22-05-23 Mould costs optimization tips
Cost reduction is a top priority for any manufacturer of injection-molded parts. However, the biggest investment for these companies lies in the injection molding tool. In this summary, we highlight the key factors that influence the cost of this tool. Understanding these factors is essential for controlling expenses and ensuring the quality of the final product. Here's five of them:
- Manufacturing Location: The cost of injection molding tools is influenced by the manufacturing location. Although offshore manufacturing may initially be cheaper, long-term costs can increase due to quality issues and repair problems. Manufacturing in Europe (Portugal) could be more expensive than Asia e.g., but it offers higher quality and reduces the need for repairs.
- Mold Classification: Mold classifications impact tool costs. Choosing the appropriate mold class for the application can save unnecessary engineering costs. Mold classes range from 101 (more durable) to 105 (for prototypes only).
- Complexity and Mold Aesthetics: A complex part design increases tool costs. It is important to analyze design alternatives to reduce complexity and improve manufacturability. A comprehensive Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFM) analysis can lower tool and production costs.
- Mold Cavities: Adding more cavities to the mold increases tool costs. While this may reduce the cost per part, it may not be feasible depending on the project's annual volume. Balancing mold cavitaties with production needs is crucial.
- Material Selection: The mold material and the plastic material used in injection molding impact tool costs. Steel is durable but expensive, suitable for high-volume production. Some aplication can be made Aluminum based wich could be more cost-effective but with a shorter lifespan, making it suitable for small-scale production and prototypes.
Conclusion: When considering the costs of injection molding tools, it is crucial to take into account a variety of factors. Manufacturing location, mold classification, design complexity and aesthetics, mold cavitaties, material selection, channel system, gate locations, and surface finishing—all of these elements play a significant role in the overall cost. By analyzing and optimizing these factors, manufacturers can find ways to reduce tooling costs without compromising quality and production efficiency. Understanding these factors is essential for making informed decisions and ensuring success in the manufacturing of injection-molded products.
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