iMFLUX’s technological breakthrough in low-constant-pressure injection molding will impact almost every industry. The revolutionary platform can rapidly cut down the energy use of injection molding, overhaul how we design plastic parts, and allow for a significant rise in the use of recycled plastics.
Along with boosting productivity, iMFLUX technology promises to radically change how we use injection molded parts and products in every industry, including in automotive and transport.
The Challenge Around Plastic Sustainability
Improving the sustainability of plastics has become an increasingly prioritized goal over the past several decades. The challenge stems in large part from the difficulty in incorporating recycled plastics – also known as post-consumer resin (PCR) – into existing manufacturing processes. Even within the same resin type, the many different parts and pieces being recycled vary widely in properties like density and viscosity. Manufacturers risk inconsistency in quality and productivity within or across injection molding cycles if input materials are not uniform in their properties. To avoid this, injection molding teams have had to spend substantial time constantly adjusting their molding machinery to accommodate variations in the raw material.
Sorting PCR to the level of specificity needed to ensure uniform viscosity is also untenable, as the process would be time-consuming and highly expensive.
Altogether, this means that many manufacturers haven’t been able to adopt the use of PCR in their processes to the extent that they — and their increasingly sustainability-minded stakeholders — would like. This challenge is where iMFLUX comes in.
iMFLUX Presents an Alternative for PCR Reuse
Currently, molders and manufacturers make manual adjustments to accommodate material variations during the static process of injection molding. But what if the process wasn’t static? What if there was a way to make it dynamic — and virtually free from the need for operator intervention? iMFLUX addresses this very question with technology that automatically detects and reacts to changes in the properties of plastic as it is injection molded. The platform enables injection molding machinery to make millisecond-level adjustments to maintain constant pressure and ensure consistency and quality in the pressure of the mold filling process.
This revolutionary technology allows injection molders to embrace the variation in resin input without stalling, pausing or reconfiguring their machinery, spurring PCR adoption by manufacturers and brand owners. iMFLUX eliminates the need for a substantial investment in PCR-sorting infrastructure that limits supply and pushes up prices.
Embracing variation changes the economics of PCR entirely. Instead of recycled resin being a more expensive commodity than virgin resin, the reduced processing requirements enabled by the iMFLUX platform bring PCR to an equal or possibly lower price point. Making PCR a more economical option means vastly simplified supply chains all around, which are better for brand owners, molders, consumers, and the planet.
Cutting Energy Use With Low-Constant-Pressure
Overhauling the PCR supply chain is only one of the many sustainability benefits of adopting the iMFLUX platform. Another major issue confronting manufacturers of injection molded parts and products is the energy used to create them. Some estimates put the global energy demand for thermoplastics produced via injection molding at 400 million gigajoules per year2 — or over 110 billion kilowatt hours annually. These energy costs ultimately fall on suppliers and consumers while generating significant greenhouse gas emissions.
iMFLUX unlocks new efficiencies in the injection molding process by allowing machines to fill a mold with a single low-constant-pressure injection, significantly reducing the amount of work molding machines need to do. As a result, the iMFLUX process saves a notable amount of energy compared to its conventional high-pressure counterparts. In fact, iMFLUX’s studies have found that the groundbreaking system cuts injection molding energy consumption by up to 20%.
Alongside energy efficiency, the iMFLUX platform also makes more efficient use of resin and places substantially less strain on molds. One way to visualize this is “comparing the curves” of the pressure of an injection-molding machine using iMFLUX technology versus the fast-filling process.
Simplifying the Automotive Supply Chain
In comparing the curves, we also see another significant benefit of iMFLUX’s process innovation. Lower constant pressure for injection can enable brand owners to design and produce lighter plastic parts since molders can now use resin more efficiently when filling out a design.
Lighter components are attractive to many industries, chief among them the automotive sector. At the heart of modern automotive design and production is maximizing reliability and performance while minimizing weight. Given this, it should be no surprise that automotive and transport is the second-largest single market for injection molded plastics.3
Over the next several years, injection molded parts and products will become even more common in the automotive industry. With the rise of electric vehicles and a greater focus on sustainability by brand owners, the automotive industry is looking for greater adoption of lightweight alternatives to steel and aluminum — and plastics perfectly fill this niche. iMFLUX helps provide even lighter plastic components to meet this growing demand while also allowing these plastics to be sourced in a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly way.
It’s been estimated that 80% of an electric vehicle’s total lifetime emissions arise from the energy generated in fabricating the vehicle itself.4 Cutting down on the energy usage embedded in the manufacturing of a vehicle’s plastic components can offer a considerable boost to sustainability for the automotive industry.
Besides reducing energy use per unit of plastic, iMFLUX also allows manufacturers to cut the amount of plastic they need, enabling automotive companies to lightweight more extensively and effectively than ever before. Ultimately, this makes iMFLUX’s technology a particularly compelling advantage for the automotive industry as it works to improve cost-effectiveness and sustainability.
Get in Touch Today
iMFLUX doesn’t just offer injection molders the chance to benefit from markedly improved cycle times and productivity. Our industry-changing technology also promises to help radically cut down on waste and improve sustainable practices across the injection molding ecosystem and every brand that touches on the process.
Contact us today to learn more about how our innovative injection molding platform can benefit stakeholders in the automotive supply chain and beyond. Regardless of sector, if you leverage injection molding in your product’s manufacturing process, the iMFLUX platform can help you produce parts and products that are better designed, more economical, and more sustainable.