Central to a new product development program (NPD) is the budget, and exploring economic efficiencies often leads to a debate between offshoring and reshoring.
In most instances, overseas costs are particularly attractive compared to domestic production of custom injection-molded components for consumer applications.
However, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the world is functioning within a new normal. Bottom line decisions are no longer black-and-white as the pandemic complicates — and often upends — supply chains, adding project time and cost. Quickly, the offshore injection molding "bargain" becomes a candidate for reshoring.
Cycle time directly influences plastic part cost and capacities, so keeping it as low as possible is the overarching goal of engineers and project managers. When getting quotes from various injection molders for plastic parts, they may be confronted with divergent cycle time estimates, calling accuracy and the molder’s capabilities into question.
Controlling costs is a huge part of any project. Materials can be expensive, especially advanced or specially engineered resins, so you want to select the right plastic and get as much bang for your materials buck as you can. One way to do this is the proper use of plastic regrind.
OEMs regularly face an important decision: use a supplier from overseas or partner with a US-based supplier.
Why is this so important? Because if your supplier is somehow incapacitated and deliverables are delayed, your orders go partially or wholly unfulfilled. That has a negative ripple effect on your customers and your reputation. This is evident from Thomas' March Industrial Survey, which saw a reduced desire from US manufacturers to source internationally (43% in February to 34% in March), and increase in those looking to source from North American manufacturers (47% from 43%).
Custom injection molding projects are understandably focused on plastics selection. After all, the materials used to construct the parts have the greatest influence over quality and performance.
However, the grade of injection molding tool steel chosen for production also has a major impact on project outcomes. Cycle times, part criteria, production volume, cost, and maintenance expectations all must be factored in to align the steel with the need.
With the rise of electric vehicles, new technologies, and tougher fuel standards, the automotive industry is booming these days, and so is the plastics industry. With manufacturers looking to make lighter, less expensive components, while also installing new electronics and their housings, there have been numerous innovations involving plastic automotive parts and designs in 2020, and there are even more on the horizon.
How expensive is injection molding? It's a common question, and it's also deceptively simple. Any injection molder can quote you a price. Since you expect to pay for the service, it's not necessarily a matter of understanding if or even how much you'll invest injection molding.
Rather, knowing when to strategically invest in the process is key in managing the cost of injection molding to achieve exceptional outcomes.
Manufacturers are always looking for practical ways to streamline product design, engineering and production, which leads many to supplier consolidation.
This is particularly true in the case of custom injection molding, where working with a single injection molding supplier that possesses the expertise and capabilities to meet your needs reduces development time and associated costs, improves logistics, and optimizes processes.
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