Benefits of Assembly Automation for Injection Molders

Top Benefits of Assembly Automation for Injection Molders

All injection molders understand that speed, precision and profitability are critical to their company’s success. Automation can be the key to increasing all those factors. Here are some benefits of assembly automation for injection molders: 

Fast Return on Investment 

It’s clear that automation is the best fit for situations where there is a high volume and low mix of parts. For example, if a company is currently in the prototype phase and just has to produce a very small number of parts with many different varieties, automation would not make sense: The cost of a machine cannot be justified with low production numbers and a wide variety of parts. However, once the part design has been set and is in full production, injection molders will often need to produce fully assembled parts (on average) every 20-60 seconds depending on the annual volume. Because some sub-assemblies require very tight tolerances and extreme repeatability, it is hard to rely on assemblers to perform the same task for 8 hours straight and produce the same high-quality parts over and over again.

One of the benefits of assembly automation for injection molders is financial: For example, if you factor in the cost of an assembler/operator who makes roughly $50k a year, and you can get a machine that can replace three operators for $200k, then it is easy to calculate payback ROI.  

Ease Labor Woes

The labor shortage is affecting manufacturing more than most industries as there are lots of tasks needed to be done by people. The ability to be able to replace certain steps with automation equipment can put less strain on management to find employees and less stress on employees being asked to do too much to make up for lost labor.

Consider repeatability: Robots or automation cells do not get tired, have to use the bathroom, look at their phone, take a lunch break or show up late to work. They will do the exact same thing they are programmed to do, over and over, with little maintenance involved. Automation frees your employees up to advance their skills for higher-level tasks. 

Simplify Processes 

Automation, specifically press side automation, can streamline processes. Having steps be completed directly after the parts are molded reduces the amount of time needed for secondary operations to be completed. While it is not necessary, timing and the reduced amount of labor involved is a driving factor for many injection molders.

Another one of the benefits of assembly automation for injection molders is long-term flexibility. A machine with a robot that can be reprogrammed and a base plate that can be interchanged makes an assembly station feasible for future use.

Allow for Fully Assembled Parts

Many custom injection molders offer value-added services or secondary operations as a way to provide more benefits to their end customer. Nowadays, many customers of injection molders are in need of fully assembled parts. They want to go to an injection molder that can provide not only a properly molded part, but also one that has clips/brass inserts installed, parts joined that normally can’t be molded together, leak tested or screwed together. Because these steps typically require the use of manual labor to hand assemble or test the parts, automation can be a huge factor in productivity and profitability

To increase ROI, efficiency, repeatability and reliability, AMS can remove the manual steps required and reduce the amount of time it takes for certain activities to be completed. 

Adding Up Benefits of Assembly Automation for Injection Molders 

Looking for more information on how automation can help injection molders make great strides forward? Contact us to start the conversation.

Chris Edwall

Chris Edwall is the vice president and general manager of AMS. He’s a process development expert, and he brings a wealth of management experience which he applies to team building, operations, marketing and growth. In addition to business savvy, Chris brings a BSEE and MSEE in electrical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, along with an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.