Additional Services Utilized Along with Custom Injection Molding

Having additional services for injection molding allows you to customize your plastic part in many different ways. If you want to achieve characteristics like specific colors or textures, one of these processes may be used. 

Decoration

In-Mold Labeling

The term “in-mold labeling” is directly derived from the technique, where a preprinted polypropylene (PP) label is placed in a mold. The mold closes and then the molten plastic is injected into the mold. It fuses with the label, and while curing, takes the shape of the mold. This results in the label and packaging/part becoming one. This in-line process eliminates any post decorating operations. 

These types of labels also offer high-resolution images. This also allows for decoration on all sides of a container with one single label. In-mold labels resist humidity and big changes in temperature, making them the best solution to decorate plastic containers for frozen and refrigerated products. In-mold labels are also scratch-resistant, will not crack, and are not susceptible to wrinkles.

In-mold labeling saves the environment because the packaging and label consist of the same material and can be fully recycled. It can be used in other molding processes, like blow molding and thermoforming.

Heat Transfer Decal

Heat transfer requires heat, pressure and dwell (time) to apply an image to a part. Heat transfers are pre-printed images using silkscreened, gravure, flexography, or digital printing methods on a release paper, film or foil. This is where the design or logo adheres to the part during manufacturing. Heat transfers are utilized on products that may undergo heavy wear and tear. 

Heat transferring offers more consistency because design placement will be the same on every single unit on the assembly line. The major advantage of heat transfer decorating is that it is a dry process. Another advantage is that the decorated part is ready to be handled or packaged directly after printing. 

Pad Printing

Pad printing is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. It allows you to add detailed images with high print quality to virtually any shape part. The unique properties of the silicone pad enable it to pick the image up from a flat plane and transfer it to a variety of surfaces, such as flat, cylindrical, spherical, compound angles, textures, concave, or convex surfaces. A perfect example of this is a logo on a golf ball.

Hot Stamping

Hot stamping is much like heat transfer in that it requires heat, pressure, and dwell (time) to apply an image to a part. It is good for the application of a one-color image. The foil rolls between the plastic part and the heated rubber pad. The pad applies pressure to the foil, adhering it to the part. These foils can be used to create colorful, textured, or metallic finishes on your finished parts.

Connectivity

Ultrasonic Welding

In this method, high-frequency sound waves are utilized in ultrasonic welding to melt the parts to become welded. No bolts, protrusions, soldering materials, or adhesives are used in sonic welding. The huge advantage of this method is that the temperature stays well below the melting point of the involved materials, thus preventing any unwanted properties or warping which may arise from high-temperature exposure of the materials.

Heat Staking

Heat staking is a method of joining two or more parts where at least one or both of the parts are made of plastic. The bond is made by partially de-forming (heating) the plastic part to fix the other. Heat staking is the most efficient way to bond metal to plastic and is commonly used in high volume/low-cost applications. Heat staking creates a solid bond with no additional hardware or adhesives.

Molding

Over Molding

Over molding is used to create one unified plastic part by adding an additional layer of resin to the existing part. It can add a soft, ergonomic layer of material over a hard surface. Over molding allows you to create features that one single piece wouldn’t be able to achieve, like adding color or enhancing the finish. Learn more about over molding here

Gas Assist

This is a low-pressure injection molding process. During injection, pressurized nitrogen gas is shot behind the molten plastic to help fill the mold. The gas forces the plastic against the walls creating hollow sections in thick areas, keeping the material from shrinking as it cools and creates smooth finishes for complex parts. This process can shorten the cycle time and save on material. 

As a turnkey injection molder, Pioneer Plastics has the capability to take your custom plastic part from concept to customer. To find out more about custom injection molding services, contact us and get started on your plastic part today.

What Drives the Cost of Custom Injection Molding?

No two custom injection molding projects are the same, so working with someone that understands all the aspects of part design and manufacturing is important.  

Here’s a breakdown of injection molding cost:

Prototyping

You might want to test your concept with a prototype to make sure that it fits and functions well. The cost of a prototype for injection molding depends on two things: the completeness of the design and the size of the part being designed. 

If a design is flawless, it will likely be easy to get a prototype 3D-printed. On the other hand, if a lot of design work is needed before it can be printed, designing could be the most expensive part of the process. Here are a few scenarios that illustrate this:

  • For a small part (1” square) with a good design, the prototype can be done for under $100.
  • A concept for that same part but with no design could cost around $2,000 for design work and under $100 for the prototype. 
  • For a large part (24” square) with a good design, the prototype could cost around $2,000.
  • A concept for that same part but with no design could get up to $10,000 for design work and $2,000 for the prototype. 

