The injection molding process uses a granular plastic that is gravity fed from a hopper. A screw-type plunger forces the material into a heated chamber, called a barrel, where it is melted. The plunger continues to advance, pushing the polymer through a nozzle at the end of the barrel that is pressed against the mold. The plastic enters the mold cavity through a gate and runner system. After the cavity is filled, a holding pressure is maintained to compensate for material shrinkage as it cools. At this same time, the screw turns so that the next shot is moved into a ready position, and the barrel retracts as the next shot is heated. Because the mold is kept cold, the plastic solidifies soon after the mold is filled. Once the part inside the mold cools completely, the mold opens, and the part is ejected. The next injection molding cycle starts the moment the mold closes and the polymer is injected into the mold cavity.