Five Most Common Mistakes Made When Purchasing Tooling and Injection Molded Products

 MISTAKE NUMBER 1: Purchasing tooling without the aid of an experienced injection molding facility.

Why? Tooling it is the most expensive start-up cost of any part to be injection molded. Many mistakes can be made without the experience and knowledge needed to make these decisions. Plastic Concepts & Design, Inc. has over 25 years of mold-building experience. With this experience comes the knowledge to make important decisions needed in the beginning stages of tooling, such as tool ownership, mold design, mold materials, mold construction, and mold classification. These are just a few of many decisions that must be made to insure the life of the tool will withstand the overall production of the project.

 MISTAKE NUMBER 2: Purchasing tooling without a qualified set of part and mold design prints.

Why? With finished part design prints, all of the preliminary changes have been made, prior to cutting steel. Using state-of-the-art 3-D prints and CAD technology, Plastic Concepts & Design, Inc. can provide you with a working prototype prior to building the mold.

The cost of the mold includes many factors such as mold construction and techniques that can result in a mold that runs at an optimum cycle time, reducing part costs. Other factors include expensive engineering changes and rework to get a mold up to production standards. Mold design prints are as equally important as part design prints.

 MISTAKE NUMBER 3: Low cost tooling.

Why? Using only price as a factor in mold or tooling purchase is the worst decision that one can make. Tool steels for molds vary significantly. The metals used in molds can substantially affect the mold cost. Many prototypes and small quantity tools are made from lower quality metals. The main disadvantage is that the tool will wear or damage easily and, in cases of filled materials, the wear can take place at a must faster rate. Plastic Concepts & Design, Inc. can create a small-run production or prototype tool, but our vast knowledge of metals will insure that the proper materials are used for mold selection to give you the best product for the least amount of money.

 MISTAKE NUMBER 4: Offshore tooling.

Why?   Offshore sources generally quote prices at a much lower rate than U.S. mold makers, by as much as 30%-40%.  But, when you look at the actual costs of having a mold built offshore you might find that any savings you realized initially on the price of the mold will be lost downstream in other ways. The language difference and the long distance are major complications. To overcome the distance problems, someone would have to virtually live in the tool shop’s vicinity to answer questions, monitor progress, and make sure they build the molds the way they are supposed to, including making sure they use the agreed upon tool steel. Trip costs would rapidly erode any hope for savings. Another fact to be considered, many molds come to the U.S. needing rework and engineering changes to bring them up to optimum production readiness. Molds built by offshore mold shops seem to require more tryouts to get it right than those fabricated by U.S. mold shops.  Also, the amount of maintenance required on a mold built offshore is often greater than on a U.S. built mold. That too, is a cost that must be figured into the total cost of the mold. Plastic Concepts & Design, Inc. is proud to be a U.S.A. company producing products made in the U.S.A.

 MISTAKE NUMBER 5: Third-party controlled project..

Why? Does your molder really exist? Does he have a facility, equipment, or even a building? Or is it an office desk?  Many third-party companies or brokerage firms sell injection mold tooling and injection molding with nothing more than a contact list of suppliers.  They are simply commissioned sales people selling tooling and parts and contracting out the work. You never really know who built your tool or molded your product.  It can be contracted to different facilities to shop for the lowest price, all at the expense of your part quality. The bottom line here is “KNOW YOUR MOLDER.