Injection molding, like most of manufacturing, has been hit hard by the pandemic. Just about every injection molder is behind right now, and those same injection molders are running faster than ever before in an effort to catch up, which can mean trying to mold through issues rather than remove molds from the press. It’s more important than ever for injection molders to run efficiently with as little downtime as possible.
Issues Facing Injection Molders
While not unique to injection molding, the pandemic forced a dramatic change in the way companies have to operate. Supply shortages have left some injection molders without the materials they need to do their jobs. Facility shutdowns, even if temporary, put a halt to all productivity, which is hard to get back.
Staff shortages, either due to layoffs or employees voluntarily leaving (or employees who were laid off opting to find opportunities in other industries), put a lot more responsibility on those who remain and make it harder to hire or rehire employees. All these things can be immensely detrimental to productivity, so efficiency is at a premium.
Necessities of Running Fast
Just over a year ago, a mold that was defective or causing certain injection molding issues would often be taken off the press, either to be repaired or replaced. Now, that’s not happening as often. Injection molders simply don’t have the time to take molds off the press, so they find themselves molding through issues. This can help enhance efficiency and output for a while, but is not a sustainable solution as it leads to more defects.
Injection molders know this isn’t ideal, but lately, it’s been necessary to maximize production.
Coatings and Greases Reduce Downtime
As the injection molding industry plays catch up, there are some things injection molders can do to reduce potential defects. Using a Nanoplas coating like our HC™ Heat Cure or QC™ Quick Cure coatings will help parts release from the mold easier and with more consistency, allowing production to keep running as efficiently as possible without creating any additional issues like bleeding or sticking.
Nanoplas greases, like Syn-Lube and Cera-Lube protect against friction and wear, and help lines run efficiently with reduced defects, prolonging the life of the molds and increasing productivity.
\In injection molding, everyone always wants to increase productivity and reduce downtime. That won’t change. Nanoplas coatings and greases will continue to help keep production lines running, whether trying to catch up to where the industry was or running at full capacity.
As more people return to work and as supplies become more abundant, we’ll start to see manufacturing get back to where it was. Until then, it’s going to remain hectic and companies will need to adapt as best they can to keep downtime low and productivity high.