In order to produce components by injection moulding the process requires the use of a mould tool. In general, injection moulding is more suited to volume production and/or complex designs as the initial tooling can be expensive. In order to produce a mould tool the toolmaker will require the design to be provided in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) format. Taking this CAD file the mouldmaker, using computer software, converts the information so that it can be used in CAM (Computer Aided Machining)machines to manufacture the mould components. Once the mould components are produced they are fitted together by a highly skilled toolmaker working to very close tolerances to produce the finished mould.
During the working life of the mould it is subjected to repeated opening and closing applying up to hundreds of tonnes of pressure. Hot material is injected into the mould, chilled water is pumped through the mould for cooling, air is vented from the mould during filling but the material must remain in the mould cavity…and all this happens millions of times during the working life of a high volume mould.
Aluminium Tooling or Steel Tooling
Aluminium tooling is usually quicker to produce and cheaper than steel tooling.Customers can choose this option for several reasons – Limited life tooling as the products are not required in large numbers. or Development tooling to get products into the market but with the expectation that modification may be required. Steel tooling is the option for higher volume production and product confidence from the outset.
We are able to make some moulds ourselves using our new Hurco machining centre and also use suppliers both in the UK and in the Far East who have expertise in mould-making and we would advise the best placed for your needs.