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Technology, Injection molded parts, Mold design

Injection mold manufacturing in cooperation with Knauf Automotive - From design to the finished product

14 December 2020

Injection molding is an extremely effective technique for manufacturing car parts. Plastic parts are lightweight and durable, and with the use of the appropriate technologies, also ecological. We invite you to familiarise yourself with our specialised procedures. Check why cooperation and the substantive support of Knauf Automotive is the key to optimising injection mold design and manufacturing processes.

Injection mold manufacturing in cooperation with Knauf Automotive - From design to the finished product 

One of Knauf Automotive's most important responsibilities is providing comprehensive customer support at every stage of production of car components. In order to illustrate the process and highlight the added value of using our know-how, we provide a sample overview of the procedures. This is the complete process of creating an automotive component – from the injection mould design stage to the manufacturing of a specific product.

1.    Feasibility study & Early involvement - economical and technical care

We start the process with a feasibility study – on the basis of our knowledge, we will evaluate whether the solution is viable both from economical and technical point of view We also pay attention to the process possibilities and purposes of the given components checking whether the components require redesigning in order to be able to produce them. What's more, we give recommendation how injection moulding part design should be changed.  Early in-depth economic and technical analysis leads to optimization of production as well as meeting the particular customer’s expectations.

2.    Deep technical analysis of components and injection moulding process

In the next step, we prepare the technical recommendations on the parameters of the injection molded parts. Knauf Automotive's team of technologists then defines the most desirable mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of the materials. Our rheological analysis also includes the cooling and supply of each material. The aesthetic aspect is also important – plastic parts are often the key element of the design. At this stage, depending on the customer’s needs, the most appropriate material is selected.

The subject of surface decoration and use of special technologies (2K molding technology, heat/cool, IML, IMD, gas assist) are also discussed. The aesthetics of injection molded parts is an extremely complex topic. 

Our specialty is the optimization for manufacturing.  We know how to design for injection molding and can recommend our clients the best solution of part shape and choose proper technology even for advanced mold manufacturing. We are well aware of the importance of combining functionality and low production costs with aesthetics – this is a key issue for us.

3.    Injection mold design guidelines

The final design of the injection mold is the result of in-depth analysis and communication, having taken into account previous developments. Appropriately planning the production process is extremely important – mold must be constructed in the right way so that the target element can fulfil its aesthetic function. Before making the decision to transfer the mold design to the tool shop we are able to create an appropriate prototype using 3D printers. This provides even greater assurance that a given solution will allow us to achieve perfect consistency with the project, and that the effect, i.e., the manufactured component, is one hundred percent consistent with the customer's expectations. If it is necessary to redesign a plastic part, this is performed by Knauf Automotive or an external entity. The process uses NX Siemens and CATIA software.

See also: Design for manufacturing - Computer Aided Engineering in plastic injection

4.    Coordination of injection mold manufacturing

After creating a satisfactory design, we provide customer support in manufacturing the injection mold. Knauf Automotive cooperates with a number of toolmakers – in Poland, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Asia. They are high-class injection mould manufacturers, selected by experts from our company. To guarantee maximum quality, each tool shop is regularly inspected. We can also cooperate with a manufacturer chosen by our client. If you decide to cooperate with a tool shop recommended by the Knauf Group, you can expect a significant reduction of production risk, short time to market and high-quality of the final product

It is worth mentioning that despite the critical pandemic situation, we still maintain contact with Chinese toolmakers. They provide access to high-class technology at low operating costs. Our role is to make sure that the solutions developed in the Far East fully meet the production requirements and expectations of our customers.

See also: High Quality Molding - the role of technical project management in automotive industry

5.    Quality test and injection mold maintenance

The final step is to make potential adjustments to the mold. We also carry out an inspection of the tools that have been produced. Then the molds are sent to the target factory, where another inspection takes place. At this point, it is possible to assemble the injection elements with other components and set the appropriate surface decoration on the product. Knauf Automotive can also handle the maintenance and servicing of the molds, which ensures that the outcome of the production process is of maximum quality.

See more: Quality control in the production of plastic parts for the automotive industry 

Risk minimization in the manufacturing of injection molds

Throughout the whole process of injection mold design and manufacturing, our experts provide their extensive theoretical and empirical knowledge as well as their experience. We are able to effectively optimize the injection mold to the customer's needs. Our support also covers the actual production of the finished product.

Engineering and economic knowledge of injection mold design

Injection mold design and manufacturing is a process that requires constant technical supervision. Substantive support of Knauf Automotive engineers’ know-how provides a huge advantage. The involvement of people with extensive knowledge in this area and ongoing oversight at many stages of the solution's production leads to minimizing errors. The optimization of both the technical parameters and technologies used, as well as the supply chain, is a guarantee that the product will reach the market quickly. At the same time, we guarantee 100% compliance of the solution with its application.

The use of Moldflow software allows us to create high-quality simulations before we decide to apply the given solutions in reality. What is more, if you are not sure whether a given solution is to be produced in a wide range of copies, we prepare molds made in one of the following technological processes: CNC milling, 3D printing, vacuum casting. The possibility of testing the mold in real conditions in advance and the use of a consistent interface on the part of Knauf Automotive and the selected tool shop ensures that our customers are not at risk of mismatching the given element with the final design.

See also: Injection molding parts manufactured by Knauf

Proven solutions for the manufacturing of injection molds with reliable automotive partner

Customer satisfaction is the most important added value of supervising the injection mold design and manufacturing process. This is the highest priority, which we satisfy by taking into account customers’ requirements and economic goals. All solutions meet specific quality standards and are delivered within a strict deadline.

Choose to cooperate with Knauf Automotive – it guarantees the highest class expert solutions. The number of tools we have developed is constantly growing, which proves the trust our customers put in us and the value of our technical support.

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