Views: 35 Author: China Mold Factory Publish Time: 2020-05-18 Origin: Yiannopoulos.net
It is easy for any company to tell you that they can manufacture this or they can manufacture that. Unfortunately, most times when you wait to find out after the deed has been done, you would be left with a bitter taste.
A product part has been designed, the next thing is go on with the trial production, which is where the plastic injection molding comes into play. Trial productions are of immense importance because that is what is sent into the market to know how customers will react about the product before it will be eventually mass produced. As you would suppose, the customers’ response is what will determine the adjustments that will be carried out before mass production.
It is essentially important that you work with the right manufacturer so that the production process will be as fair as possible, and your marketing would be assured of the right profit margin. In the midst of the competition and the many companies that are into plastic parts production, there are some pointers that can help you know if a plastic injection molding company will be able to deliver on your needs or not. If you mirror these pointers against your potential partners in this business, you would quickly identify a red flag if there are any. That way, you will not be easily fooled into believing anything they tell you.
There are different sides to the business of plastic injection molding. But while all of them are focused at achieving one result – mass producing an item with great quality and efficiency, you are bound to get it wrong when you team up with the wrong plastic parts manufacturer.
Here are some of the things you can take into account to ensure you don’t end up striking the right deal with the wrong mold manufacturer.
Which Mold Manufacturer Type Would Be Best For You
The Chinese market is huge, and it is a composition of several mold manufacturers. There are mold manufacturers in China that are funded by foreign corporations, some are owned by Taiwanese, some are a product of Hong Kong firms, while the others are locally owned by Chinese. There are advantages and disadvantages that come with working with either foreign backed mold manufacturing companies, or those that are locally owned. Here are a few things that can help you in your decision making process:
1. The foreign owned companies are more expensive – one of the trademarks of mold manufacturers who are funded overseas is the high cost of operations. Such companies are known by their robust processes, standard management, strong service enlightenment, and high quality and service delivery. These are all good qualities that can help anyone make a good mark in the market. But would you be ready to do that at the expense of paying through your nose? If you do not mind, then you can give it a try. In fact anyone who seeks after high-quality products and feels that they can afford the high cost of doing that should partner with a foreign funded mold manufacturer. Thankfully, most of the mold manufacturers that fall into this category are well-established and big in size, and most likely well experienced. As good as that sounds, there is a practical side to it. And that is the fact that these companies already have regular clients, so they do well to keep their price in line with that of the international market. This is not an easy position for a lot of enterprises. For instance, it could cost up to millions of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars to do a precision automotive in large quantities. This problem of extreme cost is the specific reason why a lot of buyers have found it difficult to patronize these foreign owned mold manufacturing companies.
2. Local alternatives are cheaper – statistics have shown that most of the mold manufacturers that are privately owned by Chinese are known to be people who first worked in such companies. Hence, as start-ups a big advantage of using them is that their cost is not as high as that of those companies that are funded by foreign entities. The prices they offer for the mold as well as product are relatively low when you compare them to that of their counterparts. Which explains why they are able to secure large patronage unlike their Taiwanese and Hong Kong competitors. This is actually a no brainer because every average person who is looking forward to starting up a business of this nature normally thinks of how much profit they will make eventually before wanting to jump on the train. Hence, if they see that the cost you are giving them is higher than what they have budgeted, you would find them scampering to low priced manufacturers who can offer them a good equivalent of whatever the expensive manufacturers are offering.
Size of Mold Manufacturer should be considered
Whether it will be best for you to work with a small, medium, or large sized mold manufacturer is another significant consideration that should not be taken for granted. In this case, one would think that the choice you are to make should be completely determined by the circumstance. Ordinarily everybody would want to go for the big sized manufacturers because they are more equipped, which will mean higher competence levels. Also, for the records, many customers just choose the big companies because of their large size. They kind of have some level of confidence in their big size. So if you belong in that category, you should know that the price of your mold and product will be eventually higher when you are using a big sized company. You should not be expecting a competitive price offer when you go to those big manufacturers. They look like they are existing in their own world, so if you cannot afford them, you better leave them alone.
