When you create a new plastic injection mold, it’s important to approach each phase of the project with careful, meticulous attention to detail to avoid plastic injection molding mistakes. Here are some of the most common plastic injection molding mistakes and how Viking Plastics helps our customers avoid them.
1. Not Communicating Effectively
Keep the lines of communication open between you and your supplier. Clearly convey what you want the part to do and provide specific details about the part’s working environment. For example, does the part need to withstand high temperatures or exposure to chemicals? Does it need to have non-plastic components integrated into it? This information will influence material choices as well as mold design and type of molding used. If you are working with a partner on the project make sure all parties stay informed and no information is lost in the process. In addition, make sure you and your partners are on the same page when it comes to costs.
2. Not Prototyping
Creating a prototype is the most effective way to gauge the quality and effectiveness of your design, so don’t be tempted to skip this step. There’s no substitute for having an actual working sample to test. Prototypes can be produced via tooling; single cavity prototype injection mold tools are cost effective and facilitate design and verification testing. Another option is 3D printing, which eliminates tooling costs. At Viking Plastics, we use FDM-3D printing to create prototypes that are available quickly (in a matter of days) and in some cases can be used as a trial before putting the part into production.
3. Not Consulting with Engineers
One of the biggest plastic injection molding mistakes is when customers fail to take advantage of a major asset at their disposal: engineers. Viking Plastics’ engineers have the knowledge and analytical tools such as finite element analysis (FEA) at their disposal to determine factors such as part strength and durability. They can help meet tight tolerance requirements, assess part capabilities, and suggest packaging elements. Given all the necessary information about part function and requirements, the engineers can set up a part for a successful, on-time launch.
4. Not Choosing Materials Properly
With plastic injection molding, you have a wide variety of materials to consider, including ABS, polypropelene, polyphenylene sulfide, nylons, and polycarbonates. The specific requirements for a part, such as strength, temperature range, flexibility, and resistances, will dictate the best material to use. Many plastic injection molding mistakes can be traced back to poor material choices, which can lead to poor part quality — and the costs associated with correcting it.
5. Not Testing
The last step before production is testing. It’s a stage that simply cannot be skipped. When a part is designed, it is not ready for immediate manufacture. It must go through testing (including prototyping) and quality inspections to ensure that it will perform as expected.
Another Source of Plastic Injection Molding Mistakes: Not Choosing a Molder with Core Competencies
Choosing a plastics supplier with a proven track record and excels in part production for your type of application is the first step on the road to a quality product. If you don’t work with an experienced, trusted plastics supplier, you could be setting the stage for plastic injection molding mistakes that stem from their lack of experience and skill.
Viking Plastics has a company culture based on continuous improvement and providing top-quality products to our customers. We invest our time, knowledge and expertise into your project to ensure success. To learn more about how Viking Plastics can assist with your plastic molding injection projects, click here.