Streamlining custom injection molded projects requires careful planning and effective communication. While every project faces the potential for pitfalls and potholes, there are key steps in the process that can minimize any stumbles and help bring a project to its successful completion. We detail here a plan customers can follow for future custom injection molding projects.
- Start with the design and drawings
- Material selection matters
- Address physical requirements
- Find an experienced, trusted partner with Ferriot
Streamlining Custom Injection Molded Projects
Custom injection molding projects demand precision, careful planning and effective communication. From crafting the molds to selecting the right materials, each step in the process plays a critical role for a smooth path to a timely and successful project completion. There are certain essential steps to streamline a custom injection molded project, which, if followed, can lead to a more successful project completion on time and on budget.
It starts with the drawings
The first step in a custom injection molding project is to provide the injection molding manufacturer with computer-aided design (CAD) and 2D drawings. These drawings serve as the blueprint for your project and include essential details such as dimensions, textures and structural requirements. As additional considerations, it is essential to communicate the resin selection, or the requirements desired in the resin for the final part. Resin availability varies. When there is a question about the best material to achieve the desired result or timeline, we can consult with your team to select the appropriate resin that will meet the product performance specs you’ve defined. Some of the parameters that can impact the material selection could include:
- Strength and durability
- Weight reduction
- Chemical resistance
- Insulation properties
- Aesthetics and surface finish
- Sound dampening
- Cost of production
- Dimensional stability
- Regulatory compliance
Understanding material choices: Glass-filled nylon or structural foam
One material mentioned often is glass-filled nylon. This is a durable choice that enhances strength by incorporating glass fibers into the nylon during a compounding process. This added strength makes the material better suited than alternatives for applications that must perform in harsh environments. Glass-filled nylon lends structural integrity to parts, much like rebar reinforces concrete, to help those parts better withstand rigorous conditions. On the other hand, structural foam is a versatile material known for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. This material combines impressive structural integrity with lower weight than some other materials, making it an ideal choice for projects that require a blend of strength with a lightweight design. Additionally, structural foam offers sound-dampening properties, making it particularly suitable for applications where noise reduction is a key consideration. This might be a factor for automotive interiors, for example, or acoustic enclosures. These are just two examples of material options. We offer a variety of resins selected according to the desired properties in the finished project. These examples simply highlight the importance of material selection to meet unique requirements.
Physical requirements matter
Customers should also carefully consider the physical attributes desired for a custom injection molded part. Do you need flexibility or rigidity? Are aesthetic qualities important? Does the finished product texture matter? Will the product be consumer-facing or industrial? Addressing these questions upfront helps ensure your project meets both functional and design criteria.
The complexities of mold making
Certainly, mold creation is a critical and complex step in custom injection molding. A custom plastic injection mold can represent the most expensive part of the manufacturing process for a given part and also represent the most significant event in terms of a project timeline. A mold typically will take from three to six months to manufacture depending on its size and complexity. Careful planning and timing are crucial. Molds can be heavy and large, often towering more than seven feet tall, with some molds requiring a specialized crane to maneuver into place. When starting a new project, the design process should begin months or a year ahead to meet production deadlines.
Success in medical sterilization
One customer specializing in sterilization pans and accessories for medical procedures practiced the streamlining procedures outlined here. By providing detailed CAD and 2D drawings, specifying material requirements, understanding their physical needs for the product and scheduling a proper timeline, this company successfully introduced innovative products to their market. Their approach resulted in a high-quality product that met their needs while also meeting critical deadlines. Other companies can follow this model to streamline their own custom injection molded projects. It does require careful planning, effective communication and a clear understanding of your needs for this project.
Moving it across the finish line
Start with solid drawings. Choose the right materials or ask for a consultation. Be proactive in the design phase. Plan ahead, taking into consideration the amount of time typically required for mold creation. These practices can help companies achieve successful results for an injection molding project. At Ferriot, we work alongside our customers to provide these critical elements to any project we undertake. In addition to these “basics,” we also provide a variety of value-added services that are important to many projects, encompassing pad printing, hot stamping, digital printing, painting and plating. This enables us to deliver finished products and sub-assemblies across diverse industries. With our extensive in-house capabilities and expertise, we are equipped to tackle even the most challenging projects and guide you to a tailored solution.
When you are ready to introduce your next innovative injection molded product to the market or if you need expert guidance on resin selection, don’t hesitate to contact us. With more than 90 years of experience as a plastic injection mold company and turnkey manufacturer, our team of veteran engineers and skilled technicians is here to support your manufacturing needs. Conveniently located in Akron, Ohio, Ferriot is your trusted partner for custom injection molding.