Another thing is that you most likely will not be treated as a VIP when you patronize big companies. You are just one of their clients, so if you are not ready to play ball, then bid it. That will not change anything about them. Looking for a suitable supplier is as important as not failing in the business itself. A good match is absolutely necessary. Therefore, it is somehow it’s not the best option to go to a large size mold manufacturer when you guys lack the financial power and the purchasing volume. Doing that will only amount to insults and disputes eventually, so you may want to avoid that route from the outset as a Startup Company.
Considering to work with an SME due to such limitations will not be a bad idea. It has now become a trending thing in this industry, as most other businesses are now preferring them due to their price advantages.
Evidently, it is not all rosy with small sized mold manufacturers. You are bound to be eaten upon by insecurities when working with them. You get worried about them delivering high quality items every time you work with them. Or in some instances, your greatest fears would revolve around whether they will meet the stipulated deadline. Won’t they want to delay your project for no good reason? Because when these small sized companies are faced with too many work, it will automatically reflect on their lack of manpower. Shortcomings like that can present serious disadvantages for your business. Another thing that is likely to give you a cause for concern is the mold’s life cycle and the mass production workflow.
If you look at the extremes of patronizing a large or small sized mold manufacturer, you would notice it is not straightforward as you think, given what have been discussed in the paragraph above. A complete knowledge of what you have about the process will inform the decision you will make. In other words, a preferred mold manufacturer should have a precision CNC machine, high precision, high speed injection machine, slow wire cut machine, 2D/3D measuring instruments, and EDM. You can use the items listed in the preceding statement for evaluating and knowing if a company will be able to give you what you desire. Should you do a background check and discover that these items are not available, the best option for you would be to go elsewhere. As far as the plastic injection molding world is concerned there are plenty of options on the table, so you should never squeeze yourself to a dissatisfactory deal.
Meet with your potential mold manufacturer personally
No amount of pictures can do it! No number of phone calls will save you! Read everything about them on the internet, and that would not be enough. You need to make out ample time and see your potential manufacturer and have a frank discussion.
You can begin by searching Google for “Chinese mold maker”, and several companies will pop out on the result. You can send out up to 5 RFQs to your choice mold manufacturers, and expect a response. Do you comparisons based on prices, response speed, professional support, as well as any other criteria that might come to mind. Usually, mold manufacturers are fond of engaging you with someone with adequate experience like an engineer. That way, you would be assured of better background information on what you intend to do as opposed to when you have to discuss with a sales person. Such an individual may not be experienced enough to tell a potential customer what they want to hear. That will give rise to poor communication, misunderstanding, and ultimately discouraging one from showing any interest afterward. Hence, professional support is one way to distinguish between a mold manufacturer who has been in the business and the one that is a startup.
In order to avoid all the miscommunication and misinformation, it is best you meet with them physically. That way, you can find out for yourself if the facility they operate will be good enough to manufacture what you are looking for. Have a one on one chat with them and ask them some crucial questions that may have been bothering you.
But if you cannot travel down to China to discuss with them due to certain constraints, you can adopt another alternative. Ask them to give you some of their reference customers, particularly those who are in the same country as you are. Find out from the customers what you need to know. I have a feeling they will not lie to you because that would be pointless. An approach as such will definitely save you some headache in the end, as opposed to someone who just jumped into a deal without knowing what is at stake.
What are all the information contained in their quote?
A quote is a natural fall out of a conversation between business entities of this nature. After discussing with a potential mold manufacturer the next thing you should be expecting from them is their quote.
Whether it is an informal or formal quote, there are basic information that ought to be part of the quote. Items like the lead time, mold material, and amount of cavities are some of the factors that will determine if you can work with them or not. You normally get all of these information from serious minded manufacturers from the word go. However, that is not to say that you won’t get any disappointments when dealing with some manufacturers. As a matter of fact, the removal of any information that is as sensitive as these from a quote is an indication of what is to come. That should warn you that you are about working with some sloppy, unprofessional, and perhaps incompetent fellows. If you ever notice at this stage, then there is still plenty of time for you to zoom off and look for another manufacturer. The information is equally relevant since they will directly impact how much the mold would cost. Hence, the need to be sure about this 100%.
