Which Variables Affect the Cost of Plastic Injection Molding
Injection molding is a robust and unique technique for scaling the manufacture of various products. However, it can become costly when you make the wrong decisions. Entrepreneurs that make wrong decisions about the process, acquisition of materials, as well as operations may experience higher costs from the process. We shall, therefore, look at the variables that lead to these costs for you to understand how you could manage them.
There are a few important things to master in understanding the Cost of Plastic Injection Molding. First, we shall look at how part design affects your costs. You will see why a proper part design influences the subsequent costs of your molding process. Some manufacturers make the fatal mistake of placing a general order and failing to emphasize the details of part design. Get involved in the design decisions and be precise about it. Subsequently, we shall look at the cost efficiency of your mold material, the manufactureâ€™s location, cycle time, as well as finishes.
Part Design and Complexity of Parts
You should approach your injection molding project with lean thinking by focusing on the size and shape of parts as a starting point. Focus on simplicity for part design rather than sophisticating it. Think about the assembly process or the mandatory procedure of getting a finished product and eliminate the need for unnecessarily large parts in your design. Large parts will require the processing of larger amounts of material. You will also need to think about the production process and make lean manufacturing decisions about it.
The other decisions you can make on part design include optimizing cavitation. The highest cavitation will help you generate parts rapidly and at a lower cost. You will have a large number of parts in a shorter period to eliminate the waste of material and time resources. High cavitation also enhances economies of scale by enabling you to scale up your production without making multiple setups to match the production targets. Your initial lean setup will suit the needs for scaling up in a flexible manner.
When you select the type of mold material, consider the cycle time of producing different parts from it before it is exhausted or changed. You should consider using a multi-cavity mold or family mold to generate a variety of parts at a go, and from the same material. The initial cost of acquiring such materials may be a bit higher than other types of molds but it helps to lower more costs that would occur when you use different types of molds.
Interchangeable mold is great for improving the utilization of molds. You can consider the potential of modifying and repurposing molds at different stages. It will help you settle for the appropriate mold modifier system or process. Implementing it will help generate a variety of parts from the same mold. MUD tooling is great for modification and you can combine it with the compatible lean manufacturing processes to lower costs even further.
The distance to your manufacturer or general accessibility of your supplier will influence the handling and shipping costs. It is advisable to look into the details of location by comparing the distance to the main shipping point, especially for imported mold. Once you starting scaling your production, the costs start to add up. You also want to understand the costs related to the location to avoid inconveniences in delivery, which can create extra costs for your process.
Your process will be less costly with frequent inspection and utilizing more expertise to avoid total breakdowns. Instead of risking a steady deterioration in product quality and the failure of your system, you should consider regular maintenance to eliminate bigger failures. You can consider whether you have to overproduce or over-process to make up for an aspect of your design and focus on the affected parts of processes for more rigorous maintenance. It is also good to keep an eye on your entire system. Take the heating, mixing, molding, and cooling processes as examples where a waiting period occurs. You will be able to minimize the Cost of Plastic Injection Molding by designing a process and machines that eliminate or minimize this waiting period.
Cosmetics and Finishes
Cosmetic features can easily induce a higher Cost of Plastic Injection Molding. You need to consider the minimum of cosmetic features for your material and process design as a way of driving down costs. It is common for manufactures to test and evaluate different product prototypes so as to arrive at one that is both appealing and cheap to produce. If you donâ€™t already have a high capacity for scaling, consider minimalist designs that lead to a functional product in the shortest time possible.
If you want to minimize unnecessary costs in finishing, stick to simple finishes. Complex finishing can clog your final phases of production with features that easily scale up the costs. Implement your system for the earliest product ejection to shorten the cycle and increase yields. You will also benefit from reduced complexity that would require further attendance and inspection.
We have seen the various variables determining the Cost of Plastic Injection Molding and how you can deal with them to lower your costs. It is clear that you will deal with a higher Cost of Plastic Injection Molding if you fail to utilize lean design for parts. Lean design improves time utilization in the production process by minimizing the waiting time between phases of production.
It is clear that you need to understand the costs that relate to your parts, mold material, cycle time, and finishes. You need to be closely involved in design decisions and ensure that you adapt lean strategies that improve on material usage, cycling, and product volume. The material selection, assembly costs, operational, and maintenance costs are also critical, and they can be lowered with such strategies as interchangeable molding, simple finishes, and more frequent inspection.
You will achieve your goals for lowering costs if you consider the things we have outlined here. If you found this article informative, feel free to share it, or tell us about it. We will be glad to hear from you and get your perspective as well. Good luck!