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Mold design process

What are injection molds? What roles do molds play? What is the procedure to make molds and how much does it cost? Let’s go finding out the answers together with Smart Vietnam in this article.
The main injection equipment to be used in plastics industry consists of: plastics injection machines and plastics injection molds, in which plastic injection molds are what Smart Vietnam are capable of making very well.

The roles of injection molds in plastic injection industry 

Injection molds are products of precision mechanical that are designed and manufactured with the purpose of serving mass production of plastics parts and components. 
Shape and dimensions of plastics products are formed using injection molds. Hence, injection molds function as primary tools in plastics products formation with high precision and in mass production with benefits of reducing labor costs, optimizing the use of resouces etc.
Injection mold is one of the two most important  tool and equipment in plastics industry. Thus, mold manufacturing is considered to be important and get a huge investment for development.

Calculating the expenses to make injection molds and execution process

The quality of molds (which is the result of mold manufacturing process) and the expenses to make molds are two issues that always draw attention from customers.
Expenses to make injection molds
The expenses to make molds rely on many factors:

The complex structure of mold has big impact on the manufacturing costs.
Factors with Indirect impacts
leadtime
the precision of mold dimensions (acceptable tolerance)
the plastics raw material leads to the selection of mold materials

In sum, a conclusion can be made that there are 3 main factors having impacts to cost, including:
Molds with different structures will have different manufacturing costs: the cost to make mold does not depend on its dimensions, instead it depends on how complex the mold structure is. Some components such as insert, though small, yet with complex strucutre, have high manufacturing cost.
The different types of materials selected to make molds will have different costs. In some cases, customers require the special materials be used in manufacturing molds. And this special materials will cost much more than other alternative materials.
And the costs to make molds will probably varies depending on customer’s requirements of molds.

Mold manufacturing procedure

The procedure consists of the following steps:

  • injection mold design
  • machining using CNC centers
  • machining using EDM/WC
  • Quality control
  • Mold assembly

The above procedure is for mold manufacturing in general. However, each company will make a specific and standard procedure for its own mold manufacturing.
E.g: Procedure to make mold at Smart Vietnam pricision mechanical JSC will follow the below steps:
Design and Project management
Receiving design (or make its own design), analyse and separate materials to calculate the cost of mold manufacturing.

Mold manufacturing

  • workpiece making
  • rough machining with CNC  
  • heating
  • Grinding
  • precise machining with CNC 
  • Wire cut, EDM
  • Polish, welding
  • Mold assembly
  • Mold tryout

When mold finish machining, final assembly, it steps into tryout procedure before it is delivered to customer. The purpose is to evaluate whether is has been designed in accodance with requirements. If any problem, mold will be adjusted to be suitable with design.
Confirmation and delivery
Injection mold trial checklist will be sent to customer. When customer give approval, mold is complete and will be packaged for delivery, and mold manufacturing procedure is completed.

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