Injection molding is a production process of manufacturing products or items in high volume. It is mainly used in the mass production process where thousands or millions of the same thing are produced.
Injection molding is used for many applications where products are manufactured repeatedly and in quick succession.
Some items that can only be produced using an injection molding machine include bottle tops, combs, musical instruments, automotive parts, mechanical parts, chairs, small tables, storage containers, wire spools, etc.
These products need to be produced in high volume because they’re often in demand and therefore need always to be available. That’s why many manufacturers opt for the injection molding process, among others, to manufacture plastic parts in large quantities.
Is Injection Molding Cheap?
You can arrive at the cost of a mold depending on the number of cavities in the mold. When there are fewer cavities, it means there’s no need for much tooling work, which consequently reduces the manufacturing costs for creating an injection mold.
Another determining cost factor is the intricacy and complexity of a part’s design; other factors include surface finishing, tolerance, number of undercuts, threads, and detailing. When you combine all these factors, it increases the cost of the injection molding machine because they require more tooling work.
The only injection molding capable of producing good results without costing a lot of money is rubber injection molding; this injection mold has a high yield of quality and long-lasting products.
Pros of injection molding
The most significant benefit of injection molding is improving production to produce parts in high volume. Once the cost of the design and the molds have been sorted out, the mass production price is minimized. The cost of production reduces as more parts are produced at the same time it takes to create one.
Injection molding also generates less waste than traditional production processes like CNC machining, which removes excess materials.
Regardless, the injection mold does create some waste, particularly from the sprue, the runners, the gate location, and any overflow material that escapes from the part cavity (also referred to as flash).
Another advantage of injection molding is that it enables the production of multiple identical parts, which ensures part reliability and consistency in mass production.
Cons of Injection Molding
Even with its advantages, the injection molding process also has its disadvantages.
Up-front costs can be pretty expensive for injection molding, especially regarding tooling. Before you can start producing any parts, a prototype must first be made. Once it has been created, a prototype tool needs to be completed and put to the test. This process can be costly because it takes time and consumes money.
Also, injection molding is not the best option for producing large parts as a single piece. This is because the injection molding machine and the mold tools are limited in size. Any item that cannot be produced once with an injection molding machine needs to be created separately before being combined later.