What are tips to help control costs for large plastic parts?
- Analyze production for efficiency
- Consider possible design modifications
- Reconsider your resin selection
- Evaluate your customizations
- Revisit your mold design
- Utilize family molds
Both injection molding companies and those looking to make plastic products need to keep finding ways to refine production while cutting down on unnecessary costs.
This can be extremely hard to do, especially when you’re trying to create high-quality large plastic parts. But, however difficult it may be, it is still possible, especially when you have a molding company like Richfields to help you.
Here are our top tips to control costs for large plastic parts to help you optimize your project budget:
Why cost can be an issue with large plastic parts
The reason behind this is simple — the larger your part is, the more material it tends to have. So, your project will need to spend more on resins to create the plastic products you want.
Aside from material costs, large parts also have increased production costs. This is because large parts drive up cycle time. Their molds are bigger, which means it takes longer for the resin to fill it up. And, larger amounts of resin need more time to settle and cool within the mold.
That said, there are a few ways to cut back on your project costs and improve production, such as:
Analyze production for efficiency
There are many steps to plastic injection molding, which include processes like mold designing, prototyping, testing, production, finishing, packaging, etc.
Using the best practices in each step will help you optimize your production, and make the entire project more cost-efficient. So, take the time to analyze your production for possible inefficiencies.
Working with a local US injection molder — like Richfields — will also help you cut back on lead time and costs concerning shipping or delays.
Consider possible design modifications
During the process of making your large plastic parts, there may be times when you need to consider (and implement) small or big changes to optimize your product design.
Redesigning or design modifications do a lot in terms of optimizing material use and improving product outputs in each molding cycle. So, it would be a good idea to run through your current design with our engineers to see what changes can be made.
For example, we could replace a solid section with a hollow one, supported with strategically placed inserts. This allows you to retain the large size of your part and reduce resin usage, without sacrificing structural integrity. This particular modification can also create a lighter product, which will save you money later on in terms of shipping and storage.
As you can see, various design modifications should be considered with your team. Even simple solutions can help reduce the overall costs of your large plastic parts.
Reconsider your resin selection
A big portion of your costs will come from your resin usage. This is why resin selection is an important aspect of cost optimization. Each resin available to you will have a different price tag on it — so reconsidering your selection may pay off.
Ask yourself if you can work with a simpler resin, or with fewer additives — you don’t always have to go for high-tech engineering plastics if your application doesn’t call for it. Try selecting a resin that, at minimum, meets your most important requirements. Using the simplest yet most viable resin from the bunch can do a lot in terms of cutting costs.
Evaluate your customizations
It seems obvious, but the more customizations you have in your part design — such as surface texture, stamps, embossed features, color dyes, and the like — the more your part costs rack up.
So, it’s important to consider whether these customizations are needed for your large plastic parts. That isn’t to say that you should do away with the aesthetic appeal of your part — you just need to weigh their value against their costs. Note that the extra material and labor required per part will cut deeply into your profit margin.
If your large plastic part needs such features for its application or to appeal to your target market, then they can be kept. Otherwise, it may do you good to remove them to help reduce the overall project cost. This is one of the easiest ways to trim the fat, so to speak.
Revisit your mold design
Your mold needs to be intelligently designed to not only meet your part requirements but also make the most out of material and production expenses.
How your part flows into, cools, and is positioned within the mold has a significant impact on its cost. Proper positioning will optimize how the resin fills up the mold, and reduce how much scrap is produced. This directly cuts back on material costs.
Good mold design should also account for how your part comes out — specifically, that your large parts will not be damaged during ejection, and the risk of surface defects is decreased.
Utilize family molds
One of the best ways to lower the cost per part is by utilizing molds that can accommodate more components — i.e., family molds.
These types of molds fit multiple parts together and can do this for any components that are relatively similar in size and material. The more components you can fit in your family mold, the more you cut back on production speed and cycle times — resulting in more efficient production.
However, not all large part designs can be achieved with a family mold. This is why working with a molder with this expertise — such as Richfields — is so important. Our team will be able to figure out which parts can be made with such a mold, and how to further optimize your design to allow the use of family molds. We can do these modifications all while maintaining the overall quality of your large plastic products.
Finances (and keeping within budget) are important with any injection molding project — especially when it comes to large plastic parts. Using our tips to control costs for large plastic parts should help you manage this important aspect of your project and your product’s success.
Working with Richfields will ensure that you get the best practices and cost-cutting strategies you can get in the industry — all without sacrificing product quality. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and how we can help you with your large plastic part.