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Injection moulding for gardening system case

Plastic injection moulded parts are widely used in indoor gardening system for growing flowers, vegetable and the other plants you want, even if you don’t have a real garden. ACO Mold has rich experiences to help customer to customize their own gardening plastic parts.

Here is an example to show you how we work with a Northeast America company for their indoor gardening system.

There are 5 parts in total. Tray, tray cover, plant cap, plant pod and water distributor. The customer had expected a big volume production, so we made one mold for each part.

Major Problems
Even we had discussed the design for manufacturability (DFM) of the parts; we still met some problems before samples approved.
  1. All the parts were made from PP material. Considering the shape of the part and the material type (high shrinkage rate resin, flexible), we predicted a certain amount deformation will exist for the tray and tray cover. Unfortunately, we didn’t insist on design change before mould making and T1 samples deformed seriously.
  2. Everything is ok for the plant cap, plant pod and water distributor except that the plant cap didn’t fit as well as the plant pod when testing the fit with the tray cover holes.
   injection mold

Solutions
  1. We proposed to add ribs for both tray and tray cover. Also we suggested increasing the wall thickness of the tray cover by 0.8mm from the core side to avoid sink mark after we added ribs. After discussion with customer, we did modification to the moulds. We did T2 samples using PP, PP+GF and ABS materials. The samples using ABS material looked much better after adding the ribs while the PP and PP+GF material didn’t work so well. However, we can’t use ABS material because it is not compatible with the acid contained in the fertilizer that customer were mixing with the water. Finally, we proceeded with T3 samples using HIPS material, and the samples worked perfectly.
  2. We found the position of the undercut in the plant cap was a little different from the plant pod, therefore we decided to move the undercut so that we have exactly the same position for the undercut like the plant pod. The parts fitted good but too tight after we changed the material of tray and tray cover to HIPS. At the beginning, our customer wanted to do modification again. We did samples using HDPE material for their testing, which turned out to be softer and easier to press in.
injection mold parts
Result
The customer placed a small batch orders after samples approved and reorder continually.

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