Ever wondered why so many people use overmolding to make machine parts?
Well, from machinery to tennis racket handles, overmolding has become the staple of the manufacturing industry in making sure that any product can withstand the most intensive use cases.
And, with the introduction of 3D printing, overmolding is cheaper than ever. Here are five reasons why the overmolding process is necessary for machine parts.
1. Make the Most of Durability
Overmolded products have a higher level of durability than their non-overmolded counterparts. That’s because the bonding process can withstand more wear and tear.
That means you don’t need to worry about replacing your product after one use or even two years. Here are some examples of why machine parts need the durability of overmolding.
More Load Bearing
When an object undergoes pressure from outside forces, cracks may form inside. These cracks weaken the part’s ability to bear weight.
The overmolding process helps prevent this. It does so by creating a strong bond between the molding compound and the base material.
Protection Against Corrosion
Metal objects tend to rust when exposed to moisture. If left unprotected, corrosion will cause damage to the surface of the component. Yet, if the part has a layer of resin on top, then there won’t be any chance of rust forming on its surface.
Another benefit of using the overmolding process to create machine parts is strength. Compared to other methods such as welding, or riveting, overmolding provides better results.
The welded joint created during these processes tends to crack from thermal stress. In contrast, the molded joints formed through overmolding remain intact under extreme conditions.
Withstand Repetitive Tasks
Suppose you’re looking for a way to ensure that your machine parts last longer. Then look no further than the overmolding process.
The materials used in the process are resistant to heat and chemicals. Thus, they’ll stand up against repeated tasks without breaking down.
One of the biggest benefits of overmolding comes from flexibility. You can choose different types of resins depending on the properties you want in the end product.
For instance, opt for a hardening agent like epoxy resin. That way, your final product would be harder and stronger. Or, you could select a softer polymer that makes the result easier.
When using the overmolding process instead of other methods, you increase productivity levels. Doing away with manual processes frees up valuable time for employees.
These employees can focus on higher-value tasks. Also, you reduce the risk of human error since there’s nothing left to do.
What’s more, the over-molded product has fewer seams than its counterpart. Seams weaken the structure and increase the chance of failure. By contrast, the overmolding technique creates smooth edges where two pieces come together. Thus, they provide better protection against damage.
2. Overmolding Processes Save Time and Resources
The overmolding process requires only three basic tools. These are a heat source, a vacuum chamber, and a pressurized air supply. All other equipment required for traditional methods is no longer needed.
Thus, this approach reduces costs while saving valuable time. Furthermore, the entire process takes place inside a single unit. Thus, you don’t need to worry about transporting large amounts of material around. Instead, all components remain stationary throughout the whole procedure.
Here’s how these benefits translate into using overmolding for machine parts:
Overmolding allows you to produce many products at once. Since each piece comes out in seconds, you get an increased output rate. Additionally, you no longer need to wait for several hours before starting production.
Eliminated Transport Issues
When working with conventional processes, you must transport bulky items across long distances. With the overmolding process yet, everything remains within one location. Hence, you save both space and transportation expenses.
The overmolding process creates durable bonds between the compounds and the base material. So, manufacturers can produce larger quantities of high-quality parts at lower prices. As a result, customers get fewer replacement orders while still receiving top-notch service.
Reduced Labor Time
The industrial processes of overmolding require less labor time. So companies save money on production expenses. They also avoid having to hire extra workers who specialize in making molds.
Reduce Need for Quality Control
As well as reducing costs, the overmolding process also improves quality control. The final product looks exactly like the engineers designed before. It doesn’t contain any imperfections or defects.
The overmolding process eliminates the need for quality control checks. A more accurate production line means everything meets industry standards. Thus, you don’t need to spend time checking each piece before shipping them out.
Less Waste Material
On top of reducing labor hours, the process also saves money. That’s because there’s less waste material. Since the process uses less raw materials, you save both money and resources.
Combining many layers of plastic makes the overmolding method provide greater durability. That means that the part will last longer without breaking down early. This reduction in breakdown also means less waste material as you won’t need to dispose of parts fast.
By combining many steps into one operation, companies such as Prototech Asia use the overmolding process to speed up production. It means that you can make more machine parts within shorter periods. It also improves efficiency with less downtime for workers to be idle.
Digitized Custom Replacements
Suppose the overmolding part is a custom build. These 3D-printed molds are accessible at any time online.
So, whether the original supplier no longer exists or you need to recover an old design, never fear. You can be sure the designs are accessible from anywhere in the world.
Since the overmolding cost uses fewer materials and resources, it saves money. That means you have access to cheaper options whenever possible. Even if the initial machine part is more expensive to buy, the long-term benefits outweigh this investment by a significant amount.
