Medical injection molding is an invaluable manufacturing process when it comes to making plastic parts that must adhere to strict FDA-compliance standards and support the function of highly technical and complex medical devices.
With a high level of precision and the ability to tightly control the parameters of the process, injection molding can produce plastic components with tight tolerances with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability.
Medical applications for plastic components can range from IV tubes and syringe parts to pacemaker components and prosthetics, and the demand for medical plastic parts is expected to increase in the coming years. As technology and innovation advances to meet these demands, it is essential that performance and reliability of both the parts and the end-use products remain top priorities.
Implement Design for Manufacturability When Making Plastic Parts
The biggest advantage of medical injection molding is that it supports the reliable and efficient reproduction of plastic parts on a large-scale. This capability is enhanced by Design for Manufacturability.
Design for Manufacturability, or DFM, is defined as the process of optimizing the design of parts and components for easy manufacturing and greater cost-efficiency, as well as increased end-product performance and uniformity. Designing for manufacturability improves part performance by minimizing defects, improving dimensional accuracy, and reducing production time.
When bolstered by the power of predictive modeling software, Design for Manufacturability can also forecast the entire injection molding process, and enable designers and engineers to spot and solve problems early on in the process.
Use Advanced Molding Techniques for Tight Tolerance Control
Tight tolerances are critical in the medical industry as they ensure that the part functions as intended. Some elements of the injection molding process that can impact tolerance control include:
- Size and design of the plastic part — Characteristics such as wall thickness, draft angles, and overall product size can all have significant impact on tolerances. Expertise in injection molding is required to avoid product defects, warpage, shrinkage, void areas, and splitting or cracks.
- Material selection — Selecting the right material for your specific application is critical. The various types of plastics used in injection molding are all unique in their chemical and physical properties, and therefore some materials will work much better under certain conditions than others. Choosing a manufacturing partner with knowledge and experience can help ensure that you find the right material for your needs.
- Tooling — Decisions such as gate and cooling channel placement, along with injection pressure, melting temperature, and ejection pin location are all essential for ensuring the quality of the end-product. Collaborating with a partner who understands the importance of these decisions is vital.
- Consistent process controls — Sometimes, after the first few batches are made in full-production, minor tweaks need to be made to the manufacturing process (such as altering temperature, holding times, and pressure) in order to optimize efficiency. Once this is done, it’s important to utilize tools like sensors and other feedback methods to ensure that these parameters remain consistent throughout production.
Improve Part Performance with Cleanroom Manufacturing
In the medical industry, it is essential that parts be produced in environments that limit their exposure to foreign particulates. Cleanroom injection molding provides a controlled environment for making plastic parts with patient health and safety in mind.
At Omega Plastics, our staff is highly trained to follow strict guidelines and rules in accordance with good manufacturing processes and compliance guidelines.
Our cleanroom manufacturing services include injection molding for tight tolerances, vertical injection molding for insert and over-molding capabilities, post-mold processes and product assembly, specialized packaging services, and complete in-house tooling services.
Keeping all of these processes in-house at a single manufacturing facility drastically reduces the chances of environmental contamination.
Continued Performance Testing and Inspection
When it comes to medical injection molding, your parts must meet rigorous standards. There are various elements that may require testing to ensure these standards are satisfied, from selected materials to final performance of the finished product.
Omega Plastics offers services to meet these needs such as initial inspections, first article inspection, failure mode and effects analysis, and statistical process control, amongst several others.
Improve Plastic Part Performance with a Proven Partner
When making plastic parts for demanding products like medical devices, you can rest assured you will receive the level of attention you need for success with Omega Plastics.
With 30+ years of experience in, we offer services that span the entire process, from design assistance to final inspection and quality assurance. Our specialization in low- and mid-volume injection molding and our ability to provide cleanroom manufacturing services makes us the ideal medical plastics manufacturing partner.
Ready to optimize your manufacturing process and ensure the quality and performance of your plastic parts? Get in touch with our team today.