Product Development Process

UNDERSTAND THE APPLICATIONClients should understand all of the application requirements for the part in advance: cosmetic, dimensional, functional and environmental. These requirements guide the part design and the material selection.The Typical Steps of Our Plastic Injection Molding Jobs
MATERIAL SELECTIONBased on the cosmetic, dimensional, functional and environmental requirements, we can assist in selecting the appropriate material. It is important to select the material before designing the part because different materials have different design guidelines.
PART DESIGN AND CAD CREATIONThe most economical and accurate way to build a mold is to design the part in a CAD program, which can be used to program the machines that make the mold. The file can also be used to create prototypes and to better understand the part, visually and functionally. We can help our customers create a CAD file.
QUOTE ON THE MOLDBased on the CAD file, we can provide a mold quote. Quoting the appropriate mold design is critical to producing a quality part at the lowest cost.
QUOTE ON THE PARTWe can provide a part quote based on CAD file, accompanied by a drawing with tolerances and quality specifications. The more detail we receive, the more accurate the quote will be.
PROTOTYPE PARTSThere are several methods of providing prototype parts, from simple machining parts to building a prototype mold. The method depends on how the customer plans to use the prototypes. We can provide the correct prototyping alternative(s) for you.
DOWN-PAYMENT FOR THE MOLDStandard practice in the industry is to require a down-payment, which ideally would arrive with the purchase order and final CAD file. Our terms are 50% with PO, 40% on delivery and 10% on approval. The down-payment covers the costs the moldmaker incurs in the first half of the mold building process. The 40% on delivery protects the moldmaker from a long part approval process by the customer. The 10% on approval protects the customer's interest.
PART DESIGN REVIEWAt this stage, it is desirable to have a meeting with the customer. The goal of the meeting is to ensure that the part design is compatible with the proposed mold design. A checklist is covered and a timeline is usually established.
MOLD DESIGN REVIEWThis meeting covers the final, detailed mold design. It is preferable to have the customer attend this meeting.
MOLD CONSTRUCTIONOften, questions arise during mold construction. The approach to these questions should be determined at the Part Design Review. The answers should be documented and, if necessary, the CAD file should be changed and the drawing updated. On occasion, the customer requests a design change. There may be additional costs incurred and the delivery date might change based on the type of alteration. The next 40% of payment is due upon delivery of the mold.
TESTING THE MOLDThere are many levels of mold testing to verify that the mold can produce a part that meets expectations. We will recommend a level of testing based on how difficult the part will be to mold and the quality expectations of the customer.
MOLD MODIFICATIONIf the customer decides to modify the mold in order to change the part after the first mold test, the final 10% mold payment is due prior to starting the modification. The customer will receive a quote for the modification along with the cost of any additional testing.
PART APPROVALAt this point, we approve the part for production. The approval should be in written form. The final 10% payment on the mold is due.
WRITE QUALITY STANDARDSUsing parts and information collected during the mold testing process, all quality standards need to be established. The Quality Manager writes work instructions for our machine operators and quality inspectors. Quality Control creates a part book that contains these documents.
CUSTOMER REVIEW OF QUALITY STANDARDSOur customer's engineering and quality control personnel usually reviews the quality standards before production begins.
BEGIN PRODUCTIONThe first production order will trigger the installation of the part into our Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system. We establish delivery dates based on material lead times and machine workloads. Frequently, customers send the first production order along with the mold purchase order to eliminate any lead-time issues.