Injection molding is a manufacturing process in which raw plastic material in the form of pellets is heated up and injected at high pressure into a mold. The result is a finished part that can be used in another process or assembled and sold as a product.
Raw material is loaded into a machine hopper. A rotating screw draws material into the barrel of the machine. The band heaters encompassing the barrel, as well as the shear of the rotation of the screw, heat the material to a selected temperature. The material is then injected into a mold where it is formed into the final part. Finally, the part is ejected from the mold.
If you are looking to make parts in large quantities, injection molding is probably the right process for you. There are limitations and the design of the part will play a role in which process you ultimately choose, but in any case we can definitely help you decide if injection molding is the correct process for your project!
Typically the first phase is the design phase. During this phase, sketches are turned into cad files and drawings and material is selected. At the end of this phase, pricing can be quoted both for tooling and production. The second phase is the mold building phase. During this phase, a steel or aluminum mold is created to facilitate part production. The final phase is the production phase where parts are mass produced. Here at NUBS Plastics, we can help you through all the different stages!
Parts can be made that are as small as 0.05g all the way up to close to 4 pounds in weight!
We offer simple manual assembly as well as secondary assembly such as ultrasonic welding, heat staking, etc. We can also bag pack, layer pack, and custom pack according to your requirements. Just ask!
Once we are in the production phase in the process, our standard lead time runs between 6-8 weeks for an order. Many times, however, we have openings on our machines that allow us to run product faster than that. It all depends on the current orders we have open and the details of your order.
A mold is a tool that is used in the injection molding process. It is usually constructed with steel or aluminum and is essentially the reverse or mirror of the actual part that you are looking to create. The mold has part cooling features as well as channels which allow the molten plastic to flow through and pins which help push the part out when the process is finished.
Mold lead times can vary depending on material used, quality, location, and part complexity. We can make some aluminum tools in as little as 4 weeks!
When properly maintained, molds can last a long time. High production, hardened steel molds generally last for at least 500,000 to 1 million cycles when properly maintained! Beyond that, components can be repaired/replaced to extend the life even further! We have molds here at our facility that have run over 40 million parts and are still running strong!
Molds are usually made using steel or aluminum. Each material has its benefits. Aluminum is generally preferred when making prototype tooling or number of parts required is very low. It is easier to machine and heat transfers through the mold better. Steel is often used when higher production quantities are required and/or abrasive materials such as acrylic or polycarbonate are utilized in the part. As it is a harder material, steel will usually last longer than aluminum.
Yes! We have the ability to make molds both here in the United States and overseas. Overseas tooling often represents a significant cost savings when compared to a similarly built mold in the United States.
Yes! We can make aluminum molds that can be used for testing and development purposes. While these molds are considered “prototype”, they can run many thousands of parts!
As a mold runs and parts are made, maintenance needs to be performed. Just like a car needs an oil change, or brake service, a mold needs periodic work to keep it running well. Some of these maintenance items include cleaning ejector pins and lubrication of all moving parts as well as checking water lines for proper operation and overall cleaning of the mold.
All preventative maintenance is done free of charge as long as the tool is with us. This service does not include replacement or repair of items due to normal wear and tear of the mold as it ages.
Here at NUBS Plastics, we use a wide variety of thermoplastic materials in our process. Some examples include commodity materials such as Polypropylene, Polyethylene, ABS, Nylon, PVC and Polycarbonate as well as more engineering grade resins such as polysulfone, acrylic, and glass filled and mineral filled polymers.
Of course! We have a number of off the shelf colors to choose from as well as the ability to custom match a color to your requirements.
ABS is an amorphous material while Polypropylene is a semi-crystalline material. The difference has to do with their molecular structure. Amorphous materials have a randomly ordered structure and when heated will soften gradually. Amorphous materials usually have better impact strength, better dimensional stability and less warp. Semi-crystalline materials are more ordered in their structure and will tend to have properties that have increased wear resistance and toughness.
Thermoplastic materials melt when heated, and can be re-heated multiple times. Thermoset materials undergo a cross-linking or curing process when heated. This allows thermoset materials to retain their shape when re-heated.
Yes! We can take a look at your project and application and using our extensive experience recommend a type of material that we think will perform the best.