Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering - Leading Process and Product Improvement

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IME 3500 - Production Thermoplastic Processing

Catalog Description:

Injection molding, blow molding, extrusion and thermoforming. Effects of thermoplastic melt characteristics on product design and part quality. Effects of machine design, set-up, and operation on part cost and profitability. Overview of processing machinery including take-off and sizing equipment.

Prerequisites & Corequisites: Prerequisite: IME 2500.

Credits: 3 hours

Lecture Hours - Laboratory Hours: (2 - 3)

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Knowledge of the elements of plastication.  (IME 2500 - Plastics Properties and Processing)
  2. Basic understanding of extrusion, injection molding, and blow molding. (IME 2500)
  3. Ability to correctly differentiate independent and dependent process and product variables.  (IME 2500)

Course Objectives, Performance Criteria, and Outcomes:

Course Objectives

ABET-TAC Outcomes2


Performance Criteria Measured1

Understand the physical and chemical bases for plastication.



B3: Correctly identify stable plastication from a normal shear rate curve.

Understand the integrated systems within injection, extrusion, and blow molding.



A1: Set up and operate injection molding and extrusion production equipment.

Understand the role of different types of auxiliary equipment as related to plastics processing.



A1: Set up and operate auxiliary equipment as an integral part of the primary processing system

Identify the root causes of molding defects (faults) and how they can be corrected.



F1: Correctly identify the root cause of a given molding fault, and at least one probable corrective action solely from the observation of a molded product.

Know the importance of molding safety as it relates to mechanical and electrical safeguarding of manufacturing personnel.



I1: Demonstrate the safe operation of processing equipment by producing sample parts without causing injury or putting anyone at risk

Function as a member of a team to set up production equipment and collect process data.



E3: Participate as an equal team member in the process of setting up equipment, gathering data and shutting down production.

Collect and distill a large amount of technical information into a usable document.



G1: Collect thorough information using a comprehensive array of references drawn from sources, both inside and outside current university library holdings to improve some element of thermoplastics processing

Performance Criteria1: IME performance criteria may be found at

ABET-TAC Outcomes2: Outcomes may be found at

*results tracked in ABET course notebooks


Engelmann, P. V. (2000). Production thermoplastics processing. (Lecture/lab manual).

Richardson, P. N. (1974). Introduction to extrusion. Brookfield, CT: Society of Plastics Engineers.

Course Coordinator:

Paul Engelmann
Western Michigan University
F-259 Parkview Campus
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008-5336
Phone: 276-3350

Revision Date: Spring 2012


Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5336 USA
(269) 276-3350 | (269) 276-3353 Fax

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