Plastic injection molding is a highly popular technique when it comes to creating plastic parts for different applications.
For those looking for a manufacturer, one of the most common questions is, “How much will the plastic injection molding cost?” It is also not uncommon to question about ways to reduce the overall cost of the project.
However, the answer is often not so simple. This is because plastic injection molding projects vary in complexity, design, material choice and sustainability issues. It is because of these factors that the quotes for each plastic injection molding project also differs.
Understanding the factors that contribute to the plastic injection molding costs is important to get an idea of the investment required as well as plan on steps to reduce the cost.
Factors that affect the cost of plastic injection molding
Following are the key factors that affect plastic injection molding costs:
Each plastic mold differs in its design and complexity. A detailed work requires designing mold cavities, adding cooling lines, applying the surface finish, etc. Additionally, the work involves integrating various parts to create a functional one.
All of the aforementioned elements contribute to the overall plastic injection molding cost. The more complex the mold design, the higher the cost.
Quality and Sustainability
Plastic injection molding in every country is carried out to comply with certain performance standards. Whether it is about choosing the quality of plastic resins or choosing quality metals for making molds, there are standards for all steps of the process.
However, with growing competition, various manufacturers compromise on the design using cheap materials that do not meet the tolerance standards. This can ultimately lead to products that are less costly to manufacture but have low durability.
It is hence important to choose your manufacturer carefully. Most leading manufacturers use stainless steel molds for creating cavities which allow for the creation of products of higher sustainability and quality.
During the process of plastic injection molding, there is often the need to go through multiple subtle or large scale changes to create an optimized product. Design refinement is done by molding injection designer to get better output within each molding cycle.
This further helps in maximizing mold efficiency which helps in increasing the overall profits. Choosing a good manufacturer that has an expert team of designers is important to get good returns on the investment.
Top 5 ways to reduce plastic injection molding costs
It is necessary for both plastic injection molding manufacturers and business owners to keep researching ways to refine the production process in order to reduce unnecessary costs.
It can be extremely hard to cut costs while keeping the quality of the product intact. This is especially true for complex parts that have intricate design features and multiple color requirements. However, it is still possible to optimize a few steps to reduce the overall costs.
Here’s a list of few tips that can help shave off some of your plastic injection molding costs:
1. Improve efficiency
Multiple simple steps can help you maximize efficiency. Plastic injection molding is a multi-step process, including mold designing, prototyping, injection molding, production, finish, etc.
Using the best practices in designing and optimizing all other steps can help you make the entire project cost-efficient. Additionally, choosing local manufacturers helps reduce the overall lead time and cuts on costs like shipping.
Optimizing each step of the production cycle individually is a definite way to cut costs.
2. Design Modifications
Various design modifications could be included to reduce the overall cost of the part being produced. Sit with the plastic injection designer and consider your design options. Simple solutions like using a hollow section instead of a solid part (where it is not necessary in terms of application) can help reduce the overall cost.
The lesser the amount of material being used, the lesser is the overall cost of the produced plastic part. However, design modifications should always be made without losing the overall structural integrity of the product.
3. Material selection
A big chunk of the plastic injection molding costs is taken up by the type of plastic resin /material being used. Each resin has a different cost associated with it.
Before deciding on a particular plastic resin for your product, consider the application of the plastic part. Evaluate the necessary features that you need within the part to get optimal functionality. Next, see if you can achieve it with a lower-end plastic resin. Sometimes, lower-end polymers along with some fillers and additives work equally well as a higher-end material.
Weigh your options carefully. Consider the cost of resins being used along with the additives that are needed. It is important to understand that some special additives can also raise the cost of your part. Look for the most viable solution that ensures the quality of the product and is yet the most cost-efficient way out.
4. Minimize customizations
Various products have different customization/ decoration needs like surface texture, color dyes, stamping, use of lasers, and other aesthetic requirements.
Needless to say, the lesser the number of customizations required in the molded part, the more you save on costs. It is hence important to carefully consider the requirement of each aesthetic finish before getting it implemented in the project. Cutting down on these aspects is an easy way to reduce the overall project cost.
5. Use Family Molds
One of the simplest ways to reduce the plastic injection molding cost per part is to increase the volume of parts being produced. Creating a family mold that fits in multiple parts in one go saves both time and effort and is hence very cost-effective.
However, using a family mold can only happen for parts that are relatively the same size. Additionally, for parts that are highly complex in design, it is often advisable to go for single molds rather than family molds to maintain the overall quality of the product.
The higher the parts being produced by a single mold, the faster is the production speed. This also means that the mold needs to go through lesser cycles which helps in maximizing efficiency.
It is important to understand the finance spent on various tasks within injection molding (designing, tooling, prototyping, finish, and production) are an investment that you’re making. While it is true that this investment is going to constitute the largest share of your overall project budget, it is also the most important aspects of the project’s success.
Walking the thin line between cost optimization and quality needs some careful considerations. Ensure that your cost cutting strategies do not affect the overall quality of the finished product.