Author: Julie Hillis

What is the World’s Strongest Plastic?

What is the World’s Strongest Plastic?

Defining what the strongest plastic is, isn’t as cut and dry as you might think. But know what the “strongest” plastic is, based on a few things, can help you decide what plastics you may need for your plastic injection molding prototype.

It’s a simplistic question, possibly even naive. Put it to a chemical engineer or a materials scientist, and she or he will almost certainly not come back with a single answer.
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Injection Molding Machine Tending

Injection Molding Machine Tending

Many companies have made the change to have robotics tending machines over a worker. Is there more of a reason aside from increasing profits? Robotics is something we rely on so heavily in today’s world, they make things we do better.

Since machine tending is not specific to CNC machines, we thought it would be great idea to look at some other manufacturing tasks that can be done using machine tending, like, injection molding.
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Metals That Can Be Molded Like Plastics

Metals That Can Be Molded Like Plastics

We are used to plastics taking the places of things that were made from metal, but not normally the other way around. Metals that are more malleable like plastics exist though they aren’t used as often as you might think.

Many solids can exist in either a crystalline or a glassy state. If a molten material is frozen quickly, the atoms or molecules have less time to settle into an orderly arrangement before they’re out of energy, and have to freeze where they are. The resulting solid is more likely to be glassy. If frozen slowly, however, the atoms or molecules can find their “proper” places and settle into a regular structure. The resulting solid is more likely to be crystalline.
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The Life Cycle of a Plastic Injection Mold

The Life Cycle of a Plastic Injection Mold

If you’re a molder, your injection molds are one of the most important pieces of equipment you use. Because your molds are so vital to you, it goes without saying that you want them to last as long as possible. Molds are expensive to replace, so knowing more about the life expectancy of your molds can help you plan ahead financially for when a mold will need replacement. Getting a new mold made to replace one that’s at the end of its life, but still in use, can help you keep production going. That way production can keep going, and a mold that breaks down doesn’t have to slow you down.

Plastic Injection Mold Lifetime

Truth be told, determining the lifetime of a plastic injection mold is easier said than done, as many factors contribute to the life expectancy of a plastic injection mold. Plastic injection molds operate under harsh conditions, and while a good mold should be built to last under the conditions it will be operating in, even the best mold will take some wear and tear.

Generally though, the lifetime of your mold will depend on a number of factors. Molds that have a faster turnaround can finish more cycles in a day than molds with slower cycle times. Because the life expectancy of plastic injection molds is measured in cycles – as opposed to measuring mold life expectancy by considering the time a mold has been operating – molds that can complete more cycles in a shorter amount of time will generally have a somewhat shorter life expectancy.

While a shorter life expectancy might seem like a bad thing, the difference between a mold with a fast turnaround and one that’s slow isn’t necessarily that big. If both molds can complete approximately 250,000 cycles before breaking down, both are equally good. What mold owners should understand is that the lifetime of a mold is measured in cycles rather than the time a mold was operational. This makes more sense, because knowing how many parts a mold can produce in its lifetime helps molders determine whether or not a mold will be able to cover its own costs.

How Many Cycles Can a Mold Complete?

It’s impossible to know exactly how many cycles a mold will be able to complete in its lifetime. As with anything in life, there’s no way to look into the future to foresee any and all things that could possibly go wrong. Just as no one knows when a car will break down, no one can tell you what the exact life expectancy of your plastic injection molds will be.

But for the purpose of keeping better track of your molds, you’ll need an estimate. The estimation of a mold’s lifetime will help you determine whether or not a mold lived up to its estimated performance. If the estimated life expectancy of a mold was 250,000 cycles and the mold only completed 180,000 before breaking down, your mold clearly didn’t come close to its estimated 250,000 cycles. The reason for this under performance could vary. It might be that the conditions the mold was operated in led to faster wear and tear, but the problem might also be the mold itself.

To ensure that your molds complete roughly the same amount of cycles you’d expect them to, the most important thing you have to do has nothing to do with how you take care of the mold. More importantly, you should see to it that you buy your molds from an injection mold maker that can deliver quality molds. Your plastic injection mold maker isn’t just a company you buy molds from. As a molder, your mold supplier should be your trusted business partner. A good mold making company will be able to tell you exactly how to take care of your molds to keep them running for longer. Your mold making company should also be able to tell you roughly how many cycles you can expect from a mold.

