There are countless different production methods for manufacturers to choose from, and all have both benefits and limitations to consider. Just one of these methods is injection moulding. Far more cost-effective than vacuum forming, rotational moulding or blow moulding, it is a common choice for high-volume manufacturers. But exactly how does the process work, and what kind of production is it suitable for? Here's a quick run-down:
Plastic is melted and forced, with pressure, into a pre-crafted mould. It fills the entire area and is then cooled to form the finished part. It's an extremely quick process, handled entirely by a computer program, and produces identical results every time.
As the process specifically requires a meltable and thin material, this is the main way in which injection moulding is limited; a range of thermoplastics are your only options. Of course, this is an extremely versatile material - but if that's not what you're working with, then you'll need another process. However, what it can do with those plastics is very broad. Simple machines can only handle uncomplicated designs, but if you're willing to shell out for a more intuitive machine, then you'll be able to have the same machine add several parts at once and composite them, work with different materials at once, and incorporate pre-fabricated components. As such, even complex projects can be suitable. However, if you're going to be manufacturing very small and intricate parts, be sure to invest in a small machine. It would be possible to adapt larger machines to produce the same thing - but smaller machines have greater accuracy, and will likely produce a more high-quality result.
If you're a small manufacturer with lower output goals, then you may wish to look into other options. Injection moulding is cost-effective because it produces extremely high volumes for the same cost as other processes; if you don't need that level of production, then perhaps it would be more financially viable for you to look elsewhere. However, if you do require high volumes of product turned over quickly, then injection moulding is ideal. Machines can even be adapted to fill several identical moulds at once.
In essence, there are applications for injection moulding in almost every industry. It's such a versatile and cost-effective procedure that you'll almost certainly find a use for it in your manufacturing process. The only limits are your budgets and the impressive capacity of the machines.