Tag Archives: injection molding

ISO Registration Benefits Automotive Mold Maker

There are many benefits to working with an ISO Registered mold making facility, including quality product and cost savings to the buyer.  ISO quality standards are recognized internationally as the set of quality standards for various industries worldwide to measure performance in their processes, which encompasses all business processes whether they be service or production related.   Most suppliers to the Automotive industry must be registered to either ISO9001 or ISO/TS16949, providing uniform measurements to rate suppliers in a global economy.   

Globally recognized quality standards give Automakers around the globe consistent quality procedures and standards to measure the performance of their suppliers, in quality and service.  This makes the job of the purchasing agent more streamlined in choosing suppliers, and takes some of the burden off when qualifying suppliers to their supply chain.  Most suppliers, even 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers, must be registered to ISO standards and provide a Certificate of Conformance.  This gives peace of mind to Automakers around the world that their suppliers are adhering to their Quality Policy and performing continual improvement in all processes to remain competitive.  Continual improvement projects that focus on increased cycle times, or reduced purchasing costs can be passed on to the Automotive customer, providing even more value as an ISO registered mold shop.  

Michiana Global Mold is an ISO Registered mold making shop, practicing continual improvement with top down management.  We combine the latest in technology with our vast experience to provide the best options for injection molds, beginning with a detailed and thorough injection mold design.  Our design engineers are the best in the business, with extensive experience using our CAD/CAM software and equipment.  

Our journeymen mold makers are accustomed to constructing complex injection molds for high volume, custom injection molding.  We build the challenging tools that other mold makers shy away from.  Michiana Global Mold is experienced with all types of molds, including insert cavities, cold and hot runner tools, shuttle molds, three-plate tools and any other mold type required.  We meet tight tolerances and even tighter deadlines with quality injection molds, built right the first time.  We provide sample parts and reports, and all required tool status reports.  

Michiana Global Mold offers discounts with our off-shore injection mold making partner, rebate programs for high-volume tool requirements, and FREE design consultations.

Contact Michiana Global Mold today to speak with one of our skilled mold designers and learn how we can assist you with your next injection mold making project.  We are an ISO9001:2015 Registered mold making facility with vast experience building custom, precision injection molds for demanding industries including Automotive.  

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Advantages of Prototype Injection Molds

Constructing a prototype injection mold has many advantages to a successful launch of an injection molding program.  Prototype tools give a molder a chance to try out a new design, prior to investing in a large multi-cavity full size injection mold.  Some prototype tools are even constructed with just a prototype cavity, allowing for additional cavities to be developed later after perfection of the prototype.  

Prototype tools are advantageous when using a new thermoplastic resin that the molder may not be familiar with.  A prototype gives the advantage of learning how a new material will melt, flow and fill critical dimensional areas.

A prototype also gives a molder a chance to try out a new design for a part that may have to fit into another larger assembly.  Constructing a prototype tool will give the molder a chance to produce a prototype part to test out functionality, either in larger assemblies or even on an automated assembly line.  

Constructing a prototype tool is a very inexpensive way to test out new parts without an initial major outlay of cash.   Prototype tools are typically constructed with less expensive material than a production tools, therefore are not made to stand up to high volume production but rather a few short production lots for sample testing.  

While production tools must be constructed with hardened steel, a prototype can be made of P20 or non-hardened steel, or even aluminum, as this is adequate to produce sample parts for testing purposes.  Prototypes are used in many industries where an initial small investment into a mold for testing purposes is well worth it prior to constructing a high-volume production mold.  

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.  

Maintain Molding Specs with Preventive Mold Maintenance

The cost of an injection mold is usually the largest part of an investment into a plastic molding process with the exception of the molding press itself.   Capital equipment requires maintenance, with a preventive maintenance plan typically in place for all equipment to keep machinery and equipment running at optimum performance levels and to avoid costly repairs.  

The injection mold itself is no different, operating at optimum performance when a regular preventive mold maintenance routine is performed.

Each injection mold is unique to a particular program, and may be either a cold or hot runner tool, with single or multi cavities.  Some injection molds run only a few times a year to produce a production run then store for a while before it is needed again, and some molds supporting high-volume requirements run continuously in the press.  

Performing preventive maintenance on these high-volume molds is critical to consistent part production within customer specification.  The material the used in the molding process has great impact on the steel mold.  A glass filled nylon, for example, will put a lot of wear and tear on the steel vs. a simple polypropylene material.

Take the time to determine at which cycle intervals your mold requires cleaning, and you will continue to produce high quality parts without mold breakdown.  Some preventive mold maintenance can actually be performed right there at the press, while other PM intervals require a full break-down and thorough mold cleaning.

Preventive maintenance is vital for mold performance, and to meet production requirements.  Take the time to determine the optimum mold maintenance regimen for your injection molds, and provide consistently molded parts within customer specifications.  

Michiana Global Mold is a a valuable supplier to the automotive industry, providing complex, precision molds with our ISO9001 Quality Management System.  Contact us today to learn about our rebate program and to how we can save you money on your injection mold requirements.  

Precision Injection Molds Meet Customer Specifications

Injection mold designs today must meet tough customer specifications, calling for critical fill areas with precision mold designs.   Careful planning must be taken when designing complex molds for critical applications, ensuring consistent packing and filling to tight geometric tolerances.  A qualified mold design engineer has several important considerations when beginning a complex injection mold construction, beginning with a carefully planned mold design.

CAD/CAM for Mold Design

Computer aided design and manufacturing is a valuable tool for injection mold designers, providing accurate 2D drawings and designs to meet customer specifications.  The use of CAD/CAM is beneficial when constructing molds for any industry, especially when designing and constructing injection molds for the automotive industry.  

Unigraphics and SolidWorks are two of the most technologically advanced software design programs used to satisfy the complex demands of the automotive industry.   Mold Flow Analysis is another valuable tool to identify potentially challenging fill areas, especially when using a specialty resin that may be unfamiliar to the molder.

These computer simulations are part of a thorough Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) set of procedures which ensure a successful mold launch.  APQP procedures are critical to the planning phase as following a detailed set of procedures identifies any issues with resin, geometric challenges such as a thin wall or critical dimensions that must remain within +/-.001” for proper functionality.  

Michiana Global Mold utilizes CAD/CAM software as part of our thorough APQP procedures, to ensure a quality constructed mold for even the most complex of mold designs.  As an ISO registered injection mold making shop, we are experienced with providing a quality mold made to customer specifications, on time and within budget.  We work closely with our customers to develop a successful mold launch to meet even the strictest of specifications.

Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable design engineer, and Download our FREE Book on Design Considerations for Different Molds.  

Michiana Global Mold is an injection mold design and mold making company, constructing precision molds to various industries since 1964.  We are an ISO registered injection mold making facility satisfying the strict requirements of the Automotive industry with high quality precision molds.  Contact us today for a FREE design consultation.  

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.  

 

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.