It’s no surprise that we can never think of industrial instruments as having any defect. That’s because there are many complexities involved in the manufacturing and assembling of each of the component used in these instruments.
That’s when insert molding plays its role.
Insert molding is the process of combining different combinations of components and materials (such as plastics and metals) into one unit. To enhance its functionality, a preformed metal or plastic is inserted into a component while it’s being molded.
Even if there is the slightest error in assembling the plastic and metal components, it may bring huge havoc to the entire molding process. This is especially true for industries that cannot afford to risk the quality of specific products. They require the highest level of accuracy in the manufacturing of industrial products.
The medical industry is one such example. To get an idea, see how Weiss-Aug offers medical insert molding service related to the assembly of electrosurgical, general surgical, and specialty instruments and devices. Since insert molding requires expertise, it’s crucial for the company to supply flawlessly designed components to healthcare organizations.
However, it’s equally important to ensure if you’re holding the components in place while carrying out insert molding. What matters is how effectively you do it.
To make the entire process error-free, it’s worthwhile to follow these tips:
Holding the part in place is more common by using horizontal tooling. Since the gravity assists the ejection of components, the mold may easily open and close on the horizontal path. Plus, this method allows interchangeability between machines as compared to vertical tooling.
However, if you want to make sure the part doesn’t fall off the ground during the process of mold closing, it makes sense to prefer vertical tooling. Besides, it’s easier for the equipment handler to access the assembled product.
To avoid dislodging the components during injection, act proactively by preloading on inserts from 0.005” to 0.008.” This way, it becomes easier to retain the pressure required to hold the components in place.
Using the right material for insert molding is as vital as applying the right method. Therefore, not all thermoplastics are used during the insert molding process. A few reliable materials include plastics backed by engineering grade (for instance, nylon), polyethylene, ABS, and LSR.
To avoid any constraints, it’s better not to consider plastics that have the highest molding temperatures. If the insertion is manual-based, using high-temperature plastics can even burn the hands of the machine operator.
To expect best results from insert molding, you can get a perfect match if the insert is reliable enough to mold with the chosen plastic. Though brass inserts are common, you can also look for inserts made of steel or stainless steel. Another option is to go for customized inserts.
Before purchasing insert components, confirm if the dimensions match the volume of the batch. If there is any variability, it should be controlled beforehand.
Choosing the type of process for insert molding depends on the volume of components that need to be finished into final products.
For low-volume to high-volume parts, the best bet is to achieve cost-efficiency by having the machine operator manually place parts into molding while holding them in place, and then, running the molding machine by setting it on semi-automatic mode.
However, there are a few challenges associated with doing it manually. Due to limited speed and consistency of a single machine operator, it’s a time-consuming process to open the gate, put the inserts in the mode, and then close the gate. To eliminate variability, it’s better to go for the vertical injection tool.
Once the volume of instruments that are required to go through insert molding is increased (i.e. the volume is sufficient enough that you can achieve a higher ROI), prefer purchasing automation so you can have a robotic machine insert the parts for molding.
Besides having almost zero chances for error in terms of holding parts in place, insert molding will be effectively carried out because of an improved consistent cycle of molded instruments.
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