Injection Molding Equipment: Key Considerations When Investing
Quality is what sets apart your product from your competition. It’s your way of saying you care about what you’re putting out into the world, and that your customer’s satisfaction is of the utmost importance. In order to get that kind of quality for your custom injection molding, you need to put in what you expect to get out.
As with any job worth doing right, your plastic injection molding project should be trusted with high-quality equipment. High volume injection molders are put through the ringer when it comes to repetitive production and wears. So how do you know the machinery that is responsible for creating your parts will get the job done right?
Investing in Excellence
When investing in plastic injection molding equipment, there are a few key considerations.
- Partner or purchase: Determine whether you plan to invest in a plastic injection molding company with their own equipment, or whether you plan to purchase machinery outright. Both routes have their advantages, but you want to make sure that if you’re working with a supplier, their equipment is up to your standards.
- Brand: You need to be able to trust that the machinery you’re investing in from a manufacturer that’s proven and reliable. Look for companies that specialize in the type of equipment you’re looking for, and who have been recognized for high quality.
- Size: Look at the size of the platen and the shot size to make sure both are adequate for your program. Aim for a machine that can produce 30-40 percent greater shot sizes than what your part requires. If you’re partnering with a plastic injection molding company, they should be able to help you with these requirements.
- Tonnage: Factor in the tonnage of the machine, or the clamping pressure that the equipment delivers. You want to make sure it can handle your custom injection molding requirements.
Partnering with a plastic injection molding company that has high-quality, high-volume plastic injection molding machines can be a great investment in itself. Choose a partner that has a wide breadth of experience and expertise in plastic injection molding applications. They will be able to guide you in the type of equipment that is most appropriate for your project.
If they do not have a specific piece of machinery already in use, some suppliers may be able to invest on your behalf and house the equipment onsite at their location.
Maintain for Longevity
Investing in a durable, high-quality machine is step one in the right direction. But beyond that, consistent, thorough maintenance is just as important as investing in the equipment to begin with.
The time and labor it takes to maintain equipment -- especially high-volume plastic injection molding machines -- is an investment in itself. Not performing the necessary maintenance is a sure way to end up with malfunctions, lower-quality output, and unsafe conditions.
If you’re maintaining your plastic injection molding machinery in-house, set up a documented process that can be easily explained and distributed among team members. Ideally, you will have a dedicated maintenance staff taking care of daily, weekly, quarterly and annual tasks for each piece of equipment.
Outline what needs to be accomplished and at what intervals in the process documentation. A loose guide would be:
- Daily: Check oil filters, valves, and all machine safeties.
- Weekly: Inspect machine hoses and cylinders for weak spots or abnormalities.
- Quarterly: Verify power lines and heater circuits are in proper condition. The power lines should be tight at all breakers. The heater circuit should be giving accurate readings. Also, check nozzle alignments and grease manual lubrication points quarterly.
- Annually: Every piece of machinery should have a full day dedicated to top-to-bottom maintenance once per year. That includes cleaning, greasing, testing, and inspecting every component of the equipment to make sure it is in proper working order.
An up-front training from the equipment manufacturer is the best way to learn how to maintain the machinery properly. Have the staff member(s) who will be in charge of maintenance attend the training and provide additional training as needed to other team members.
If you are partnering with a plastic injection molding company, ask them what their maintenance schedules are for the machinery they’ll be using on your project. Find out how they take care of their machines, and make sure their process promotes continuous quality and minimizes downtime.
Find a Trusted Partner
Thogus specializes in medium- to high-volume custom injection molding projects. Our 35+ top quality electric and hydraulic injection molding machines are made by the industry’s most trusted brands and all of our equipment is on a continuous preventive maintenance schedule completed by a dedicated maintenance team.
For your next project, use Thogus’s high-quality equipment to get the job done right. Learn more.