Many buyers who purchase injection molds from China are solely focused on saving money. However, this isn’t the right attitude to take, since you’ll ultimately want a mold that works properly and is reliable, instead of just being cheap.
You should therefore request the following information when getting a quote: the size of the mold, the gating direction, the design of the runner, the cavity steel, how many cavities are to be included, the mold accessories brand, an estimated cycle time, and a guaranteed cycle. With this information in hand, you will be able to calculate the costs for yourself, and see just why some companies set their prices higher or lower.
What factors go into estimating the costs of injection molds?
Part size- bigger parts mean a bigger mold, which means that the steel cost for the injection mold will be increased.
Part design- the more complex a part is, the more detailed the mold has to be. Some complicated parts will require special features to be added, such as lifters or sliders. You should therefore be open to advice from your mold maker, and see if there’s anywhere that you can alter the part design to save on injection mold costs.
Materials-depending on the part material of choice, the injection mold will have to be made of a particular material too. For instance, if a corrosive plastic like PVC is to be used, then the mold will have to be stainless steel to avoid any damage- which will ultimately bump the price up.
Part finish requirements- where parts have high gloss surface requirements, then more expensive steel and precise technical polishing will be vital, which further add to the price.
Production volume- higher volume molds need more cavities, and so the mold will be larger. They also require a higher grade of steel to last for longer, and this has an impact on the injection mold cost.
Country of manufacture- different countries have different wage rates. If your mold is made in a country where labor costs are low, then you’ll naturally save money. In China, the average cost of an injection mold is around 40% less than in western nations.