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Manufacturing quality injection molds for your customers

Quality is a much abused term nowadays. Nobody would ever admit to or promote the fact that they make junk. Therefore, it's more a question of horses for courses. If the injection mold runs trouble free with a good cycle time and a contribution is made for the duration of the product and maintenance is low, then it could be described as a quality injection mold.

I had a recent example of a client wanting to re-tool for a fairly sophisticated device. They had been through various expensive modifications with the original injection mold maker and had experienced ongoing problems over a couple of years. In short, they were trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. To resolve these and give any kind of undertaking that the product could be made to a very high standard ie fit for purpose, we selected a high quality injection mold maker with whom we had worked successfully on previous occasions for other such critical products. The injection mold cost was high but the cycle time was quick, offering a low unit price, longevity and trouble free running with no down time. The customer cited an example of a product which he/she thought had similar criteria and had been tooled for about 60% of our proposed cost but in fact that product bore no relationship technically to the one they wanted to "fix". We didn't get the contract and on that basis, we didn't want it. It looks like history will repeat itself and they will spend their money on another injection mold which will not do the job.

Equally, if the product has a short lifetime as with some fashionable personal care products, there is no reason to invest in high value tooling providing it is a fairly simplistic and non-demanding design which can be enhanced by eg decorative value rather than technical function.

In an ideal world there are only the best customers and suppliers. In the real world we have customers who don't know anything about tooling and then injection mold manufacturers as a customer which use other manufacturers for contracting. One can't suppose that the customer always knows what's the best for them. This leaves a big responsibility for the supplier. Injection molding tools are often unique pieces, therefore they can't be treated as car in manufacture.

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