Custom Plastic molding offers a versatile and wide range of applications, from food storage to medical supplies, and beyond. However, the manufacturing of each part or tool is just as unique as the part itself. Two of the most prominent manufacturing methods are injection molding and thermoforming. Here, we'll highlight how each works, as well as the advantages and best use of each.
As we mentioned, thermoforming and injection molding are the most widely used manufacturing processes. Both offer advantages depending on the application and production run. Thermoforming is commonly used for shorter production runs of large-scale parts and injection molding is best for large production runs of parts that are more intricate in nature.
The idea behind injection molding is fairly simple. A stainless steel or aluminum mold is created for a specific part, or tooled, as we say in the industry. Polymers are heated, then liquefied and sprayed or poured into a mold. The plastic hardens and the part is released from the mold. Any seams or tags are then removed from the part. This process can be done in rapid succession, even with extremely detailed part designs.
Injection molding is ideal for mass production and large quantity production runs. A manufacturer can create thousands, even millions, of the same part with just one mold, depending on the complexity and class of the mold.
Thermoforming consists of heating a plastic sheet and forming it around a "male" or "female" mold. The male or female mold the inward and outward interlocking sides of a mold. In thermoforming, only one side of the part is molded at a time. Vacuum forming and pressure forming are the most popular types of thermoforming. They work very much like their name suggests, one uses a vacuum to form the heated sheet over the mold, and one uses pressure to form the heated sheet over the mold.
Thermoforming is best for small production runs (between 200-2000 parts). It also works best for parts that do not have intricate details. Parts that need to be seamless should not be thermoformed.
If you're still unsure of which method will work best for your custom plastic molding in Ontario, contact Baytech. Our long-standing expertise gives us a distinct advantage. With over seven decades of experience, Baytech Plastics can guide you through the process of design, tooling, manufacturing and ultimately success.
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