The estimated amount of cycles a mold can complete will vary depending on the molds you use, as well as the quality of those molds. Generally, a plastic injection mold could complete anywhere between a 100,00 to 1 million (or sometimes somewhat more than a million) cycles in its lifetime, so it’s important to learn about the life expectancy of a mold before buying it.

Maintaining Your Molds

If you want to get the most out of every mold, you should stick to a mold maintenance plan. Without proper maintenance, even the best mold won’t complete nearly as many cycles as you’d expect it to. The company you bought your molds from should be able to help you set up a mold maintenance schedule. This helps prevent downtime, where a mold breaks down unexpectedly and all the production you were expecting from it comes to a halt.

Mold maintenance schedules will usually be determined based on the amount of cycles a mold can safely run before needing to be sent off for cleaning and other maintenance. As a molder, you might sometimes end up overworking a mold to complete orders in time, unfortunately that’s almost sure to happen at some time or another.

To avoid damaging an overworked mold you should, however, get a good estimate from your mold supplier about how much will be too much. Overworking a mold a bit before finally sending it off for maintenance might not do much harm, but overworking it too much will almost surely lead to a breakdown. Most mold suppliers will tell you not to overwork your molds at all, as they can’t really accept responsibility for damage to molds that were overdue for maintenance, but asking them how many cycles similar molds typically run before breaking down could help you get a better idea of the risks levels of overworking your molds.

Employment Inside the Plastic Mold Industry

Employment Inside the Plastic Mold Industry

There are always a range of different kinds of employees in the plastic industry, with each participating in a similarly important role in the change of plastic in to the parts and products that are desired. The three principal positions are: machine setters, machine operators, and tenders.

The Role of the Machine Setter, Machine Operator, and Tender

Machine setters, machine operator, and sensitive have the duty of establishing and maintaining the machines that convert plastic ingredients, such as pellets, natural powder, and syrup, inot products such as vehicle parts, toys, and tubes. Although a number of methods can be employed to improve the clear plastic into a good product, treatment molding is the most used method.

A typical injection molding machine has about 25 different handles, all can be adjusted. The machine setter is in charge of establishing these machines before they are being used to ensure all adjustments are where they have to be. The setter is usually in charge of mending any problems the machinery may have.

Following the machine has been setup by the machine setter, the device operator displays the gauges. They’re in charge of making any changes which may be essential to maintain quality, such as changing the inputs, the rates of speed, and the pressures. Following the product being created and cooled within the injection-molding machine, the tender cleans the merchandise and puts it into its product packaging.

Work Environment

Generally, those working within the plastic molding industry like a clean, well-ventilated, and well lit working environment. The working job does, however, require standing a lot of the day and include average to heavy lifting also. Furthermore, the machinery could be very dangerous and, therefore, strict safety rules must be honored.

Nearly all staff in the plastic material molding industry must wear earplugs and safe glasses to safeguard themselves from the noisy sounds created by the machines and from soaring pieces of plastic. Modern machines, however, are enclosed. This decreases the employee’s contact with noise and dust particles. Regardless of the modern equipment, some staff in the plastic molding industry also must wear face masks or special self-contained respiration apparati if the plastic they use emits dangerous fumes.

Most employees in the plastic material molding industry work 40 hour weeks. During cycles of increased creation, overtime is common also. Most plastics shops work several shifts.


Generally, there are no special educational requirements for a person to be used as a plastics machine setter, machine operator, or tender. Most employees on the market learn face to face. This is accomplished by having the trainee observe and assist experienced employees usually. Formal training programs, however, are also sometimes used to teach new employees. Generally, the tender is the entry-level position, accompanied by the operator, and the setter then. Ultimately, the employee will become in charge of all aspects of the machine.


The money earned by a worker within the plastic molding industry is dependent largely on how big is the company, the individuals experience, and whether or not the company is unionized. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the median hourly salary in May 2004 for model makers was $21.28. Rolling machine providers and tenders acquired $14.33 each hour, while heat tending operators and tenders attained $14.26, and multiple machine setters, providers, and tenders acquired $14.06 Molding setters, providers, and tenders attained $11.63 throughout that same timeframe.

