What is Injection Molding
Injection molding is a manufacturing process which is ideal for producing identical and highly consistent products in bulk quantities.
The injection molding industry is rapidly growing and in 2016, the global injection molding industry was estimated to be valued at USD 283.54 billion.
Polypropylene was the most used raw materials accounting for 36% of the total demand, followed by ABS with 25% demand in 2016.
The Asia Pacific dominated the global demand for injection molded products and garnered 37% of the total demand in 2016.
Many products which are commonly used in daily life are manufactured using the injection molding process. Injection molding is an ideal production process for getting high-quality products at very cost-effective rates.
Advantages of Injection Molding
Injection molding industry is growing exponentially. Injection molding is being increasingly used in the production of multiple products.
The manufacturing process has many advantages over other methods. Some of the most important benefits of using injection molding for manufacturing products are as follows:
Injection molding is a very efficient manufacturing process. The process is highly automated and controlled by robotics and machines which can be very easily controlled and managed by an operator.
The manufacturing process is very repeatable and reliable which can be used to produce large quantities of products which are identical and consistent.
Due to the highly consistent manufacturing process, it is much easier to ensure consistency in products and brands. Injection molding provides an almost error-free manufacturing process.
The products are manufactured in very less time. Specific production times depend on the complexity and intricacies of the design but on an average 15-20 seconds is the time between each cycle.
The quality of the products is another benefit of injection molding. The products manufactured are lightweight and durable.
Products manufactured using injection molding are not joined or welded, rather they are made from a single mold. This increases the impact-resistance and tensile strength of the products.
Manufacturing using injection molding is very cost-effective. The major part of the expenses and resources are consumed during product designing and designing of the production molds.
Once the product and the molds have been designed, the manufacturing process is very fast. Large quantities of the products can be manufactured in very less time using the same mold repeatedly.
This brings down the overall cost of manufacturing drastically, which makes injection molding a highly cost-effective manufacturing method.
The flexibility of Using Raw Materials
Manufacturing using plastic polymers is restrictive as products need to be produced using only a single plastic polymer.
However, injection molding provides the flexibility to manufacture products using a combination of plastic polymers. They can select the best combination of raw materials which will provide them with the desired quality of the product based on its intended use.
In addition to choosing a combination of plastic resins for production, manufacturers can also choose a wide range of colors using injection molding.
Injection molding process has changed and evolved considerably over time. The industry is becoming eco-friendlier and sustainable. The latest production processes lead to very less scrap plastic during production.
The new machines are also very energy efficient and use at least 20-50% less energy than the older machines.
Common Application for Injection Molding
Injection molding is being used in manufacturing multiple products which are commonly used by us in our daily lives. The products manufactured by injection molding are of very good quality, consistent, and highly durable.
Some of the most common applications of injection molding are discussed below:
Medical devices are being increasingly manufactured using the injection molding process. The medical device manufacturing industry using injection molding is growing steadily at 6% annually.
In 2012, more than 755 million pounds of plastic was consumed for manufacturing medical devices and equipment using injection molding. The products manufactured are of very high quality, precise, and offer improved performance.
The products are manufactured in very less cost which makes it possible to dispose of them after using and avoid reusing them after sterilization. This reduces the risk of infection and preparation time of the devices.
Injection molding is very commonly used for manufacturing high-quality automotive parts. It is estimated that about 90% of the parts used in cars are manufactured using injection molding.
The injection molding process helps to manufacture high-quality parts which are highly precise and consistent which is very important for the automotive industry for ensuring safety.
These parts are also lightweight which helps to improve fuel efficiency. The parts are very strong and durable which improves the overall safety of the passengers.
Daily Use Products
Many of the commonly used products used in our daily lives are manufactured using injection molding. Products like plastic bottles, plastic containers, toys, furniture etc. are manufactured by the injection molding process.
The products manufactured are lightweight, durable, and impact-resistant which ensures their longevity. The application of injection molding in manufacturing daily use products is increasing steadily.
Consumables and Electronics
The consumables and electronic items used commonly are also widely manufactured using the injection molding technology.
Electronic products and accessories like cell phones, cell phone accessories like casings, earphones, tablet covers, camera body, remote controls, electronic parts for TVs and computers etc. are manufactured using injection molding.
These products can be manufactured in bulk with high consistency by injection molding. Due to the flexibility in choosing a combination of plastics for production, these products are very strong and durable.
Packaging is one of the most common applications of injection molding. The packaging used for food and non-food items are produced using injection molding.
The packaging keeps the products safe and damages free during transit. In 2016, packaging was the leading injection molding application with a total demand of 43,385 kilotons.
Injection molding finds wide application in the manufacturing of products related to construction and real estate industry.
Using plastic has many advantages as it is lighter than wood and metal. It also offers the distinct advantage of being recyclable.
Some of the most commonly used products in the construction industry manufactured by injection molding include roofing vents, railing gaskets, deck fasteners, window and door frame components etc.