What is Plastic Injection Moulding?
In simple terms, medical plastic injection moulding is a method of manufacture used specifically for plastic medical products. The introduction of plastics into healthcare revolutionised the system and the demand from the medical manufacturing sector for plastic injection moulding has been on the rise since then and is regarded as the pinnacle of pharmaceutical engineering. To keep patients safe and equipment sterile, medical plastics have become a necessity in modern healthcare, as well as an extremely cost-effective solution.
How does Plastic Injection Moulding work?
Medical Injection Moulding works by injecting melted thermoplastic pellets into a pre-made mould which creates a product efficiently. It is a method used by medical device manufacturers to produce advanced and high-quality medical equipment for healthcare services worldwide. Injection moulding can create bespoke products while adhering to medical device regulations including syringes, spatulas, dispensers, insulin pens and mixing bowls.
Advantages of medical plastic injection moulding
Not only is medical plastic injection moulding a diverse method of production but there are also many advantages to using it. These include:
- High repeatability / rapid prototyping
- Low cost, in both parts and labour
- High production speeds
- A range of plastics
- Large scale production capabilities
- Detailed product production
For prototyping, medical injection moulding is ideal as moulds can be designed by CAD and produced quickly by rapid tool manufacture, therefore fulfil exacting requirements. Creating these moulds from aluminium or steel, in relation to your project requirements can lead to high volume and eventual repeatability as necessary.
Low costs, in both parts and labour
The plastics used for medical plastic injection moulding are thermoplastics, which means that, largely, they can be re-melted. In terms of labour, it is very low contact, and almost a fully automated process.
High production speeds
In relation to the specific plastic used and mould size, cycle times for each injection in medical plastic injection moulding range from 8-60 seconds. This makes plastic injection a highly profitable method of production, especially if a mould houses several iterations of your product.
A range of plastics
Depending on the method of injection, several plastics can be used within the medical device assembly process. Furthermore, the properties of the product produced can be better enhanced by the type of plastic used, of which there is a range. Whether flexibility or rigidity is essential for the success of the product, there will be a plastic to cater for the requirement.
Large scale production capabilities
Where the mould material is long-lasting, such as with steel and in part aluminium, there is a large scope for manufacture. Because thermoplastics are designed to have delayed setting times, the production parts are preserved. The durability of mould material and the use of proper plastics mean that there is scope for largely scaled production, also helped by fast production times.
Detailed product production
The high pressures involved in medical plastic injection moulding mean that very detailed moulds can be fully filled in complete detail. This allows for the accommodation of detail and complex geometry, specialised parts necessary for your product.
In addition to the above advantages, there are also a few variations on classic medical plastic injection moulding to choose from. These are:
A two-shot mould which has two separate materials incorporated into one mould, traditionally used to add a soft touch to knobs, multiple colours, or production of a part with multiple performance and characteristics.
A thermoplastic typically has two different chemical components in a barrel, that then produce one cross-linked material.
Insert moulding which allows single parts to house multiple materials, where pre-moulded components are pre-loaded into the mould before injection.
In-mould labelling can be used in injection moulding, leading to the production of a pre-labelled product, where, as in insert moulding, the label is pre-loaded.
Advanced plastic injection moulding experts
Ensure you have the right team manufacturing your medical products. As an ISO13485:2016 accredited manufacturer, Europlaz understands the need for a consistent supply of quality products. We will discuss your requirements in detail to ensure we are the right medical equipment manufacturer for your product.
At Europlaz, with a team of experienced injection moulders, we have an extensive capability to facilitate medical plastic injection moulding. Our full service includes the use of 24 injection moulding machines within six ISO Class 7 cleanrooms. Our wealth of knowledge on medical material and processes mean that we use plastic injection in the right way, to fit your purpose.
Please contact us today to find out more.
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