EM Integrated

Optimizing Machinery for Low-Volume Manufacturing

Posted by Dave Scaglione on Nov 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Utilizing injection molding machines for low volume manufacturing requires machinery with the proper performance features, quality, and value. MPM injection molding machinery offers a unique feature set in a simple robust design at a competitive cost, making it an optimal machine for low volume injection molding applications.

Low Volume Manufacturing and Injection Molding

Floor standing injection molding machines are very costly, require a large footprint, utilize expensive tooling, and take significant time to set up for production. These machines are used for high production runs and can accommodate multi-cavity tooling that can produce parts in larger quantities very efficiently. If the part does not need to be produced in larger quantities, typically under 50,000 parts, it falls into the category of Low Volume Injection molding.

Applications such as ASTM test specimens, prototyping of production parts, bridge manufacturing, mechanical over-molding, and cable over-molding usually fall into the low volume injection molded parts category. A benchtop molding machine or vertical injection molding machine can be a good fit to economically produce plastic parts in these smaller production runs.

Benefits of Low Volume Manufacturing

Fast Set Up

Smaller production runs of plastic molded parts require a machine that can easily be set up and changed over from part to part in a short time frame. The MPM benchtop or machine base vertical injection molding machines typically come with Siemens PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and HMI’s (Human Machine Interfaces) allowing for easy machine set-up and reliable operation. This control hardware and software also allows for the machines to perform consistently and accurately in their operation to produce high quality prototype plastic components or low volume injection molded parts. These injection molding machines also feature multiple part recipes, menu navigation, and machine diagnostics that further facilitate set up and efficient operation.

Low Cost Tooling

The cost and time to produce tooling is another significant factor in optimizing the machine for low volume manufacturing. Since the tool does not need to produce millions of parts, it can typically be made out of softer steel or aluminum. This type of tooling can be produced faster and at a significantly lower cost than traditional hard steel multi-cavity molds for higher volume production runs.

V-Mold Technology 

The easy to load and unload two-part V-Mold technology utilizes an elegant and simple, mechanically superior design. The V-Mold was designed to offer significant clamping forces, accommodate tooling inserts, and be produced quickly and economically making it an optimized technology for low production injection molding machine applications.

The combination of vertical injection molding machines or benchtop injection molding machines and V-mold tooling are an optimal fit for low volume manufacturing. They are small, economical, and easy to set up and change over from part to part. This is the ideal way to start production fast and without the cost of producing expensive, high production, multi-cavity tooling. 

Ultimate Guide to Low-Volume Plastic Injection Molding

Tags: Injection Molding

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