When you've obtained a number of quotes from different plastic injection moulders, it can be hard to compare them effectively through different quote layouts and small print. Here are the core things to look out for.
Price comparison - To ensure the other quotes are really like for like, check :-
1. Which material will the moulders use for the injection mould tool ?
There are 3 main types: Cast aluminium tools (not offered by Toolcraft) that aren't meant to last more than a few hundred mouldings; Aluminium Alloy tools (QC7 or equivalent) are marginally more expensive but we guarantee them for at least 30,000 mouldings; Steel tools are the most expensive, but typically last between 300,000 and a million mouldings, depending on the project.
2. How many mouldings-per-shot will the injection mould tool make ?
A mould tool that makes more mouldings per shot (also called the number of impressions, or cavities) will be more expensive, but the moulding costs will be much cheaper. Try to forecast your requirements accurately. If the tool exists already, make sure you've given the moulders the correct number of impressions to base their quote on.
3. What plastic material will the mouldings be made from ?
Different plastic materials can result in very different quotes, so make very sure all moulders have quoted the same.
Small print comparison ! To avoid costly surprises, check :-
4. If your quote includes a thermoplastic injection mould tool, will you own the tool once it is made ?
You should own the tooling outright, otherwise the plastic moulder may be able to mould from your tool for a different customer. Some moulders quote for an insert-only mould tool without telling you. If you then want to take the mould tool to another moulder, the tool will need to be adapted. Toolcraft's insert-only tooling option is a very cost-effective option, but we will tell you clearly what we've quoted for.
5. Does the moulder tie you in to a minimum yearly order quantity, or charge for tool storage ?
Some overseas plastic injection moulders insist on a minimum quantity and will dispose of your tooling if you don't order that. They may also charge for tool storage. We treat your tool with protective spray before storing it securely with a unique I.D. - it won't get lost. We'll advise you if any toolwork is needed, so that the work can be carried out before the next run.
6. Does the moulder offer a stock holding facility ?
We are happy for you to order a year's worth of stock, calling this up in multiple batches over a period of 6 months. That way you can benefit from cost-savings on polymers and setup charges.
Beyond price comparisons
A good supplier should be a strategic business partner. Before you select your plastic injection moulder based on price only, think about some other things.
7. Does the injection moulder offer quality standards & guarantees ?
Toolcraft have BS EN ISO 9001:2008 for our moulding service & we guarantee the quality of your mould tool – also when it's made by our long-standing Chinese partner.
8. Can they ensure production continuity ?
Toolcraft have on-site toolmaking & maintenance facilities, as well as experienced designers. We can quickly get your tool back into action if any issues arise.
9. Does the plastic moulder offer finishing services ?
We offer secondary operations like CNC machining & ultrasonic welding; assembly & packaging; pad & hot foil printing; electroplating & painting – providing a great service & reducing manufacturing time.