For plastic product manufacturing, it is one of your biggest concern to keep injection mold costs at a minimum to become more efficient financially and improve business profitability without sacrificing quality standards. Here are a few tips you need to know of if you are looking to minimize plastic products’ mold cost when making any plastic products. You should consider these part early in the product development process.
1. Plastic Parts Design Optimization
Bad communication between plastic engineers and mold designers is the biggest reason why the cost injection molds become too expensive. If both personnel are focused to be on the same page and are able to finish a highly-optimized plastic parts design before starting the mold injection, costs can be greatly reduced. Using a clever design both saves you material as well as money and reducing this material is generally more environmentally friendly.
The best way to address this issue is to present a plastic parts layout in which the plastic engineer and mold designer will work on together. There can be a slight difference to the lead time since we have now two parties working together but the final mold design is rest assured to fit the specifications and knowledge of all the personnel involved.
Coming up with a highly-optimized plastic parts design before moving on towards custom plastic molding is your first basic way to cut down on plastic products mold costs.
2. Avoid Modifications but Seek to Improve the Mold Design
Modifications to the existing molding design wherein the shape can be altered could mean the entire metal injection mold has to be reworked. This development would add up more dollars to your molding costs. However, reordering of a new injection mold may be unnecessary if the changes are minor which may not affect the overall design but only small changes needed to be applied.
Sudden mold design modifications normally occur when customer preferences change after the mold design has already been conceptualized. Injection mold companies should be quick to react to these changes and their mold design should adapt quickly to avoid delays.
The best way to counter this cost-addition problem is to follow a modern molding design conception process wherein the final phase is to present a 3D module of the mold design which the customer can verify and double-check. This process makes sure all of the preferences of the customer are covered by the custom plastic molding design. Also make sure that you 3D print your prototype and test is extensively before moving on.
On the other hand, never settle with your final plastic product design and always leave room for improvements in order to further cut down on costs or to adapt to later design update. Simulation methods are available to help you assess on plastic product designs then compare and contrast them to your other versions.
3. Keep Tryout Times at a Minimum
Plastic products mold processing fees are calculated upon receiving the order up to its delivery. If a potential injection mold has several tryouts yet isn’t able to pass the standard and ultimately fail the contract, the processing fees within are all part of your plastic molding manufacturing costs. Several tryouts are sometimes inevitable for plastic product designs which are innovative and modern but as long as the design conception is done right and is highly optimized, the number of tryouts can be pre-determined right in design conception phase.
The most common reason is having a non-optimized injection mold design which lead to an unreasonable mold structure or vice versa. Congruence between these two major factors is very important when you make plastic products. If any of these factors fail in any aspect, testing and tryouts will subsequently increase along with your production costs.
Another common reason for having too many tryouts is when the plastic product manufacturing company settle for substandard models and materials. This is a common occurrence in low-end molded plastics companies wherein they try to save cash by using cheap yet substandard molding machine models but end up paying more due to a substantial increase to tryouts and testing.
Last but not the least, the physical and chemical properties of the plastic and materials used for the project weren’t adapted well ending up to changes to the mold designs. The shrinkage rate of plastic material is a very important factor in plastic molding manufacturing yet human error and nature are sometimes unavoidable leading to more tryouts.
4. Always Work with the Right Suppliers
As mentioned above, there are times when a plastic molding manufacturing company settle with substandard materials and equipment for their business in order to cut down on setup costs. This method is never the right route for you to save some cash. In fact, you could end up spending more because of the great risks which comes along with this decision.
Always work with suppliers who are reputable and known within the plastic product & manufacturing outsourcing industry. This way, you are assured you are getting top quality supplies and materials for molded plastics and not worry of possible setbacks out of your materials later on. If your supplier fail your contract at some point, it will be much easier to hold them accountable and get your compensation when you are working with reputable suppliers.
The four tips mentioned above are the best ways for you to cut down on molding costs without sacrificing your business standards and plastic product quality. For someone new to plastic molding manufacturing, it may be difficult to master all of the aspects mentioned above since it requires experience and an established manufacturing system to make sure all these aspects are well-adjusted. However, when you make sure that your company is making plastic products following these tips, it should go a long way for your business and you can keep using the same perfect molds for a long time.