Some Clear Facts about Mold Makers in China
If you are unsure or skeptical about the authenticity of the parts that are molded in china, then you ought to realize that there are top class molds in most places in china. So while it is inarguable that you can find high-quality molds within China, you should understand that there are guidelines you will need to follow to enable you close that deal with a manufacturer that is ready to give you the most favorable price. Do not apply any form of desperation in connecting with a mold when you are yet to know these rules. If you do so you will be doing yourself more harm than good.
You can get started by clearly stating all the requirements you would expect your potential mold manufacturers to meet. That way, after scrutinizing all the manufacturer that will respond to your proposal, you can do away with those ones that do not satisfy those requirements of yours.
An error in your mold design can result to huge losses eventually. Which explains why it is necessary for you to hand out such designs to professionals who would ensure that your design will lack errors. If your mold making design is properly communicated to the Chinese mold manufacturer, you would have gotten a considerable part of your work done. With the appropriate designs put together by experts, it will be easy for the manufacturers to flesh out your designs the way you want.
Let’s not forget about cost, because that is the most important thing you should consider. For any plastic manufacturer to offer you a quote that is 50% lesser than what the closest competitors are offering within the same industry, that means they’ve cut down their cost with about 50%. This price reduction will be noticed in the surface finishes, material selection, material hardness, grinding mating surfaces lack precision, and reduced tolerance in wall thickness of thin-walled products.
You can avoid all these challenges when your specifications are properly communicated during the stage of RFQs. The prevalent challenge with obtaining quotations from the Chinese is the fact that when the specifications become rigorous, the price difference between the mold manufacturers becomes virtually negligible. The total amount required when outsourcing a plastic injection mold ought to include the cost of testing, as well as the acceptance for a foreign produced mold, and additional measures needed to ensure that language barriers do not give rise to any technical misalignment along the way.
China is a place where the variety of standard mold makers is quite large. The bulk of mold manufacturers are producing items with good quality, but to different extents. So you need to define the extent of the quality you are looking for and ensure you are getting it for the right price. This may be difficult to achieve when you first set out to do it. Sometimes it can be discouraging because you have to run through so many options. Do not despair, just keep pushing and you would come across one that fits with your budget and specifications. Although it is a bit easier locating a reliable mold manufacturer in the UK, Germany, US, and Japan, locating one that are competent enough to guarantee top quality plastic parts may not be as difficult as you fear.
The wrong mentality that the Chinese are only fond of manufacturing inferior parts, as many people assume, is not actually true. This is something that has been badly perceived and misunderstood. Bottom line – there are top quality mold manufacturers in China waiting to give you what you desire.
Be Sure About Proprietary Rights
Ordinarily, when you are shipping a mold from other nations, you become the automatic owner of that delivery. However, there will only be a couple of gray areas that you will need to clear up with whoever your manufacturer is. Some of those things include IP, absolute ownership, etc.
But if you are working with Chinese mold manufacturers, the scenarios are a bit different. You will need to clearly specify all ownership rights to them. Never assume anything before entering into a contract with them. You have to point out everything to them, so there won’t be any issues at the end of the day. Issues like telling them you would be the sole owner of the physical mold should be sorted out from the word go.
First, you should tell the manufacturer they are not to use your mold for manufacturing any other product. Also, they are not to use your mold designs for any third party work. Secondly, you need to make it known to your Chinese partners that if for any reason whatsoever your molds have to be moved to a different factory, then the new factory will be allowed to fully access the molds without any hitches.
Why are they interested in not releasing the mold?
All Chinese manufacturers are encouraged to have your mold in their possession, as well as doing everything possible to avoid a scenario where the buyer will have to transfer their mold to another factory or a foreign location. In many instances the mold is a career of the product IP. With a couple of products, the inner mechanism is defined by open source hardware. The enclosure covering the mechanism’s exterior is the basic IP of the product that can be protected. The IP becomes a part of the mold necessary for the case manufacture. The outside appearance of the product becomes the ID. Hence if that appearance lacks protection, you will not be part of the ownership rights as regard the IP. Whenever the IP of a product is not protected, it can be easily reproduced by any other Chinese manufacturers without having any infractions with the law.