3. Easy to Customize
Overmolding allows machine parts to be custom-made. These processes allow parts to meet individual requirements of the business.
The process involves adding extra layers of plastic onto existing products. Here are some reasons you would need to customize a machine part:
Creating Unique Shapes
You may need a specific shape when manufacturing certain machines. If you use injection molding techniques, then you will not be able to achieve such results. Yet, if you go ahead with the overmolding process, you can add as many layers as needed to form complex shapes.
Add Extra Features
Another reason you might need to customize a machine part is for new features. Injection molding does not allow for these extra additions.
But, overmolding lets you create unique solutions. You can do so without having to make major changes to the initial design.
4. Improve User Operation
For example, suppose you want to install a new hydraulic pump on a construction site. Suppose your company manufactures heavy machinery. Then chances are you’re going to encounter problems related to user safety.
You’ll likely find yourself dealing with uneven surfaces, which could cause accidents. To avoid such situations, you should consider installing a hydraulic pump. But make sure it’s a pump manufactured through the overmolding process.
Here are some other ways user operation improves with overmolding.
When using hand tools, there’s always the risk of slipping off the handle while working. With overmolded handles yet, users won’t experience this problem. They grab hold of the handle and pull themselves along.
Assembly processes often involve several steps. When assembling a machine component, first, you must remove screws, bolts, or nuts. Then it would help if you put them back in again.
With overmolding, all those tasks become much easier. All you do is place the machine part inside the mold, press down firmly, and wait until the material hardens. Then, pop out the finished product!
The overmolding process reduces waste since only what’s required gets used. There’s no excess leftover material that needs to get recycled. Instead, it goes straight to its intended purpose.
This method ensures that every component meets industry standards. That way, users won’t face issues like those mentioned above.
Moreover, it’s easy to remove excess material during installation. As a result, there’s minimal risk of injury.
5. Improved Safety in the Workplace
One of the biggest advantages of using overmolding is health and safety. Combining all the above reasons, you end up with a better working part.
This part is much less likely to cause injury to the operator or damage to the machinery in question. Here are some more ways it can improve workplace safety.
Electrical components pose serious risks to workers who come into contact with them. These include power lines, transformers, switches, or fuses. The danger comes from electric shock.
It happens because electricity travels faster than human nerves. So, even though an electrical device looks harmless, it still poses a threat.
To prevent electrocution, manufacturers usually cover their products with insulating materials. These materials help reduce the amount of current flowing between two points.
Yet, they don’t get rid of the possibility of getting shocked by something. Even if it’s something as simple as touching one wire to another, that’s where overmolding comes in handy.
Protect Against Fire Hazards
Fire hazards also exist when operating machines. If sparks appear, they may start a fire. And if the hot metal touches the skin, it will burn.
Both scenarios lead to injuries. Overmolding helps protect against both types of dangers.
First, it prevents fires from starting. By using the right materials, you can contain a fire inside the machine part in question.
Second, it protects operators’ hands from burning. Since heat doesn’t travel through plastic, it stays away from your fingers. It cools them down.
Overmolding makes work safer and more efficient. By reducing the number of accidents, it increases productivity.
Workers spend less time on repairs and maintenance. Plus, they’re able to focus on higher-level activities instead.
Prevent Limb Damage
When manufacturing certain kinds of equipment like heavy-duty presses, limbs can break off. When this occurs, it creates a dangerous situation. Not only does it increase the chances of injuring someone else, but it also puts everyone at risk.
Yet, overmolding offers protection against limb damage. Because it uses strong plastics, it keeps limbs safe from breaking off. Even better, it allows them to withstand high temperatures without melting.
Reduce Risk of Flying Debris
Another way overmolded parts keep people safe is by preventing flying debris.
For example, when a press breaks apart, pieces of metal might get thrown around. They could injure anyone nearby. Or worse yet, they could hit other objects and create bigger problems.
Yet, since overmoldings use tough plastics, they make sure no matter how big the piece gets, it’ll stay put. No matter what direction it goes, it won’t move. Think of it as a protective barrier against flying debris.
Is Overmolding Good for Machinery?
As mentioned earlier, the overmolding process has many advantages. These include reduced cost, improved quality control, faster turnaround times, and less maintenance. So, whether you manufacture small parts or big ones, think about overmolding.
If you’ve ever worked on a production line, then you know how important smooth operation is. Without it, everything slows down.
Production stops until things get fixed. Then, once again, it starts moving slow. In the end, it grinds to a halt altogether and all these delays add up to lost money.
Luckily, overmolding provides a solution. It ensures that all components operate smoothly. That means there aren’t any sudden changes or unexpected movements.
Make sure you follow instructions with care. That way, you should have no problem keeping your machine running efficiently.
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