Low Vs High Volume Plastic Injection Molding: what’s the best choice for you?
Injection Molding is a common manufacturing process that finds application to develop variations of plastic products and components. While preparing for injection molding assignments, you must consider various related aspects. It includes the consideration for the service provider and their expertise. One of the major aspects to consider for Injection molding is the probable volume involved. This consideration will help you identify the service provider with adequate resources, technical know-how, and experience to handle the molding assignments in the best possible manner. Production Volume can either be low, medium, or high. Paragraphs underneath shall compare Low vs high-volume plastic injection molding.
What are the key features of Low-Volume Injection Molding?
Low-Volume Injection Molding is the ideal choice when the production requires lesser than 10,000 units. The exact count gets determined based on the process involved. In low-volume injection molding, aluminum replaces steel tools, which is the obvious choice for high-volume production.
Comparison with High-Volume injection molding casts the following benefits in case of Low-volume molding:
- Minimum turnaround time with the lesser cost of tooling:
One of the striking advantages of Low-volume tooling is the tooling cost. It is why aluminum tools involve lower costs than steel-tooling expenses. The best part is that aluminum tools are easier to manufacture and feature the least turnaround time. Hence, even if you need to replace the aluminum tool, you can accomplish it within the minimum time. It ensures the minimum production downtime for replacing the tool.
- Optimum Flexibility for Design:
Low-volume tools involve shorter manufacturing time and the minimum production cost. It allows molding companies to undertake more experimentation on the design. Thus, service providers can easily customize the design per the project’s need without escalating the production cost. It contributes, on the whole, to keep the product cost within competitive ranges.
- Easy market access:
Low-volume molding tools offer a wider design choice and the least complication in production. It finds more demand in the market. It is a more economically viable option for startups, small & medium companies, and organizations with stringent production budgets.
Unless high-volume molding is inevitable, today, most organizations prefer low-volume injection molding for its advantages.
What are the ideal application cases of Low Volume Molding?
The low-volume Plastic Injection Molding finds the best application across the following use cases:
- Pilot Production and Market Research: as the production process is simpler and cheaper, low-volume injection molding is perfectly suitable for pilot production and testing markets for new designs. When setting up High-volume Injection molding, companies ideally bank on the low-volume molding method to keep the production process active.
- Prototyping: It is for its higher speed and the minimum cost advantages that organizations rely upon Low-volume molding while creating prototypes to test fit, form, and function.
- Minimum production needs: Low-volume molding can effectively handle production-need up to 10000 units. It makes the process perfectly suitable for companies with lower production needs.
An overview of High-Volume Plastic Injection molding
As the name indicates, High-volume injection molding involves massive production. Manufacturers opt for this process when they need to produce thousands to millions of pieces. The most prominent feature of this process is that it involves steel tools.
Steel tools are more comprehensive, robust, and durable to handle heavy production needs. Ideally, this process is suitable in cases wherein it needs to produce between 75000 to 100000 units at a time.
Head-to-Head comparison between High and Low Volume Injection Molding upholds the following observations:
- The ideal process to handle large capacities within the minimum time: High-volume injection molding fetches the ability to produce thousands to millions of units simultaneously. Hence, it is the only relevant injection molding process for companies that handles large production volumes daily.
- Minimum Unit cost: even if the high-volume injection molding involves a higher set-up cost, it significantly contributes to cutting down per unit cost. As steel tools are robust and demand the minimum replacement, high-volume molding set-up keeps producing a million units at a time. Consequently, the unit cost, on the whole, drops significantly. However, the unit cost is majorly influenced by actual units produced.
- Perfect for Automation: According to experts, Automation goes best with High-volume injection molding. After the automation process is set up, it will accelerate the production capacity further, taking down per unit cost significantly.
Which is the best injection molding process in your case?
Low and High volume injection molding comes with their respective advantages and downsides. The choice in this regard requires the following considerations:
- Production needs: it is unjustified to involve High-volume injection molding until the production-need in lesser than 75000 units at go. It implies that low-volume injection molding is the best choice for smaller production capacities.
- The design needs: if the design is exclusive, low-volume injection molding is the obvious choice as it allows economical experimentation with the tool.
- Production cost: when the production cost per unit keeps ticking up, companies should focus on prototyping and Automation. In such instances, High-volume injection molding is the only available option as it downsizes the production cost significantly.
- Set-Up budget: when there is a constraint with the set-up budget, starting with low-volume injection molding is inevitable as the high-volume process will demand massive initial investment. The involvement of steel tools in heavy-volume molding involves a larger production time and enhanced material cost.
If you cannot decide which molding process is ideal for your case, it will help you seek professional guidance. One very important thing is that the choice of injection molding process has to suit your production needs ideally. A mismatch will hamper the production process, escalating the production cost.
Eventually, it will trigger production bottlenecks and hamper your ability to serve quality products at competitive rates. It will eventually help you to consolidate customer engagement.
Xcentric Mold, a part of the Quickparts family, is the most trusted Plastic Injection Molding manufacturer. They serve clients from all around the globe and have a reputation for excellent customer service.