About Plastic Injection Molding

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By Jeremy Losek, Jul 23rd, 2020

Plastic Injection Molding

Your Experienced Plastic Injection Molding Company

For well over a decade, ICOMold in Holland, Ohio (near Toledo) has been a leading plastic injection molding company thanks to our one-stop facility. We’ve mastered putting together a complete plastic injection molding strategy. This straightforward manufacturing process – which services countless industries – saves you money, lowers time-to-market and increases product quality.

ICOMold offers the fastest and most cost-effective plastic injection molding services available in the world. From start to finish, we ensure the highest-quality end products.

About Plastic Injection Molding

Plastic injection molding is a manufacturing process that produces plastic injection molds from thermoplastic and thermosetting materials. Plastic materials are fed into a hot barrel, mixed and forced into a mold cavity by a ram injector or reciprocating screw. Then, the materials cool and harden to the configuration of the mold cavity, creating the finished injection-molded parts.

ICOMold builds our injection molds from steel and uses precision machinery to form the detailed features of the desired part.

Countless parts, from tiny components to entire body panels of vehicles, are made using plastic injection molding techniques. In fact, it’s the most common production method in a variety of industries, including furniture and computer technology.

Characteristics and processes of plastic injection molded parts:

• Force molten plastic material into a mold cavity via a screw-type plunger

• Produce a solid or open-ended shape that conforms to the contour of the plastic injection molded cavity

• Require the use of thermoplastic or thermoset materials

• Show sprue, parting line, gate and ejector pin marks

Advantages of Plastic Injection Molding

One of the biggest advantages of plastic injection molding is repeatability. Every part produced by a particular mold comes out exactly the same. Other advantages of plastic injection molding include:

• High tolerances

• Low labor costs

• Wide range of material selection

• Minimal waste

• No finishing needed

We can make a mold to for anything you need, too. If you can draw it or design it, we can produce a mold to your exact specifications. We can even produce molds for parts with complex geometry, something other parts manufacturing processes can’t handle.

From concept development through tool manufacturing, parts production, decorating, assembly and packaging of your finished product, we have the resources to produce any type of plastic design imaginable.

Whether you’re in the initial stages of development or have your finished design intact, count on ICOMold to provide the assistance you need.

Equipment for Plastic Injection Molding

Plastic injection molding machines – called presses – consist of a material hopper, a screw-type plunger and a heating unit. Presses clamp the mold to the platen of the machine, where plastic is injected through an orifice to create the finished plastic injection-molded piece.

Plastic injection molding machines are rated by tonnage, which calculates the amount of clamping force the machine can exert. Such force keeps the mold closed during the manufacturing cycle. The projected area of the part being molded determines the total tonnage needed. This area is then multiplied by a clamp force of 2 to 8 tons per square inch of the projected areas. The stiffer the plastic material, the more clamp tonnage is required to hold the mold closed. Generally, 4 to 5 tons per inch are used or most plastic injection molding projects.

Today, electric injection molding machines are favored over traditional presses. Electric presses require 80% less energy consumption and offer nearly 100% repeatability. Though the cost of electric presses is 30% higher, greater demand for plastic injection-molded parts has largely closed the gap on cost.

Injection Molds: Aluminum vs. Steel

The choice of material to construct a plastic injection molded part is often a question of budget and the desired end-product.

Historically, injection molds were created from steel and were expensive to manufacture. They were typically only used in large-scale productions when thousands of parts needed to be produced.

Today, aluminum molds cost substantially less than traditional steel injection molds. When higher-grade aluminum like QC-7 or QC-10 is used with modern computer equipment, it can economically mold thousands of parts. Aluminum molds offer faster cycles and quick turnaround because of enhanced heat dissipation.

Steel molds cost more to build, but their longer lifespan often offsets higher initial costs. High-grade steels like H-13 and S-7 are tough metals, withstanding wear and constant pressures of plastic injection molding. Steel grade PAS940 is prime for transferring heat. Stainless steel injection molds are commonly used for larger components or clear parts, like lenses.

Whether we use aluminum or steel to make your mold, ICOMold uses cutting-edge CNC machining and electrical machining to meet your exact specifications.

Cost of Plastic Injection Molding

The cost of manufacturing plastic molds depends on numerous factors, like the size of the mold/parts, complexity of the design and the number of cavities in the mold. While the initial manufacturing cost might seem high, the price-per-piece is relatively low. In short, the final cost correlates with quantity – greater quantities mean overall price decreases.

Variations of Plastic Injection Molding

Most plastic injection molding processes are covered by the methods described above. However, several important molding variations include, among others:

• Co-injection molding

• Thin-wall molding

• Rubber injection

• Low-pressure plastic injection molding

• Inset and outset plastic molding

Why ICOMold

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, inventor, or a vehicle parts manufacturer, you may have a need for an injected-molded plastic part. And it’s difficult to confidently move forward with the design and manufacture of the part when you have minimal experience.

Count on the ICOMold difference – we have a strong plastic injection molding foundation, which gives us the ability to avoid common mistakes, make smart decisions and execute your next part project with ease.

We’re ISO 9001:2008 certified, which means we’ve streamlined our process and produce fewer defects when compared to the competition. These quality systems also allow us to offer top-notch manufacturing at competitive prices.

Contact us by calling (419) 867-3900, or go ahead and request an instant quote for your custom plastic injection molding project!

ICOMold is a Leader in Plastic
Injection Molding for US Companies