Sustainability can take many forms in the manufacturing industry — including reducing waste and pollution, conserving energy, and using recyclable and renewable materials. For forward-thinking companies, sustainability has become a preeminent concern. However, many organizations struggle to translate this theoretical commitment into action. According to an MIT and the Boston Consulting Group survey, 90 percent of executives believe that sustainability is important, but only 25 percent have built it into their business model.
The good news is that iMFLUX, with its pioneering of low constant-pressure injection molding, is leading the way for marrying increased efficiency and product quality with greater sustainability. This is the fifth article in a series on how this innovative technology can help key stakeholders across the plastics supply chain. Below, we’ll discuss how low constant-pressure injection molding is a trailblazer for sustainability in the injection molding industry and how brand owners can benefit from embracing sustainability principles and practices.
Advancing Sustainability Efforts with iMFLUX Technology
To understand the boon to sustainability offered by low constant-pressure injection molding, we first need to explore how this technology differs from other injection molding techniques. Conventional molding utilizes machine-based, dependent factors that are meant to accommodate viscosity variation rather than react to it. This approach requires high injection pressures and uses shear thinning to facilitate flow.
On the other hand, low constant-pressure injection molding programs the process to slow down after reaching a melt pressure setpoint. Then, the screw velocity is continually adjusted to maintain this constant low pressure, adaptively increasing or decreasing the speed of injection. This is possible because we can control the screw speed with our millisecond scan rate to maintain the target pressure
Users can select the precise melt pressure setpoint and timing they desire during the molding process based on a process development methodology that comes from the vantage point of the material and mold. As a result, low constant-pressure injection molding helps fill molds consistently and without hesitation, creating a superior final product.
This has obvious benefits for molders and the brand owners who rely on them to produce injection molded plastic products and parts, and the technology can also help improve their sustainability initiatives in a variety of ways:
- Designing for sustainability: Low constant-pressure injection molding unlocks the constraints of the molding process, making it easier than ever for brand owners to design for sustainability. With iMFLUX technology, molders can produce extremely long, thin parts just 0.03 inches in width (or even thinner). This opens up opportunities for new part designs (such as unique shapes and geometries) and generates less waste. In addition, thanks to the lower molding pressures utilized by the platform, manufacturers can reduce product weight without the need for huge tonnage, by as much as 25 percent.
- Novel materials: In particular, the system supports a wider range of materials, including recycled and bio-derived resins. Manufacturers can leverage iMFLUX technology to more easily and cost-effectively develop products based on recyclable and sustainable plastics, a significant step toward eco-friendliness.
- Higher product quality: Low constant-pressure injection molding results in a higher quality final product, reducing anomalies and errors during the manufacturing process. This slashes the amount of plastic waste that is generated due to malformations and imperfections.
- Energy conservation: Manufacturers can speed up their molding cycles by 10 to 15 percent (or even higher) thanks to the platform’s revolutionary technology. This enables businesses to spend less energy for the same output. Couple this with using less pressure and heat during the molding process, and manufacturers can save 20 percent or more of their energy consumption on any machine, regardless of its format: hydraulic, electric, or hybrid.
Sustainability Practices: Good PR and Good Business for Brand Owners
As governments and the public demand greater ecological consciousness, many businesses are heeding the call. In fact, companies that are more closely aligned with sustainability efforts can reap many reputational advantages. One study found that 92 percent of consumers will have a more positive image of companies that support environmental and social causes.
The question of plastics and sustainability, in particular, is a hot-button issue. According to Bain & Company, by 2030, between 50 and 70 million tons of plastic will be recycled annually, representing just 10 to 14 percent of plastic consumption. Manufacturing with recyclable plastics and other renewable materials will be essential for helping to improve these figures.
The benefits of adopting sustainability advancements such as low constant-pressure injection molding, however, extend far beyond a public relations boost. Introducing greater efficiencies across the plastics manufacturing process, including enabling new part designs with shorter process development time, higher-quality products, optimization of recycled and bio-derived materials, and energy conservation translate into a range of savings and other benefits.
With iMFLUX’s groundbreaking technology, businesses can more easily navigate changing consumer demands, and more easily achieve compliance with environmental regulations.
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Many organizations are ideologically committed to the practice of sustainability but aren’t sure how to make it a priority within their business model. Fortunately, iMFLUX’s revolutionary low constant-pressure injection molding platform doesn’t just offer benefits for manufacturing productivity and efficiency — it also helps companies reduce the negative environmental impact of conventional plastics manufacturing. As the goal of a circular plastics economy is increasingly prioritized, iMFLUX is ready to help any organization looking to integrate sustainability into its strategy and business model.
Want to learn how low constant-pressure injection molding can benefit your brand’s bottom line? Contact our team today to discuss your business needs and objectives.