The Importance of Design Engineering in Plastic Injection Molding

Before you can manufacture a plastic part you need to have a solid design in place. Once done, you can build an injection mold to meet the product specifications. 

The role of the Design Engineer is critical in this process. They assess the part design and make modifications and recommendations based on key product requirements including product usage and function. The engineer will need to know:

  • How will the part be used? Is it a standalone product or a component of a larger assembly?
  • What are the dimensional and tensile requirements?
  • Does the part need to withstand elements, pressure, chemicals?

A plastic injection mold design is built with these criteria in mind. Mold cavities, vents and gate placement will vary based not only on the part design but the type of resin as well. Taking all of these manufacturing factors into account is a challenging task and one that requires a strong knowledge base, not only of mold design but the injection molding process as well.

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Plastic Injection Molding: Design to Part II

In our last article on “Design to Part”, we focused on the importance of product function, the end-use application of a part and its impact on the final manufacturing process. We discussed the importance of providing details on the products function. 

These details include:

  • What elements will the part be exposed to?
  • What are the specific tensile requirements?
  • What chemical or corrosive materials does the part need to withstand?
  • What are the cosmetic characteristics of the part?
  • How long should the part last?
  • Does the part need to meet RoHS, FDA, REACH or other regulatory requirements?

In this article, we will discuss how the product function translates to the manufacturing process. 

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Plastic Injection Molding: Design to Part

The concept of “Design to Part” is nothing new.  It is the manufacturing cycle of any product. But the journey from developing a product concept to a final part involves understanding the product function as well as its manufacturability.

In this three part series on “Design to Part”, we will begin by looking at product function and the role it plays in creating a finished plastic injection molded part.

Product Function

Plastic injection molding professionals obsess over the end-use application of a part. Very often they are responsible for making only one component of a final product. It is important to know what role the component part will play in the completed product. Without having this knowledge, you can almost guarantee part failure.  



Download our new eBook “How to Manufacture a Perfect Plastic Part” and learn the four key factors that impact plastic part quality

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10 Must-Ask Questions for Choosing a Plastic Injection Molder [PDF guide]

How often do you source an injection molder?  If you are like most companies and project managers, not very often.  Once you have selected an injection molder to work with you are likely to stay with them as long as they keep producing quality plastic parts. 

There are several scenarios in which the need for an injection molder may arise:

- Your company has designed a new product that requires injection molding

- Your engineers have redesigned an existing injection molded part

- Your current injection molder is no longer meeting your quality requirements

- Your business is moving manufacturing closer to home

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Plastic Injection Molding Basics 101 - The Injection Press

Our website is frequently visited by product designers, engineers and purchasing agents who are looking for information on plastic injection molding. With this in mind, we created a series of "Basics 101" type articles that are developed to give our readers a better understanding of the presses, processes and pitfalls in our industry. 

We begin our series with information on the basics of plastic injection molding presses. We hope you find this information useful.  If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Injection Press Basics

While plastic injection molders will help you determine the size of the machine needed to get the best result, a project designer or engineer can get a good estimate based on some basic information. By knowing approximately what size machine will be required, you can better source a plastic injection molder that will meet your needs.

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Top Tooling Tips to Ensure Perfect Plastic Parts

A perfect, precision part begins with the mold. Building the tool takes time and a great deal of accuracy. It can also represent the largest investment in the manufacturing process, so getting it right is critical to the success of a project. If your goal is to manufacture parts with a high degree of precision in large-volume, the tooling becomes even more complex.

When plastic meets the mold

The tool and the molding process are customized based on the type of plastic. Plastics that are amorphous are less free-flowing and tend to shrink less than crystalline or semi-crystalline plastics, which offer better flow, but higher shrinkage. For this reason, many projects call for engineering resins that provide a better melt and less shrinkage. Plastic suppliers provide information on the shrinkage rate of their resins along with temperature and melt flow rate recommendations.

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Focus on Quality | Plastic Injection Molding at The Rodon Group

At The Rodon Group, we think our quality certifications such as ISO 9001:2008, HACCP and recently certified GMA-SAFE demonstrate our commitment to providing the best possible parts at the most competitive prices.  However, our commitment goes beyond certifications.  We have a staff of quality professionals whose sole focus is making sure we produce plastic parts that are as perfect as possible. 

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Case Study: Plastic Injection Molded Display Components

Point-of-purchase display components require rugged construction in combination with an attractive appearance. At The Rodon Group, we injection molded a range of products, including items such as pegboard hooks, shelf dividers, and product stops for one of the leading companies in the point-of-purchase display industry. This project highlights our ability to provide value-added services in conjunction with close tolerance injection molding that equates to cost savings over the entire product lifecycle.

Working with the customer supplied prints, we first focused our attention on mold design. Our goal, as always, was to construct molds that would lead to volume high quality while minimizing production costs. By paying detailed attention to aspects such as cavity dimensions, gate location, venting, cooling systems, and more, we achieved optimal cycle times while upholding tolerances as close as ± 0.005” across varying complexities in part geometry. One critical feature of these parts was a fine quality surface, so we leveraged the capability of our EDM equipment. This allowed us to create a very fine finish on the mold cavities to add clarity and quality to the surface of the finished part with no extra processing required.

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The Importance of Quality Certifications in Manufacturing

In the past, many businesses operated on the assumption that their vendors were in compliance with the latest rules and regulations regarding their industry. Technology and materials were limited, so buyers worked with manufacturers who could produce the best product often without clearly defined quality guidelines or parameters.

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