Injection moulding (spelt as molding in the US) is a complex technology to manufacture parts of various shapes and sizes. For instance, in the process of plastic injection mould, the polymer material is injected into a mould at high pressure for the desired product. Moulds, usually fabricated from high grade steel can be of a single cavity or multiple cavities.
In multiple cavity moulds, each cavity is identical and form the same parts or can be unique and form multiple different geometries during a single cycle operation of shots. Plastic parts are extensively used in automobiles, electrical and electronic gadgets as well as hundreds of thousands of utility items.
Over the past five decades, with the aid of various designed moulds, polymer science has revolutionised the packaging industry. A formulation named polyethylene terephthalate, PET in short, has literally eclipsed glass, ceramics, aluminium and tin as the packing material. And there are many factors in favour of PET such as lighter weight, better shelf life, better barrier qualities like leak and air proof.
Thus almost all types of beverages including filtered or mineral water, juices, syrups, ketchups, jams, marmalades, sauces, edible oils, items of personal care like shampoo, creams, deodorants, lotions and detergents, insecticides, pesticides, pharmaceutical formulations, industrial oils and automobile lubricants etc. packed in PET bottles or jars that are made with the aid of preform moulds and dies.
These are precision tooled as per computer aided design and depending on the end usage, the numbers of cavities are decided. For instance, a Delhi NCR based unit named Acme India has witnessed molds of 72 cavities, weighing 4 to 750 grams and in neck sizes between 12 and 150 millimetres. This company also designs and tools different moulds for caps and closures upto 48 cavitations.
As for technology, the Hot Runner system is considered to be the latest. Reportedly, it guarantees a good shot-to-shot repetitiveness, perfect drop-to-drop consistence in performance and durable long usage life of the system.
Fully balanced manifold process enables a tight tolerance of preform weight and dimensions in a Hot Runner system. Each cavity has an independent temperature control and heating facility for an even heating temperature which in turn retains desired stable quality of a product with reliable and longer shelf life.
Quality control at the PET bottling unit is of prime importance. As such reputed providers of solutions in this segment of industry conduct random sampling of the products. To accurately check every single mold on certain parameters, ultra modern testing machines and advanced instruments that help in speeding the process are employed.
Apart from this, the following parameters ensure quality and safety of the packaging like –
- Perpendicular Test
- Physical Test
- Neck Finish Test
- Wall Thickness Test
- Visual and Automatic Control
- Intrinsic Viscosity (IV)
- Acetaldehyde (AA)
Thus leading manufacturers believe in adding value and this is evident from the specially designed modular concepts that facilitate simplified exchange of inserts, simplified usage, low maintenance and problem free user benefit.