PLASTIC PRODUCTION COST, CHOOSE PLASTIC INJECTION MOLD
I. COSTS IN THE PRODUCTION OF PLASTIC PRODUCTS
1.1. PLASTIC INJECTION MOLD PRODUCTION COST
In the production of plastic products, the first cost that needs to be considered is the cost of making the mold. Depending on the complexity of the product to be manufactured, the cost of a mold can range from $1,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The mold with a low number of cavities will save the cost accordingly, but on the contrary, the production cost of the product will increase due to the long production time. Therefore, it is necessary to balance the required number of mold cavities based on current and future output. Besides, the life cycle of each product is different, so this is also an important factor to consider in order to calculate and make molds to achieve appropriate durability.
The cost of manufacturing plastic injection molds depends on many different factors, including:
- Product size, number of mold cavities.
- Complexity of the product.
- Accuracy of the product.
- Mold structure & technology used: Two-plate mold, three-plate mold, Hot runner mold, threaded mold, slide…
- Mold material.
- Mold life, manufacturer’s warranty commitment.
- Type of plastic used.
- Aesthetic requirements of the product.
With such input requirements, the mold maker first needs to calculate the total cost and processing time of the mold. After that, other costs like heat treatment, polishing, finishing, surfacing, etc. need to be taken into account. Ensure every aspect of the mold is taken into account. Although all costs will be deducted per product with a certain number of manufactured products, mold costs are the largest initial investment cost. Therefore, the producer must take into account to get a profit.
1.1.2. COST OF PLASTIC MATERIALS
This cost depends on the type of plastic used for the product. Plastic costs are the largest variable cost per product. Engineering plastics are generally more expensive than conventional plastics.
One of the advantages of the plastic injection method is the low labor cost, due to the ease of automation in the plastic production process.
COST OF OPERATING THE MACHINE
Production time is affected by many factors. The longer the machine cycle, the higher the energy costs, machine wear and tear, and labor costs. Some factors that can affect the amount of time a machine takes to complete an order include:
- Product complexity: If the product has a complex shape or a large wall thickness, the time required to manufacture will increase.
- Number of cavities: A multi-cavity mold can be expensive to start, but products are made in larger volumes over the same period of time.
- Mold preparation time: The time required to insert the mold into the machine and prepare/calibrate the process can increase the cost per product
II. EVALUATE THE BREAK-EVEN POTENTIAL OF THE PROJECT
With more than thousands of plastic production facilities and plastic injection molds. When choosing a supplier, many factors need to be considered; including manufacturing capabilities, quality assurance, company reputation, cost and delivery time. Finding the right mold maker for your needs can be time-consuming. Therefore, the determination of production volume requirements that can be narrowed down to suppliers should be considered.
2.1. INFORMATION NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE ORDERING MOLD PROCESSINGTIN
2.1.1. BASIC INFORMATION
- Variable cost: cost to produce per unit (Extrusion, post-production, packaging, shipping.)
- Retail price per unit: how much are you selling each unit for?
- First Order Quantity (in units): The number of units you’re producing on your first order
- Mold cost: prepaid cost you pay for mold
- Mold life: the number of products that the mold can produce to the end of the product life.
2.1.2. INFORMATION NEED TO CONTROL
- Break-even volume: The number of products that need to be sold to recover mold and variable costs per unit.
- Total order cost (for first order): the combined cost of purchasing the mold and manufacturing the ordered products.
- Total profit (for first order).
- Maximum profit with this mold: maximum profit that can be produced with a production mold.
- Total sales (for first order): total sales that can be obtained with the first order.
- Total cost per unit of product: The sum of all costs charged per unit of product.
- Profit per unit of product: profit earned per unit of product.
2.2. CHOOSE THE MOLD THAT FITS THE PROJECT
After considering the factors that determine the placement of molds, generally injection molds can be divided into two groups: low output molds and high output molds. In some cases, the number of products produced is not much, but because of the requirements for product structure and finishing ability, it is still necessary to use higher quality molds.
2.2.1. LOW VOLUME PRODUCTION MOLD
This is a specialized service that provides fully manufactured quality parts but in as few as 50,000 pieces depending on customer requirements. Materials with lower strength or molds with less cavity are used in this case.
- Lower investment costs, with low production volume orders.
- Quickly access new markets.
- Allows for faster design changes and more flexible design.
- Shorten product production time.
- Complete the Pilot mold for risk assessment, before making high-quality, high-yield molds.
2.2.2. HIGH PERFORMANCE INJECTION MOLD
Injection molds are basically created to produce high volume products. High-quality molds provide a mold life of up to millions of injections. The large output mold allows for high precision, low tolerance, low scrap loss and cost savings per unit produced.
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The higher the production volume of molds, the higher the quality of the material is required, the most accurate machining is required, and more technology can be applied in the mold set. Therefore, the mold cost is often many times higher than that of low-volume production molds. But in return, it has the following advantages:
- Satisfy large order production with shorter lead time
- Low cost per unit of product
- Mass production of precise, consistent, high-quality parts
- Convenient automation, uniform and stable
- Minimize extra work and machining time.
Thus, the cost of processing plastic products depends on 3 main cost groups:
- Mold manufacturing costs.
- Cost of plastic materials.
- Product production operating costs.
In order to optimize costs, suitable for each production project, project owners or coordinators need to calculate the types of costs and the number of products to be produced in a certain time, from which to choose Select suitable molds.