Benefits of Plastic Injection Molding
Consider aesthetic or functional details to enhance your brand: imprinted text, cosmetic or textured surfaces, in-mold decorating, snap fits, flexible hinges, varied hardness.
The efficiency of plastic injection molding is unmatched. We engineer unnecessary costs out of your part and tool. Our long-tenured design engineers and master molders really excel at this.
We work hard to understand the intended function of your part and meet your key objectives by application of material science, design principles, analytical tools, and process controls.
Choose from more than 200 materials, commodity and engineering resins. We’ll help you balance performance and price and identify alternative material equivalents to reduce costs.
Mercury Marine is very selective in who they use as suppliers. Companies must meet the high quality standards and flexibility that Mercury Marine requires. Nicolet Plastics has consistently met these criteria.
Nicolet Plastics and Mercury Marine engineering and purchasing departments worked together to redesign and prototype an existing part. Each prototype met all the specialized criteria, and through combined innovation Nicolet Plastics was able to move the part into production. The cost came in very low, allowing Mercury Marine to save money and use a better quality part.
Nicolet Plastics adapts very quickly to change, can do custom work and provides each client with the personal attention they deserve.
Matt Demmin, Packaging Engineer | Mercury Marine
The first project I ever worked on with Nicolet Plastics, Inc. was in the mid 80’s, and since then the partnership has only grown stronger. Nicolet is willing to try anything to produce the results the client is looking for.
They are on the cutting edge with tooling, equipment and design capabilities. Their design review team provides excellent input; they are creative solution-finders and are very easy to work with. NPI delivers a timely response on product and a quick turn around on tools.
When challenged with difficult mold designs Nicolet is able to simplify the process, thereby reducing costs. Utilizing their in-house rapid prototype machine allows the toolmaker to better understand how the tool needs to be created. One quality control advantage that Nicolet provides for the customer is their storyboards, which detail the proper measurements and color specifications of each piece. Through this self-certification process, Nicolet offers customers the assurance of knowing that each piece is manufactured to exact specifications. I have come to expect that quality work will always be there. You don’t realize how good Nicolet is until you try to compare quality and price somewhere else.
From the President of the company to the guys in shipping, the folks at Nicolet are host, hardworking and down to earth, some of the best people I’ve ever worked with.
Project Manager, Mechanical Engineering | MRI Devices
I have been working with Nicolet Plastics for 13 years and have never been disappointed. The people at Nicolet Plastics have a true open door policy, and extreme flexibility. They want to be involved in the entire process of your project so they can truly understand the objectives that need to be fulfilled. In my experience, it is rare to find a plastic injection molding company that has the combination of in-house tooling and molding that they do. The quality produced is phenomenal.
Nicolet Plastics is an outstanding company. They are knowledgeable, easy to work with, provide exceptional customer service, produce high quality parts, provide flexible lead times, are always competitive on price and do precision color matching work."
Nicolet Plastics is a cutting edge company that is always willing to take on a challenge.
Pat Kilps, Engineering Manager | Quest Technologies
Time-to-market is critical to being competitive. We pushed Nicolet Plastics to provide tools within a very aggressive timeline and they delivered samples in just six weeks.
Dean Walters | Invivo Corporation
Injection Molding Process
Plastic injection molding is one of the oldest methods of manufacturing plastics and a critical step in the development of parts for product manufacturers. It’s also a great solution for manufacturers looking to convert heavy metal parts to plastic. Explained in its simplest form, the process uses polymers or plastic resins that when heated, melted and injected under high pressure into a custom mold, will produce plastic parts to be utilized in product manufacturing.
While that process seems straightforward, it can actually be quite complex and requires a high level of experience from an injection molder partner that can cater to your unique industry needs, specifications, end-uses and time / budget constraints. The best place to start is by gaining basic knowledge of the plastic molding process and design best practices.
A scientific molding approach benefits the production of critical parts that demand specific performance and high precision. Our advanced molding technology ensures repeatability and consistency. That means the product we make for you today, is the product we make for you tomorrow.
Scientific injection molding begins during tooling development. Factors such as pressure, temperature, cavity fill time are optimized so that the mold design minimizes opportunities for variation. Mold flow analysis shows the last areas of the part to fill, how the material will orient with the mold, and exposes potential warp and stress points. It’s a proactive step that provides engineering predictive analysis and measurement and allows for easy determination of the success or failure of a part or project.
Robust production processes further utilize a scientific approach through monitoring and automated process controls which reduces scrap and processing time. Should a variation or malfunction occur, it is rapidly identified and isolated before nonconforming parts are made.
Two (or more) materials can be combined into a single part with overmolding. This process is often used for a distinct tactile surface, such as a softer grip area. Overmolding can be plastic over plastic substrate or rubber over plastic substrate, typically accomplished by a two-shot injection molding process. Resin formulation and colors can vary. The aesthetic advantages of overmolding are easy to notice, but they also eliminate secondary operations. Overmolding is perfect for tools with handgrips, hand-held objects, robotics where rubber grips are needed, or simply to enhance the appearance of a part with distinct colors.
Insert molding is similar to overmolding but incorporates an object that is placed within a mold cavity. Insert molding bonds plastic to inserts, typically metal or plastic. Threaded inserts are common. This eliminates labor when used as an alternative to fasteners, adhesives, or heat-staking. Inserts also strengthen the part. Inserts are loaded manually or with robotic automation.
Part Decorating and Labeling
In-mold decoration (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML) are used to create a visually remarkable appearance with graphics or labels. Facilitated by robotics and electrostatic or vacuum grip, a printed film overlay is added to the mold cavity prior to the injection of molten plastic resin. This process creates a permanent bond between the label and the finished part, usually eliminating any need for post-processing operations. A wide range of texture, color, and surface coating choices leaves the door open for creative possibilities. We encourage you to talk to your project manager about options to enhance your brand.
Customer Success Stories
- Add value by increasing efficiency
- Implement automation with fast payoff
- Simplify multi-part tool programs
Nicolet Plastics University
Proprietary Education Course
- Exclusive customer training
- Brings disciplines together for accuracy
- Injection molding technology, materials, tooling, & RFQ process
- Ensures tools are specified correctly