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Outsourcing Injection Mold vs Investing in Tool Room

Think of a of skilled labor sitting around looking at new equipment sit idle while waiting for a repair, is the reason why many tool rooms are treated as a drain.

What we are talking about here falls outside of traditional "Black & White" bean counting. I understand that plastic injection molding companies have a production mindset and success is determined using lean methods and inventory control. Tool room investment does not fit into that philosophy. In most cases the customer is paying a higher price because of the labor on the production floor. To understand all the compounding factors that justify a highly efficient "tool room" would require looking off the spreadsheet. The best way, would be to track all of the costs involved with outsourcing (Tooling engineers/ purchasers/ importers are labor too) expenses involved with travel etc. Calculate all lost production on the injection mold over the life cycle. Lost production to include anytime the injection mold is not running all cavities at full speed. Die setting time. Plastic scrap (don't forget the labor).
If you buy tool room equipment and there is excess capacity, then build an injection mold instead of outsourcing it. It should not be hard to keep it busy.

Here is what I have seen with revamped tool rooms operating state of the art equipment.
  • Reduced Labor costs.
  • Less injection molding technicians were needed. Startups and adjustments consume large chunks of labor.
  • Less die setters. Problematic molds did not have to be pulled and reset.
  • Less operators. Less need for constant checking and even trimming.
Plastic injection molds run faster with less need for human intervention. I can give example after example of lost production, in the form of longer cycle times, scrap and empty presses. If you have a facility with many presses, there is no way to quantify all of the extra labor cost compared to if the injection mold went in quickly, ran until preventive maintenance was needed and ran some more. No one knows unless they are on the floor in real time how much labor is lost. I understand it is cheaper labor, but it adds up.

There was a time not so long ago, when outsourcing the injection mold was an easy call. Not true anymore and those that have examined it closely are enjoying the benefits of increased throughput at a lower labor burden. This is not to say that it is the right choice for all, but it is the right choice for many. The best way is to take small steps in adding tool room resources and monitor the effect. I can assure you that an upgraded tool room will not cost your customers more money in any form. Customers care about the finished plastic parts having the best value, not how you allocate your resources to achieve that value. If the customer rules you out because you decided to invest in an upgraded tool room, than I would look for new customers.

Welcome to ACO Mold injection moulding company and contact us. The mould engineers from ACO Mold will give you the best solution, and recommend the suitable materials for you. We are ready and looking forward to cooperate with your next project. You will be happy and satisfied to be our partner in mould making and injection moluding project.

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