Plastic injection molding is often the first choice for manufacturing plastic parts these days. With multiple benefits like enhanced efficiency, durability, etc attributed to the process, the decision is easy. But now that you’ve selected your manufacturing technique, what are the key factors to consider while choosing a plastic injection molding company to partner with?
Since plastic part manufacturing is a fairly complicated process, it is important to consider some crucial factors while choosing a plastic injection molding company. Your ideal partner during the process should be able to suit your industry, your products, and product requirements.
To start with, get a good understanding of the plastic molding process. In simple terms, the process uses plastic resins (polymers) which are melted and injected into custom-designed molds under high pressure.
The process has a number of minute details and steps that need to be followed to create complex plastic parts. This is the reason why manufacturers often look for an injection molding partner that caters to their needs as well as budget constraints.
Following are the top 7 factors that you need to consider while choosing a plastic injection molding company:
1. Great Design Team
Design is one of the most important aspects of a plastic molded part. Selecting a plastic injection molding company that has a great design team will go a long way in ensuring the desired final results.
Starting with clear design concepts is important to ensure that the production process gets on efficiently.
The design process is a very critical stage of the project. This is where a project turns efficient in terms of cost and time. Choosing an injection molder that has a great design team and can get involved at this early stage of the project is hence important to achieve the objectives.
An experienced design team should be able to simplify the geometry of the part in order to minimize the number of parts. This is a crucial step in deciding the overall budget as well as to increase the return on investments.
2. Production Volume and Capacity
It is important to narrow down your selection of a plastic injection molding company by considering the volume and size of your production requirements. Various molders specialize in different capacities. Low to moderate capacity injection molders will be able to deliver you a production of 10,000 parts or below.
Low to moderate volume produces are great for those considering these ranges of volume or looking to create prototypes for testing. Various applications like medical devices, aero engineering parts, agriculture components, etc are not required to be produced in high volumes. A low to moderate ranging plastic injection molding company is suitable for such orders.
For parts that need huge production numbers, molders specializing in producing bulk (more than 7,50,000 units) volumes should be considered. These are usually considered for parts using small sized molds.
3. Complete Range of Services
Irrespective of the type and volume of plastic parts that you need, it is important to consider a plastic injection molding company that offers a one stop manufacturing solution.
Injection molding companies who also provide early level consultation, starting from the design and concept stage of the part can help create optimal designs that meet your budget requirements.
When considering a plastic injection molding company, think of the expanded services as well as technical requirements during the manufacturing process. Choosing a moldler who offers a complete range of services- prototyping, part design, mold flow analysis, etc in addition to the usual services is highly suggested.
A one stop solution plastic injection molding company will help you create your desired products while catering to your budget needs along with time efficiency.
4. Product Application
Another important factor to consider when choosing a plastic injection molding company is the product application. The intended use of the part is essential when considering various manufacturing stages like the design, development, and production.
An injection molding company should be able to guide you in selecting the right type of plastic resins for different product applications.
Different plastic resins have different properties in terms of strength, moldability, flexibility, durability, heat resistance, etc. Plastics are now being used in various industries as a substitute to metals to reduce the weight as well as minimize the cost.
Your chosen plastic injection molding company should be able to guide you on the right plastic resins based on the product’s end use as well as your budget.
5. Specification Requirements and Technology Available
More often than not, product manufacturers end up compromising on the specifications required in a product. However, choosing a trusted name as your plastic injection molding partner means that you can get your parts produced, regardless of the specifications involved.
A good plastic injection molding company should be able to guide you as well as make suitable recommendations on the basis of the specifications required within a plastic part. And this should happen without the need to compromise on the details.
Ensuring that the plastic injection molding company you choose has sufficient background experience is recommended. Further, check on the technologies available with the company and their knowledge and experience in using them.
A plastic part, during the production process, may need to go through specification alterations which could include design tweaks, resin changes, etc. Make sure that your injection molding partner can make informative suggestions on these aspects while taking care of your need to save time and money.
6. Quality Assurance
In addition to the considerations like technology and specifications, it is important that your chosen plastic injection molding company is well established and has an in house quality assurance team to monitor the process.
While this factor is often ignored, it is very crucial in ensuring that you get the best services.
The plastic market is highly competitive. Choosing a plastic injection molding company that has the capacity to provide quality assured products and is committed to providing efficient services is important.
Check whether your chosen injection molding partner has high quality machines to carry out the project. Further, ensure that the company is recognized in the industry. Doing a quick background check on the reviews and performance awards achieved by the plastic injection molding company is suggested.
Ask questions regarding their mold maintenance programs, project management software being used, the inspection processes being implemented to check the parts, etc.
Finally, to ensure that your plastic part molder meets the desired quality standards, make sure that your chosen plastic injection molding company is ISO certified.
7. Time considerations
Time is an important consideration during the manufacturing process of plastic molded parts. Mold building can take anywhere from four to twelve weeks.
It is hence important for the mold designers to factor various time taking steps like design revisions, the complexity of the part, the time taken to discuss with the designers and engineers.
It is also important to account for unexpected delays like unavailability of plastic resins, shipping delays, etc. Discussing your time constraints with your chosen plastic injection molding company during the early stages of the project is important. This will help you gauge their production capacity and give you a realistic estimate of the time requirements.
Further, plastic parts which have specific design needs need to be carefully discussed with the injection molder. It is important to communicate your expectations and challenges to your chosen plastic injection molding company.
Accounting for each of the aforementioned factors helps in choosing a reliable plastic injection molding company. Careful planning and survey during the project inception stage will help you streamline the process of selecting a plastic injection molding company that understands your needs.