What are the benefits of short run plastic injection molding?
- Produces Working Models and Prototypes
- Has a Fast Turnaround
- Has Lower Production Costs
- Is Economical and Efficient
- Gives More Time to Market
- Is Suitable For Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Also known as a small run or low volume injection molding, this is a specialized process that utilizes aluminum or steel molds to create smaller production runs of plastic products. There are many benefits to short run plastic injection molding, which we will discuss further in this article. These benefits are why plastic injection molded products are everywhere. The items that easily come to mind (such as your kid’s toys, or your TV remote) are just one of the many millions of products that are created using this specialized operation every day.
Produces Working Models and Prototypes
Short-run injection molding is a quicker affair than most other plastic production methods. This allows it to bridge the sizable gap between the creation of a working prototype and finalized production. When this gap between the two stages is shortened, it gives the engineers a working model to use in the production and gives them enough time to affordably adjust the design where needed.
These working prototypes can also be more complex and detailed than you think. Plastic injection molding makes it possible to easily create these complex designs. This is because the process uses injection molds, which subject the plastics to higher pressure. The pressure makes a tighter mold around the used die, which gives a more precise shape than is usually seen in other methods. When plastic is fabricated with injection molding, it can be created to a precision level within 0.001 inches.
This method also has a faster turnaround when compared to other plastic production methods. Its quick production process can create finished components. These components can get to the customer (the one who ordered these components) and can be further assembled (if needed) and put the products out to their markets at a faster pace. At this pace, customers can reduce their inventories in shorter periods while still meeting the market’s lead-time demands.
Has Lower Production Costs
Using short-run injection molding also leads to lower production costs. This is due to the high automation levels of this job, as well as the use of less expensive materials for tooling (such as the dies used in the injection molding machines).
These materials are usually made of aluminum or low-grade steel and are still considered high-quality despite the lower costs. Short-run injection molding can provide superior plastic parts and components while still being at a competitive price.
Additionally, this process can mold plastic parts in bulk and in short periods of time. This means that there is minimal time input but a high output ratio, which means that it is an extremely efficient system in terms of cost. It is one of the reasons why this molding technique has reduced labor — the less time that’s needed to man the machines, the less you have to pay in terms of labor wages.
The equipment in this process is also designed for reduced supervision. The machines can be completely computerized and are able to produce high-quality components using minimal labor. Using automated machines also reduces the chance of human error, which reduces the need for replacements.
With this injection molding, the plastic parts come off the mold with an already finished look to them. Post-production work with short-run injection molding is lessened, which also reduces cost and makes for a more efficient operation.
The actual production process is also extremely quick, especially when it comes to short runs. The injection molding machines can produce hundreds of the same components from a single mold, and this tool can be used for long periods of time before needing repair or maintenance. This technique also creates very little scrap compared to other fabrication processes. Any scrap can also be reground and recycled for future use.
Adding onto the previously mentioned benefits, this point ensures the creation of economical, small-run quantities that can be easily repeated on an as-need basis. This allows the customer to easily order the parts when demand for it increases, even on short notice.
Gives More Time to Market
Putting your product on the market as soon as possible can greatly impact your company’s sales. While the timing itself should not be rushed, being the first option on the market can create a huge advantage over your competitors.
Short-run injection molding helps your business get its product ideas into production quicker than other manufacturing processes. As previously stated, it can create detailed prototypes to work upon and improve as production moves forward. Lower production runs and inexpensive molds can also accelerate the prototyping and concept testing, and allow for enough feedback to be given before settling on the final product design.
This gives a huge time advantage, which is needed for businesses looking to enter emerging or volatile markets with their products. By being one of the first options in that market, these businesses will be a step ahead of the competition when it comes to getting the right solution to the right customers.
Having short runs for your product can give significant cost savings. For small and medium-sized businesses, this can be a lifesaver and enable them to compete in the market against bigger businesses. Short-run plastic injection molding requires low initial investments as they produce lower volumes of products or parts, and can still create that high-quality design and finish that many businesses look for.
Even when entering smaller markets, the costs and investment of creating the desired product are still at the forefront of smaller businesses’ minds. Short-run injection molding can create as small a batch as needed, with 100 units or less still being possible. The dies, programming, and tools used in this operation can also be outsourced to a manufacturing company, as many have extensive professional experience in injection molding for different specialized industries.
Short-run plastic injection molding is widely used around the world today for a good reason, and the mentioned benefits illustrate why this technique is so popular. This injection molding technique is one of the most efficient and versatile processes available from manufacturing services.
There are many benefits of short-run plastic injection molding, and this option may be the best one for your business and your production needs. If you are looking for a manufacturer who can offer not only plastic injection molding services but also the right resources and expertise for your project, then contact Richfields today!