Prototyping and Production by Injection Moulding

Injection Moulding

Produces production intent material properties. Injection Moulding is used for development as well as production parts.

Injection Moulding is a recognised production technology often dismissed as being associated with high production volumes, long lead-times and somewhat inflexible. This, however, is not always the case.

Injection MouldingOnce tooling is in place, parts are available quickly at low cost

Injection moulding depends on the number of parts you need and their geometry, but it does offer an option where you can economically have additional parts without a high premium. It delivers the production intent material and, once the tooling is in place, parts are available quickly and at low cost.

Commonly used materials used are ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiens-Styrene), PA (Nylon), PC (Polycarbonate), PP (Polypropylene) and GPPS (Polystyrene). We can help advise on material selection depending on your requirements.

Additionally PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a highly versatile, incredibly cost effective material that is often overlooked. It is strong, durable and lightweight as well as being an extremely safe material being non-toxic and fire resistant. PVC parts are consistent in terms of surface finish, will retain their colour and don’t tend to fade like some other materials.Injection Moulding

No limitations to part complexity

In addition there are no limitations regarding the complexity of the parts that can be produced. The sky really is the limit…

Since early 2000 there has been an increasing supply of ‘rapid tools’, also known as Bridge Tooling (some produced using additive technologies like DMLS and others machined from aluminium and steel). Whilst some of these tools have the potential to meet production quantities, their primary focus is high volume prototyping.

Moldflow helps us to identify potential design issues ahead of tool design

At the front end, injection moulding quotes don’t take any longer than prototyping quotes to produce and in-house analysis with Moldflow helps us to identify potential design issues ahead of tool design. Moulding parts as a single batch can save multiple set-ups and reduce lead time further. A well thought out control drawing can allow the part to be checked on press at first trial (T1), permitting the immediate production of the first batch.Injection Moulding

We can now consider Injection Moulding as a prototyping solution with the ability to address cosmetic requirements or as a low volume production tool.

In considering it as a prototyping solution, there are many factors that have to be addressed and many alternatives that must be considered  – see our 10 Top Tips…

The most important issue to consider is whether the production intent material is really a requirement. If it is, then understanding the available time and attention to the CAD model are both paramount.Injection Moulding

Consider Injection Moulding for prototyping or low volume production

Speed is the major driver behind Bridge Tooling and first trial (T1) is frequently achieved around 15 days after starting.

Far Eastern tooling in the past has provided a source of ‘lower cost’ tools, however, tooling costs in the Far East are now rising due to higher wage expectations, increased shipping costs alongside falling exchange rates. One option many companies are looking into is to bring their tools back to the UK. As a result we are finding an increase in demand for more local ‘home based’ tooling.

UK Moulding and Tooling Services

Plunkett Associates sister company, Adept Precsion, based in Gloucester, offers a range of injection moulding and tooling services. Manufacturing tooling in aluminium and steel, with qualified, highly skilled Toolmakers and Moulders, they will match your requirement with the appropriate tooling in order to deliver a viable moulded solution.Adept Precision

Additional questions are addressed in our Tooling and Moulding FAQ section.

Plunkett Associates has a track record of optimising tooling solutions to meet customer requirements. Look at case studies of injection moulding work in our examples pages, or get in touch to talk to us about your requirement.

“I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense.”

Simon Leggett, Olivewood Technology

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  • Plunkett Associates worked on the design and production of titanium frames for an artificial heart valve where precision and consistency was paramount. Communications were efficient and productive with concepts readily incorporated into the final design, and suggestions for improvements all highly appropriate. The quality of the end product was ideal and I have no doubt that I will use the advice and expertise of Plunkett Associates again.
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
  • “Doing business with you has been an absolute pleasure. You have made my goals a reality. You have been patient, helpful and above all, responsive. Best service that I have experienced in ages. I consider Plunkett Associates to be an integral part of my business plan moving forward.”
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor
  • Thanks for the present that arrived this morning, as promised. Parts look first class, as always.
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
  • Plunketts developed a solution that met our precision requirements at a cost significantly lower than alternative manufacturing approaches we had investigated
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Plunkett Associates have excellent breadth of experience, work with high quality partners and have a flexibility that we have found enables challenges to be met successfully, cost effectively and in a timely manner.
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Interestingly, people who look at it in its own right with little knowledge of what it does, just like it! It’s tactile and it looks good…
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
  • To create such a consistent quality finish in chrome was an amazing achievement and the prototypes really gave our stand the wow factor.
    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
  • I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense
    Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
  • Kirintec were thrilled with Plunketts. They made a complex process simple and we were just amazed at the lead times achieved. Plus, every single deadline was met without any drama.
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
  • Plunkett Associates truly offer a complete turnkey solution with Speed, Effectiveness and Precision.
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
  • Thanks to Plunkett Associates flexible, bespoke and cost effective service I was able to produce the objects that I had originally had in mind.
    Simon Ryder, Artist
  • Plunkett Associates have a fantastic supply chain, work with all sorts of production processes and will always do their utmost to solve a problem.
    Naim Audio
  • We always know exactly what we’re getting and we know we won’t be let down on quality, price or lead times.
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
  • "With their simple to understand language, willingness to go the extra mile and approachability, Plunkett Associates were a great partner for our company. We couldn’t be happier with the results of our project. (A working prototype that they got right first time, by the way). Thank you!"
    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
  • “We use Plunkett Associates because we want someone we can trust, that knows what they’re talking about, has all the contacts, will provide reliable advice and feedback and will get the right result for us.”
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
  • “Accuracy, finish and delivery all first class.”
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
  • “We were really surprised at how quickly they turned round such a high quality prototype and the parts certainly proved their worth. They were of high enough quality to provide a fantastic visual representation and to undergo rigorous testing."
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
  • "Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground."
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
  • Plunkett associates always find a solution. Whatever we need to prototype, they have a great grasp on the technologies available, costs and lead-times so we get the right solution tailored to the project needs. Have always delivered and never let us down.
    Naim Audio

Get in Touch with us for your Prototyping, Machining and Tooling & Moulding requirements…