Molding is an age-old technique that has been used for years to create replica products quickly and with great precision. Owing to how fast it is, a lot of daily used plastic and metal products are made through this process. There are different types of molding processes, each with its own unique way of getting things done.,
Today we will be comparing insert molding and overmolding, two of the most used processes. We will be looking at how each is done, the applications they are used for, and how they differ from each other. If molding has been something you have been considering getting into, then you are in the right place.
Insert molding is defined as a variation of injection molding techniques that involves the insertion of a metal part into a pre-made mold before the actual injection molding is done. This insertion can be done manually or by an automated process through the use of a robotic arm. Once the insertion is completed, the mold is closed, and plastic is molded over the insert to transform the different parts into a single component.
Insert Molding doesn’t follow a certain standardized method; there are many ways that one can approach the process and make it work best for their needs. You can use it for simple designs like making electrical insulations to more complex designs that are used in advanced manufacturing processes like the automotive and aerospace industries.
Insert molding comes with its design benefits, and they include the following.
It eliminates the need for secondary assembly like gluing, snapping, screwing, and other processes used for fitting two different parts of an object together. This makes it fast and efficient.
It cuts down the number of parts needed to make a single component. With fewer parts needed for joining, the resulting part is usually stronger and more complete due to fewer points of weaknesses.
Easy integration with other components which makes this process the best for customization work.
Insert molding is very cheap, with very little waste left over. The best part, you can always reuse those parts later on to euchre that every raw material that comes in is used efficiently.
It is ideal for repeatable processes. Unless changes are made deliberately to the process for things like the mold size and all, the machines will continue producing identical products to the end.
Overmolding is a unique injection molding process that is used for making seamless combinations of several materials into a single part or component. It usually involves the use of a rigid and plastic-based component that’s overlaid with a thin and pliable rubber-like thermoplastic elastomer layer using a single-shot technique.
This technique gives the manufacturer more control over the texture of their products as it provides an enhanced grip and a stylish appearance to the end product, something that many customers will truly appreciate. The technique also reduces vibration and shock, making the parts made through it ideal for use in heavy machinery like cars.
The process also dampens sound, improves UV and chemical resistances, provides electrical insulation for complicated wires, and all these are attributes that increase the shelf life of a product. It is also a very cost-effective process that doesn’t require too much labor, and neither does it use a lot of electricity, making the ideal molding process to go with for a manufacturer looking to increase efficiency without spending an extra dollar. Some of the advantages of using overmolding include the following.
Products made through this method have a tactile and soft feel to them and rarely get damaged when they fall to the ground as they can absorb the shock. They have non-slip attributes, making them handy and reliable.
It is a process that equips a very beautiful appearance to the end product as it is more compatible with colors and patterns, and this gives them a competitive edge over others.
It reduces the number of parts needed to make an entire product. This reduces lines of weaknesses making the product more robust compared to the rest.
There’s less vibration and a nice generation when it comes to products made through overmolding; this is ideal for products used in hospitals and automotive industries.
Products made through overmolding are dust resistant and are able to repel other materials like liquids and contaminants, which leads to longer product life.
Overmolding grants products a great electrical resistance, and this comes in handy when creating insulation materials for electrical wires and equipment.
On the surface, it is hard to split these two processes apart as they appear to be using the same principles. Therefore, the choice to go with one over the other may come down to personal preference, your needs, and what you can afford.
If you predominantly deal with plastic products, then the best option for you would be to insert molding as it is the best when it comes to shaping materials into what you want quickly and cheaply. If you are looking for something more sophisticated that can work with a wide range of materials without any other added extra cost, then the overmolding process would be the best fit for you. However, many manufacturers tend to make use of the beauty process, using whether it suits their needs. For a startup, having both may not be within the budget, so you have to first figure out the types of products you want to create then go for the method that will be suitable for that.
Whether it is insert molding or overmolding, you have to make sure you have the infrastructure to support either. This means having ample space to accommodate the needs of machines as they are not that small.
Manufacturing is a rapidly evolving enterprise, and people are coming up with new ways of making things easier, faster, and better. Molding is none of these processes that have stood the test of time, and finally, they are getting the recognition they deserve as they are gradually transforming the industry. It is easy to see how the future of manufacturing will shape up with them at the center. If you have more questions and concerns regarding the molding process, feel free to check out our website or drop us a call, and our team of experts will address them to your satisfaction.