In stark contrast, the ownership portfolio could be different. The mold embodiment of some product is what defines the value of that particular product. A good instance would be a part of a complex item, such as a jet engine. After the design, engineering, and test, you wonder what you would be yours. It will be just one part that is manufactured by casting in one or multiple molds.
It is essentially important that you understand the essence of the IP regarding the ownership rights of the entire product. Own the IP and you would be the glad owner of the product and everything that is attached to it. Lose it and you can kiss your ownership rights goodbye. It is as simple as that. Don’t ever forget that.
What is the result of an IP that is not defined?
If the mold’s IP is not owned by anyone, it could very well be on its way to becoming open source. That means, nobody will own the IP in the product or mold. Trust me, you wouldn’t like to find yourself in that zone. It is an unfriendly place to be in. plus, the fact that this truth has been known to Chinese manufacturers makes it even more difficult to ensure molds are fully protected.
All what this implies is that when you discuss contractual terms with your Chinese mold maker, you should not only focus on becoming the products owner, but you should also think of how to take ownership of the IP. That is the only way you can ensure that the product is not copyrighted or duplicated without your permission or consent.
How to avoid any disputes?
Having a smooth experience with your manufacturer requires that you know the right thing to do. You can begin by talking to someone who is an expert. No point trying to do anything extraordinary. All the information you need to know are already out there, just talk to a professional, and you would be as fine as rain. You can also read up more on the legal implications that are involved in this industry as it applies to the Chinese mold makt. There are several blogs and contents online that contain all what you ought to know in this regard.
A Third party ought to be present as your mold is tested
After the manufacture of a mold, the next natural procedure it goes through is the testing phase. And need not say that the mold should be properly tested. Everything observed during the test process should be documented, feedback would be communicated, and the adjustments should be effected as soon as possible.
For this to be achieved, the mold would be mounted on injection molding machines with adequate size, prepared for an injection cycle that is optimized, and lunching a couple of production runs using all the parameters needed for a real production operation. That gives you the chance to have the tools properly inspected, since they are working with normal production conditions. You will be able to fine tune the settings to your requirements, put together a document that would highlight all the necessary shortcomings you have noted, which includes every adjustment you are looking forward to, as well as every tool modification that would ensure a hitch-free production run and a longer lifespan.
The fact that someone has to be there in person while this testing is going on should not be ignored for whatever reason. It is either you, or someone from your company, and a third party company that is highly experienced in mold testing should be there to observe all the proceedings. Leaving this in the hands of the manufacturer and believing anything they tell you could spell doom for the whole process. While these Chinese guys may not be evil, you should understand that they have other more important things to focus on. So monitoring the mold testing process and ensuring an experienced eye is there is also essential to the success of the whole thing.
The difference between those who succeed and fail in mold testing may be down to experience. Therefore, you cannot play down experience if you are hoping to get the best deals and the best outcomes.
You can confirm the information below from your Mold manufacturer
Where they get their steel from as well as an analysis report to support their claims.
The overall cost that will be needed for the project. You cannot count on only what they tell you online.
Are they posing as an OEM or the middle man?
They should show you their past quality reports if there are any
The previous work’ case studies
Do they handle everything in-house or some parts will be outsourced
They should give you an idea of their capacity so you have an idea of when to safely place your order.
This checklist will help you in requesting some of the most important information, so you don’t end up being unhappy after the whole molding process. You can also capitalize on the fact that the level of competition among Chinese manufacturers is high. If they are ways they can adjust or modify their processes to meet the client’s demand, they will be happy to do that. So you should never be scared of asking those questions, as that would serve as your guide regarding who you do business with and who is not eligible. There are a lot of foreign owned mold manufacturing firms in china, just as there are locally owned ones. But finally, the quality of what you get may come down to the level of experience you have for that item part.
If you go back to the checklist above and take a look at the capacity of a mold manufacturing company in china. That factor is so important that you have to be doubly sure about it before trading agreements. That is because if you let that slip, there are a lot of ugly issues that may crop up later on. You may have to battle with delay or even low quality when they try to rush and finish your products. Therefore, it is only best that every point be taken as serious as the other, a measure that would bring about top-quality products.
