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Mold cycle times and the impact

Time is money, and time means seconds when it comes to injection molding cycle times. Reducing seconds out of a cycle time can dramatically increase the profitability of a job and lower the piece part cost. This can be accomplished by exploring cooling methods, part design, tooling changes, and machine parameters.

The main phases of injection molding are opening and closing the mold, injection, packing, cooling, and ejection. Cooling consumes the most time in the cycle thus giving a good opportunity to shave seconds out of the cycle time, however it likely comes with additional cost and this needs to be considered.

Select cycle time (in seconds):

Mold flow cycle time reduction chart
Mold flow cycle time reduction chart
Mold flow cycle time reduction chart
  • 60
  • 40
  • 35
Cycle time reduction chart showing mold cost
Cycle time reduction chart showing mold cost
Cycle time reduction chart showing mold cost

Using simulation for cycle time analysis

It seems obvious that you would want to produce high quality parts in the shortest amount of time, however, there are trade offs that must be considered. For example, selecting a conformal cooling option could dramatically reduce the cycle time, but could increase costs dramatically as well. Decreasing cooling time could also result in undesired outcomes such as excessive shrinkage and warpage.

Simulation is necessary to explore different options and to find the right balance between cycle times, costs, and part quality. With the aid of simulation you can optimize the part design, mold materials, and cooling methods before the mold is built and costs are incurred.

Methods for cycle time reduction

With the goal of achieving an efficient molding process that results in shorter cycle times and
increased profitablity, simulation can be utilized to explore several different methods.

Optimize part design to reduce cooling times

Part design

Optimizing part features and adjusting wall thicknesses can shorten cooling times.

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Design efficient cooling systems

Traditional cooling

Designing efficient cooling systems is critical to quickly dissipate heat from the mold.

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Conformal cooling - advanced cooling options

Conformal cooling

Advanced cooling options provide premium cooling and high quality surface finishes.

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Mold materials and mold inserts

Mold materials

Use of mold inserts can improve thermal conductivity and eliminate hot spots.

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Machine parameters for mold cycle time reduction

Machine parameters

Find the optimal settings for coolant temperature, pack time, and melt temperature with DOE (Design of Experiments).

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Direct from the industry

See how FADO uses Moldflow to optimize part quality and design,
cooling efficiency, and mold cycle times.

FADO, Adam Borowski, Mold Designer CAM Expert


Adam Borowski, Mold Designer/CAM Expert

“Cycle time is money. This is particularly visible in the case of high volume production, where reducing cycle times by a fraction of a second translates into viable profits.”

Jarosław Jaśkowiak

Marketing Director, FADO

Let’s have a conversation

Are you interested in using simulation to explore different methods for reducing cycle times? We would like to have a chat with you to learn about your specific project and share our expertise. Who knows, we just might be able to help you with your hardest problems.

Autodesk is one of the world's most innovative companies, working to solve some of the world's most complex design problems.


Simulation products

Autodesk simulation software can help you explore different
options for reducing cycle times.


Optimize and validate your injection
molding process.

Moldflow Design

Get real-time manufacturability feedback
early in the design process.