During the initial stages of any significant plastic injection molding process, one of the most important specific areas to attend to will typically be the price quote. Clients naturally want to know what they’ll be spending, both on a per-part basis and overall, and they will meet with the plastic injection molder to go over the project details and create a general price quote.
At EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders, we’re happy to assist with all of these needs and more for all your plastic injection molding projects. We offer mold design consulting and several other services that help us understand your needs and provide you with the most accurate possible quote for your project – both in terms of cost and other important factors like timeline. As a client, it’s ideal to have a few basic items or concepts already worked out before these initial consultations take place; here are some of these to get prepared ahead of time.
Basic Description of the Part Desired
First and foremost, it’s important to have a basic description of the specific part that you want produced. This should include all critical dimensions, background information on its general application, and any other details that would be useful in creating a quote.
As you’re doing this, be sure to ask yourself if the part can be produced in plastic injection molding. If there are any features that might require post-molding operations (like machining, coating, etc.), this should be discussed and their costs accounted for upfront before a quote is established.
While written descriptions of the desired part are definitely important, it’s even more helpful to provide a drawing (in CAD) of the part with all its dimensions included. With a tangible visual representation of the component, it’s easier for an injection molder to accurately assess the feasibility and cost of producing the part in plastic injection molding.
When creating these drawings, attention to detail is of paramount importance – the more information provided, the better a quote can be established. In fact, some injection molders require drawings before any quotes can even be generated, and may have specific guidelines on how drawings should be made.
In some cases, these requirements include three-dimensional or even animated features – be sure to discuss this with the injection molder beforehand.
While your actual consultation will be a good opportunity to ask your injection molder about material options, it’s important to know that there are over 80,000 grades of plastic out there – meaning if possible, it’s good to narrow down some of the most likely materials you’ll want used before the actual consultation. This will save time and effort, both for you and your injection molder, as it helps them focus their search on achievable options that meet your needs.
Costs for plastic material grades can range incredibly widely, from below $1 per pound for simple materials to well over $100 per pound for specialized grades. Knowing what you can and cannot afford will naturally help the injection molder provide a more accurate quote.
Another key piece of information that should be discussed with the injection molder is what specific application your part will be used for. This is important because it helps the injection molder understand how much stress and strain will be placed on the parts they are producing, as well as any other context-specific considerations that may need to be taken into account when formulating a quote.
For example, if the parts are to be used in outdoor applications (exposed to the sun, rain, etc.), there may need to be additional steps taken during production or post-production to ensure their durability – which will add costs and should be discussed beforehand. On the other hand, if the parts are meant to be used in an indoor environment that is temperature-controlled, then these additional steps may not be necessary. By providing this information up front, the injection molder can develop a more accurate quote based on your specific needs and requirements.
Are you looking for any secondary needs like printing, painting, coating, assembly or packaging? If so, these should also be discussed upfront with the injection molder. The price quote should include a detailed breakdown of any anticipated additional costs associated with these secondary needs so that there are no surprises down the line.
There are many cases where injection molders will give slight price discounts for combining services, so discussing these needs upfront can actually help both parties reach a better agreement.
Estimated Yearly Quantities
Finally, as you’re discussing the project with your injection molder, it’s essential to provide them with a rough estimate of how many parts you expect to need each year. A good general rule of thumb is that the more parts you commit to producing, the lower your cost per part will be – since injection molders typically work on an economy-of-scale principle.
That is, the more parts you need, the more cost-efficient production will be. This allows them to offer a lower per-part price – so if you know that your quantities are likely to increase over time, it can be beneficial to discuss this with your injection molder in order to ensure that they are aware of your future needs and can plan accordingly.
For more on what to have ready when you speak to an injection molding professional for a quote, or to learn about any of our injection molding products or services, speak to our team at EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders today.