There are a number of problems surrounding traditional velocity and pressure controllers used on injection moulding machines. Injection moulding machines are also very expensive and full scale testing is often not appropriate at the beginning of new controller evaluation. This paper presents results for a half scale ‘hardware-in-the-loop’ load emulation of the filling and packing phases of injection moulding, suitable for controller evaluation. The problems linked to the current industry standard velocity and pressure controller are discussed along with alternative strategies. Schemes including single controller fuzzy logic and neural network solutions are discussed and ruled out in favour of ones containing separate velocity and pressure controllers. Results for a model reference adaptive pressure controller are presented and compared with those obtained using a closed loop PI controller experimentally and in simulation. Experimentally the model reference adaptive controller outperforms the PI controller but does suffer from gain drift.