It seems understandable to think of large amounts of money when you speak of plastic manufacturing whether in terms of profits or losses. It is because this type of business is always associated with large scale manufacturing involving complex production methods happening only in factories and facilitated by industry professionals. However, the plastic industry has gone a long way over the years and the assumption towards plastic business is no longer the same.
More and more small businesses have joined the industry and thrived with more small-scale plastic manufacturing ventures. The availability of the internet made it possible for small up to mid-sized businesses to gain knowledge of plastic manufacturing and apply it on their ventures. It is no longer a business option limited to major companies and large-scale corporations. The industry has blown up into a major player in the world of manufacturing due to various business sizes.
If you are one of those who are interested in starting a plastic manufacturing business, one of your first questions has to be “how do you make cheap molds?” Molds are an integral part of plastic manufacturing and serve as the driving force behind plastic production. A plastic mold is a hollow tube or block which is injected with molten plastic to fabricate plastic parts according to the shape of the mold. The process itself is referred to as plastic injection molding.
Price of Plastic Molds
A big percentage of your business capital in a plastic venture goes to your plastic molds. Actual plastic material does not really cost much but the molds from where they are carved from are quite expensive. Getting away with cheap plastic molds creation is always a top priority for any plastic entrepreneur. Keep in mind the production cost goes up if you intend to produce in higher quantities but it can also be costly if you go with low quantities due to the manufacturer’s conditions. Going for affordable molds creation is a must for a plastic business.
Plastic molds are usually made of either aluminum or stainless steel. Depending on the plastic part design, there are different grades of steel that can qualify for the plastic part requirements. Plastic parts that can afford low tolerance can get away with softer steels for its plastic mold while high tolerance plastic parts cannot afford softer steels because of its tendency to break the mold during the injection process.
My first tip on how do you make cheap molds is to come up with simple yet necessary designs of your plastic parts. If your designs get too technical then the steel carving requirements also go up which means your plastic injection molding company has to purchase harder steels for your molds. Stick to making basic plastic products while you are still starting out. You may end up being out of your budget if you start with ambitious plastic parts right off the bat.
The most common mold out there to create simple plastic parts is the straight-pull mold. It is a 2-part mold held together by a metal clamp or hydraulic pressure while plastic material is injected on its central part. Once the molten plastic has cooled, the manufacturer can right away pull away from the plastic part from the mold. The straight-pull mold is perfect for plastic parts with basic shapes. However, you can also choose to add intricacies by putting cams or slides to create openings in the sides of the parts and come up with a bit complex design compared to a straightforward regular plastic part.
My second tip on how do you make cheap molds is to outsource the production of your plastic parts to Asian countries particularly China. If you intend to be a part of the plastic manufacturing industry, you should already know that China is the biggest manufacturing powerhouse all around the world. This is not only because they are experts in manufacturing but they also come with the cheapest rates which include plastic molds creation. Manufacturing in the US and other Western countries is too costly considering the overhead, materials expenses, and especially labor cost.
The Key to Cheap Molds is Practicality
As a startup entrepreneur in the world of plastics, it is advisable to produce simple plastic designs at first for you to test the waters of this type of business and more importantly, keep you mold expenses at a minimum. Consider upgrading your designs in terms of complexities later on once you are already familiar with plastic production processes. Outsource your manufacturing operations to China and be able to save lots of dollars compared to manufacturing in the US. You do not only save from molds expenses but reduce your total manufacturing costs working with plastic manufactures in general.