The need for “small” is growing. Whether it’s our techno-centric society demanding supercomputer functionality from a watch or a surgeon performing major medical procedures through an opening in the patient’s body the size of a dime, the demand for micro molded parts is becoming increasingly more prevalent.
What is Micro Molding?
Manufacturing “small” in the world of plastics is called micro molding. Plastic parts have been commonly used for decades. Conventional plastics manufacturing, or injection molding, is a well-established manufacturing process performed by many companies all over the planet. Things are different in the world of “small.” Micro molded components can be as small as one quarter the size of a match head and weigh as little as one milligram (sometimes even smaller). Consider this; a typical kernel of popping corn weighs 60 milligrams which is 60 times the size of a micro molded piece. Just as micro molded components offer functionality not available in common “macro” sized parts, micro molding offers up its own special set or challenges not seen in “macro” sized molding.
Why is Micro Molding in Demand?
The following examples are accomplishments that have been met with the technology of micro molded components. A surgeon can now offer 1 week recovery on outpatient surgery for a procedure that had previously required a 3 night hospital stay and 2 weeks in bed at home. A datacom supplier now has the capability of transmitting increased volumes of data through fiber-optic connections no bigger than a grain of rice. A diabetes care specialist is now able to offer patients the ability to have a discreet wearable device administer injections of insulin…
Why should you consider PEP microPEP for your Micro-Molded Project?
At PEP microPEP, we’ve used our 50+ of experience to build a solid platform to address micro molding’s challenges directly. Our molds are built with the highest precision for maximum uptime. Build it so you can stand behind it. Our machines have been selected to offer maximum repeatability so that the first micro molded part measures the same as the millionth micro molded part. Our QA department has been outfitted with the latest in measurement technology so that no smaller detail within a small detail goes unnoticed or unmeasured. We pride ourselves on knowing that the need for small is growing, and we’ve truly built something that we all can stand behind.
The challenges that surround micromolding are both unique and demanding. Micro-sized parts have macro-sized features (holes, sharp projections, sculpted surfaces, etc.). The molds used to manufacture these parts need to have appropriate features cut into mold steel that can survive the force of the injection molding process (injection pressures measured in the tens of thousands psi, mold temperatures upwards of 450 degrees F). Ultra-high precision during mold design and manufacture is paramount. Having the proper molding machine for micro molding is also an important factor especially when one pellet of plastic resin raw material has the capability of yielding multiple finished parts. It’s important to note that dispensing inaccurate molten resin into the mold for each part is the difference between success and scrap. The same holds true for the measurement of micro molded parts. If you’re going to manufacture small, you need to be able to measure 10 or 100 times smaller.