Injection Mold Buying Problems

Manufacturing companies have become increasingly dependent on outsourcing to reduce costs. Despite the fact that outsourcing has made it easier for consumers to buy lower-priced products, there is an issue with foreign competitors not always following the same work standards or using the same quality materials. Outsourcing in China has been rife with problems from day one, but it has been synonymous with low prices for a long time. You may encounter a number of potential problems when buying injection molds from China, and these are the most common ones.

Vendors who simply want your business give false answers
You might initially receive a lower quote if you ask for a quote on a new product, but that can change over time. There’s a possibility that your vendor simply wants a low price, so you’ll get that. Business can become a complete mess if you agree with a timeframe you can’t meet, agree with a cost you can’t honor, or have a complete misunderstanding from the get-go.

In order to effectively communicate, a translator would need to be able to speak both languages. The difference of opinion may not be understood by both sides, which may make getting a realistic quote for time and capital requirements difficult. You should cooperate with a molder who can speak both languages and comprehends cultural norms from both countries. This will make it easier to negotiate an accurate price.

Compared with the Final Price, the Quoted Price is Much Lower
Budget overruns can be caused by a variety of factors. Some small price variances occur due to market fluctuations in material prices and labor costs, but sometimes these variances become double or triple the original price. What causes this? It is often not included in the quoted price. Some vendors may quote the cost of the injection molding tool alone, without including the cost of the design or any other steps in the project. Moreover, materials may be sourced inconsistently. Your supplier could simply shop around to find the best price on materials that won’t be available when you commission the injection molding tools.

The ideal vendor will provide you with detailed quotes for every step in the process. An estimate should summarize each component and explain how it contributes to the total price. Research and design, mold manufacturing, testing, etc. Elite industry partners are also likely to suggest changes owing to design flaws and potential manufacturing issues. Choose a vendor that has your best interests in mind and not just one that offers the lowest price.

Poor performance of your injection molds
As soon as you complete the quoting process and commission your tool, the first test occurs. It is at this point that you can determine a tool’s performance. Often, elite partners provide tools that perform well right after the first shot on the mold, but afterward, the tools start to have problems. There are many injection mold problems, including flashing along the parting lines, resin burning, short shots, sinks on A-class surfaces, and many others. The process of separating good products from bad ones consumes time and resources.

A mold flow analysis is used by an elite vendor to analyze your mold design and identify limitations. Short shots or burns will be discovered during the initial analysis. Additionally, a good vendor will show tools that are capable of performing without extensive repairs to fix problems arising from mold making.

Injection molds have unpredictable lifecycles
Injection molds made by overseas vendors often don’t meet the same standards of labor and materials as those produced in the United States. Depending on what is available at the time the tool steel is needed, the tool steel quality may vary greatly if the tooling vendor is looking for the best price on materials. Some tools may last the quoted amount of time, while others may last half that time.

You should look for a tool manufacturer that is trained in and follows US mold-building standards for the tools and molds they manufacture. Your company should value quality on a daily basis, not just when you request it in your quote. Injection mold manufacturers should also be able to explain how they retain top talent year after year to prove why they are the best for your new product. With this strategy, talented toolmakers will produce elite injection molds, rather than constantly training fresh employees.

You can’t leave your tools with your tooling vendor
Many horror stories have been told about purchasing injection molds from China and vendors refusing to let them go to another injection mold manufacturer. Even if the contract states that the tool was commissioned by you, you may not own the rights to the tool. The fine print was unclear, so you just assumed it was your money and purchased the tool. If the overseas vendor can’t meet the quoted performance, it won’t be let go. It has also been reported that original vendors allowed tools to leave, but no other manufacturers would allow them into their facilities due to a poor reputation. The toolmakers would not repair or work with anything that wasn’t created by their own toolmakers.

A contract should state that performance without limitations is guaranteed as part of your designs and intellectual property. At your first meeting to discuss your new innovative product, your new vendor should offer a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). By signing an NDA, they prove their integrity to offer high-quality tools and keep your product safe. The company will let you move the tools without a problem, and another manufacturer should be able to use them right away. You may want to keep looking for a new vendor if they aren’t interested in an NDA. This can make your assets and design more vulnerable.

Buying injection molds from China can lead to any of these scenarios. Since outsourcing began, it has become a common issue. Occasionally, cultural differences can result in quotes being lost in translation, and as a result, tools perform differently than quoted. Are you able to retrieve the tools if necessary? Perhaps. Your tool might underperform in a shop that is inadequate. You can rely on SEA-LECT Plastics to assist you in recovering an injection mold tool from overseas using our proven injection mold recovery service.