PLASTIC INJECTION MOLD TOOLING is suited to high volume manufacturing, as it is capable of creating multiple quantities of solid plastic parts repeatedly with a very fast production cycle.

Plastic mold tools will have a unique design, that will be able to withstand high pressures involved, and provide a channel for the molten plastic to flow into the mould, extract heat from the part and provide a method of separating the part once it is has solidified.

What is Plastic Injection Mould Tooling?

Plastic Injection Mould Tooling is the creation of unique plastic mold
tools that are used to manufacture plastic parts.

The plastic moulds consist of both moving and fixed sections which are clamped together at the beginning of the manufacturing process.

Molten plastic is then fed into the clamped mould at a very high pressure. If gas assist systems are used then air is pumped into the mould to ensure the plastic is uniformly covering the entire cavity.

Finally, the plastic is cooled and hardened within the mould, before the tool opens to release the component.

The Plastic Injection Moulding Process

Here is a more detailed description of the use of plastic mold
tools:

  • The plastic pellets are fed into and melted within the barrel of the moulding machine
  • At the end of the barrel are the machine moulds. The moulds consist of both moving and fixed platens which are clamped together under pressure at the beginning of the process
  • The molten plastic is then injected into the clamped mould at high pressure.
  • Once all the plastic has been injected into the mould, air is pumped under high pressure into the inside of the mould to ensure the plastic has uniformly covered the entire mould cavity
  • The plastic is then allowed to cool and solidify within the mould
  • The mould platens release and the mould tool is opened
  • The plastic parts are then removed from the plastic injection machine with rods, a plate, or blasts of air.

This is a very rapid and reliable process and repeat injection moulded products can be created to the same finish and quality each time. This manufacturing process is used to produce products such as bottle caps, casings, covers, syringes, bins, car body parts and many other plastic products that you use in everyday life.

The injection moulding process has several benefits over other plastic moulding processes:

  • Products can be produced in complex and intricate detail which, otherwise, would be too costly or difficult to make
  • The production rate is high, labour costs are low ,with very limited production downtime
  • The process makes complete products that can be used for whatever they are designed for
  • Faulty products may be recycled for future use, therefore almost eliminating waste
  • A wide range of materials can be used, from Polypropylene to high performance engineering polymers
  • Low production costs due to the low cost of the polymer pellets and fast product turnover.
  • This process requires exceptionally low manpower.
  • It is possible to produce small, complex, detailed parts due to the high pressures exerted on the molten plastics.
  • Great for producing parts in large volumes.
  • After the initial costs the price per unit is very low.
  • Low waste compared to traditional manufacturing methods and if using thermoplastics, the waste is even lower due to the ability to re-use any waste plastic for parts that don’t require high performance properties.
  • The products will be produced the same every time.
  • Multiple materials can be used together at the same time to create a product.
  • Good colour control.
  • Reduced finishing requirements.

The main disadvantage with plastic injection moulding is that the cost of creating plastic mould can be high for complex plastic products, larger moulds and the quality of the mould required.

Therefore, to be cost effective when manufacturing using plastic injection moulding, large batch numbers are best to spread the mould tooling costs over many items.

At Toolcast, we will advise and guide you about which mould tools you will need to meet the needs of your product manufacture.

Design Of The Plastic Injection Mould Tool

The tooling stage of the plastic injection moulding process is one of the areas of expertise at Tool Cast.

This area of our business is extremely valuable to our clients, simply because the design of the injection mould tool is critical to the success of the plastic moulding product.

With many years plastic injection mould tooling experience, Tool Cast can offer the very best advice on the most suitable plastic mould tooling configuration.

For us to provide an initial quotation we need the following information:

  • Component drawing, sketch, or prototype
  • Product specification, including its application and operating environment
  • Product base material
  • Annual volume requirement and potential batch quantities

To complete the initial review stage, we will work closely with you to evaluate the design of the product. In doing so we will consider all the key features of your component to determine a plastic mould tooling configuration that will meet your production demands and result in you having the required product created to a high standard by our expert team of plastic injection moulders.

With the initial plastic part and tool configuration we also think about ease of manufacture and will attempt to establish possible cost savings.

At the initial tool configuration review, we assess the following areas:

  • Product features
  • Moulding material
  • Parting line of the mould tool
  • Extraction from the tool
  • Type of mould tool – ie hot or cold feed
  • Tool material
  • Number of cavities to meet production demand and the required price point

If you wish to proceed with our offer, then we would require the following information to complete the full design process:

  • 2D Drawings
  • 3D Cad Data in either step or iges format
  • Confirmation of base Raw Material & Colour
  • Key Dimensions for Inspection
  • Contact details for the project

Following a successful design process, it is now time to make the tool that will make the moulding.

Your plastic injection mouldings will be manufactured using the most cost-effective production methods whether they are small or large, thick, or thin, one moulding or whole assemblies

Our attention to detail will give you confidence in the production of your products.

Certain materials can be very abrasive, such as glass filled nylon for example. Other materials are very corrosive and will rust normal steel moulds.

Our moulds are constructed from hardened steel. These steel moulds are more expensive to construct but they have a longer lifespan because of steel’s strength and hard-wearing properties. This makes hardened steel moulds suitable for mass production volume which will offset the initial mould tooling costs.

For low volumes or large components, aluminium moulds provide a less wear-resistant and less expensive option. The most economical moulds are produced from.

The core and cavity design of the plastic injection mould tool is what gives the final product its shape, but there are several other functions of the tool that are crucial for the correct formation of the final product.

