What are the reasons to reshore your plastic injection molding?
- Improve supply chain flexibility
- Extensive design assistance
- Gain access to a skilled workforce
- better return on investment
Injection molding industry trends in the past few years have seen this manufacturing process be reshored to the original location. A primary driver behind this is the undeniable cost savings that companies can benefit from. While outsourcing has been a reliable arrangement, many of these same firms have started to look for reasons to reshore their plastic injection molding operations. This decision is a result of a number of factors, such as the economic situation, rising prices, maintaining design consistency, meeting project standards, and the like.
What is Reshoring?
If your firm is located in China, then the ideal situation is for you to choose a molding company in China because of the convenience. However, this is rarely the case, oftentimes, you will want to offshore your injection molding services to an outside firm that offers much cheaper prices.
Despite this cost advantage, companies have started looking to reshore not just plastic molding but also manufacturing. Reshoring is defined as the practice of returning such processes and services to the domestic level. In the situation above, reshoring involves you making the decision of transferring any outsourced injection molding, locally, as a way of reducing overall cost of products, limiting total cost of ownership, and the like.
Although this move may have a number of implications for companies, the idea is to make molding costs go down, while still maintaining high-quality standards on quality and consistency. Read on to learn more.
Improve Supply Chain Flexibility
The rule of thumb when it comes to coming up with an efficient supply chain model is to follow the “less is more” principle. Generally, offshoring molding production capabilities can greatly add more steps to the supply chain process, thereby decreasing level of efficiency, adding more communication channels, and limiting versatility.
For companies that have been previously outsourcing, they may already be aware of such challenges. A lack of clear communication leads to mistakes on product design, finish, or even level of production — be it low volume or high volume. This can drastically impact not just the relationships between the two firms, but also the capacity of the manufacturer to still meet the company’s demands.
This is where reshoring might bridge the gap between an adequate supply chain process and also reasonably-priced services. Reshoring allows firms to more easily access and collaborate with injection molding partners and facilitate close communication throughout every step of production.
Extensive Design Assistance
Most of the injection molding process starts with the development of a concept or prototype by a professional client. They will then source the designing and building of this idea to a capable plastic molder who, after all the pre-injection molding steps have been undertaken, will start creating a tooling die to build and assemble the parts.
The above situation, however simple as it may sound, will not always transpire seamlessly. There are cases wherein the manufacturing may take a wrong turn and lead to low-tolerance products that are in need of post-processing. This will lead to a back-and-forth between client and manufacturer regarding corrections that need to be made on the design, adjustments to the processes, and so on.
But with the extensive assistance offered in reshoring, all parties involved can focus on Design for Manufacturability (DFM). This means that the design input may come from different stages of the project, from the stakeholders, engineers, process managers, material suppliers, manufacturers, and the like. Reshoring makes it easier for companies to have this achieved early on in the process to constantly review molds, tooling dies, resins, and other elements of the molding process for better outcomes.
Gain Access To A Skilled Workforce
Another advantage that companies can take from reshoring is that it allows them to gain access to a skilled workforce to supervise their project. Especially when partnered with a domestic injection molding firm, these companies will be able to work with personnel that they can trust, effectively reducing supervision and micromanagement.
To add to that, domestic injection molding firms are likely more familiar with the nuances in creating the products reshored to them. It’s far easier to meet local quality standards, that are still in compliance with internationally-recognized standards, when exported internationally. Molding firms are trained to hire only adept engineers, project managers, machine operators, technicians, production supervisors, and many more. This ensures design consistency and minimal errors.
Better Return On Investment
Finally, reshoring injection molding brings about a better return on investment. When considering all such factors mentioned above, reshoring can speed up the lead times to a significant degree, reduce product defects, and speed up assembly and development.
Not only can companies focus on quality, but they can also shift attention towards quantity — mass production may now be possible, while anticipating expenses that may result from design, prototype development, engineering, marketing, sales.
If you’re a business involved in local trade, then you may want to think about the many reasons to reshore your plastic injection molding. Reshoring brings value throughout your production and assembly processes, as it improves flexibility, boosts ROI, allows access to skilled personnel, and kickstarts collaboration.
Richfields Plastics is a manufacturing company that has focused on injection molding to bring value to companies both local and domestic. Click here to learn more about our services and find out how we can help you with your injection molding needs.