The most profitable manufacturers are those who have a cost advantage over their competitors. Everybody wants to save money on production parts. This is because the lower the cost of production, the more affordable the part is and the more the profit realizable from the sale of those parts.
For injection molding molds, one of the most reliable ways to save costs is to increase the number of parts to be produced. Not only does this reduce your price per unit, it also helps to spread the fixed costs of production over the numerous units to be machined. At FirstPart, we can create up to 20,000 parts of your design from a single tool. But what if you only need a couple of units? FirstPart low-volume manufacturing services also makes provisions for small order quantities at affordable prices. Whether low or high volumes are required, here are a few tips on how to reduce the injection molding costs on your next project.
A. Consider your material
Materials vary in prices, properties and suitability. In addition to running a higher volume of production, consider the material to be used. First, ensure that there are no cheaper alternatives that house similar properties for the end-use.
Many plastic resins have similar attributes in functionality and durability. Some are easily moldable while others would need some pre-processing which may drive your cost upward. Picking the ideal material can help you save a significant amount of dollars especially when mass producing your parts.
B. Remove unnecessary features and aesthetics
At times, product developers will incorporate many aesthetics and features into the design that may be difficult to produce. Most times, these features do not add any functionality, and are simply mere aesthetics for beautifying the design. When looking to trim costs, textured surfaces, etched logos, dramatic curves and more may be something to consider.
To optimize your design, save time and consequently, save cost, remove all unnecessary details and features. Subtle markups such as numberings may be left but ensure that they do not go deeper than 0.015 inches and a font 20 size.
C. Use Family molds where possible
If you are going to be manufacturing multiple parts that will fit together, consider using a family mold that houses each individual parts together. This is a great and cheaper alternative if all the parts are made from plastic, have roughly the same dimensions and may all be put into the same cavity. This will help to lower tooling cost per piece and reduce potential post-molding (assembly) costs that may arise after production.
D. Reduce the extent of cosmetic finishes
There are a number of cosmetic finishes available for plastic injection molded parts. These techniques may range from EDM, high mold polishing or bead-blasting. And while these cosmetic finishes will deliver an exceptional level of visual and cosmetic appeal, they drive up tooling cost significantly.
Unless required for the job, try to settle for less expensive finishes that present a decent cosmetic appearance but nothing over the top. This is particularly true if you are still prototyping a part or produce low-volume quantities for user testing. Try to keep it simple.
E. Optimize your design using a DFM approach
If you have had a design specialist come up with the 3D projection of your product concept, consider speaking to a design expert or click here to request a free quote on how best to optimize your design.
Using DFM (Design for manufacturability), you get to identify potential issues that might arise during the production, the best dimensions for design, areas of improvement, impossible geometries and potential material optimization strategies. A DFM approach helps to save cost, reduce wastage and cut out unnecessary features that will take time and effort to manufacture.
When designing your part, consider some overmolding options. This basically involves the creation of your part from two different materials. When plastic parts are made using this technique, the output is a stronger product with improved finish and functionality.
Overmolding also removes secondary costs (such as assembly costs) and reduces the number of manufacturing steps involved in landing the part.
FirstPart Plastic Injection Molding Service in China
FirstPart offers high quality injection molding service for all your plastic part projects in China. We also offer low-volume manufacturing that serve small quantities from 50 to 10000 parts and produce for mass production. Our engineers are always available to advice on the best processes, materials and design optimization to ensure cost-savings and quick turnaround.