9 Questions to Ask BEFORE Selecting a Plastic Injection Molding Partner
Are you looking for a custom plastic injection molding partner? Are you frustrated with your existing injection mold builder because your precision parts are failing or have been out of tolerance? Or are you considering other options to ensure you’re getting the highest quality custom tools and parts?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, this article is for you! We’ve compiled a list of questions you should be asking when talking with prospective plastic injection molding companies in Ohio, or across the country.
Before you select another company for your plastic injection molding needs, be sure to ask these nine questions:
1. What type of molds do you build?
We have talked about this in our post “Do You Have Experience in My Industry?” And we stand by our thoughts in that article that specific industry experience is not a make or break issue; however, we do believe that a good plastic injection mold builder should be able to show you a variety of molds that are in action and effectively producing the type of tight tolerance parts you’re looking for.
2. What is your capacity?
While size isn’t everything, it is important to know what a custom injection molding tool builder can produce - in terms of the size of parts, the size of the tools, and the quantity and speed at which it can produce those precision parts.
Another important element related to capacity is whether or not a company can both design/engineer a tool AND put that tool to work in order to produce the parts. The efficiencies of a one-stop-shop for custom tool design and plastic injection molding production should not be underestimated.
3. What is your process?
We also cover this in another blog post, “What Is Your Process for Precision Plastic Parts & Tooling?” In that post we share our own process, but we also point out the impact a solid system can have on the quality of your end product. If there’s not a process that can be clearly stated - even shown - to you, then there’s not a process at all!
4. Do you use engineered plastics or commodity grade materials?
Depending on the part you’re producing, low quality materials may serve you just fine. But, if quality is important to you, be sure to ask about the type of plastics that an injection molding company will use for your parts. The difference between a high-quality engineered plastic material and a commodity grade material is significant.
5. How old is your equipment? And is it automated?
There are some great machines out there that may be 10, 15 or even 20 years old; however, the age and condition of plastic injection molding equipment can make an impact on the quality of parts that machine can produce. Many of the older machines also don’t offer the level of automation available on newer machines. There is not a “right” or “wrong” answer here; just make sure you know what you’re getting into.
6. Do you have RJG capabilities?
RJG sensors let us know exactly what’s going on inside the mold. These sensors measure the cavity pressure from start to finish and help guarantee that good parts are coming out of the mold. As with some of the other things on this list, RJG is not a do or die issue; however, it’s just one more element to ensure the highest possible quality for your high tolerance parts.
7. What is your quality plan?
When it comes to tight or high tolerance parts, quality is everything. When discussing your project with a plastic injection molding company, as for their quality plan. This should involve several steps to ensure quality throughout the process, as well as a final quality control review.
8. Do you have an inspection lab?
Related to the quality plan mentioned above, ask if they have an inspection lab on site. Part of the quality control process is an official inspection to ensure the precision specs are met for your high tolerance parts. If there is no on-site inspection lab, they either have to send a part out for final inspection or they don’t bother with this important step in the process. Either way, you will ultimately be losing quality and time.
9. Is your company ISO certified?
To reiterate point #3 above, having a detailed process is vital. When a plastic injection molding company is ISO certified, that means the methods and systems are in place and have been proven to be active in the operations of that company. This is one more thing to give you peace of mind when selecting an injection mold and custom tool builder.
Are you working on a project right now and have questions?
Let’s start by having a quick conversation. You can contact us today or go ahead and formally request a quote.