What is Total Cost of Ownership for an Injection Mold

Because the purchase price of an injection mold, naturally is the first thing that comes to mind, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact that a purchase can have on your business. 

When you consider Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), you include the purchase's influence on

1. Customer Satisfaction and user experience

2. The development cost.  Engineering, quality training and implementation required.

3. The total cost of performance in production – quality, timing and maintenance

4. Logistical issues and cost.

Using Total Cost of Ownership throughout the purchasing process requires more measurement and data analysis, but will put you in a better position to drive real value to the bottom line. 

Injection Mold Purchase Considerations for Decision Makers

Before purchase: Knowing the timing needed, the vendors you are considering and the readiness of your team will impact your business. Understanding and quantifying these elements makes it easier to make smarter buying decisions.

After purchase: Make sure that the savings you've secured are not undermined by poor implementation or quality.  Track those costs from the supplier and your team.  Value the time lost plus the overtime required to recover underperformance. Tracking this stage ensures that the supplier and your team are both delivering on what was agreed to. The data also eliminates emotion through real quantifiers that can be fed into the next purchase decision.

After production and product release: Show how the entire value of the purchase was considered rather than just “the purchase price of the part was reduced”. 

How to Reduce Total Cost Output when Purchasing Injection Molds

Obviously there is much more to total cost output evaluation than first meets the eye when planning your purchase of injection molds. Other evaluations necessary include:

• Part size: larger parts mean larger molds, resulting in greater material cost

• Part design: complex part designs may require elaborate mold designs which generally increase the mold cost.

• Material of Part:  if the material is corrosive, requires high mold temperatures or molding pressures or contains abrasive materials such as glass the cost of the tool increases.  These factors also impact the maintenance cost of the mold.

• Tight tolerance parts: Will increase costs due to accommodations made for the manufacturing and maintenance of the injection mold.

• Cycle time: To achieve faster cycle times the tool will need uniform cooling throughout the cavity details, this requires a well –designed tool and higher precision injection mold, both which increase the initial tooling cost.

• Gate location: proper gate location is critical to part quality.  The use of a hot manifold system significantly increases the tool price but frequently lowers the part price.

• Manufacturing country: cost and tool quality vary by country. Lower cost tools usually have bigger issues and challenges than higher quality tools

How Do Designs Impact Design Implementation, Manufacturability

When choosing an injection molder - it is also critical never to engage in a price race to the bottom. The lowest cost molder may not be the best way to reduce molding costs. To the contrary - understanding how to run and maintain the mold at the highest levels of efficiency have much more to do with the effectiveness of your results on cost.

This means that design quality and implementation of part design plays a critical role in the manufacturability and cost effectiveness of the part to be produced. Other issues that play a role in cost considerations also include:

Cavitation: repeatability is critical when it comes to part conformance.

Identification of quality mold maintenance practices: understanding your tooling needs and how these are affected during maintenance will also dramatically affect your quality control, cycle timing and part conformance.

Manufacturing is hugely impacted by maintenance processes and schedules. Many companies fail to relate cost effectiveness to the quality produced by efficient and effective maintenance processes for their injection molds.

Utilizing the experience and knowledge gathered from trend setting companies in the injection molding markets is a fast track to avoiding some of the most critical, costly and common mistakes for the plastic injection molding industry.

To this end, Crescent Industries has been at the forefront of demonstrating how to maintain efficiency and effectiveness for quality results when it comes to building, operating and maintaining your plastic injection molds.

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