Home » What Are the Parallel Options for Thermoforming & Injection Molding Manufacturers?

What Are the Parallel Options for Thermoforming & Injection Molding Manufacturers?

by Asim Khan

Manufacturing Differences Between Thermoforming & Injection Molding

Thermoforming and injection molding are both popular injection molding manufacturing processes for making plastic parts. Thermoforming is mostly used for large designs and small production runs. On the other hand, injection molding is used for manufacturing small, intricate parts and large production runs.

In the High Quality Injection Molding process, plastic pellets are heated to a liquid state and injected into the mold. But, in the thermoforming process, a flat sheet is heated to a pliable temperature. Then it is molded to the tool’s shape using suction from a vacuum or pressure. High-quality injection molding is a tough process.

1. Alternatives for Injection Molding

Injection molding is far from the only option when it comes to plastic manufacturing. You just need to know the facts about it, which are the following:

Roto Molding for Small Production Runs

The cost of injection molding is quite high when compared to roto molding. This means it is the most cost-effective for particularly large batches of products, such as several hundred or more.

Roto-molding is far more cost-effective for much smaller amounts of manufacturing. Because it is a primary casting process that includes no pressure in the procedure, the molds are inexpensive. When it comes to small production runs, most injection molding companies prefer roto molding. 

Urethane Casting 

Urethane casting is a very good alternative to injection molding. It is an alternative without the high upfront cost & long lead time of injection molding. The urethane casting process provides a wide range of resins that mimic production-grade materials. This method is best for cost-effective production. That runs more than 200 parts to test the market, collect feedback, and test engineering and design requirements.

3D Printing 

3D printing is suitable as a very low-volume production and prototyping process. It does not require an upfront investment to create molds, and it can provide lead times as short as a few hours. It makes 3D printing a better option for rapid iterations while developing plastic products. 

Thermoforming 

The thermoforming process involves creating a mold of a product with a thin sheet of plastic. The plastic is heated and formed using vacuum, pressure, or mechanical force. The sheet of plastic takes the shape of the mold, and extra material is trimmed off. The finish of the surface is important as the product picks up small details on the mold.

2. Alternatives for Thermoforming Manufacturing

In today’s era, companies are looking for ways to enhance their brand and do manufacturing at a lower cost. As a result, they devise workarounds. The alternatives to thermoforming are:

Alternative Design 

Designing includes size, shape, and tooling components. It provides an initial entry point for getting it right the first time. Leveraging these aspects in the early process helps to ensure continuous payback from the production run. Savings can include multiple-part integration, such as inserts, brackets, and fasteners, and you can eliminate these costly secondary operations. You can also mold in louvers, grills, holes, etc. for cost savings. Replacing the existing structure with molded structural foam can provide a quick ROI.

Light Weighting 

Taking existing products and finding ways to minimize their weight without jeopardizing them is a good opportunity for making more profit. It is as simple as minimizing the wall thickness. Payback can be rapid with specific consideration given to tool modification costs and annual volumes.

Materials 

Replacing resin with an alternative with the same performance characteristics provides the fastest route to a more sustainable product. Structural foam can be used with thermoplastic rubbers for additional strength. It also helps to gain sustainability. In comparison to thermoforming, a sheet-formed product should be made of a more aesthetically pleasing and less expensive material.

Conclusion 

Injection Molding Manufacturers is a very important process for the mass production of thermoplastic objects. It does not require additional finishing in the process. Most molding machines are of the universal type, which can make all types of molds within certain limits. The process of molding is quite simple. First of all, it melts the plastic material After that it is filled into a closed mold that gives it a shape. After it is cool down it is converted into a solid material and an extra part is extracted. 

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