All about Low-Volume Manufacturing and Silicone Molding Process

In the modern world, the advancement of technology is in their rapid phase. It improves day y day and time for manufacturing a part minimized, and the parts who take several hours to complete.  Now they made in a couple of hours. Furthermore, after the alloy metals, plastic and rubber are used mostly in manufacturing processes. It is used for making plastic containers, bottles, toys, automobiles bodies sand so on. Due to its lightweight properties and by adding some chemicals and additive, it bears the strength too.

Furthermore, for the manufacturing of any part prototype model is made to check the accuracy of geometrical dimensions. This model is the prototype model to make this silicon mold is required. Silicon molding has numerous benefits in the industry, such as its cost-effectiveness to other metal alloys. Further, it can be reused and mold in different shapes just by heating and adding some chemicals. 

However, in large companies, the 3D printing process is used to make a prototype model. This 3D printed object is undergoing various testing to check its dimensional accuracy and if any found than solved in the new model. This process is called a low volume manufacturing process,as it is cost-effective, and liquid silicon used.

On the other hand, for plastic part manufacturing industries such as low volume manufacturing process is used for producing products in small batches. It helps in minimizing the molding time, and production is faster. The low manufacturing process has several advantages in plastic industries.

What is low volume manufacturing?

When any part is developed by designers and engineers in the manufacturing industry, then product development steps are taken into consideration. Then prototype models and low volume manufacturing are done for continuous improvements of the product. Besides, products manufactured by low volume manufacturing used for customer’s feedback for quality inspections.

On the other hand, when an industry needs small batch production of any desired components, then the low volume manufacturing is done in the industry. Low volume manufacturing is popular across numerous industries as the products made by this are a quality product and superior sample products. This process saves time and money on tooling and material.

Advantages of the low volume manufacturing process

  • This process is a time-saving and money-saving process for small productions.
  • In low production or prototype productions of plastic products, many minor problems were solved before starting mass production.
  • The low manufacturing process is time and money-saving in industries as few sample manufacture and testing.
  • The final prototype model can be used for demonstrations and marketing.
  • Scrap and wastage can be recycled easily in plastic industries.
  • This process quickly makes complicated parts with variable size and thickness.
  • It is an economic process and durable too.
  • For the making of the final dies, this process saves lots of time and money.

Further, after the improvements and making of final silicone molding mass production is begins in the industry. In the final production, the silicone molding processis used.

What is the silicone molding process?

It is a process in which the final production of the designed part starts after the acceptance of final engineering samples. For the making of this part, the liquid molding injector machine is required to inject heated silicone into the die through the nozzle. After silicone molding and cooling of the product die open, and part can be removed from it.

How does the silicone molding process machine work?

A liquid silicone molding machine is worked on the heating and cooling process. The heated silicon in liquid form injects in the screw. This machine has a hydraulic or pneumatic ram to apply pressure on liquid silicon. This liquid silicone is forced into the mold through a nozzle to increase its injecting pressure, and the mold is cool down by cold water.

Further, silicone and desired color die to flow into the static mixer to continue this process where it heated up to melting temperature. The temperature is maintained enough to make silicone mixture in liquid form. Then the mixture flows into a barrel for next production.

The Silicon molding process is used for making automotive parts, medical devices, electronic gadgets cases, and other items of plastic and rubber. Despite its lots of advantages in the industry, there are few doubts about this process.

The misconceptions for silicone molding process are,

  • Capacity limitation: Some customers think this process is not successful in complicated parts that having sharp undercuts and variable dimensions of wall thickness. This is a total myth; this process relies on the applied pressure and maintained temperature. If temperature and pressure are not maintained, then the manufactured part has defected, and the process is stopped for maintaining it.
  • Expensive process: silicon molding process is a cost-effective process. It is used for high volume productions in the industry. And production time depends on the size of the mold and cooling. Further, in one mold, many components are made.
  • Wastage of material: In this process, silicon molding has minimum flashes, and the flash removal process is not required. This saves labor costs. However, silicon material is reusable, so there is no material wastage.
  • Regular maintenance:  silicon molding process machine has less moving parts, so there is no need for mold maintenance. Once the mold is fitted and working than only cleaning of the mold die is required.

Advantage of the silicon molding process

  • High volume production: silicon molding process is a reliable process and meets the high production demands in cost-effective ways. In the mold, many molds are designed for the molding process.
  • Short cycle time: the manufacturing time is short and depends on the material temperature, geometrical size, and cooling of the molded product.
  • Automatic process: silicon molding process is an automated process. Only one operator is required for the whole operation. This process has automated injectors, tools, and ejection types of equipment.
  • Low contamination: This process takes place under a closed vessel. The operator does not need to touch the manufactured product.

Medical equipment: silicon molding process can make soft materials for medical devices due to its chemical and physical properties.

The silicon molding process can satisfy the designers and engineers from its prototyping to newly manufactured products. This only due to the feature of low volume manufacturing and cost-effectiveness.

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