Saving money while producing a high quality plastic or resin product or component is a balancing act. You do want to be as economical as possible so that you can turn a healthy profit, but you don't want to shave off dollars by using inferior materials or a faulty design. If you're currently contracting the actual production of your medical devices or other resin products to an experienced manufacturer, you should talk to them about their in-house engineers. These individuals can help you find a variety of ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality or reliability.
Despite your own company's expertise in the design and production of a product, your people probably aren't familiar with the specific tools, molds and assembly lines used by your contracted provider. If they offer in-house manufacturing engineering services, you can bet that they will be able to fine-tune processes and develop a viable way to trim costs based on their company's assembly lines, best practices and specific equipment. No one will have a better grasp of when and where time can be shaved off the production process without reducing the quality of the end product. They will also be able to quickly determine whether a particular production run can be scheduled for additional shifts based on the company's other contract obligations - information your own team of engineers won't have on hand.
Many small to medium sized businesses who use contract manufacturers also rely on third-party manufacturing engineering services to design a particular product based on the company's specs. But using an outside engineer can wind up costing your business a considerable amount of money if, once you've contracted a manufacturer for the actual production, the manufacturing company has to have their own engineers redesign your product for it to be executable in their facility.
Third-party engineering can also be expensive because they simply aren't as concerned with your budget as you are. They may make a prototype out of unnecessarily costly materials or present you with specs that aren't easily reproducible in large production runs. Be sure you take advantage of your contractor's manufacturing engineering services before starting production; they can take a look at your specifications or prototype and advise you of ways to reduce manufacturing costs, use recycled materials and take advantage of design changes that will make your product more effective while maintaining its durability. If you skip the middle man, you can take your product from design to prototype to market with your contracted partner without having to resort to an outside engineer.
Among the ways that your company can save money by taking advantage of manufacturing engineering services are:
Taking advantage of contract manufacturers' in-house manufacturing engineering services can also alleviate problems down the road. They can put a variety of controls into place that will ensure easy product run traceability for potential recalls and provide you with up-to-the-minute production records so that you don't have to hire someone to track processes for you.
When contracting with a resin or plastics manufacturer, be sure to ask whether they have their own design team capable of providing manufacturing engineering services. If they do, take full advantage of that expertise to improve your own company's bottom line.
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