Injection molding is a manufacturing process used to create a wide range of plastic parts and products. There are many factors to consider when planning an injection molding project, including who will provide the service. One of the first things you should determine is volume since it helps narrow down which companies have the necessary resources to accommodate your project.
Production volume can be classified into three categories: low-volume, mid-volume, and high-volume. The following article highlights the differences between low-volume and high-volume.
Low-Volume Plastic Injection Molding
Low-volume injection molding operations generally involve fewer than 10,000 pieces of a component, depending on the method used. The tooling used is made from aluminum rather than hardened steel, as is used for high-volume production tooling.
Compared to high-volume injection molding, low-volume injection molding offers the following advantages:
- Lower tooling costs, shorter turnaround times. Aluminum tooling is much easier and cheaper to manufacture than steel tooling.
- Greater design flexibility. Since low-volume tooling can be made at faster speeds and lower costs, injection molding companies can more readily have new molds created to accommodate changes in the component design.
- Easier entry to market. The lower initial costs and shorter turnaround times offered by low-volume injection molding make it easier for new or small companies with tight budgets to produce their parts and products.
Low-volume injection molding is best suited for:
- Prototyping. The high speed and low cost of low-volume injection molding make it well-suited for creating prototypes used to test for form, fit, and function.
- Market testing and pilot production. Low-volume injection molding is ideal for creating pieces for market testing. It can also be used to manufacture products while high-volume production operations are set up.
- Low-volume production runs. Low-volume injection molding is perfect for injection molding projects that do not require the production of hundreds of thousands or millions of products.
High-Volume Plastic Injection Molding
High-volume injection molding operations generally involve several hundred thousand to millions of pieces. The tooling used is made from hardened steel rather than aluminum, as is used for low-volume production tooling.
Compared to low-volume injection molding, high-volume injection molding offers the following advantages:
- Greater capacities at faster speeds. High-volume injection molding operations are capable of making hundreds of thousands or millions of pieces at a time.
- Lower unit costs. While the initial cost of tooling for high-volume injection molding is greater than low-volume injection molding, the durability of the hardened steel molds allows for more pieces to be created before replacement is needed. As a result, the overall unit costs can be much lower depending on the number of components produced.
- Better suitability for automation. The high-volume injection molding process is ideal for automation, which can further increase production capacities and decrease unit costs.
High-volume injection molding is best suited for mass production. Companies often use it to produce their parts and products in quantities ranging from 750,000 to over 1,000,000.
Partner With The Rodon Group for Your High-Volume Injection Molding Needs
Before you choose a plastic injection molding provider for your project, verify that they have the resources to meet your volume requirements. For high-volume manufacturing projects, The Rodon Group is the ideal partner. To learn more about our injection molding capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your project with one of our team members, request a quote.