Avoid the most common injection molding mistakes if you manage a plastic injection molding manufacturing business and get on the correct path. Understand that injection molding is not as easy as it looks and there are many hidden costs that are not visible before manufacturing.
At the start of any new molding project, there are a number of people that need to come together to discuss the best way to design and make a new part. Part designer, mould designer, mold maker, moulding technician, plastic supplier, machine supplier , relevant management staff and the end user need to discuss and find solutions to any possible impediments to an efficient manufacturing process and product application.
Such things as part design must be analysed by all people so that potential manufacturing and application issues are eliminated before making a mould.
Projects that start on the wrong foot almost never fully recover from mistakes because it is simply too costly and time consuming to do so. The result is a high manufacturing cost, a sub-standard product and tension between people.
Buying a cheap mould (especially from a low cost country) is a guaranteed way of having ongoing quality and productivity issues.
Common issues with cheap injection moulds are the use of sub-standard steel, poor mold building and poor mold design. The worst part about these issues is that they cannot be fixed unless a new mold is made.
What’s more, a poor quality mould will damage a moulding machine so maintenance costs will be high.
Similarly, buying cheap machines will also give ongoing part quality and productivity issues. If buying a used molding machine then make sure it has been fully reconditioned and tested before delivery so no time is wasted troubleshooting upon mould commissioning.
The plastic injection molding process is complicated and often management do not appreciate this fact. Consequently, process technicians do not get the training they need to be able to set up molds and make parts efficiently and consistly.
The time and cost spent troubleshooting issues could have been put toward proper training techniques in the beginning so that problems could have been avoided in the first place.
This is the biggest injection molding mistake by far. A lean manufacturing program would not only solve the 3 previously mention mistakes but also would address other inefficiencies in an injection molding company. All waste would be eliminated over time.
The decision to implement a lean program must come from top management so that every single person in the company cooperates and contributes to a better bottom line and happier working environment.