What are ways to lower my injection molding costs in the USA?
- Find a resin with flexible molding specifications
- Stick to a lean design
- Remove unnecessary features
- Design for manufacturability
- Use efficient mold designs
- Modify your old molds
- Make the most of family molds
When taking on an injection molding project, many businesses look for more ways to save money on the parts they’re having made. Making plastic parts can be much more cost-efficient than manufacturing with other materials. While high-quality products require significant investment from your company, there are a few tips and tricks you can take with your design and processes to reduce your expenses. Let’s take a look at the seven ways to lower injection molding costs in the USA.
Find a Resin with Flexible Molding Specifications
When designing your plastic parts, your team has to choose the right resin to meet your project requirements. Characteristics like durability, heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and more vary from resin to resin. As such, there are a lot of factors to consider before a resin is chosen.
One factor that is rarely taken into consideration during this time is how wide of a molding specification the resin has. In the USA, and working with a credible supplier, you’ll have access to a wide variety of resins that would normally be difficult to source. If you choose a resin with a wide molding specification, then it’s far more flexible and easier to mold than low-spec resins. Overall, this reduces scraps and the need for extra rework.
Stick to a Lean Design
Design as lean as possible. Your design should still be able to accomplish your end goal, but with as little excess material as possible.
Plastic can retain its structural integrity and durability despite its parts being smaller and lighter. By using a lean design, you cut back on unnecessarily large pieces and features without sacrificing part integrity. As a result, you can avoid additional material costs. Additionally, sticking to a lean design will also drive down your cycle time, as there is less time needed for molding and cooling per part.
Remove Unnecessary Features
In line with using a lean design, you should also remove any unnecessary features from your product. While you shouldn’t skimp on important features or cosmetics — such as a company logo or product colors — this doesn’t mean your product will benefit from every additional design you can think of either.
Weigh each aesthetically pleasing addition with the extra effort required for the molding process, and how that affects your profit margin. If it doesn’t add meaningful value to your product, you’re probably better off cutting it from the design.
Design for Manufacturability
When we say design for manufacturability in the injection molding industry, we are referring to a thorough analysis of the design and resin for your project. By using a design for manufacturability analysis, you can identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement in your plastic parts.
Experienced injection molding companies in the USA will be able to do this analysis efficiently and thoroughly using advanced technology and software. This will identify problems such as impossible geometries, insufficient draft angles, and problematic features early on in the process. By doing so, this analysis can help eliminate costly mistakes before they happen.
Use Efficient Mold Designs
You can also save money by partnering with an injection molding company in the USA that can create more efficient mold designs for your project. Injection molding costs are based on the tools, materials, and machines that are used to make each part. This can be reduced by using mold designs that are intelligently made, and cut out the need for additional machining. This can also lower costs by lessening the amount of scrap material produced.
Good mold designs can remove the need for sprues and runners in the injection molding machine while ensuring correct part positioning. With this, the need for additional tools is no longer needed. Another way that efficient mold designs help reduce costs is that they ensure the resin stays intact during the injection process. As a result, there is little possibility of error or damage to the end product and the mold itself.
Modify Your Old Molds
Another way of saving costs in your injection molding project in the USA is to modify and reuse your old molds. Generally, injection molds are supposed to be custom-made to a specific part. However, instead of creating an entirely new mold for every part of your product, consider how you can revise or reuse your old molds for new purposes.
By designing new tool inserts, you can make various features from the same molds. MUD tooling, another modification popular in the USA, involves the production of a small mold that is wrapped around by the existing base. This method of modification can be extremely useful for small variations in your parts. Using this, you can save costs as it requires less tooling and less investment than creating a new mold. These methods can be preferable to cutting multiple tools for one project and can help save significant costs.
Make the Most of Family Molds
Another way to reduce your plastic injection molding costs in the USA is to make use of “family molds.” These are molds that can create multiple parts of a product at once. Depending on part similarity, the chosen resin, and the part’s processing requirements, you can design a mold to have more than one part cavity. While the initial cost of creating this mold might be higher than a regular mold, it can save more costs per part — especially in high-volume productions.
Injection molding might seem like it is a complicated process without much room for adjustment. However, if you want to reduce the costs of manufacturing your project, then follow these seven ways to lower plastic injection molding costs in the USA. Putting these steps into action is possible with a team of highly talented designers and engineers, like our team at Richfield’s. Contact us to learn more about how we can streamline your project, and create the most value for your company today!