Mold making is a critical component of many manufacturing processes, from the mobility and aerospace industries to consumer goods and medical devices. As technology continues to evolve, so too will mold making. Here are some key innovations and trends to watch for :
The rise in additive manufacturing options, such as 3D printing, has opened doors in plastic injection mold technology. With the ability to 3D print a plastic part, mold designers and programmers are able to assess a physical plastic piece in order to better execute a mold design and build. More complex and efficient plastic injection molds can be created to help support customers’ initiatives.
Industry 4.0, while not specific to mold manufacturing, is another trend to watch in the coming years. While some aspects of mold manufacturing will always require human hands, such as polishing to ensure a mirror-finish, other aspects are becoming more and more automated. This increases worker safety and helps Circle 5 to remain on the cutting edge of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. For example, the ability for a machine to send an alert before it’s going to break down will help reduce workplace accidents, stop machines from breaking down in the middle of a job, which will prevent damage to costly molds and save our customers money in the long run.
AI programs can monitor temperatures of plastics being injected into a mold, the AI can pause production and adjust temperatures if they get too hot or too cold, reducing the number of unusable parts and saving money. Further to that, robotics technology can be adapted to be used in plastic injection mold manufacturing to do things like take heavy steel blocks in and out of milling and CNC machines.
There has been a rise in the need for plastic injection molds to produce lighter weight parts. As the world shifts towards making more sustainable choices, consumer goods need to be capable of running more efficiently. This is especially true in the mobility industry where vehicles need to be efficient on fuel, or run on battery power. Lighter parts are one of the answers to this. In the mobility and automotive industries lighter parts mean vehicles that are more efficient on fuel. A dashboard in a car still needs to be the same size, but with the added factor of being lighter, so designers need to be more innovative with how they design that part, and plastic injection molds need to be more complex in order to meet those needs. In the medical industry, smaller and lighter weight parts mean less invasive surgeries and shorter recovery times for patients. Micro plastic injection molding is being innovated to meet these demands. Desktop-sized plastic injection molds are being made to produce small plastic parts for surgical implants.
With the advent of newer technologies, plastic injection mold manufacturing will continue to evolve and adapt to stay current with market demands. These are only a few trends that are shaping the way plastic injection molds are manufactured. Circle 5 strives to stay on the cutting edge of new technologies in order to increase efficiency and safety, and keep costs competitive for customers. Be sure to reach out today to find out more about how we can help you with your next plastic injection mold.