Injection molding is an efficient way to scale production for custom plastic products and components, but while the per-unit costs are often very low, the upfront costs can be prohibitive. Our injection molding company in North Carolina is sharing six ways to reduce the cost of manufacturing plastics without sacrificing quality, accuracy, or consistency.
Why Is Injection Molding Expensive?
Injection molding is the process in which a thermoplastic is melted to a liquid state and injected into a custom-made, double-sided mold using a high-pressure injection tool. When the plastic cools, the pieces are ejected from the mold. This seems simple enough, so why are the costs so high?
The main reason is tooling. Designing a double-sided mold, often with intricate details or sharp corners can be more challenging and require a more intensive prototyping period. Additionally, the material to make the tooling is more expensive, as they are usually made from steel, heavy aluminum, or copper alloy so that it’s strong enough to withstand the continued pressure from the injectors without breaking down or wearing out.
4 Ways to Reduce Injection Molding Costs
If cost is a concern, we’re sharing four ways to reduce the cost of injection molding without veering too far from your needed design or sacrificing quality.
Minimize Unnecessary Features
The more involved a plastic component is, the more expensive it will be. Adding a textured finish, molding in product numbers, and including a company logo can all drive the cost significantly higher, so if you can forgo extra features, you’ll save quite a bit.
While military and aerospace companies are required to include permanent part numbers for their applications, most private sector companies can use a stenciled paint application or similar alternative.
Choose a Less Expensive Material
Consider the elements to which your plastic components will be exposed and whether you need a high-performance polymer. While automotive plastics used to case batteries are subjected to high temperatures, the knobs on the dashboard are not, so a less expensive polymer may be used. For example, consider if acrylic would be an adequate choice over polycarbonate, or high-density polyethylene would be an option over ABS.
Eliminate or Reduce Undercuts
Undercuts are placed in molds to prevent a direct ejection from the mold. Usually, an additional side pull or side action is added to the mold to allow the part to be released. These features add a significant amount to the cost of tooling due to the added complexity and more complicated mold fabrication, plus they slow down the cycle time which increases labor and production costs.
Choose a Core Cavity for Thin-Walled Designs
For box-shaped components with tall walls, the tooling can be designed one of two ways:
- Thin, deep cavities can be cut deep into the base of the tooling so the plastic fills the cavities to create walls;
- The tooling can come together with one side having a cavity shaped into the mold while the other side has a core that extends. The melted plastic shapes around the cavity.
The core cavity is significantly easier and less expensive to design and fabricate and often achieves an improved result.
Contact Advanced Plastiform, Inc. for Custom Injection Molding
If your company requires a plastic manufacturing company in North Carolina, reach out to Advanced Plastiform, Inc. We provide both thermoforming and injection molding to all types of industries, focusing on high-quality, durable plastics with a low per-unit cost and a fast turnaround time. We supply plastics across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia. To get started, call us at 919-404-2080 or fill out the form below.