9 Tips to Make the Mold Buying Process Easier
It can be complicated to buy an injection mold, as there will likely be a lot of back and forth between buyer and contract molder before the final product is settled on. However, the following tips can help save you plenty of time, and make the whole process that little bit easier.
- Create an RFQ that goes into a lot of details.As skilled as moldmakers are, they won’t be able to read your mind when it comes to what you’re looking for. Include as many specifics as you can at this stage, including the number of cavities, the steel, the desired lifespan of your mold, and any guarantees that you might need. If you aren’t too sure on any of these topics, then tell your moldmaker, and they will be able to help you settle on what’s right for your needs. The more accurate you make your RFQ, the more accurate a quote you will receive in return.
- Be open about why you want a quote. If you simply need a general quote to pass on to another department, then let the moldmaker know- they will then be able to get back to you quickly. Creating an accurate quote can take a lot of time, and it’s not fair to waste the moldmaker’s time if you don’t need that much detail, or if you might not even buy from them.
- Don’t infringe on a moldmaker’s intellectual property. The ideas and suggestions offered by your moldmaker remain their intellectual property- you can’t simply take those suggestions to someone else to do it for you. If you settle on a different moldmaker, then take their suggestions on board- not only is using someone else’s ideas not okay, but it could also confuse the final moldmaker, who won’t understand exactly why those suggestions were made in the first place.
- Think about forming a partnership with your moldmaker. By working closely with your moldmaker when it comes to budgets, timetables, and part quantity expectations, you’ll be able to work as a team to achieve better results in the long run.
- Keep an open line of communication with your moldmaker throughout the process. Plenty of moldmakers will be happy to provide regular progress reports and keep you updated on the latest developments with your build. It’s important that you know everything is proceeding to schedule, so if you need any information, be sure to ask so that you can put your mind at ease.
- Ensure you always make your payments on time. Most moldmakers work to a tight budget and require expenses to be paid up-front before they can proceed with your build. If you delay making payments, then you won’t get your mold on time- it’s as simple as that. Different moldmakers will offer different payment plans, so talk with them to figure out a plan that works for both of you.
- Changing your part design will likely mean changing the injection mold itself. If you wind up making changes to your part design while the injection mold is being produced, you will be unlikely to get the mold at a price quoted, or to the original timeframe. Any changes will mean the mold has to be altered accordingly, which adds to both the cost and the time of the mold build.
- Know in advance when your mold will be There are different definitions for a completion date- they could range from when the final payment is made, to when you receive a sample part, to shipment of the final product. In most cases, an injection mold is considered complete when it is ready to produce the part it is intended for. The majority of moldmakers will be willing to make small changes towards the end of the process in order to make a part according to print dimensions. If these dimensions change late in the game, then the injection mold may still be considered complete- any additional changes will have to be paid for via an engineering change order, or ECO.
- If something is cheap, there’s usually a reason behind it. While there will be moldmakers out there who offer a cheaper-than-average rate for a quality product, there will be plenty of others who offer discounts because they cut costs themselves. In the long run, it’s better to pay good money for a high-quality product, instead of getting stung by a mold that doesn’t meet your standards.
When buying an injection mold, that age-old adage is certainly true- you get what you pay for. Any molded components that you produce will only be as good as the mold that you used to make them, so you should ensure your injection mold is perfectly suited to your needs- before you buy it.