There are numerous techniques designed for manufacturing plastic products and components. Therefore, if you are planning on ordering plastic items for your business, it is important to understand your options. In general, there are different factors that you must consider when selecting the right method for your manufacturing. One of the most important aspects is the volume of custom goods required for your pertinent application.
If you are interested in low and medium production, you can choose processes such as manual fabrication, 3-D printing, CNC machining, rotational moulding and casting. On the other hand, high-volume goods cannot be produced by these methods due to the long periods of time required for production for each technique. Here are the main manufacturing methods suited for efficient production of high-volume plastic products.
The production technique known as extrusion moulding can be used for manufacturing most types of plastics, including PVC, polystyrene and HDPE. Basically, this method involves melting the raw plastic which is usually in form of granules. The melted fluid is then pushed through a preformed die. This will allow the plastic to become moulded in the predetermined shape and design. This method can be used on thermoplastics which can be melted multiple types and the thermoset alternatives which can only withstand a single melting cycle.
Most high volume plastic products are produced using the injection moulding technique. The method is relatively simple to execute as long as the fabricator has the required equipment. Generally, the process begins by melting the raw plastic required for production. The material is normally in the form of resin pellets, and the melting process takes place in a heated barrel within the injection moulding machines.
When the plastic is evenly melted, an auger is used to push the material from the barrel and into a metal mould. This mould is made in the design of the required custom product. The plastic flows into this element, conforms to the mould shape and cools to form the plastic part. Injection moulding is flexible and fast and promotes low material waste, but the technique is mainly suited for thermoplastic manufacturing.
The basic process of blow moulding involves melting the raw plastic and creating a parison. This is essentially a tube-like product with one open end. The parison is placed in a mould and air pressure is applied through its open end, until it expands and conforms to the custom mould. This technique is ideal if you require bottles, containers and other hollow products.