6 Simple Machines Modern Making Can’t Live Without

6 Simple Machines Modern Making Can’t Live Without

Modern manufacturing has come quite a distance. It now uses CNC machining for milling and turning, and lasers for 3D printing. However the most elementary machine types, as defined by Archimedes more than 2000 years back, are still found in today’s production shop if you look all over the place. A few of these simple machines haven’t any moving parts but will be the foundation for all your complex machines that came after.

wooden wedge

The Wedge

This shape is familiar to any child who’s ever before played with a couple of toy wood blocks. The wedge is amazing in its flexibility, because it’s part of four different but related machine types, combined with the inclined plane, screw and lever.

The wedge is actually a triangle, with both long attributes assembly at a razor-sharp viewpoint we call the border. This edge pushes against an object, and the opposing pressure is dissipated along the true face allowing the wedge to minimize.Where is a wedge within a machine shop? Just about everywhere. Every chopping tool is a wedge of some sort, wherever an angled face complies with the workpiece to shave off organic material. Cutlery, scissors, axes, data, drills – even the fine abrasive allergens on milling rocks and sandpaper – they are all types of wedges.

various tools such as pliers and clamps

The Lever

A wedge can become a pivot point, called a fulcrum, as the lever is any bar or rod that pivots at the fulcrum. When one end of the bar moves in one direction, the corresponding opposite end of the bar moves in the other direction. What’s the goal of that?

If both ends are a similar length, there is absolutely no mechanical advantage, but it can help move the location where in fact the strong make is applied. If the length is increased by you of the bar at the input end, you multiply the force applied at the contrary end, which is very convenient indeed. Levers are located on every pair of pliers, scissors, sketch pubs, and clamps for possessing parts set up, among a lot more examples.

Wood Axe

The Inclined Plane

A different type of wedge or triangle, this time around with one 90 degree angle assisting to form basics. The potent pressure applied moves up the inclined face, distributing area of the load and part horizontally. Splitting the load up this real way makes it more manageable to slowly but surely move a heavy weight a great distance.

Inclined planes with stepped notches cut into them are ideal for holding clamps, commonly used on CNC machines. You also find them on loading ramps of course, where wheeled trolleys move heavy loads into and out of the shop.

Series of Gears

The Axle and Wheel

It had been a red letter day for the people when someone thought this out. We all really know what axles and wheels are, but the important things to keep in mind here from an executive perspective is that fundamental machine exchanges linear action into rotational action, and vice versa. And it proficiently does so very, with little frictional damage.

The applications are endless. Every content spinning and turning procedure over a mill, lathe or grinder – CNC or manual – depends on perfection bearings that transfer lots with amazing accuracy and repeatability.


The Pulley

A kind of axle and steering wheel, the pulley transmits the powerful pressure of lots while redirecting that power, and divides the weight being transferred through every pulley in a string. Minimizing the potent make this way requires that the strain be migrated a larger distance, an acceptable bargain.

Pulleys are being used in mechanical and electrical winches, to hoist very heavy tools and mold bases into and out of plastic injection and pressure die casting machines, or to off-load raw materials in a warehouse.

Screw with nuts around it

The Screw

A combination of the wheel and axle and the inclined plane, screws help to transmit force and motion both rotationally and linearly at the same time.

As we all know, screws have threaded shafts, and these threads interface with an opposing force to either redirect it or hold it in place over a large surface area.

So, screws are used in all kinds of fasteners, to drive plastic into injection molding machines, to move vice jaws in and out, to calibrate inspection equipment and a million other places. One less obvious place is with the ball lead screw. This wondrous invention lets a linear actuator move smoothly – and very quickly – along a threaded rod with great accuracy and repeatability, making CNC machines as reliable as they are.

And we rely on these basic machine types every day to make parts for rapid prototypes, industrial and consumer products every day. Interested in how we can make them work for you? Contact us today for a free quotation!

Plastic Injection Molding for Automobiles

Plastic Injection Molding for Automobiles

Plastic injection mold makers have developed technologies for producing quality parts over the years. With so many thing that are made from plastic nowadays, it’s hard to believe there was a time it didn’t exits. Plastic injection molding is used a wide variety of things. Everything from children’s toys to medical equipment and household items are made using plastic injection molding techniques. What many people don’t realize is just how much plastic injection molding has developed.

Plastic Injection Molding in the Automotive Industry

In the automotive industry, plastic injection molds are used to make a surprising amount of vehicle parts. The interior of most cars are filled with plastic. The dashboard, inside door panels, ashtrays, buttons and even the carpets and bumpers are all made through plastic injection molding processes. But even when you take a look under the engine cap, you’ll see a good deal of plastic molded parts.

