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July, 2024

Why Choose Insert Molding?

Insert molding is a manufacturing process for molding thermoplastic over a prefabricated component called an insert to create a single component. Inserts are generally metal but can be made from any material that can withstand the temperature and pressure of injection molding. The resulting single unified part has improved strength and reliability. The process eliminates the need for secondary operations.

When To Use Insert Molding

Insert Molding is a subcategory of injection molding. While the injection molding process has many parameters that must be considered, insert molding adds even more complexity. Therefore, when deciding if insert molding will benefit your product, some things to consider include cost effectiveness and part requirements.

Insert molding requires more complex molds, which can add costs. Still, it eliminates secondary assembly steps, such as heat staking and ultrasonic welding, by integrating metal parts during molding, which can significantly reduce labor costs, especially for high-volume production. It also allows for using lighter plastics over heavier solid metal components, which can reduce material costs. The best approach is to carefully analyze your project, considering factors like production volume, part complexity, and material needs.

By weighing the upfront mold cost against the potential savings in assembly, materials, and overall efficiency, you can determine if insert molding is the most cost-effective option for your project. When you have a functional need and the value received (e.g., component longevity, enhanced functionality, improved performance, manufacturing efficiency) justifies additional upfront mold costs, insert molding is an excellent choice. Some common applications for insert molding include:

  • Equipment or products requiring service or disassembly — Insert molded fasteners facilitate easy accessibility.
  • Use of threaded inserts — The threaded inserts are often pre-machined to very tight tolerances. Precise placement and controlled molding ensure high-quality, reliable, and consistent components.
  • Load-bearing parts — Insert molding can permanently attach two load-bearing parts when proper design is used to provide both tensile and torsional resistance.
  • Electrical components — Insert molding integrates metal inserts into plastic parts, providing reliable electrical conductivity while maintaining plastic’s insulating properties.
  • High-temperature parts — Metal inserts help dissipate heat more effectively, improving the part’s performance and longevity.
  • Parts with Ergonomic and aesthetic needs – Insert molding allows for ergonomic handles on tools and can create a more aesthetically pleasing product.

What Are The Benefits of Insert Molding?

Whether you have a current metal component that you are considering converting to an insert molded part or a new product you are designing, insert molding offers several compelling advantages over other manufacturing processes. Here are some of the key benefits of an insert molded part:

  • Durability—Insert molded parts are highly durable. The metal components provide rigidity and strength, while the plastic dampens vibration and reduces friction. The manufacturing process ensures a secure connection between the plastic and the metal. The metal insert will have knurls or fins that create a strong mechanical bond to hold the part in place. Additionally, since it is a one-step process, the opportunity for error during assembly, as with other methods, is eliminated.
  • Weight reduction—Plastics tend to be lighter than metal. Insert molding allows you to reduce weight when converting from an all-metal component. This weight reduction is beneficial not only for improving fuel efficiency in industries like automotive and aerospace but also for reducing fatigue in those using surgical instruments or hand tools for an extended time.
  • Improved efficiency—Insert molding integrates parts during the molding stage, eliminating the need for secondary assembly steps. This leads to a faster and more efficient production process.
  • Flexibility — Insert molding offers a high degree of design freedom. The combination of plastic and metal materials allows for the creation of complex and functional parts that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with other methods. Additionally, various plastics and metals can be used, making insert molding a highly flexible process.
  • Part repeatability— Insert molding is a well-controlled process that results in highly consistent parts with minimal variation. This is crucial for applications where precise tolerances are required.

Choose An Experienced Partner That You Can Trust

Advantech Plastics’ team can help you reap all the benefits of insert molding.  Our extensive experience, advanced technology, and commitment to quality ensure precise and reliable production, resulting in highly durable components that meet your specifications. Our state-of-the-art facilities and dedication to customer satisfaction make us a preferred choice for those seeking durable, efficient, and cost-effective insert molding solutions. Contact us for a quote.