Mold & Size 

When the part is ready for the manufacturing process, the plastic mold needs to be built. One of the biggest drivers of cost is the size of the part. If a part is bigger, it’s going to require more material, tooling, and time to build the injection mold

In looking at parts with simple designs, a small part with simple design could have an injection mold cost between $10,000 – $20,000. A small part with no design work could have the same mold cost with $2,000 added for design. 

For large parts with a simple design, the mold could cost between $30,000 – $100,000. If the part is large but has no design work, it will have an additional $10,000 added for design. 

Complexity

Similarly, the more complex the part is, the more time it takes to make the plastic injection mold – and, well, time is money. Some parts may require cams, lifts, or core pins, which are additions to the custom injection mold that help achieve certain features a part may require. If the part has a higher volume, the mold would require more cavitation (parts molded per cycle) which adds to the molding cost and parts handling equipment (conveyors, chutes, bowl feeders, robots, etc.).

In addition, if the demand for a part is very high (hundreds of thousands of pieces), a multi-cavity tool may be required which also increases the cost. 

In looking at parts with complex designs, a small part with complex design could have a mold cost between $20,000 – $40,000 . A small part with no design work could have the same mold cost with $2,000 added for design.

Resin 

With over 100 different varieties of resin, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your plastic part. Once we understand the characteristics that the part requires and the end use of the part, we can help you narrow down choices and choose the ideal plastic material for it. Some examples of these characteristics are:

  • Requires FDA approval
  • Resistant to impact
  • Chemical resistant
  • Transparent
  • Durable against high temperatures or low temperatures

Commodity grade resins are typically less expensive than engineering grade resins. However, engineering grade resins will likely be able to withstand extreme temperatures and friction better than commodity resins. Understanding the purpose and function of the part will ultimately determine the best material for it. 

Additional Services

There are services that you might want in addition to the creation of the mold and the part. 

  • In-mold decorating allows for colorization, stylization, and other effects to be added during the molding process. 
  • Pad printing allows for two-dimensional images to adhere to three-dimensional molded part. 
  • Plastic packaging can be designed and created specifically for your product. 
  • Assembly can be conducted for complex parts. 

Turnkey Plastic Injection Molding

A turnkey injection molder, like Pioneer Plastics, are full-service manufacturers who build the mold and handle the injection molding process. Keeping the part in-house from beginning to end makes the process more time-efficient and cost-efficient. 

Being skilled in all aspects of the plastic molding process allows us to help you with design, selecting materials, and any questions you may have. Contact us to get started on your custom part. 

Injection Molding With High Heat Resins

Temperature plays a huge role in the custom injection molding process– even helping to determine the type of resin the part is made from. 

Resins that are specifically made for high temperatures contain properties that set them apart from other resins, making them ideal for parts that need to withstand extreme heat. 

High Heat

Most plastics used in the market are only suitable for use at temperatures below 275°F.  Resins that are resistant to high heat can withstand temperatures ranging from 275°F to 500°F without losing its shape and/or properties.

Uses

Plastics that are resistant to high temperatures are a light, versatile alternative to metal, ceramics, and older-generation polymers. 

Thermoplastics are most commonly used in consumer products (like milk jugs) that won’t need to withstand very high temperatures. Thermoplastics are also great for prototyping because the material can be reused for another prototype or for final production. Thermosets are most commonly used for parts that need to withstand extremely high temperatures. 

Examples of industries that use high heat resins in their products are: 

  • Automotive – gears, hot fuel systems, fuel reservoirs, ignition modules, oil screens.
  • Aerospace – lightweight aerospace components like brackets, gaskets, guides, seals, spacers, and washers. 
  • Electrical – wiring, cabling, sleeving and electrical shielding products.
  • Medical – electronic equipment.
  • Industrial – Welding masks.
  • Restaurants – Pans, lids, and trays.

Mold Design

Custom Injection molding with high heat resins are atypical to conventional molding. From mold design to processing, each process is different for thermoplastics and thermosets. 

The mold needs to be designed for extremely high heat temperatures and clearances. They also require a special mold-temperature control unit with oil to attain adequate high mold temperatures. An experienced mold processor should handle high heat resins to ensure that the process is completed without any defects

Our Process

Pioneer Plastics has the equipment and experience to meet the heat resistance needs of your part.

If you have an idea for a custom plastic part, we can assist you every step of the way – from design to distribution. Contact us here to get a quote for custom injection molding services.