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The United States has more than 16,000 injection molders. It can be challenging to select the best one for your company and your project. And taking into account the supply chain issues resulting from the pandemic and the conflict in Europe, how can you be sure your needs will be met promptly?

Several factors must be considered before requesting an estimate from an injection molding supplier. Using the procurement checklist below is one way to narrow down your list of potential injection molding partners as you prepare to request estimates.

Procurement is always challenging and even more challenging during periods of low availability of raw materials for plastics. Disruptions in the global supply chain make it even more important for OEMs to learn all they can about potential partners. Use the following checklist to help determine whether the injection molding partner will meet your company’s needs for this project and help you complete it successfully. To assess these criteria, you can ask for information directly from a potential partner, look at previous projects the partner has completed for you, gather information from others who may have worked with the partner, and do other research.

Procurement Checklist to Select an Injection Molding Partner

1. Injection molder demonstrates financial stability and longevity

2. Has experience manufacturing products in your market

3. Has the correct quality certifications necessary to meet our project       requirements:

  1. ISO 13485
  2. FDA Registered
  3. ITAR

4. Injection molder provides Design for Manufacturing (DFM) support:

  1. Helps finalize the part design for manufacturing
  2. Mold Desgin
  3. Mold flow analysis
  4. Assists or proves out the material selected

5. Fabricates the injection mold in-house

  1. Prototype
  2. Class 101
  3. Class 102-103
  4. Toolsets / MUDs / master action frames

6. Provides the support for the entire product lifecycle

7.  Provides resin raw materail feedback like lead times, delays, and availability.

8.  Has the proper production/capacity requires for your project.

  1. Molding machines
  2. Capacity
  3. Cleanroom molding
  4. General molding
  5. Automation

9. Provides post-processing operations to complete the project

  1. Assembly
  2. Parts decoration
  3. Machining
  4. Packaging

10.  Has an ERP system for lot traceability and inventory management

A Good Fit

Each company has its own culture and long-term relationships with customers.  Even if they check all the boxes, you need to trust them to be transparent and communicate clearly every step.

  1.  

As you decide whether to go forward in requesting an estimate, you can start to assess the vendor’s communication style. Using a buyer’s guide to inform your communication helps steer the conversation, so you learn what you need to know.

The right partner will ask for input and listen to your suggestions while offering alternatives to save you time, money, and hassle.

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Topics: custom injection molding, plastic injection molding, purchasing injection molds