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We are blessed to be living in the age of information. Whether it’s historical publications, how-to videos, scientific data, conspiracy theories, or suppliers for a product you’re looking for, most people in America have it all at their fingertips.
Unfortunately, this can also be a curse and create “decision constipation” for some. So, the question becomes, “how do you wade through it all?” The same question arises when you go to find a suitable supplier for your plastic part.
When narrowing down injection molding companies, here are a few tips that can help you decide:
Is the injection molding company knowledgeable?
Do they have information that applies to your project? Are they forthcoming with that information, and what kind of impression do they leave in terms of their ability to produce what you need? Injection molding is a complex process and the company you choose should have plenty of resources to help you create the best plastic part possible.
What kind of customer service can you expect from injection molding companies?
Do they answer the phone? Do they reply to emails timely? Are they willing to take the time to understand your needs such as your products application, market, potential sales volume, and the image you want your product to convey? What is their customer retention rate?
If you have a bad first impression, don’t expect the second to be much better!
How experienced is your potential partner?
How long have they been in business? Are their engineers versed in injection molding? Have they demonstrated overcoming difficult challenges?
A good injection mold company will have been around for at least a decade.
Is the injection molding company honest?
Do they give an honest appraisal of your product, or do they seem to promise a lot without having fully grasped your goals? If their price seems too low to be true, there is probably a reason. Perhaps they use inferior materials. Or worse, they might intend on raising prices once they have you as a customer, which is common practice.
Does the company provide referrals?
Are they willing to give you the contact information of previous or current customers? If so, the questions listed above are good ones to ask their referrals.
What kind of guarantees does the company offer?
Do they provide a guarantee on the molds they build? What about the parts? Will they stand behind the products they produce if they don’t match specifications or there is a problem in the workmanship?
Molds represent a significant investment. The cost of a mold can range between $1,000 and $100,000. Make sure you can count on the company to deliver!
Does the company have the technical ability to complete the project?
Not all molders can mold all products.
As a rule of thumb, it requires 3 or more tons of clamping pressure per square inch of footprint that your product has. This is exclusive of any holes in that footprint. For instance, if you wanted to mold an 8″x10″ picture frame you would not need a 240 ton machine (80×3), you would subtract the center hole from the equation. Also, if your product has any inserts, a threaded brass insert for example, make sure the injection molding company has the ability to mold it in cycle or insert it later as a secondary operation. Lastly, do they maintain their dryers and properly dry the raw materials they use? That is a common oversight that can lead to brittle material and failing parts.
Product development can be a long and expensive process, and the importance of having the right partner can mean the difference in a product succeeding or failing. At Rex Plastics we encourage all of our potential customers to ask lots of questions and strongly suggest that they perform due diligence to ensure their projects are successful.
Choosing injection molding companies can be as important as choosing marketers, operations managers, and distributors. Hopefully, these tips will help streamline the process and prevent any unnecessary “decision constipation.”
Rex Plastics: A Pacific Northwest injection molding company
Ever since Rex Plastics opened its doors in 1971, we’ve operated by some simple principles laid down by the founder Rex Clark. Put the customer first. Improve constantly. Always offer your best. Innovate and stay restless. Those values make a difference, and we invite you to see how we put them into action on a daily basis. Call us, or simply email and request a quote.
We look forward to helping you navigate your manufacturing challenges!