Injection molding machines in a large factory

Plastic Injection Molding | Services and Manufacturing Explained

Plastic injection molding is one of the most critical manufacturing processes of the modern world. A lot of the important components of items in your home, your office, local schools, and even in your vehicle were created using injection mold services as part of the creation process. This is surprising since most people do not even understand what plastic injection molding is, or how it is used to create everything from cell phone cases to green energy technology components.

What is Plastic Injection Molding?

The concept of plastic injection molding was first created in the 1870s. An inventor tried to come up with a way to replace ivory billiard balls with plastic ones. While that idea ultimately failed, it gave birth to the concept of plastic injection molding — which took off from there. With the development of new types of plastics and polymers over the years, plastics replaced steel and other metal types as the number one global manufacturing component in the late 1970s — just about a hundred years after the idea first came up.

Take a look at your silverware drawer. How does a manufacturer make all of your forks the exact same size and shape as each other? The answer is a manufacturing process called injection molding. Molten stainless steel is poured into fork-shaped molds and allowed to cool — and the result is that all of your forks, knives, and spoons come out the same exact size.

Plastic injection molding is the same concept. A custom mold or die is created for your finished product, and then molten plastic is injected into the mold. The end result is a fast, efficient manufacturing method for the mass production of all the incredibly intricate plastic parts that are a part of our everyday lives. Injection mold manufacturing is responsible for creating everything from the pipes under your kitchen sink to the toys in your child’s bedroom and parts on the International Space Station. 3D printing and computer-aided engineering have only expanded the possibilities for new design strategies and capabilities.

The main advantages of using injection mold services as part of your manufacturing supply chain include the mass production of consistent precision plastic parts, or parts consisting of multiple materials. It is a low-cost production method that produces less waste in the long run compared to most other manufacturing styles. The number of materials available for injection molding has been consistently expanding since the 1990s, with an average of 750 new polymer materials per year being patented. The design possibilities of the plastic injection molding sector seems to only be limited by human imagination.

Different Types of Injection Mold Services

Silver Basis Engineering has more than 20 years of experience in the injection mold services sector. With 16 plants worldwide, including two in the US, and more than 9,000 employees, our engineers have mastered the various types of injection molding needed for large and small projects. With precision techniques, a variety of specialized methods, and careful attention to detail, we provide complete automotive mold and part manufacturing for our clients.

Here are some of the main types of injection mold services we provide.

Injection Mold Manufacturing

We utilize advanced Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software to begin the injection mold design process. This precision work that happens during the design phase aids in ensuring the best outcome during the actual manufacturing process. We are able to test and simulate build designs prior to casting anything, which ultimately speeds up manufacturing time, reduces waste and increases efficiency.

Manufacturing injection molds is a precise process, and the importance of the mold’s gate size and design are critical. We utilize a black box injection mold builder to ensure that these critical parameters are met. Proper mold design allows for the best flow and reduction of sinking and void problems in the finalized product.

Following the design and production of precision molds, our hot runner systems are ready to pour molten plastic using the injection process. The shorter cycle time and easier start-up with hot runner systems eliminate several steps in the process, resulting in a superior finished product in less time.

Two Shot Molding and In-Mold Electronics

Two-shot molding and in-mold electronics techniques are some of the most precision-based processes in the injection mold services sector.

Two Shot Molding allows the creation of prototypes using multiple different types of materials and multiple colors. This unique process does not add any additional steps to the process, reducing production time and costs. Multi-colored prototypes are more aesthetically pleasing. And the multiple types of materials allow for the creation of much more complex and intricate geometries in the finished product.

In-Mold Electronics utilizes both injection molding and printing circuits. With electronic circuits mounted to the film, a finished product that reduces manufacturing steps is created. Mounted circuits can include resistors, capacitors, photoelectric sensors, LED, and more. This opens up a host of potential applications for manufacturers, from green energy projects to interior automotive and aerospace builds. Your manufacturing process becomes much cheaper, build times are greatly reduced and the weight of finished products can be significantly diminished as well. You can read our in-depth blog about In-Mold Electronics here.

Semisolid Die Casting

As the name implies, semisolid die casting uses both liquid and solid materials in the injection mold process. The die casting process opens up limitless possibilities when it comes to design flexibility. The major advantages of using a high-viscosity liquid/solid material include greater pressure tightness, lightweight parts, superior mechanical performance of the finished product, reduced shrinkage, and tighter part tolerances. The end result is highly complex automotive or other parts that are non-porous in their finished state.

We also use thixocasting and thixoforming processes for the creation of superior automotive parts. Thixoforming is a chemical process (similar to die casting) that uses lower temperatures. It produces lightweight semisolid materials for added flexibility in the design process. Thixocasting is a process that allows for superior mold flow and results in higher-quality automotive parts.

Why Choose Silver Basis Engineering for Injection Mold Manufacturing?

Silver Basis Engineering has spent more than 20 years perfecting the art and science of injection mold manufacturing. We have grown to be a global leader in industrial designs, precision automotive parts creation, and manufacturing service. With plants located in 16 countries around the world, including two in the United States (Michigan and North Carolina), our award-winning team of 9,000 specialists has helped to revolutionize the design and manufacturing sector. Our strategic partnerships within the industry, coupled with our commitment to excellence, have resulted in total service solutions for automotive molds and part manufacturing. Silver Basis Engineering has also actively integrated Germany’s advanced manufacturing management model. By expanding our system equipment integration and production capacity in this manner, we have become an international partner with first-tier suppliers and renowned automotive OEMs. By adding 3D printing, prototype tooling, production machining, tooling repair, and constant innovation to our build and design process, Silver Basis Engineering plans to remain a global front runner in the injection mold manufacturing sector well into the 21st century.