If your company has particular components that it uses within its own finished products, it has probably relied on the services of a contract custom injection mold manufacturer to provide specific plastic parts or modules. In some cases, these arrangements are lucrative for the manufacturer while providing your business with precision engineered components that meet your high standards.
Sometimes, however, you have to terminate the contract because the fabrication company proves to be unreliable. Late deliveries, missed deadlines, sub-par quality or even unfortunate problems at the plant can all leave your own company in the lurch if the manufacturer can't or won't make good on its promises. If you have to shop around for a new custom injection mold manufacturer, there are five characteristics you should look for:
While you probably have your own engineers, it's always best to work with a contract manufacturing company that has their own in-house engineers who can work with you to develop or improve a prototype for each component you need. These experts can suggest alternative methods of fabrication and offer design assistance so that you end up with a high quality product every time. They are also invaluable as trouble-shooters in the event there is a problem during manufacture, minimizing down time and ensuring your production run won't be delayed any longer than absolutely necessary.
Perhaps your company needs an injection molded component for your current project, but can the same manufacturer that's currently providing those parts also produce the thermoset plastics or structural foam parts you'll need next year? While you could work with five different suppliers under five different contracts, it's simpler and more cost effective to get as many plastic components made by the same company as possible.
In a perfect world, you will never need a rush job or require additional shifts to meet product demand, but this isn't a perfect world. Your custom injection mold contractor should be able to routinely run three full shifts in the event that you need a rush job or have an unanticipated number of orders to fill. If your current manufacture runs only one shift, what will they be able to do for you when you need more components in less time?
Thermoplastics fabrication isn't an industry known for its exceptional customer service support, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with unanswered phone calls, lost messages or any other inconveniences that can slow down production and create problems through misunderstandings. Before you sign a contract with your new custom injection mold supplier, contact their customer service department. Did they answer the phone in a timely manner? Were they able to answer your questions or direct you to the right person to get an answer? Were they personable and pleasant?
No one wants to think about what they would happen if their custom injection mold supplier had an industrial accident, a fire or any other problem that would require shutting down the facility, but it can happen. The impact on your own production can be profound and costly. If the fabricating company has another facility, however, they can continue to supply you with the components you need by using a secondary facility and adding additional shifts.
If you find a custom injection mold fabricating company that meets all of the criteria above, your company will discover that their plastic component needs will always be met with best practices and excellent support in place.
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