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Plastic injection moulding: A Brief Introduction To The Past

By definition, Plastic Injection Moulding or PIM is the process by which small plastic pieces are melted and injected into moulds. Once the plastic cools and hardens, it is demoulded to make an entire range of big and small plastic products.

By and large, the technical process has remained approximately unchanged over the years ever since PIM first came into existence in the 19th century. Although plastic was first invented in the 1850s, it was in the 1870s that malleable plastic came into existence. Thanks to the brilliant mind of John Wesley Hyatt, the first Plastic Injection Moulding was invented after he successfully attempted to create a billiard ball made entirely of plastic.

Injection Moulding

The inventor’s mind had been ignited and John’s inventive streak included the sewing machine and roller ball bearings, along with celluloid plastics. Much later in 1926, Eckert and Ziegler invented the very first plastic moulding machine which boosted the industrial production of PIM.

PIM: What It Means For Plastic Moulding Manufacturers Today

Although there were several other inventors who did their bit in shaping and redefining Plastic Injection Moulding, it was James Watson Hendry who completely revamped the manufacturing process with his screw injection moulding machine in 1946. Later, he went on to refine his own concept by introducing the gas-assisted screw injection machine. This new invention proved to be more efficient in terms of cost, product quality and finish. Today, an overwhelming majority of plastic moulding manufacturers use screw injection moulding machines. The current version of PIM equipment is completely digital, with computer-controlled mechanisms that enable the mass production of plastic components.

But that’s not all. Plastic production units are properly equipped with modern machinery such as:

  • Horizontal presses
  • Injection screw presses
  • Electric presses
  • Hydraulic presses

Celluloid Plastics That Are Manufactured Today

Injection Moulding is the most common method that produces a plethora of items that cover a wide range of medical, automotive, commercial, industrial, and personal uses. The popular injection moulded plastic we use in our everyday life includes:

  • Nameplates
  • Car emblems
  • License plate holders
  • Medication trays
  • Disposable bins
  • Conduits for concrete beams
  • Toilet seats
  • Toys
  • Bird-feeder
  • Exercise tools
  • Electric knobs

Moulds, machines and methods used by plastic moulding manufacturers today

Computer-Assisted Manufacturing or CAM has effectively replaced the traditional two-plated PIM machine that comprised multiple parts and sections. Today’s high tech moulds are customized to exact specifications. This allows manufacturers to create more complex products.

PIM machines consist of three basic components:

  • A customized mould that is used to manufacture products with any given size and shape.
  • An outer clamping unit that binds the mould together and holds it tightly in place.
  • An injection unit that injects molten plastic inside the mould.

What happens during the manufacturing process? There are basically three steps to making a celluloid plastic product with Plastic Injection Moulding:

  • Tiny plastic pellets are fed into an injection machine that heats and melts the pellets that become a molten liquid. The molten plastic is then allowed to reach a predetermined temperature after which it is forcefully injected into a mould. This entire process is controlled by a hydraulic cylinder.
  • The second phase is known as the “dwell” phase, where the plastic is left inside the mould and allowed to cool down until it solidifies and the required product is produced.
  • The product is then demoulded and subjected to further processes like decoration, sub-assembly, and shipment.

Also Read: The basic principles of Plastic Injection Moulding


The future of Plastic Injection Moulding

Plastic Injection Moulding has come a long way and it continues its growth in leaps and bounds. Thanks to the advancements in technology and the perpetual demand for celluloid plastics, there is a constant shift in the plastic industry. The following factors could project, push and shape the future of PIM:

  • Use of plastic moulds that are made of epoxy, metal and carbon fibre to increase the output.
  • Incorporating 3D printing with plastic injection moulding to make 3-dimensional solid objects of any shape.
  • Reducing costs by using light-weight materials and automated processes.
  • Precision technology to widen the options of customization to produce unique objects.

Techplaastic Industries: The Best Name in India For Moulded Products

Having been around for 45 years, Techplaastic is one of the leading plastic industries in India. We specialize in producing commodity plastics and engineering plastics for automotive, electrical, and appliance industries, just to name a few. To know more about us, visit our website or call us @ 919840247472.