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Best Quality and Best Value Injection Mold

There is an inter-mingling of best QUALITY and best VALUE. One way the quality of the injection mold is explicitly defined is the SPI mold construction class. A higher QUALITY injection mold is a higher quality injection mold, but it may be a lower VALUE if it is overkill for all the other requirements and way more expensive than lower piece cost could offset. An adequate quality injection mold is usually the best value; unless, it is likely the volume of the product is volatile and may increase substantially with short lead time. Naturally, "an adequate mold" or the "Best Value" is somewhat subjective and should be agreed upon between customer and supplier for a happy relationship.

Don't confuse quality with value. Value is an economic balance between purchase price, piece price at the volumes to be run, and adequate precision for the application. The goal is adequate quality tooling for best value, not the highest quality tooling that you cannot afford. A Ferrari F1 is higher quality construction than a Chevrolet Cobalt, but for most people the Cobalt is a better fit to the need to go get the groceries or the kids, and therefore a better value.

Typically, it is best to error on the side of greater quality to avoid a bad experience. To expand on the earlier example: Although the Chevy is a better value than the Ferrarri to get groceries, an even cheaper Yugo is not the best transportation value either because of poor reliability, safety, and maintainability making you a part-time pedestrian; unless, you cannot pay for the Chevrolet.

I think injection mold quality and injection mold value are easily confused, especially by people not familiar with injection molding. Just because an injection mold has a 1 million shot warranty does not necessarily make it higher quality than one with a lesser warranty any more than a vehicle with a 100,000 mile warranty must be of higher quality than one with a 60,000 mile warranty. If the injection mold is constantly sent back to the shop for warranty repairs, it is not available for production. In general, higher class injection molds are of higher quality because of better steels, etc., but many customers do not understand that there can be considerable differences in injection mold quality, even within the same classification. Sometimes it takes a few bad experiences before customers learn. Sometimes they never do.

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