Minimize the risk of sourcing injection mold in China
When US/EU companies purchase the plastic injection molds in China, you have to face the risk of quality, price and timing. How do you minimize the risk? Let’s share your opinions.
Personally, I think the quality is the major concern. Sometimes we had a great sampling in China mold shop but when the injection molds were delivered to US plant we met the problem during the mass production. I couldn’t say it’s all suppliers’ fault but it’s a real headache.
Another issue is that most of China injection mold shops cannot provide the on-site support and after-service in US or EU. It’s also a big problem even there is only minor change of the plastic injection molds.
Timing is another challenge. Considering the cost, air freight is the last option. For some industries, the short lead time is a must. How to get a qualified plastic mold for production shortly is challenge for both supplier and customer.
I know that some plastic injection mold companies in China easily promise everything like cheap price, good quality and short lead time. But I would say that you have to pay more attention when you source the injection molds in China.
Anyway, China is a great place for the LCC sourcing including the molding and die and there are many good injection mold shops. But more efforts should be made to improve the quality and service to reach the world class.
Oh, also not mentioned is resin. Not all resins are available in all countries! Check with your supplier or go to ides.com and verify availability.
The important things are always simple.
The simple things are always hard.
The easy way is always mined.
So, do your homework...or write another check...and wait...
You also have to build a relationship with the people in the shops there. It helps to have a fair amount of tooling experience. If you don't they will just tell you what you want to hear, whether it is true or not.
I have been buying molds from China for about 10 year and I oversee the mold designs of all the tools I import.
There is nothing worse than a custom made bolt holding in an insert, that breaks during production. Be sure your shop understands your standards and requirements. A specific type of return spring means no substitutions, and be careful if you don't check every part, you will eventually get a mismatched component that will be impossible to replace on the the fly.
This may happen in any shop but it's much more likely when your half a world away. My experience in this warrants caution