Development Of Plastic Injection Moulding In The Automotive Industry

Plastic injection moulding has long been an integral component of the automotive sector, enabling manufacturers to produce complex automated parts rapidly and affordably. Due to its tremendous technological improvements throughout time, plastic injection moulding is now essential to the production of numerous different vehicle components.

1950s – 1960s: Early Days of Plastic Injection Moulding in the Automotive Industry

The use of plastic injection moulding in the automotive industry can be traced back to the 1940s when General Motors debuted the Bakelite steering wheels, which was the first-time plastic was used in place of metal or wood for an automotive component. As a result, it sparked a revolution within the automotive industry. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the use of plastic parts increased significantly, with manufacturers using injection moulding to produce everything from dashboard components to door handles.


1970s: Emergence of Advanced Materials

During the 1970s, the revolution of automotive manufacturing industry was catalyzed by ground-breaking materials such as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and polypropylene. These lightweight and durable marvels breathed new life into automotive components, outshining their predecessors in earlier plastics. As automotive manufacturers sought innovation, they embraced the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software, which allowed them to design and craft intricate parts, breathing even more life into the incredible capabilities of plastic injection moulding.


1980s – 1990s: Automation and Robotics

Fast forward to the 1980s and 1990s, a period when automation and robotics burst onto the scene, largely increasing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of plastic injection moulding. Enter the tireless robots, seamlessly loading and unloading parts, while automation systems masterfully streamlined the entire manufacturing process. This allowed manufacturers to churn out more parts in less time, slashing defects and errors along the way.


The Rise of Advanced Technologies

Plastic injection moulding technology has evolved to new heights as a result of the recent rapid growth of cutting-edge technologies like nanotechnology and 3D printing. While manufacturers are using nanotechnology to create materials with enhanced properties like higher strength and durability, 3D printing, for example, enables them to quickly and affordably generate complex part geometries. These amazing developments have expanded the realm of what is feasible and drove the plastic injection moulding sector to unprecedented heights.


Successful Case Study: BMW

Let’s zoom in on one successful case example: BMW. As a renowned automotive brand, BMW has harnessed the power of plastic injection moulding for years to design and produce a wide range of automotive components. Their crown jewel? Lightweight, high-strength carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts. From the mid-2000s to the present, BMW has been refining their craft in their manufacturing processes. Today, they produce over 100,000 CFRP components annually using plastic injection moulding, including sleek masterpieces such as roof panels, strut braces, and seat frames.

With CFRP components taking center stage, BMW has revolutionized vehicle design. Shedding excess weight, their vehicles boast enhanced fuel efficiency, top-notch performance, and reduced emissions. What’s more, their innovative use of plastic injection moulding technology has slashed costs and amplified efficiency, allowing BMW to dominate the fiercely competitive global automotive market.


Cortex Robotics: The Future of Plastic Injection Moulding in the Automotive Industry

In the ever-evolving landscape of plastic injection moulding in the automotive industry, Cortex Robotics stands out as a leader in innovation and offers a glimpse into the future. They transform manufacturing through the use of cutting-edge AOI (Automated Optical Inspection) solutions, ushering in a period of unmatched quality and effectiveness in automotive manufacturing.

Cortex Robotics paves the way for a new standard, where AOI solutions become an integral part of the moulding process, ensuring flawless results and reducing the risk of defects. As innovation takes centre stage, the marriage of human ingenuity and technological marvels paves the way for safer, more reliable, and aesthetically superior vehicles. Cortex Robotics lights the path to a future where plastic injection moulding reaches unprecedented heights, fuelled by the power of AOI solutions. With Cortex Robotics, the automotive industry shall be propelled with boundless possibilities, where transformation is within reach.