Plastic Injection Molding Feb 05, 2013

How to Avoid Two Common Film Insert Molding Challenges

Film insert molding can reduce the need for multiple product assemblies.
Film insert molding, a plastic injection molding process that inserts a decorated film that is then secured via back molding, is an attractive option for many products within Medical Manufacturing and Diagnostic Equipment manufacturing. By combining steps and creating a single component, other processes (and their associated costs) can be greatly reduced. Cut down on costly injection mold tooling, assemblies, and secondary services like pad printing and suddenly product cycle times are reduced as well.
All these benefits can be lost if steps to avoid common pitfalls associated with the process aren't taken. While the process offers impressive benefits in producing scratch-resistant, durable product decoration options, without the help of an experienced injection molder, you could end up with products that are lacking, if not downright defective.
A few common issues associated with film insert molding:
Non-bonding materials: Since the film insert is bonded to the outer layer using injection molded resin, it's crucial that these materials are compatible. Without, you may end up with a product that won't function properly or that isn't durable enough to last. Make sure you work with a contract manufacturer that is well-versed in materials selection to avoid issues with films that melt at too high (or too low!) temperatures.
Film positioning: This can be a (no pun intended) touchy process. The inserted film is very easy to dislocate within the injection mold, especially as things start heating up. An experienced injection molder will anticipate this, and can take steps to ensure proper positioning by way of managing the speed and rate of injection. To make matters even more confusing, it may be necessary to position the film slightly out of position, as the film can then move into the proper place when heated.
ALTEK Manufacturing has experience with film insert molding and many other specialty molding services for our customers across Medical, Industrial and Aerospace industries. Contact ALTEK today to learn how our specialty services can help you create major cost savings while reducing your time to market.