It’s funny to think about how your nightmares and fears evolve as you age. The days of the boogeyman and things that go bump in the night have evolved to concerns for missed deadlines and last-minute changes. Nightmares become much more realistic after learning that monsters do not exist. There are few nightmare scenarios that I can think of that are more frightening than an injection-molding failure. Well, at least from a professional perspective.
Think about it. You put everything you have into a design and it goes into manufacturing… only to fail. You’ve lost the time you spent designing, and with molds ranging in cost from $10,000 to $1 million, the last thing you want is a five to seven-figure paperweight. As an added bonus, you get to start all over again. I’d rather take my chances with the guy in the hockey mask, thank you very much.
Since more than 80 percent of plastic parts used in products today have to be injection-molded, this nightmare can be all too real. Successfully producing injection-molded parts that are free of manufacturing defects requires a complex mix of time, temperature, pressure, material, and variations in tooling or part design. Designers, moldmakers, and manufacturing professionals must balance all of these variables to make quality parts while answering these questions:
- Does the part geometry meet draft and wall thickness requirements?
- How long should the injection/cooling/ejection cycle be?
- What’s the optimal temperature for the material, cooling channels, and mold?
- What’s the right filling/packing pressure and best material to use for a particular part?
- And, will the use of special inserts, side actions, additional injection gates, special secondary operations, or unique cooling channel designs improve part quality or shorten cycle times?
Traditional methods for answering these questions include lots of iterations between designers, moldmakers, and manufacturers, as well as prototype molds, and trial-and-error. It can translate to a costly and time-consuming proposition. However, accurate mold injection simulation can help. Testing molds in a virtual simulation environment cuts across communication barriers and allows designers, moldmakers, and manufacturing professionals to collaborate more efficiently and effectively, while eliminating the need for costly prototype and mold cycles.
Mold-filling simulation can help you save time, reduce costs and improve the quality of plastic parts. Regardless of your role, simulation with SOLIDWORKS Plastics can put an end to sleepless nights. To learn more, read this white paper to understand how SOLIDWORKS Plastics will help you resolve your injection-molding challenges in software—rather than through costly, time-consuming prototyping iterations—so you can consistently achieve your product development and manufacturing objectives while forgetting about the injection molding machine that goes bump in the night.