The world community faces unprecedented challenges in response to COVID-19, including increasing demand for essential medical devices throughout a period of global supply chain disruption.
When you’re getting ready to begin the injection molding process, the first choice you make—and one of the most crucial decisions—is which plastic mold manufacturing partner you’ll select. The partner you choose should, of course, deliver on all your mold requirements—but they should also prototype your part, help you with part design adjustments, warranty their work, and much more. And most importantly, the right partner will ensure you don’t end up with a useless mold that doesn’t produce quality parts—or, as we like to call a faulty mold—a boat anchor.
If you need a plastic part molded with extreme precision—for example, to ensure there’s no air leak between two molded sections or to be certain there’s no visible seal gap line—you likely require precision molding. The difference between a typical injection molded part and a precision molded part is the tolerance, or acceptable range of variation in dimension: While the majority of injection molded parts have a tolerance of +/- .005″, precision molding holds tolerances between +/- .002″ and +/- .001″ (or less, in some cases).
A single-use product is meant to be used or applied once and then discarded. The term “single-use” is sometimes intended to mean “disposable,” though this isn’t always the case. A bullet and a booster rocket, for example, are both single-use products—but most people wouldn’t refer to them as a disposable. But many medical products, like tongue depressors and test vials, are perfect examples of single-use, disposable products.
Rapid tooling is, simply, the creation of a mold in a shortened timeline.
Rapid tooling got its start in the 1990s, when engineers involved in injection molding wanted to see if they could build molds in a matter of hour or days instead of the weeks or months a machined mold would take. A rapid-tooled mold is ideal for prototyping a part and molding a few hundred plastic parts before full-scale, high-volume production starts.
Blow molding vs. injection molding—what’s the difference? Both are common methods used to create plastic parts. And while some parts require both blow-molded and injection-molded components—for example, a medical device with a blow-molded container attached to an injection molded apparatus, or a military application with a blow-molded “payload” packet fabricated inside an injection molded projectile—the two methods primarily serve different markets.
If you’re creating a plastic part, it’s important to know what type of injection molding process your part will require. Do you know if your part needs to be molded in a cleanroom environment, or whether you should use a vertical or horizontal injection molding machine?
There are thousands of plastic injection molding companies around the world, but here at Micron, we like to think we approach things a little differently from the rest of the crowd.
One of those differences is that we do our plastic mold manufacturing in-house as opposed to outsourcing this job. This allows us a high degree of quality control throughout the mold-making process, and helps to address any questions or issues on an injection molding project before the mold is created.
If you need to manufacture a plastic part that must remain as clean as possible—like an implantable medical device—you'll need to have your part made in a cleanroom environment.
Cleanroom molding is the process of creating plastic parts in a special room optimized to reduce the risk of contamination by dust or other particles. The medical, pharmaceutical, aerospace, military, and biotech industries frequently require parts to be created in a cleanroom environment.
In recent years, 3D printing has become extremely useful in manufacturing—and, more specifically, in plastic injection molding. Injection molding companies often use a 3D printer to create a part from a model, drawing, or concept plastic part.
From advancements that have helped the industry for over 40 years to the latest cutting-edge innovations, there are a number of interesting plastic injection technologies out there that could be used to bring your prototype into production.
Hello! We’re Micron Products.
Founded in 1978, we are a full-service contract manufacturing and injection molding company based in Massachusetts. The shop we acquired at that time was founded in 1925, making us one of the oldest companies in the injection molding industry.
As an engineer, your focus is on taking a product idea and figuring out how to get it manufactured so it fits all your specifications and stays within your budget. But before you select an injection molding partner, it’s a good idea to brush up on what the injection molding process looks like.
If your company requires plastic injection molding services to create a plastic part, one of the first—and most critical—decisions to make is whether you’re going to go with a plastic injection mold service in the U.S. or one based overseas. While many countries offer mold-making services, China is the primary player in this market.
Medical device injection molding is used in everything from syringes to IV roller clamps to dialysis machine components.
While you must ensure that your medical device is manufactured to FDA standards and is ISO 13485 compliant, you also need to be certain that the company you select is the right one for your needs.
The properties of thermosets and thermoplastics are quite different—but the similarities and differences are often asked about. The primary difference in these two plastics comes down to heat and chemical resistance. Heat resistance is the primary function of a thermoset material, while thermoplastics—which are much more common—can only withstand heat to a certain degree. It’s worth noting that plastic injection molding companies typically do either thermoset or thermoplastic injection molding, but rarely do they handle both.
The plastic injection molding process is extremely complex with (quite literally) thousands of moving parts. As a manufacturing engineer, it’s not critical for you to know every finite detail of mold-closing mechanisms or the difference between every polymeric substance used in injection molding—but understanding the following 10 terms will make a conversation with a potential plastic manufacturing partner much simpler.