What are the main questions you need to ask before looking for an injection moulding tooling quote?

Are you looking to mass produce a product or looking at converting your product from metal to plastic? Then it is likely that you areĀ  considering plastic injection moulding. Before you even speak to a tool maker or moulder, there are several questions that will need to be answered. This will ensure that you have the smoothest process possible.

Do you have CAD drawings of the product you are looking to have made?

This is one of the first things a toolmaker will ask for to be able to quote for the tooling. We receive a number of enquiries every year from potential customers where they have an idea, but have not had drawings done.

Consequently, without a CAD drawing, it is not easy to tell whether a product would be able to be moulded or not. A drawing could show potential issues with a product being released from the tool. It could show where a product could be cored out to make it a stronger part and reduce cycle times.

What is the end use of the product?

All materials have different properties. So, you need to know exactly what your product needs to choose the correct one. It could be that your product is going to be outdoors all the time. Therefore, it would need a material that is UV stabilised. Alternatively, your product may need to be able to withstand impact. So, you may need a material with an impact modifier added.

What quantity is needed?

The quantity of how many products you are expecting to use, or sell is very important. This will determine several factors when it comes to making the tool.

1. Type of Tool

Firstly, knowing the quantity can help decide between making a single impression tool, or a multi-impression tool. If you are only looking at purchasing a couple of thousand parts a year, then a single impression would probably be ample. But, if you are looking to mass produce a plastic product and order tens or hundreds of thousands of parts, then you are going to want a multi-impression tool.

2. Type of Material

Secondly, the quantity can also affect what material is used to make the tool. Lower quantities might be able to get away with having an aluminium tool. This will generally deteriorate much quicker than a steel tool. But, it can all depend on what material the tool will be moulding, and how the tool is looked after. We would not recommend going for an aluminium tool if your product needs to be made out of a glass filled material as the glass will wear away the gates.

3. Type of Gate

Finally, you need to decide on what type of gate you want on the product. Smaller quantities might be able to get away with a tab gate. This would require either an operator or robot to cut the sprue away from the moulding. Larger quantities would more than likely go for a sub gate, where the sprue breaks away from the moulding as it is ejected from the tool, or a hot runner tool where there is no sprue at all.

How big is the part, and how complex is it?

Simply put, the more complex the part design, the more expensive the tooling will be. If there are lots of areas that need sliding cores to create a void, or you need a thread creating, then these are going to increase the price of the tool considerably.

We would also need to know the size and weight of the part. This will decide which moulding machine the tool would be best suited to. If you have a small part that is running on a machine that is too big for it, you could end up with issues when it comes to moulding it. When the material sits in the barrel for too long at a high temperature, it could change the properties of the material making it unsuitable for the product.

Get in Touch for Your Injection Moulding Tooling Quote!

If you would like any help in the design process of your products, or if you are having issues products from your current supplier, please get in touch. Our team at Plastic Supplies Dudley Ltd takes immense pride in our proficiency in offering high-grade moulding services to different sectors, along with supplying exceptional automotive refinishing products.

Our team at Plastic Supplies Dudley Ltd would be happy to help with any enquiries you have. Call us on 01384 77569, or email us at info@plasticsuppliesdudley.co.uk.

Furthermore, if you found this blog on your injection moulding tooling quote useful, check out a previous one: Plastic Injection Moulding Defects