Injection molding is essentially the process of taking an injectable material such as plastic or metal that can be appropriately melted down, and then injecting it into a mold cavity with the final result being a finished product. When you look at an injection molding machine, there are three main components, and those are:
- The clamping unit
- The mold
- The injection unit
When a company uses a plastic injection molding system, their level of productivity increases drastically, and with being able to produce more products at a faster rate, they can also produce products that are more intricate in design that would be harder or more costly to machine another way. While investing in an injection molding system can be expensive, the rewards outweigh that due to the high production rate, low labor cost, as well as the repeat tolerance. Think about it, these machines allow for nearly countless products to be created with the same mold.
How Injection Molding Machines Work
- Bits of plastic formed into pellets are fed into the injection unit so they can be melted down through the “molten stage.”
- Once the proper temperature is reached, the liquid plastic is forced into the cavity of the mold.
- By using either a screw or the clamp that should come along with the machine, the mold casing is secured until the plastic returns back to its solid state.
- After the clamping unit is secured, that’s when the dwelling phase begins – this is the short process in which you can ensure the cavities of the mold are filled before the plastic begins to cool.
- Any extra pellets or bits of plastic are reused for future moldings.
So not only are plastic injection molding systems beneficial for production, they’re also efficient in the sense that any scrap pieces of plastic can be reused – they just have to be melted back down so they can fit into the injection unit appropriately. These machines can produce countless types of products throughout several industries including automotive, plumbing, medical, construction, and of course, consumer goods.