At this point of time we totally change our policy to accept new plastic injection mold project for China mold makers and summarize following tips we need to know when buying plastic injection molds from China:
- To provide complete inquiries. Complete product specifications and complete injection mold specifications. It include even any small detail as minimum eye-bolt dimension or cooling connector standard.
- When the Chinese factories provide us their quotations, they should provide us a draft of their plastic injection mold design. Clearly, if we do not know the structure of quoted mold, we can not take in consideration their economical quotation.
- The Chinese mold factory must provide us video, samples photos and mold designs for similar projects that they have done previously.
One manufacturer that I know of had axles breaking in the field they traced it back to poorly heat treated and improper material being delivered from China. They got cheap axles, but how much did replacing their entire product lines axles out in the field cost them? If a component is critical to injection mold life or human safety put a stringent check process in place and refuse delivery until a 3rd party can verify this process.
Today I am currently quoting a redesign of an offshore injection mold. The plastic mold met the customer standards to the letter, however the plastic injection mold does not function to demold the parts as would be expected in a North American Market. A plastic molder in a low-labor rate country may find hand demold of a product acceptable. A plastic molder in North America would not want to be hand demolding parts due to high labor cost. Make sure that if you are a North American customer you spec. out what the demolding parameters need to be. i.e. Automatic vs. Hand removal. End of arm tooling, vs drop to conveyor, etc.
Our company manufactures only high quality injection molds in China exclusively for Europe, US and international molders that need injection molds that can run under their conditions but still need to provide competitive quotes to their clients. Including air freight we are typically 50% of the cost of the exact same molds built in the US. We are in fact a US based company and all of our tooling engineers and account managers are professionals with the industry. Our customers get all the advantages and conveniences of working with highly experienced people in their own countries while still enjoying huge cost savings. There is much that we can share with you about solving the mysteries of finding plastic injection molders in China.
I started building injection molds in China, Taiwan, HongKong, and Portugal back in the late 70's. This was when I lived and worked in the US and the molds were to run production in the US. The very same injection molds were quoted by our US and Canadian companies. All included in the analysis of "do we or don't we" build off-shore we always included landed cost in the US, engineering onsite support, sample costs, sample shipping costs, plus anywhere from 10% to 20% add on contingency for final work in the US, depending on the particular mold supplier and our history with that supplier.
All the above being included, if we could not show 25%-30% savings by building the injection mold off shore, it stayed in the US or Canadian mold companies. If the total cost of owner ship is negligible, you certainly shouldn't build it on the other side of the planet. You need to justify the decision based on economics, it's simple.
As internet world rapid development and make world communication more convenience, at same time world trading is also growing. That help more and more Chinese injection mold companies get chance to cooperate with overseas companies, because of China has strong manpower and low payment but it's already 5years ago after 2008 financial crisis and these year RMB's value, Chinese company situation has totally change right now, here has no low payment for manpower but the thinking of China from overseas companies don't think so. Because as economy change most of Chinese companies need to raise employee payment but at same time the PO price from their customers haven't changed. So those forces a lot of Chinese companies to survival on the risk of save cost for high employee payment from reduce the mold quality.
Plastic injection mould making level has become an important symbol to measure the capability of a county's manufacturing. In the fast 10 years, China mold makers had made significant progress and rapid grows. Fast growing of mold making capability enlarged the supplying capacity of consumer products unlimited, and during these 10 years, China become to the largest manufacturing factory, China maintain 2 figures increasing for 10 years long, China mold makers play a significant role for the great achievement.
Plastic injection mold is considered as a necessary and mature tool for massive production in our time, it makes massive and economical production possible in a fast changing market, cheap and a wide variety of plastic products are developed and purchased by end customer. In turn, strong demands of consumer plastic products create plenty of opportunities for injection mold making industrial. However, there are still many reality problems to face. Injection mold making was considered to be a technical intensive and capital-intensive industrial.
Many things go wrong in difference in expectation from those who buy plastic injection molds and those who are selling molds from China. The mind setup in Europe and Unite States are not the same and cross cultural issues are messing with partners relationships. Also many companies from West are not ready for that step and when they come to China it is mostly with wrong expectations.
I spent some time in China and I am not expert in finding a real injection mold manufacturer but I can see the tendencies regarding Western's "hit and run" projects and Chinese need to make long term orientation. My second point is that in last 3 years situation in world economy has change so much that I am not sure if some Chinese plastic injection mold companies are ready to accept those changes.
There are lots of different standard mold makers in China. The most important and difficult thing is to choose the right mold maker for a company at the beginning. Sometimes it takes a long time. Although it's kind of easy to find a well-known mold shop in UK, Germany, US and Japan, but to find a good mold maker in China with reasonable price is really not as difficult as you think was. You should know something about the Chinese mold market, where are for low prices where are for low quality... 1st of everything you'd better to know what do you really want from the mold maker with your prices. To attend mold trial is kind of a right thing, a suggestion you may also follow is requesting sampling video for each trial to save your time and traveling cost.
The important thing is you need to select the proper mold maker in China and review terms and conditions in your quote as well as warranty clauses. Mold quality is improving these days but you still need to supervise the mold design and qualification of your tool to make sure you received what you paid for.
In the past 10 years, China injection mold making industrial has been through rapid developing and maintain 15% annual growth rate, Geographically, the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta are the main area, both of them are the most developing area. This article would provide a references if you are seeking reliable and qualified plastic injection mold factory in China.
For oversea customers, it's important to know better about the capacity, quality standard, or even trading term of the injection mold factories in China, so a careful investigation or even make a visit on site if budget is allowed, it is definitely necessary before you made selection. You need to consider your own market as well, the best mold factories might not the best partner you desire, it's always about who are the most suitable.
Look for a mold manufacturer close to your location for reduced travel time. For making a mold in China it is vital to have your own eyes on the mould. Mold quality varies from one manufacturer to another, so does the specialty of the manufacturer. Choose different manufacturers for different category molds. A single manufacturer that builds reliable babyplast tools AND tools for pallets and bumpers is hard to find.
I do not recommend to just "find" a China injection mold manufacturer and just try to remotely control the process from 10000 miles away. Your T1 parts might satisfy you but the mould very likely will not because you cannot see that the mold is running with low pressure, not automatically, ejection spray used, the mould steel is not hardened, mold leaking everywhere, etc.