The plastic mould injection tool has a large role in the correct cooling rate of the moulded plastic part. If the plastic material sets at the wrong speed, distortion and stress may occur. The material of the tool should be chosen with the cooling rate in mind. Some plastic materials may need to be moulded in a water-cooled tool or a heated tool. Depending on the plastic type your tool will be made to suit that material. 

We have years of experience ensuring that your mould tool will be of the highest quality and our service to you will not end when the tool is completed. All moulds are tested under production conditions and are only approved when we are confident of optimum performance.

Our UK office in south Wales offers full support including factory visits, collection, delivery and a full after sales service within the UK.

You can call us any time for free advice on your project. We will listen to what you want and work with you to achieve the results you need. We always want to deliver what we have promised but we realise that sometimes projects do not go according to plan, and we shall do everything we can to help to satisfy your requirements.

Project management is key to the success of Plastic Injection Mould tool manufacture and we have developed procedures to ensure that each project runs smoothly, to specification and within schedule. The requirements of each customer are unique and to reflect this our tooling specifications are split into three classes – see table below.

As part of our standard process we check component cad data for mouldability.

Any issues are highlighted along with our recommendations.

The plastic injection mould tool is a mainstay of the manufacturing process. If professionally designed and constructed, your plastic injection mould tool can be the key to efficiently producing thousands of plastic parts throughout the entire life of the project.

Toolcast makes every stage of tooling management more effective and straightforward – from planning and concept development, through to manufacturing, testing, modification, and servicing.

At Toolcast, we understand that a moulded part is only as good as the moulding tool in which it is formed and every tool that we manufacture for our customers is made in accordance with our tool manufacturing standard requirements.

For Toolcast, tooling project management is about more than toolmaking. We will support you throughout the entire production process, adding value every step of the way.

By working with Toolcast from the concept development stage, we can ensure that the design and composition of your moulds are optimal and support you through the manufacturing, testing, modification, and approval processes. At Toolcast, we work in partnership with you throughout the project acting as an extension of your technical department.  From the initial concept, through the injection moulding design stage using, to the manufacturing of the injection mould tool. 

Design for plastic injection moulding requires a certain approach and working with an external design service such as Toolcast saves time and money and results in quality plastic moulding designs from the outset.

There are many things to consider when designing for injection moulding. That is why our experts are here to help.  Toolcast uses the latest software to fine tune new mould designs, therefore, ensuring cost effective and reliable designs.

We share our expertise with customers from early in the design process and, together, we will select the plastic material, design the physical shape, and set up for production minimising cost and maximising performance. This approach will take away the risk of having to make costly modifications at a later stage.

We have complete control over the mould tooling process.

Over the last 20 years, Toolcast has built up extensive knowledge in manufacturing mould tools for companies that manufacture using plastic injection techniques. We provide tailor made services built around your requirements and will do our utmost to ensure a high-quality result.

We always want to deliver what we have promised, but we realise that sometimes projects do not go according to plan, and we shall do everything we can to help to satisfy your requirements.

Quality Management System

The purpose of our quality management system is to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership between ToolCast and its customers. Ultimately, our aim is to help its customers grow their business by supplying them quality tooling products.

Your plastic injection mouldings will be manufactured using the most cost-effective production methods whether they are small or large, thick, or thin, one moulding or whole assemblies

Our attention to detail will give you confidence in the production of your products.

Years of Experience

We have years of experience ensuring that your mould tool will be of the highest quality and our service to you will not end when the tool is completed. All moulds are tested under production conditions and are only approved when we are fully confident that they work.

It is more economical to source tooling from overseas and we have long-standing partnerships with expert Chinese toolmakers who produce high quality tools to our specifications using European grade steel.

Whether you are looking to transfer your injection mould tooling to us or start a new project, we offer:

  • Complete service –keeping the project in one place you will benefit from complete control and prevent delays and spiralling costs
  • Confidentiality – we encourage working with Non-Disclosure Agreements as this helps protect both parties

Delivery time on mould tools can be anything from a few weeks to several months depending on the size and complexity.

We have the following Quality Management Process:

• Depending on the requirements of your project, our expert tooling team will design high quality plastic injection mould tools to suit your product design and production
requirements.

• Once your product design has been finalised ready for manufacture, it is then time to
create your plastic injection mould tool.

• 3D tool designs including DFM reports are issued electronically and if the parts are complex Moldflow analysis will be completed.

• On design approval you will receive weekly schedules and photographs.

• One of our UK Engineers will attend tool trials to monitor mould quality and debug if
required.

• Between 5 & 10 sets of parts are delivered for approval along with dimensional reports.

Any warranty issues are managed by Toolcast at one of our partner UK toolrooms.

 

enquire about PLASTIC INJECTION MOLD TOOLING

Delivery Timescale

UK tooling is delivered within 35/40 days of approval. For off shore tooling we will import the moulds and manage all duties and taxes. One of our UK Engineers will attend installation trials at your facility or your chosen plastic moulding supplier.

Sea freight lead-time: 35-40 calendar days door to door.

Air freight lead-time: 7 – 10 calendar days door to door.

Our Plastic Injection Mould Tools

Class 1 :

Rated for a minimum of 1 million cycles.

Built for high volume production made from high quality materials.

 Class 2:

Rated for under 500,000 cycles.

Medium volume production mould. A popular mould for low to medium production needs.

Class 3 :

Rated for less than 500 cycles.

The least expensive mould for limited quantities or prototype parts.