Manufacturing is a rather large industry worldwide, given that consumers are always demanding more products. The way businesses manufacture their products depends on the type of material they are using. Plastic is a material that calls for specific types of equipment to get the job done properly. Plastics are being used to make various things from automotive parts and artificial body parts to water bottles and other everyday items.
Those that manufacture plastic products should be knowledgeable about the processes and the equipment needed to complete them. After all, when a business needs to find a manufacturer, they look for ones with exceptional field knowledge. Moreover, the industry is diverse in the way it operates and its processes. There isn’t just one specific way to mold plastic. You have multiple processes but those processes call for specific equipment. Here are the common machine types when it comes to manufacturing plastic.
Heat Staking Machine
Heat staking machines are built to join two pieces of plastic, or other material with plastic, to create a thermoplastic assembly. The goal of a heat staking machine is to deform the plastic with high temperatures and force at a set time. Heat staking makes it easier for plastic to bond to metal and other material types. Commonly, heat staking is used in manufacturing low-cost applications. There are various industries that utilize heat staking processes in their manufacturing, including:
- Medical equipment
- Consumer products
These pieces of equipment come in various sizes as well, meant for different types of jobs. Whether you will need large multi-tooled heat staking machines or tabletop heat staking machines depends on the scale of what you are manufacturing.
Blow Molding Machine
Blow molding is the method of manufacturing plastic combining blowing mechanisms with heating so the plastic is able to change shape. This method is often used in bottle or container making. These machines are rather big compared to the smaller choices you can get from heat staking. Blow molding machines form the tube or preform. They also place that pre-form into a mold cavity. Then, they use compressed air to inflate the plastic so it can take the mold cavity’s shape. Manufacturers use this method of plastic compression for various types of consumer products. These products include household items and smaller automotive parts. Because this machine can create an array of popular products, entrepreneurs use it in their manufacturing business ideas.
Extrusion machines are frequently used for forcing or pulling fresh material into specific alignments. This device is fairly simple to operate and completes the entire extrusion process from beginning to end. There are different parts that go into an extrusion machine. The most important parts are the barrel, hopper, screw drive, and motor. The raw thermoplastic material is the second most important component of this machine which are resin plastics or small plastic beads.
The plastic being in the size of beads is important for easy loading and fast melting times. This machine also includes die, which is used as the mold. The die is what shapes and allows for a smooth flow of the hot plastic.
Thermoforming machines are popular in the manufacturing business for their easy plastic forming techniques. This machine is used to mold a plastic sheet to a specific shape or form using heat and pressure. This equipment varies in size and complexity with ranges form simple less expensive machines to highly automated systems.
This specific machine doesn’t require too much employee involvement but it also does not run on its own. A thermoforming machine will form the product and then go on to trim it. Once those are finished it will push the parts upward where employees can check for defects before packing them into boxes. USA manufacturing companies use this machine to improve their operations.
Injection Moulding Machine
An injection molding machine consists of two different parts; the injection unit and the clamping unit. What this machine does is manufacture large volumes of parts. The mass-production component makes this machine commonly used when making large quantities of cell phone accessories, bottle, toys, and even automotive parts. The material is fed from the hopper to the heated barrel where the plastic is melted using heater bands and friction. It injects the plastic through a nozzle into a designated mold where cooling and hardening takes place.
This type of machine doesn’t necessarily come in various sizes like the thermoforming machine or the heat staking machine. Depending upon size, this machine can run from 5 tons to over 6000 tons. Of course the larger the machine the larger products you can make. These machines aren’t classified by their size but their clamping force and pressure instead.