In recent years the use of plastic has become especially popular in the automobile industry. And this shift from using metal components to plastic is about more than just saving on production costs.

Car manufacturers constantly strive to design vehicles that are lightweight. These lightweight vehicles have been proven to be environmentally friendlier because of their lower fuel consumption. It’s been estimated that every 10% reduction in vehicle weight can lead to a 5-7% increase in fuel efficiency.

In order to make vehicles more efficient, the automotive industry is trying to revolutionize the way plastics are used in cars, aiming to make as many car parts as possible from durable, lightweight plastics. Even though an average modern car consists 50% of plastic, the plastic molded parts only account for roughly 10% of its weight, which shows how for the automotive industry has already come in using plastic improve car performance.

But the use of plastics in cars also has other benefits. By using durable plastics, car manufacturers can also avoid common problems associated with using metal, like metal fatigue and rust. The fact that plastic is lightweight, highly affordable and sometimes even more durable than metal makes it the perfect choice auto manufacturers.

The use of plastics has helped car manufacturers design and produce cars that are safer, cheaper and more eco-friendly. The best part is that these newer, more fuel efficient cars are both cheaper to buy and drive when compared to their older counterparts. Back in the day when cars still largely consisted of metal, it wasn’t as common for an average middle class family to have their own transportation.

Automotive Mold Design and Manufacturing

When it comes to molding car parts, molders need the best possible plastic injection molds to assure every part will perform well. Good molders already know how to mix polymers for maximum durability while producing parts, but there’s an essential step to producing quality parts that can’t be overlooked.

If you’re a molder, producing automobile parts your clients will be satisfied with begins with the molds you use. A good mold is one of the key things you need to run a successful plastic injection molding company. Your mold making company should be your trusted business partner who will guide you through the design, manufacturing and maintenance process every step of the way.

Keeping your molds properly maintained is necessary if you want to consistently mold durable parts for automobiles. Without proper plastic injection mold maintenance, your parts will eventually develop faulty spots and become structurally weak.

American Plastic Injection Molds for the Automotive Industry

Injection molds are expensive pieces of equipment. The mold making process requires precision engineering and manufacturing standards to create molds with tight tolerance that will serve your business for years to come. A good mold shouldn’t be a finicky piece of equipment that sporadically breaks down. After all, you can’t afford to regularly have an unscheduled halt in production of parts simply because your mold won’t function as it should.

Many plastic injection molders make the mistake of working with foreign companies that can produce molds for much cheaper. But when it comes to buying plastic injection molds, you really do get what you pay for.

If you buy a mold at a fraction of the price you’d pay in America, it’s not just because you’re buying from a country with a weaker currency. A large part of the the discount you think you’re getting is because workers producing the molds aren’t equally skilled. Companies that cater to a cheaper market aren’t set on giving you the best worth for your money in the long-term. They’re simply looking to reduce your immediate expenses, even if it ends up costing you more in maintenance and repairs in the long-run.

While the initial cost of buying a local, American-made mold might seem like a large amount to pay upfront, it’s an investment that can make or break your company. Buying a good mold from a company that will help you keep it properly maintained according to a maintenance schedule you can plan in advance (as opposed to a mold that breaks down when you need it most) will help you run your company in a way that’s within your control. A reliable mold can help you stay on top of part production and streamline your processes for maximum results.

How Products are Made: Toy Model Kit

How Products are Made: Toy Model Kit

It’s the time of year to start thinking about what kind of toys are you going to get for the young loved ones in your life. Toy models come in many varieties and are made with injection molding!

Model kits are made in approximately five skill levels. Snap-together models provide all the pieces with tiny tabs that fit in specially shaped holes. The plastic pieces are made in the same colors as the original; and virtually no tools, adhesives, paint, or other equipment are needed to build them. The plastic parts simply snap together in a sequence depicted on an instruction sheet; these models are an excellent introduction to the kinds of pieces in a model kit and prepare a novice builder for the next step.
Click here to learn how these toys came to be and the process it takes to make them.

How Products are Made: Acrylic Plastic

How Products are Made: Acrylic Plastic

As a plastic injection molding company, Plastics are very important to us here at Quality Mold Shop. Here we have an article overviewing where acrylic plastics come from and what they are used for.

