How to Reduce Waste in Plastic Injection Molding

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I. Introduction

Did you know that plastic injection molding companies produce a lot of waste? In fact, it is estimated that the industry generates around 2.2 million tons of waste each year. That's a lot of garbage! Fortunately, many companies are now working to reduce their waste production. Plastic injection molding companies have the difficult task of reducing waste while producing quality plastic products. This is not always an easy task, but with careful planning and execution, it can be accomplished.

In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the ways plastic injection molding companies can reduce waste and help save the environment. We will also talk about the benefits of reducing waste in this industry. Stay tuned for more information!


II. Understanding the Sources of Waste 


Material wastage

Materials used in the injection molding process are wasted at different steps such as plastic waste due to non-conforming products or product remains or remains due to grinding. The waste becomes more when companies are doing custom plastic injection molding.


Energy consumption

The injection molding process consumes high electricity due to the use of electrical resistances for heating (and also cooling) in injection machines and also used in ventilation, drying, transporting solids and liquids, mills, etc. Other than electricity, diesel oil is also consumed which is used basically in heating boilers, internal transport, etc.


Defective products

Both in the preventive maintenance operations of machines and facilities and in the cleaning of machines and accessories, many types of waste can be produced such as empty containers of raw materials or solvents Cloths or papers impregnated with oils, greases, , chemical products in general, solvents, etc, the dirty oils, crap, metals and metal parts. Waste from facility maintenance such as used batteries.


III. Material Optimization Techniques


Proper material selection

Recycling of plastic raw materials is a very large market within the injection molding industry. In fact, injection molding manufacturers save costs and waste by using millions or billions of tons of recycled plastic each year.

Almost all injection molded plastic parts will have a recycling code molded into the part. This code indicates the type of plastic the part is made of. This helps recycling companies group the plastic parts correctly in their processing.

Common recyclable thermoplastic materials include:

- Polypropylene (PP)

- Polyethylene (PE)

- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)


Recycling and reusing excess materials

In the plastic injection industry, reusing scrap materials offers the dual advantage of minimizing waste and enhancing sustainability. The process begins with meticulous segregation and sorting, followed by identifying the specific plastic type through methods like burn tests. Maintaining stringent quality control ensures that only suitable scraps are processed. By adeptly blending recycled materials with virgin ones, and refining injection parameters, manufacturers can not only reduce costs but also contribute positively to the environment by recycling waste generation.


IV. Machine and Process Optimization 


Regular maintenance and calibration

Updating the machinery, Regular maintenance and calibration so that machinery complies with environmental rules and regulations as well as using new processes that have less environmental impact, have less waste and contribute to less emissions of carbon dioxide are further steps in the environmental work.


Advanced technologies and automation

The injection molding industry uses a wide variety of machines and processing. The absolute best injection molding machines invest large amounts of capital to have the most modern machinery and software available.

By using modern machinery and by automating the system, manufacturers of custom plastic parts can save an immeasurable amount of manufacturing time, produce plastic parts with almost zero scrap, and save 50 to 60 percent of the electricity needed compared to injection molding companies using old technology.


Training operators for best practices

Only good machinery is not enough in the plastic molding industry, technicians should be professional and should know what they are doing. Proper training with the latest processes and methods should be given to the operators for best practices. 


V. Quality Control and Testing 


Implementing rigorous quality checks

Of course! another important thing to assure here is ecological plastic injection molding. The company should take all necessary measures to prevent any type of contamination that may be caused by the manufacturing process. All products should go through strict quality control to make sure that they comply with all the environmental standards set by the authorities.


Early detection of defects to reduce rework

Collecting information throughout the process, prototyping before the actual process, quality testing at every step, and making the manufacturing method agile are some of the methods which can help you to catch defect before it actually happens. This not only reduces waste such s useless product but also reduce the workload and increase efficiency. 


Using simulation tools for mold design

As discussed above having tools that virtually show the design and working of molds is the most help full technique to reduce waste and make the final product efficient and excellent in the first attempt of products. Presently the most useable simulation tool is 3D printing. 


VI. Sustainable Practices in Plastic Injection Molding


Embracing green technologies

plastic injection molding companies are always trying to innovate new technologies and trends in the industry which are sustainable and reduce waste extraction from the process as if we use 3D printing before the actual process then there will be fewer defects in final products. 


Energy-efficient machinery

Another way plastic injection molding companies reduce waste is by using energy-efficient machinery that emphasizes cleanliness, efficiency, and the reduction of scrap and/or wasted human effort. When plastic injection molding companies implement such machinery, 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.


Sustainable packaging and transportation

Sustainability does not end with the product. It is a central part of everything we do, and that includes the choice of our packaging materials and the transport. Packaging for plastic and product transportation should be made of reusable material so you can use it for future deliveries or returns. Transport has a major impact on our environment due to the CO2 emissions associated with it. Sustainable transport in injecting molding industry reduces the environmental impact of transporting products.  

VII. Conclusion

To conclude, plastic injection molding companies can reduce waste in a number of ways. By taking steps to improve their manufacturing processes and recycle their plastic waste, companies can save money, improve the quality of their products, and help protect the environment. Contact TDL Mould company today to learn more about how we can help your business reduce waste!

We hope you have found this blog post useful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. We would love to hear from you!

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