Sometimes, in order to produce a part, special tooling has to be made. Tooling in production generally refers to things like fixtures, jigs, gauges, molds, dies, and cutting equipment. Most of the time, tooling that is separated from unit costs comes from a mold.

Using Molds in Production

Many metal and plastic parts can be made using a mold. Plastic parts can be made using an injection mold. Metal parts can sometimes be made using casting or forging, where heated metal is shaped into a mold or die cast. They can be an alternate form of production to methods such as machining. Some parts will have to be made using a mold.

Why to use a Mold?

Molds are excellent at producing high quantities of parts quickly. After the mold is completed, production times are usually shorter than other forms of manufacturing.

Less labor time means cheaper cost per part. Although there is a higher initial cost to produce the mold, it will be more economically beneficial over time.

Ownership of the Mold

This is something you might want to check with your supplier on who owns the mold.

Just because you own the mold, however, doesn’t mean you can use it wherever you want. Chinese molds are often incompatible with American machinery, and vice versa. In many cases, Chinese molds are not compatible with other Chinese factories, meaning that if you have a falling out with a factory, there is no guarantee another factory will be able to use the mold. If your project requires a mold you should keep in mind that it may be difficult to transfer that mold to another factory that can use it. If you are having a problem with a supplier and have invested heavily in a mold, more often than not it is better to try to resolve the issue with the supplier rather than try and shop around for a factory that might be able to use the mold.

How Long Does Mold Production Take?

Making a mold is much more involved than you might think. For one thing, the tolerances needed to make a mold tend to be very tight. Molds have to be tested and sometimes, if parts don’t come out correctly, they need to be reworked or in more severe cases completely remade. Molds can take anywhere from 30 days to 120 days to complete depending on the complexity of the part. There are also other factors that affect how long it can take such whether the mold is a single cavity or multiple cavity mold. The number of cavities determine how many parts the mold can make at once.

What is Needed for Tooling?

You need completed designs.

Factories are experts in production, so they will know what type of tooling will be best for which project. It is extremely important you get your designs prototyped and tested before moving forward with a production order. Having to replace tooling due to changes in the design can get costly.

Leverage Experience for Success in Production

At Global Trade Specialists, we can help you get your product produced with the correct tooling for the job. When you order with us, you retain ownership of all molds. We have decades of experience helping our customers get their parts made successfully.

Contact us with your project to see if we can help you.