Plastic blow molding allows product manufacturers to mass produce items with precision and cost efficiency. Utilizing skillful design and engineering is the first step in developing high quality plastic blow molded parts with lower production cost. There are many other considerations when choosing a blow molding company for your plastic molded parts.
- Standard & custom molds – If the blow molded part you need is a universal design such as bottles or jars there are often standard molds that can be used. Utilizing these readily available standard molds reduces time and cost in development. Unique shapes that require custom molds add additional steps to the blow molding process. Design, fabrication, prototyping, fine tuning and creation of the final mold takes time and increases cost. The benefits of developing a custom mold that will be used time and time again for a unique part will reflect savings in the long run. Attempting to fit a custom shape to fit the constraints of standard molds is often not feasible or can require changes in other parts of the end product to produce a high quality functioning part.
- Prototype – Prototyping helps you perfect your design before you move into the higher cost stage of production. Engineers develop a design that meets the part specifications and ensures process ability. Engineers create molds, fixtures and product designs on computer aided design (CAD) systems. Dependent on timeframe and budget prototypes can be created in a variety of stages to suit your needs. From standard engineering to a 3-D plastic molded part or a prototype with final finishes in place from chrome, to textures, to final coloring, etc. You can choose what stages of review that is required for your project from concept models to functional prototypes. A popular prototyping option is 3-D printing. With quick results combined with inexpensive prototyping material costs, 3-D prototyping on 3D printers is revolutionizing product design and accelerating manufacturing lead time.
- Plastic Blow Molding Types: The three types of blow molding include Extrusion Molding, Injection Molding, Stretch Blow Molding. All of the blow molding processes include melting of resin otherwise known as plasticizing. They all have inflation and cooling phases within a mold and all are ejected from molds. All three have specific application advantages. Many blow molding manufacturers offer more than one options. It is important to discuss pros and cons of each process for the application of your plastic blow molded part. Generally extrusion blow molding can offer lower costs because of the lower cost of material per unit weight and is well suited for low production runs. Injection molding is capable of producing small intricate parts and more than one material can be sued when utilizing co-injection molding. Stretch molding works great for holding beverages and is used extensively in PET water bottles, seams are less visible or nonexistent.
- Industries – Blow molding serves the consumer and industrial product industries. Products for use by consumers are a large sector of blow molded products produced every day. From food storage, beverage bottles and cups, to agricultural sprayers, and garden equipment, games, beauty products, decorative gift items, household products such as chair bases used in furniture manufacturing, etc. Some blow molding companies focus on niche products or categories. It is not uncommon for blow molders and injection molders, to focus on a single industry, such as agricultural, lawn and garden or appliances. SPI Blow Molding and SPI Industries found combining these plastic molding service they could offer a more comprehensive package of solutions for their customers.
- Materials and construction – There is an enormous variety of plastic resins to choose from. A wide range of resins have become available over the years to fill the ever increasing demands as plastic part diversity has exploded. The function and finish characteristics of a part dictate the type of resin best suited for the specific part. You will need a molder and material supplier working in concert to solve the most difficult applications. Do you need extreme light weight? Do you need food grade that can tolerate high heat environments? Do you need color fast UV stabilization, or a resin flexible enough to form a multitude of bellows shaped parts? Do you need a hard plastic resin for a theatre seat with double walled construction? From temperature, color, impact, flexibility, and life span an experienced plastic blow molder can provide guidance and recommend the best resin for your application.
Did you realize there was so much information about plastic blow molding? There are actually plenty more and we’ll be covering them in the next blog entry. Be sure to check in. Meanwhile, what other questions are considering as you are looking for a plastic blow molding company? Please post them below and check back for answers or contact us directly, we’re happy to help.