The process of bringing a new product to market involves many steps, including designing the component and creating prototypes to test out the design. After the design is finalized and the prototypes are evaluated, you may also want to produce a small number of pieces for internal or external product testing purposes before proceeding to full production. In the case of injection-molded components, one option for producing these pieces is short run injection molding—also known as small-volume, low-volume, or small-batch production. This production solution enables you to generate a limited batch that you can use to gauge market reaction so you can appropriately scale production to meet actual consumer demand.
Need help with a short-run injection molding project? The injection molding experts at Abtec are here to help! We can assist you at every step of your project, from design to prototyping to production, ensuring you receive the components you need how and when you need them.
Benefits of Short-Run Injection Molding
Short-run injection molding offers numerous benefits. For example:
- It serves as a bridge between the prototyping and full production stages. Since short-run injection molding produces only a small number of pieces, it allows the production team to push out a product that can still be adjusted later on depending on its performance in the market.
- It produces high-quality components. Since short-run injection molding accepts automation technology and utilizes low-cost, high-quality materials, it easily outputs superior parts and products at competitive prices.
- It allows companies to reduce in-house inventory while meeting lead-time demands. Short-run production quickly produces finished components, so they can be sent back to the customer and introduced to the market in a shorter period. As a result, companies can have parts produced and delivered on an as-needed basis.
Injection Molding Services at Abtec
At Abtec, our team has over 100 years of combined experience designing and manufacturing high-quality custom plastic injection-molded parts and products. This gives us all of the knowledge and skills we need to assist with the various stages of short-run injection molding projects, including:
- Mold Design: We use information age technologies and advanced mold-making processes to produce custom tooling solutions for your product problems. We can work with your existing drawings, sketches, models, parts, and molds or start from scratch to produce tooling designs. Some of the CAD formats we use include Cimatron, SolidWorks, ProE, AutoCAD, and CADKey.
- Custom Tooling: Once the injection mold design is approved, our mold fabrication team uses the latest CNC machining technologies to manufacture the molds quickly without sacrificing precision or quality. We can produce molds for a range of thermoplastics, including ABS, HDPE, LDPE, PE, HIPS, TPU, and PET.
- Prototyping: We create rapid prototypes of each component using 3D printing technology. These prototypes can be used to ensure form, fit, and function before the final injection molding tooling is built. We provide FDM printed prototypes in ABS, PLA, TPU, and many other materials and partner with other companies for additional prototyping options (e.g., SLA, SLS, and urethane casting).
- Injection Molding: Our injection molding facility is run by experienced operators and equipped with machines with high repeatability and clamping pressures ranging from 28–240 tons. We can support molding operations involving up to 16 ounces of material per cycle. Whether you need small or large components in low or high volumes, we can meet your injection molding requirements.
Want more information on our short-run injection molding capabilities? Check out our Plastic Injection Molding FAQs page or contact us today.