As someone who is longing to get started with the plastic injection molding business, and you’ve chosen China as your preferred destination, it’s ideal for your mind to be flooded with dozens of questions. Some of those thoughts could be fueled by uncertainties and that overwhelming feeling that you cannot afford to make any mistakes. Just focus and think about asking some other questions.
The Collaborative Nature of the Chinese Market
The players in the molder manufacturers industry are highly collaborative in their efforts. They love to specialize in one niche or the other. The bulk of these industries prefer to concentrate on one product type. Some love to take the chance of expanding their tentacles and taking on any order that comes their way. Your guess is as good as mine. Those who do everything and those who do only a specific product while outsourcing the others have a varying level of expertise. The niche-specific folks are bound to be more successful in the product they are into. So it is better you find out if your potential mold maker are niche specific or if they are into general mold making.
The size you are going for
As long as mold manufacturing is concerned, size is one of the specifics you need to decide on before you go any further with the process. You can either decide to go with a big sized manufacturer, or you can stick with the small companies. The big sized manufacturers can deliver quite alright, but their expensiveness is another thing you need to bother about. The other option is going with the small manufacturers. Experience has shown that the small plastic injection molding companies are equally reliable. So apart from benefitting from the low cost, there is also possibility of offering you top-quality items for lower cost. With the small manufacturers, it is a win-win situation for anyone looking to achieve high-quality at a reduced cost.
The road to getting a reliable mold manufacturer in China might seem like a long one, considering the many manufacturers that are out there. Mold manufacturers exist in the thousands, if I’m not mistaken. Therefore when you look at it from a distance, you will not be different from someone searching for a needle in a haystack. That’s how it appears. But that is not the reality. At least, with the help of this post you have been able to learn that you can identify the best mold manufacturers anywhere if you know what to look for. Even as many as those companies are in china, you can still spot the ones that are reputable, and those who are only looking to collect money from you. To get started with the process, visit the search engines and input your search criteria into the box. The Google result is likely going to output several companies for you. Therefore, you are the one who will be saddled with the responsibility of making the right choice. This article has equally pointed out that failing to choose the right manufacturing company may result to problems eventually. A host of features have been listed in the course of the post to help you get the best fit. From whether the company is locally owned or foreign owned to what type of size will work best for you, all these factors are not to be taken for granted. The post mentioned how foreign owned companies that manufacture molds are more expensive due to overhead cost and other responsibilities. On the other hand, the locally owned companies can be a preferred option if you are only concerned about using lower capital investment. When it comes to quality, the big mold manufacturers lead the race, while the small ones follow. But that is not to say that you cannot find a small-sized mold manufacturing company that does a pretty good job even when their cost is not as high as that of leading names. Again, it is important you sort these things before you rush into a deal with any plastic injection molding company. It was also stressed in the course of the article that it is not enough for you to sit in the comfort of wherever you are and talk with a Chinese mold maker. You need to make that extra sacrifice by either going to them or confirming from their references if they have any around you. Doing that will give you a better idea of what they are capable of and what they incapable of. A personal visit will be a better option as that would give you a first-hand view of what you should know. Not only that, mold testing is also an important process that should not be overlooked. Observe the process of mold testing with an experienced person so you can take note of what needs to be improved in the mold, and what modifications should be applied. Lastly, the issue of IP was also mentioned in this post. It was explained that if you overlook the issue of mold IP, you may end up losing ownership of the product itself. So you need to clear up any misunderstanding with ownership rights before you guys get started. When those things are sorted out in the beginning it will be difficult for anybody to hijack your mold design or do anything with your mold when you have not permitted them to do so. All said and done, there is something you can keep doing which will help you locate the right mold manufacturer in China: You need to keep searching until you come in contact with one that will serve your purpose. There are so many good ones out there, so keep your search lights on and you should locate a good fit. No need reinventing the wheels on this. Just follow the laid down procedures and a reputable plastic injection molding company is what you will end up with.