in the US and in China are registered to ISO 9001, following a strict quality policy to provide tools to your specification.  We use only North American or German steel, and provide sample parts and all final inspections from our US location.  

We have vast experience with all types of tools including prototypes, insert cavities, three-plate tools, hot-runner tools and shuttle molds.   Download our FREE Guide to Sourcing Your Tools in China, and let Michiana Global Mold provide you with domestic support and offshore pricing.  

Michiana Global Mold is a leader in plastic injection mold making, serving the Automotive and various industries since 1964.  We offer high-quality, precision tooling from our domestic or overseas location, on time and to your specifications.  Contact us today to learn more about our offshore mold making capabilities.  

Injection Mold Makers for Precision Parts Manufacturing

Injection molding companies that manufacture precision parts are often in need of a precision injection mold making company to add to their preferred vendor list.  Many quality and purchasing engineers in various industries are searching for a custom mold making company with high precision capabilities to manufacture critical components.

Some industries that require vendors with precision capabilities to produce to high performing parts and components are:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Military / Ordnance
  • Medical / Pharmaceutical
  • Consumer Electronics

Suppliers to OEMs in these industries must meet stringent requirements, as all suppliers play a vital role in the quality of the end product.   An injection molder must be working with a quality tool that is designed and manufactured to produce a perfect part to the customer specification.  When working with a quality tool, and the specified material, an experienced molder will produce precision parts to specification.   

In addition to the molding parameters such as the size of press, and the material used, the mold design has vital impact on the quality of the parts produced in the manufacturing process.  

Mold Design for Precision Parts Manufacturing

Producing precision parts consistently to customer specifications requires a flawless mold.  The mold design will be based on the part design, usually provided by the customer.  In some cases, an experienced mold designer can assist with reverse engineering for new product design.  

Experienced mold design engineers will use computer aided design (CAD) software to assist with an injection mold design, providing detailed prints that can be shared with the injection molder for collaboration on critical areas.  When necessary, mold flow analysis can show the mold maker, and the injection molder a detailed computer simulation of how the material will melt, flow and fill.

Precision parts molders need a precision mold maker in their vendor list, a mold maker like Michiana Global Mold that offer value added services with custom injection molds within specification, and delivered on time.  For full service mold making and tooling services from an experienced, professional and high performing mold making company, contact Michiana Global Mold.  

Michiana Global Mold is a leading mold making company supplying injection molds to OEMs worldwide for critical precision parts manufacturing.  Contact us today for a FREE design consultation and to learn about our multi-tool discount program.

Advantages of an ISO Registered Mold Making Shop

There are many advantages gained with using an ISO Registered mold making facility for construction of your injection molds.  Plastic injection mold making shops are expected to meet just in time delivery deadlines with tight tolerances within specifications.  Today’s injection mold making industry leaves no room for error as mold making shops must utilize modern technology with experience and in-depth knowledge of the injection mold making process in order to satisfy the stringent requirements of OEMs today.

The Internationally recognized quality standards of ISO9001, ISO/TS16949 and AS9100 set common parameters for various industries around the globe to measure their performance in either their service or product with a uniform set of standards.  Any supplier to the Automotive industry should be registered to ISO standards. In some cases, proving compliance may be adequate for a 3rd tier supplier, although most 1st and 2nd tier suppliers must be registered to either ISO or ISO/TS.

This gives Automotive suppliers around the globe the same set of standards to adhere to, making the job of the Automotive Quality Engineer from one of the top Automakers a little easier to compare vendors.  In order to stay in the preferred vendor status, an injection molding shop and even the injection mold making shops must not only be registered to ISO standards, they had better be practicing their Quality Policy and performing continual improvement projects in order to stay competitive.  

Mold making facilities meticulously follow detailed checklists ensuring that all issues are recognized and address prior to cutting steel.  ISO Registered mold making shops that follow Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) reveal any critical issues with mold construction such as critical fill areas to tight geometric areas, the need for CAM action, lifters or specialty ejection systems.  Identifying these critical issues ahead of time is crucial to fulfilling a tight deadline with a quality mold.  

Michiana Global Mold is a global supplier of high quality injection molds, registered to ISO  9001:2015 and implementing our Quality Policy throughout the organization.  We have been satisfying the stringent requirements of the Automotive industry with high-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.

Prototypes Provide Valuable Benefits

Prototype injection molds provide a chance to perfect the design of a molded product, prior to constructing a full size multi-cavity tool.  This can be well worth the extra time and expense to make a smooth launch of mass production requirements.

A prototype mold is a very inexpensive method of testing out a new part design for proper functioning.  Prototypes are usually constructed with less expensive material such as non-hardened steel or P20, or even aluminum, as the purpose is to mold sample lots of parts, not full production volume.  A prototype mold usually has just one cavity, and this can be an easy to way to make sure a part will work as expected, before manufacturing a large multi-cavity tool.  One part is all that is needed to verify the part’s dimensions and geometric tolerances.    

A prototype mold is used in industries where new model parts are always changing such as the Automotive industry.   In some cases, new parts are used in existing assemblies, changing a design slightly but still using some existing components.  In this case the new parts would have to be tested within the existing assemblies to ensure proper function.  Prototypes give automotive design engineers a chance to try out a new part, and alter it if need be, to work properly with other new or existing components.  

Prototype Mold Advantages

In addition to the flexibility to try out new part designs to verify part function, the biggest advantage of prototype tools is the low cost.   Made with the less sturdy and less expensive material, a prototype tool cannot support production, it can however provide enough shots to produce sample parts for testing purposes.

This is a very worthwhile investment, however, especially if you are uncertain about how the geometric design on one part will fit with your existing application, or if you just want to test part properties prior to building a production mold.  With the low cost of prototype tools, it could be a very advantageous place to start here if you have any questions about a new part function.

A prototype is also advantageous if the part is molded with a new resin, or a resin that the engineer is not familiar or experienced with.   Since all thermoplastic resins contain varying properties for shrink rate, strength and durability, some prototypes are constructed to test the strength of a molded part in different materials allowing engineers to test out different resins.  

Michiana Global Mold has vast experience constructing prototype tools to customer specifications, giving you a quick turn-around time on sample parts for your testing purposes.  We employ skilled design engineers and journeyman mold makers all with in-depth knowledge of prototype mold construction, and properties of varying resins.  

Michiana Global Mold has vast experience assisting engineers and designers to achieve their dimensional goals with design assistance and Prototype Mold Construction.  Contact us today for a free design consultation and to see how we can assist you with your project development goals.