Being able to reduce costs is always a priority for all businesses regardless of size and industry. Keeping costs at a minimum is the ultimate goal for any business owner in order to make room for improvements and better profit. In the world of plastic manufacturing, it seems everything is already established on how profits are made, but people often underestimate how expensive plastic molds actually are. However, there are actually tricks to the game which can be used to cut down on expenses particularly with injection mold manufacturing cost. Here are six ways on how to reduce plastic injection molding costs.
Avoid Excessive Use of Cosmetics on Features
Avoiding the use of cosmetics and features does not mean you are about to lowball on your plastic designs. Aesthetics is a good thing but excessive and too much extras will add up more expenses and require more effort in production. Keeping your plastic designs simple by sticking to what is necessary is key to cut down injection molding costs. Unnecessary hooks and rims should be avoided as well as roundings that are not necessary.
If you want to get to know a concrete example, look at the development of the plastic chair. It was continuously optimised in shape and for injection molding so that its current popular shape can be made just for a few dollars. Read more on this example here.
Stick to a Lean Design
Your plastic designs should be achieved with less material as possible and such design can be best described as a lean design in the manufacturing industry. Obviously, having less materials means less expenses but this does not mean your plastic product will lose its full functionality by having less materials. A true lean design is efficient in terms of function and will help save less cycle time needed for cooling and molding. Think of structural support in terms of connectors and do rather hollow than massive shapes. Plastic injection molding companies can usually help with that.
Being committed to have a little more extra in your plastic design means extra molding work and additional mold cost. Techniques such as bead blasting, high mold polish, EDM etc. may have to be applied in order to achieve cosmetics and add-on features desired for your plastic design. Unless necessary, these techniques will definitely impact the goal to have a low cost injection molding.
Apply Design for Manufacturability (DFM) Analysis
DFM analysis helps provide opportunities where you can improve your manufacturing process or overall design of your plastic products which also covers the injection molding process. What makes a DFM analysis handy is its ability to identify problems in your manufacturing system while in its early stages (during prototype manufacturing the latest) such as bad shapes, insufficient angles and miscalculated geometries will help offset financial and cosmetic expenses needed for the project later on.
Most of the time, a DFM analysis can be done with the help of a third-party manufacturing expert who can give inputs on how to improve your system and processes and as well as perfect your injection mold. Their knowledge and expertise will come in handy as a third-party on the outside looking in on to your operations. Lowering the custom injection molding cost will definitely be covered by the DFM analysis. Read more on different parameters here.
Crafty & Intelligent Mold Designs
Injection molding costs accumulate based on the different parts and materials needed for a plastic design and the injection molding cost per part plays a major role in your product’s budget. In order to cut down on injection molding costs, it is important to come up with crafty and intelligent designs for your plastic products. Factors such as part positioning further optimizes the design so the mold fits perfectly and there will be less scraps out of the molding process.
Intelligent designs will also remove the need for sprue and runners due to right part positioning. You can shed out excess material simply because of an intelligent mold design which leads to reduced injection molding costs. Another smart thing to do is to make sure everything remains intact during the ejection process and that there would be no damage to the end product or mold design whatsoever.
You do not really have to purchase new molds for every production batch you make. With smart planning, you can actually reuse molds several times simply through modification and using design tool inserts which can alter the mold design and accommodate different features.
One of the most popular mold modification method out there is the MUD tooling method which creates a smaller mold out of the existing base of the original mold. The smaller mold can be used for other purposes and for other plastic designs. These modification methods are known to help reduce custom plastic molding costs and ideal for plastic manufacturing companies running several designs in their molds.
Family Mold/Multi-Cavity Mold
Creating a family mold (also known as multi-cavity mold) is an excellent way to reduce injection molding cost. A family mold is capable of including multiple parts within the mold as long as the materials are similar in terms of chemical composition and processing tendencies. A family mold can be more expensive compared to a regular mold but if you include the cuttings and separate tooling for each design within the mold, then there is a huge savings off of injection molding costs.
Having multiple cavities in your mold is best advised for high production plastic companies. The family mold can manufacture plastic designs faster since each cavity is able to produce a plastic design on a single run. This can be more expensive with regards to tooling costs but will ultimately lower injection molding costs per part. Having a family mold is a great option to reduce injection molding costs with mass production.
Injection molding is an established process wherein one may think there are no longer ways on how to alter the process given its straightforward approach. However, as you dwell deep on to plastic manufacturing, you will realize there are far more tricks to the process which will help in reducing injection molding costs or take advantage of cheap plastic molds at a high level manufacturing process.
By following the six tips mentioned above on how to reduce injection molding costs, you can maximize your profit and be able to earn more out of spending less. You do not really have to apply all of these tips since some of them may not be accustomed to your business format but applying one or two of these tips will already do a lot for your business’ finances.