November 24, 2008

60 Seconds in the Life of a Mold Injection Machine

Part 36 in an ongoing series of 60 Second Films.

A recent photo shoot brought me to a plastic mold injection factory where plastic doohickeys are made. Always a fan of machinery, I was fascinated by the process. Here’s how the magic happens:

Tiny plastic beads fill the big metal funnel. They are melted down and injected into the molds. Then the robot arm removes the plastic doohickey and the process begins again. Here’s a detail shot of tiny plastic beads waiting to be turned into doohickeys:

Hundreds of molds sit on shelves, ready to churn out anything from perfume bottle tops to sunglass display holders:


Maybe it’s my ADD kicking in, but I can only watch about 30 seconds of each of these. Great idea, too bad my attention span wont allow me to enjoy them fully.

That’s pretty cool, I like it. Interesting for me, too, because the marketing company I work for has a few clients who work with plastic compounds and extrusion, as well as a client who builds, programs, and installs manufacturing robotics like that. Thanks for the 60 seconds!

And yet it still costs $50 to replace a simple plastic part.

Ahh, ABS. The most important thing made this way is of course Lego.

So what exactly are the doohickeys we see being unceremoniously plucked all a-waggle out of the molding machine? Gots ta know!!!

well, now that we know how to do that, why not ship those jobs here to America?

We can make cheap plastic doohickeys just as well as the other guys.