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Tips for Successful Tool Design of Molded Parts

If your company makes molded parts, it can be challenging to obtain well-designed molds that meet all your specifications and production schedules. Here are some tips for working with a tool and engineering company to successfully progress from concept to production-ready molds.

Research the Prospective Company

A key step is choosing the right tool and engineering company to design your molds. Look for a company with deep tool design experience that understands the standards for your industry. Verify that the company can meet your volume requirements, handle any specialized designs and scale to meet changing needs. Ask about whether parts of the process will be outsourced and if the company performs repairs. Before making a final decision, you may want to visit the company and meet with its engineering team.

Communicate Effectively

It’s important to be clear about your needs from the beginning and set up effective lines of communication. Make sure that you have a shared understanding of critical dates, potential issues and the level of precision or tolerance between the actual parts and specifications. Schedule crucial checkpoints and milestones, including any virtual or physical prototypes, proof-of-concept molds and any trial-and-error runs. Define the details of how revisions will be handled, such as engineering change notices, including the potential costs and impact to schedules. 

Select the Right Materials

Material selection is crucial in ensuring accuracy and cost-effectiveness of the molds and the parts that they produce. An expert tool and engineering company can help advise you on the tradeoffs, such as price, durability and precision, of different materials. For the finished parts, make sure that you consider all materials involved. This can include texturing, finishes and any labeling needs, as well as the timelines for obtaining all materials.

Working with molded parts can be a complex process, especially when designing new molds and parts. Ensuring a good fit with the tool and engineering company, clearly spelling out criteria and making informed decisions can lead to successful results.

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