The Pros And Cons Of In-House Injection Molded Plastics Manufacturing

Injection Molding Processing Techniques

Injection molded plastics can be manufactured in a dizzying array of sizes, shapes and colours from various mixes of elastomers, resins and polymers calibrated to meet the specific needs of each application. With over 19,000 blends of available materials possible, it’s one of the most versatile solutions there is for the production of large manufacturing runs of identical, independent pieces of high-quality plastic assemblies. But there are strict parameters that must be adhered to in order to successfully manufacture injection molded plastics and these can interfere with the success of a manufacturing run. Weighing the pros and cons of the process can help you determine whether it’s the right choice for your company’s needs.

Pros Of Injection Molded Plastics

Injection molded plastics have several advantages over other forms of reproduction such as stamping for several reasons:

  • You can use a wide range of polymers, including thermoplastic and thermosetting resins as well as a nearly limitless mix of elastomers, giving you a great deal of control over the specific blend of materials used in order to get results with very specific properties.
  • You get highly repeatable heat tolerances and production runs due to the precision molding and specific properties of the materials, so you have less loss due to improper manufacture.
  • Individual pieces can be produced at high volume on fast production schedules due to the relatively short cooling time needed between injecting of the polymer into the mold and release of each component.
  • Recycling is easy and affordable, with the polymer residue and overflow available for reheating and reuse in many applications

Cons Of Manufacturing Molded Plastics

Despite the versatility and appeal of injection molding, there are a few down sides to using this form of reproduction for the parts your company needs, including:

  • Startup costs. These can be significant because you will need precision heat equipment, a reliable, automated assembly line and precision crafted molds.
  • You’ll most likely need to hire an engineer to design and test each mold or tie up your in-house machine engineers for a considerable length of time to develop the molds needed.
  • Repair of the equipment can be expensive due to the tolerances and precision needed to recreate molds that won’t cause problems due to inconsistency or inaccuracy of design.
  • Some products don’t easily lend themselves to manufacture using molded plastics. Among these are products with thick or uneven walls and objects that need sharply delineated corners inside or out.

Subcontracting Your Plastic Parts Manufacturing Needs

Many manufacturers who routinely use molded polymer or resin parts in their own products opt to contract out the creation of their plastics to companies that do nothing but injection molding. The immediate cost savings in utilizing their equipment instead of investing in your own can reduce costs significantly, particularly since they will be able to use certain elements in other situations, spreading your costs out over multiple runs as well as multiple uses. Contract manufacturers can also run up to three regular shifts, giving you the flexibility for rush orders at times of seasonal peak without having to add additional, seasonal employees at your own assembly facilities. Because contractors have their own engineers, ongoing training and years of experience with a variety of materials, contract injection molded plastics manufacturers can provide you with cost effective, quality solutions that don’t require more time, money or space in your own facility.