Like all plastics, acrylic plastics are polymers. The word polymer comes from the Greek words poly, meaning many, and meros, meaning a part. A polymer, therefore, is a material made up of many molecules, or parts, linked together like a chain. Polymers may have hundreds, or even thousands, of molecules linked together.
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How to Pick a Plastic Injection Molding Company

How to Pick a Plastic Injection Molding Company

Plastic injection molding is a booming industry, but picking a mold making company for your business to work with is a key factor if you want to mold high quality parts. You should choose your mold manufacturer carefully. Opting for the cheapest manufacturer can end up costing you more. If a mold manufacturer delivers a mold that doesn’t live up to your expectations, fixing it will significantly hike up its cost. Eventually, a mold you thought would be cheap may end up costing more than even the most expensive mold. The worst part is that it probably won’t ever perform at the same level.

To avoid an injection mold catastrophe, you have to pick the right manufacturer to make your mold. There are a few things to consider when partnering with an injection mold manufacturer.

American-made Molds Are Best

China is known for producing large quantities of molds that are available at reasonably low costs. But there are many reasons why an American-made mold will be best for your business. One of the advantages of choosing an American mold manufacturer is that your mold won’t have to be shipped abroad for maintenance. This not only saves you money on postage, but also means your mold won’t be away for long periods of time whenever it’s being serviced.

The other benefit of American plastic injection molds is that they’re usually of a higher quality. Although a Chinese mold maker could deliver a high quality mold, you never really know what you’re going to get until your mold arrives in America. And when your mold manufacturer is in China, sending your new mold back for repairs could take many weeks.

At Quality Mold Shop, we offer pickup and delivery services for molds weighing 12,000lbs or less, meaning you won’t have to worry about mold transportation.

Precision and Injection Mold Making

Your needs will have a huge influence on the mold manufacturer you choose. If you don’t need precision molds that are accurate to a fraction of a millimeter, then almost any manufacturer will be able to help you. But the more precision you need from your injection mold, the more you should shop around for a good manufacturer.

Ask your manufacturer about their mold making processes and the precision of their molds. For the best results, you should communicate your needs clearly to help the manufacturer understand whether or not they can deliver a mold that’ll suit your requirements.

Remember, you don’t have to go with a mold making company that can deliver precision to a fraction of a millimeter if that’s not what you need. Although this precision could indicate better manufacturing processes are used during production.

Mold Manufacturer Production Scale

Don’t just assume that large scale mold manufacturers are the best. Different injection mold manufacturers target different customers. Often times, really large scale manufacturers prefer to work with larger businesses that place large orders. If that’s the case, your order won’t necessarily be prioritized above larger ones. This could depend from one manufacturer to another, the best manufacturers will prioritize all their customers regardless of how many molds they order.

Aim for a mold manufacturer with a production scale that matches your business. You need one that can keep up, but that doesn’t have to be the largest manufacturer around.

Some people might be concerned that smaller manufacturers aren’t as good, though. But the production scale your mold manufacturer can take on isn’t an indicator of how good the molds will be. Sometimes, companies that make fewer molds can do better quality control and produce very high quality molds. The quality of molds an injection mold making company produces will depend on the expertise of the staff and machining tools, not on their production capacity.

Trustworthiness in the Production Process

You should aim to find out more about the production processes of every mold making company you’re considering to work with. Learn more about how long it takes to make a single mold and what steps every mold goes through before it’s ready for use.

Once you have a proper estimate of how long it takes to make a good mold, you’ll know if your mold isn’t delivered within a reasonable time. In that case, you can ask about what caused the delay. But remember that not all molds are the same. Some molds need much more work before they can be used than others, and if you’re working with a good company, you shouldn’t have to worry much about the production of your mold. It’s better to wait a little longer if you’ll get a higher quality mold.

Furthermore, your mold manufacturer should be trustworthy enough so you don’t have to constantly check in to see if your mold is being made properly. If possible, you should do some research to find out whether or not past customers have been satisfied with the company. You should learn more about how well the molds a company makes perform and whether or not the company will deliver as promised. A good company makes durable molds that perform well.

Experience in Mold Making

Experience is a good indicator of how reliable a plastic injection mold making company will be. At Quality Mold Shop, we have more than 40 years’ experience in producing high quality, precision molds. We also offer services to design molds as well as helping customers with injection mold maintenance plans and repairs.

Our team of experts have designed and produced molds for the automotive, medical and appliance industries. If you need a durable mold and reliable customer support, Quality Mold Shop is the ideal partner for your business to work with.