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Many foreign injection mold buyers faced buying problems in China, different business culture and language make things complicated and sometime risky. This article will provide a basic guide for you to understand and identify the Chinese injection mold companies. Especially for the one who just start to deal with Chinese mold makers.
When you are a foreign buyer and get an offer from a Chinese injection mold company, you should not just care about the mold price but also require other information.What is the mold size designed?
Adequate mold base size provides the necessary strength and stability of injection molding performance, try to lower down the injection mold price by inadequate mold size endanger mold quality.What is the mold steel used?
There are various mold steels out there, their performance has very many differences, the difference also reflected in unit price. P20 pre-harden steel only cost 20RMB/kg,meanwhile harden steel 1.2343 up to 80RMB/kg from LKM.
There are no hard procedures for ordering new injection molds, but I would take the advice of those that have contributed and perhaps make a list of your own procedures to follow for future purposes.
The tooling is not where you save money on a project. It helps some to know the tooling manufacturer and his capabilities, but, you need to start with a targeted Product Cost and a Projected Annual Volume to determine cavitation and press requirements. From there you can estimate the manufacturing costs and where your company needs to be to achieve the profits required to support your operations. These are the basics required to develop the minimum specifications for the injection molds required. At that point you can potentially quote the tooling to your specifications and have quotes comparing apples to apples anywhere in the world. Then you must consider the shipping charges and the timing required before production start-up as this will have a major impact on your program costs. I regularly check costs between China mold and US mold in this manner. Recently look at Europe compared to US in the same manner.
The process of successfully designing and manufacturing new injection molding tools starts with the design of the product, and the design of the injection mold. If an injection mold is correctly designed and all of the tolerances specified, as well as the materials, steel grades, hardness and surface finish requirements, then with that information the injection mold can be built anywhere.
Certain companies have experienced difficulties with China mold makers, because the most important criteria when placing a mold making order is cost. In order for a mold making company to quote 50% of the cost of its nearest competitor for the same injection mold, they have to cut their costs to below 50% of their competitors. This is normally reflected (or not) in surface finishes, material selection, material hardness, lack of precision grinding of mating surfaces, and lack of close tolerances in wall thickness on thin wall products.
I have outsourced plastic injection molding tooling built in China for years, the best source I have found is "Aco Mold" located in Shenzhen China. They have 2 manufacturing facilities in China. Go to their web site and you will see they have it all covered. I've spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars for plastic injection mold tooling with them and had great success. Their standard shipping (sea) customs charges and freight to your dock is included in the quote and standard ship time is 30 days, plus most if not all engineering charges are free. Lastly you don't have to deal with the language barrier, you dealing with the engineers with perfect English. Also you have to pay for molded sample shipping, but that is understandable. You can even get video of samplings. One last, all plastic injection molds are built with German tool steel and DME components or their equivalent all easy to get here in the United States.
Some of the buyers who buy the mold from China might only be interested on the price offered by the mold suppliers, but l have to tell you it's not wise enough to make any buying decisions base on a simple price. A injection mold offer should include information that influence the injection mold price, ensure you get information: mold size, gating way, runner design, cavity steel, number of the cavity, mold accessories brand, cycle time, guaranteed cycle, by these information, you can calculate the costs and see why some companies' prices are lower and the others are higher.
For a company to issue a mold tooling order without going through a verification of the tool shop capabilities, quality standards, financial soundness and customer history references is at risk for failure and make the long run production expensive. This typically requires a team of experts in various technical and business positions to do an onsite audit and grade the facility as a qualified mold supplier to reduce the risk. If a mold is being purchased for molding at a third party, the molder MUST be included in the mold making process so the details of press (and other) requirements will be adhered to. A mold MUST be run by the mold maker
prior to shipment to validate the injection molding process and the molded part quality. All parties should establish a "Spare Parts" list that will be packaged with the mold in order to avoid downtime as a result of possible part failure in the injection mold.
If you don't do your due diligence up front and during the mold design, build and approval phase---- you'll get what the supplier wants to give you rather than what you want and need. Choosing the top cost German, Swiss or UK mold making suppliers only speaks for not applying, enforcing and monitoring compliance throughout the process.
There is no reason that you cannot get the same quality mold as your German, Swiss or UK suppliers if you do the correct and appropriate actions. You can make a mass anywhere in the world if you choose the wrong supplier.
For injection mold importers, it is always a headache to control the mold making process, as the mold factory in China is thousands of miles away from their companies' location. Let's look into this and try to find the best solution.
It's very important to really evaluate the design from the Chinese mold supplier, an optimized design is the beginning of a success project, find the potential design problems and prevent the risks from happening. Predict all the problems and solve it as earlier as possible. A Design For Manufacturing (DFM) report is definitely necessary at the pre-design stage.
More and more people intend to do mold import business in China, but due to language and cultural different, many western buyers feel it very difficult to communicate with Chinese plastic injection mold makers.
Aco Mold is a professional plastic injection mold supplier in ShenZhen, China, Aco Mold has many years experiences to work with customers from western countries, Aco Mold also have well educated project mangers speak fluent English and have excellent mold making expertise.
One of my customers, Rob, from United States, asked me once, why the offers I got from China mold factories are so different in pricing? Their prices are so different, some are cheap and some are very expensive, which make the offers are meaningless for reference.
An interesting question that maybe most of the injection mold buyers would be interested to know why. You may have visited a lots of mold factories before actually buying plastic molds from China, these factory are different in size and capacity, the facilities and management cost is one of the factor that will influence the price while you got from a bigger and more fabulous Chinese mold factory. Yet it is not the key factor to affect the price, this article will remind your something you may have missed on plastic injection mold inquiry, then you can get a real cheap price. A professional plastic injection mold buyer usually knows what they are looking for.
Made in China is popular in the world for years. However, the image of Made in China has been judged and recognized as low quality, Chinese mold suppliers faced the questioning from oversea mold buyers and suffered from faith-lack.To ensure the mold quality, there are some main processes need to pay attention to.
It's a trend to invest on research and development in mold making technology, for the past 30 years, China mold making capacity is basically gained from coping the way of developing countries. China mold factories rely heavily on the import machining equipment and CAD/CAE/CAM technology. Along with Chinese economic fast growing, some of the Chinese mold factories realized the shortages and noticed the big devolving space, it's happy to see that in the earliest future made in China becomes to create in China.
It's not easy to find a good toolmaker in China. The most important considerations will be project management & engineering capacity. The project manager will be the window between you and the tool maker, most of the Chinese young people should not only have no problem about the language, but also should know what he/she is doing & understand about each milestone in mold designing, mold manufacturing, mold modification and shipping stage, and could control the whole process. And the engineering capacity will be the main key, to ensure a smooth manufacturing process, less tool adjustment; from long term point of view, a good engineering should also consider from customer side, how to easy maintain & handle the tools after mold shipping.