Injection molding is the technology used in the new standard of furniture manufacturing. It is one of the manufacturing techniques that we employ at Maka Furniture, especially when working with recycled plastics and polypropylene plastic material. If you are curious about what makes this a popular manufacturing technology and why you must choose furniture made with injection molding, this guide provides all the information you need to know about how this process works.
What is Injection Molding?
Injection molding is a type of manufacturing process that is used in the large-scale manufacture of production parts. The need for mass-production of the same parts and products in the manufacturing industry has led to the development of this technology. In particular, injection molding has gained traction in the manufacture of plastic furniture, such as chairs.
The main advantage of injection molding in manufacturing is its ability to scale production. The initial cost for the injection molding unit can be pretty high, but it can be cost-efficient in the long run as the cost of production per unit is low.
Injection molding is also linked to having a low scrap rate during the manufacturing process. It is an excellent choice if you want to optimize your use of resources and reduce waste during the production process. In comparison to other manufacturing processes such as CNC machining, injection molding have very little waste. In fact, this manufacturing process is known to be quite sustainable. Used and plastic waste is melted before it is fed into the injection molding unit to be molded into the specific shape of the product being manufactured.
Furthermore, injection molding is a process that can be easily repeated. It ensures a smooth flow of the manufacturing process to enable you to produce a high volume of the same product with the same level of consistency and quality. It is highly reliable and efficient.
Common Myths About Injection Molding Debunked
There are plenty of known benefits associated with the injection molding process. If you are interested to follow this procedure for the manufacture of chairs and furniture, it is important to know the truth behind the most common myths associated with this process.
The first and most common myth about injection molding is that it is an expensive process. However, injection molding is not cost-prohibitive. The upfront cost is the only cause of concern for manufacturing but once you have the unit, the cost of production is considerably cheaper than other methods. In fact, it has one of the lowest costs per unit among many manufacturing processes.
Another common myth about injection molding is that it can be molded into any shape. While this makes sense since all you have to do is create the mold, the design of the product is a crucial part of your success with this process. You must take into account the melt flow and cooling capacity of the material in creating the design so that it will freeze effectively.
Next on the list of myths about injection molding is the excessive waste associated with the production. This could not be farther from the truth since injection molding actually has one of the lowest waste rates among many manufacturing processes. You can easily cut down the cost and reduce waste, especially during the finishing and post-production aspect.
Finally, there is a misconception that only certain materials can be used in injection molding. However, there are several types of materials that you can use for this purpose and in the manufacture of various production parts and materials. Steel is one of the most common materials used for injection molding and the same goes with plastic materials. Among the materials that can be used for injection molding are high-density polyethylene, ABS, and thermoplastics, among other things.
Reducing the Cost of Injection Molding
The operating cost of injection molding is relatively lower compared to other manufacturing processes. However, the initial cost of this unit can be expensive. If you would like to further reduce the cost of using this technology in the manufacture of plastic chairs, here are some ideas that you can implement.
The most basic way that you can reduce the cost of injection molding is in the choosing material to use. Think about the elements that your plastic components will be exposed to and if you need a high-performance polymer for this production. For example, automotive parts must be able to withstand high levels of temperatures so you will need an expensive polymer for this type of production.
However, furniture like plastic chairs is not exposed to such high levels of temperature, so you can opt for a less expensive polymer for this type of injection molding.
The more complex the design and features of a plastic chair is, the more expensive it will be to manufacture through injection molding. A textured finish is one example of feature that can add to the total cost of production of furniture when injection molding. Keep the design simple and forego of any unnecessary features to lower the cost of production.
There are different levels of mold fabrication and it is dependent on the complexity (or lack of) of the furniture design. If you want to reduce the cost of injection molding, choose the less complex mold fabrication as they can also increase your cycle time.
How to Increase the Energy Efficiency of Injection Molding
Identifying how you can increase the energy efficiency of injection molding is another way to reduce its overall cost. Here are some of the ideas that you can implement in the manufacturing process to achieve this goal:
Check and change the hydraulic oil frequently
Update your equipment after 20 years (average lifespan)
Keep the barrel insulated
Decrease the shot size
Invest in the best injection molding equipment
Injection molding has transformed the way the manufacturing industry works and makes it possible to create new products with ease. If you are shopping for new furniture, this is one of the best manufacturing processes available if you want quality, reliability, and flexibility in design.