Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-06-06 Origin: Site
By 2026 the global micro injection moulded plastic market is projected to reach $1,692 million, at a CAGR of 11.2% from 2021. This boost in demand is largely attributed to significant activities and developments in the medical, health care and wellbeing sectors. Aside from the pandemic, much of this growth is being driven by advances in the home healthcare sector and an ageing population, which WHO predicts will double by 2050. UK medical specialist, Sam Carr explores the opportunities this presents and how the company’s smaller tonnage machine is responding to evolving production requirements. Manufacturing extremely small, high-precision thermoplastic components with micron tolerances is an art. In some instances, components can be as small as a single grain of granulate. The limit of what can be moulded can be as light as 0.0003g, with walls as thin as 0.0004in and dimensional tolerances to ±0.0005in. Typical items being micro moulded using this technique can comprise a wide range of surgical, endoscopic, point of care testing, diabetes management, drug delivery and DNA research and sequencing devices. Additionally, the expanding market includes catheter components, hearing aids, dental prosthetics, microfluidics, vials, caps, specimen cups, vacuum blood and serum collection tubes, syringes, and IV parts. One thing these applications all have in common is their diminutive size and their need for total accuracy and zero defects during the moulding process. In reality, the process of micro injection moulding isn’t vastly dissimilar to creating larger parts. Shot-to-shot precision is where the main difference lies. If more material is allowed under the check valve on a 10g part, it isn’t a huge issue. However, if the part weight is 0.1g, it becomes a major problem. Historically, micro injection moulders would have invested in really specialist plunger systems or hydraulic machines. The latter meant dealing with variations in oil temperature and compressibility. Those drawbacks are removed from the equation with the new generation of all-electric machines. Offering an unprecedented wealth of control not previously attainable, the delivers maximum precision whilst offering full mould safety, ensuring the most sensitive cores and mould details aren’t damaged. The Männer pipette exhibit which the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag medical team collaborated on last year is testament to the level of control that can now be accomplished with the latest generation of all-electric moulding machines. Equipped with its highly dynamic drive motors, the ready-to-go cleanroom moulding cell is one of the few compact all-electric machines on the market with the mould space to accommodate a 64-cavity cluster tool and demoulding robotics. As well as the mid-size range, the Imachine thrives in the smaller tonnage, with the ability to supply screw sizes as small as 14mm on the 50T and 75T machines. This combination enables users to accomplish small shot weights but with the fine control that is required with micro moulded components. For increased production capacity, some moulders then opt for a larger screw and barrel to allow them to mould larger parts. Enabling them to mould larger components on the same machine demonstrates the flexibility the IntElect offers yet without compromising the precision to the application.
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