What are the main advantages of injection moulding over traditional manufacturing?

To the untrained eye it may be easy to assume that injection moulding is simply a quicker and more cost-effective method of manufacturing when compared to traditional methods. While this is obviously a major attraction for those looking at injection moulding there is much more to this process than just speed and cost. We will now take a look at the main advantages of injection moulding over traditional manufacturing methods.

Plastic and rubber parts in workshop

Identical components

There are many traditional manufacturing methods which have served businesses well over the years. Historically there has always been an element of manual labour which often means that opponents are not identical and will differ very slight in ways such as dimensions, etc. This is not an issue with injection moulding where the precise nature of the process allows businesses to create identical components.

This is vital when considering stresses and strains on components and indeed gives confidence to customers that identical replacement parts are readily available. Some processes will require each part to be identical as even the slightest change in dimensions or shape (sometimes not even visible to the naked eye) can impact the efficiency of the product.

Injection molding of biomedical products in clean room

Greater output

Once the initial stage of creating the mould has been completed to the exact specifications of the underlying customer the injection moulding process then comes into play. Injection moulding equipment is pre-programmed to create specific components and this process is extremely quick compared to more traditional methods. Even though the initial outlay required to create a mould can vary significantly, if the components are manufactured in high volumes then the cost of the mould will very soon be repaid and much more.

The manufacturing process itself is extremely cost-effective, extremely efficient and extremely quick even compared to the more competitive traditional methods. The greater the output the greater the cost savings which all flows through to the bottom line for business profitability.

Mixing materials

When creating plastic products using more traditional methods it can be very difficult if not sometimes impossible to mix different materials during the process. Plastic co-injection moulding is a very flexible process which allows the mixing of different materials to enhance certain areas of the component or perhaps strengthen a particular point. This option can greatly enhance the actual and perceived value of a component and in many cases give the underlying company a significant advantage over competitors.

On the surface you might assume that mixing materials will not have a major impact but further research will cast a very different light on this. It has also been shown that the injection moulding process adds a greater strength to components which improves reliability and durability.

More complex designs

Have you ever seen a complex component in your everyday life and just wondered to yourself, how do they make such a large number in an efficient manner? The chances are that the majority of these components will be manufactured using plastic injection moulding because once the initial mould has been created, as complex or as basic as required, the process is exactly the same.

The ability to create more complex components with extremely detailed features also offers the opportunity to create competitive pricing points and offer more competitive products to customers. The initial process of creating the mould itself will likely take a little longer the more complex the design but if you are manufacturing in large numbers going forward then this additional cost will soon be repaid and more. Confidence in the component is also a major plus point, knowing that each one is effectively identical to the previous one, no matter how complex the design.

Injection molding machines in a large factoryReducing the impact of human error

In every process there is a degree of human error but if you are using more traditional manufacturing methods, as opposed to plastic injection moulding, the potential for human error will likely be much greater. The ability to reduce human error via the use of robust moulds assures that the whole process is not only more efficient but it will also bring down the long-term cost. Wastage can be a big problem in any manufacturing process but injection moulds are designed in such a way as to minimise this problem and associated costs.

Summary

When considering plastic injection moulding against more traditional manufacturing methods very often the first element to spring to mind is cost savings. However, if you dig a little deeper there is an array of other benefits to plastic injection moulding over more traditional methods. Durability, reliability and the opportunity to create stronger and more complex components in an efficient manner can equate to significant cost benefits for any business.

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