The reduction of waste is a challenge in all manufacturing industries. Design flaws and inefficient technology can contribute to this waste. That’s why many manufacturers take advantage of plastic injection molding. As a process, plastic injection molding makes it easier for manufacturers to produce prototype plastic parts, which in turn minimizes future product flaws, production costs, and scrap waste.
In honor of Earth Day, we’re highlighting five ways that plastic injection molding companies help reduce worldwide waste.
1. Creating Reusable Product Designs
Plastic injection molding companies like MSI Mold use CAD (computer-aided design) software to help manufacturers develop designs that are accurate for fit, form, and function. A great deal of attention is put on the life cycle of new plastic products that are being designed.
When designing new injection molded products, a good industrial design engineer will always consider how long the plastic molded part will need to function without being replaced. If parts are well designed, manufacturers can rework or repair them instead of replacing them. In fact, large companies that use custom injection molded parts for their products often have very specific engineers that only focus on product life cycle to reduce waste.
2. Using Recyclable Plastics When Necessary
Recycling of raw plastic material is a very large market within the injection molding industry. In fact, injection molding manufacturers save cost and waste by using millions or billions of tons of recycled plastic every year.
Almost all plastic injection molded parts will have a recycling code molded into the part. This code indicates which type of plastic the part is made from. This helps recycling companies properly group the plastic parts within their processing.
Common recyclable thermoplastic materials include:
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyethyelene (PE)
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
- Nylon 6 & Nylon 66 (PA6 & PA66)
3. Using Modern Machinery & Software
The injection molding industry uses a wide array of machinery. The absolute best injection molders invest large amounts of capital to have the most modern machinery and software available.
By using modern machinery and software, custom plastic part manufacturers can save an immeasurable amount of manufacturing time, produce plastic parts with near zero scrap, and save 50 to 60% of the electricity needed compared to injection molding companies that use old technologies.
At MSI Mold, we use all of the most modern equipment, and we are proud to reduce waste at every opportunity.
4. Practicing the 6S & Lean Manufacturing Methods
Another way that plastic injection molding companies reduce waste is by using the 6S framework of manufacturing management that emphasizes cleanliness, efficiency, and the reduction of scrap and/or wasted human effort.
6S stands for Sort, Straighten/Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain, and Safety. But, at its crux, the process involves eliminating inefficiencies caused by a disorderly workspace.
Injection molding manufacturers that formalize a company-wide 6S program never waste time searching for the things they need. You could describe 6S companies as “everything has a place, and everything is in its place.”
In Lean manufacturing, “waste” is not only about scrap material. Any action that does not add value to the process, to the product, or to the purchaser is considered waste. It involves analyzing different methods, collaborating between groups, and always searching for wasted time, talent, or treasure (material assets).
When plastic injection molding companies implement 6S lean manufacturing procedures, the consumer can expect a higher quality product at a lower cost. And, injection molding manufacturers can still gain additional profit from the increased efficiency.
5. Providing Rapid Injection Molding as a Service
Lastly, rapid injection molding delivers production quality plastic parts with really fast lead times. This process allows manufacturers to test their ideas before full-scale production occurs. MSI Mold uses the rapid injection molding method to build customer plastic injection molds in a very short lead time.
For the past two years, supply chain disruptions have created enormous amounts of waste for manufacturing companies. The global failure to sustain harmony within the supply networks of products and materials has led to billions of dollars wasted on expedited delivery methods and underproduction of high-demand raw materials and components.
MSI Mold helps companies avoid wasted time and money due to supply issues. Our rapid injection molding methods produce the same production quality parts with the same plastic materials as traditional production services without the wasted cost, time, and effort.
Learn More From MSI Mold Today
Expect less waste and higher quality plastic components when you partner with MSI Mold. Founded in 2005, we’re a leading American plastic injection molding company serving clients in a wide array of industries.
You can count on us for high-quality tooling designs, rapid prototyping, and custom plastic parts. We handle every mold design and manufacturing process in-house in our U.S. facilities, and never from an offshore location.
If you would like to learn more about our services and capabilities, please contact us today.