Bringing a product from design to market is challenging. The job gets even more demanding when the project involves plastic parts requiring custom injection molding. The desire to keep everything in-house can often supersede any discussion of alternatives.
The desire to maintain a sense of control over production can be strong. From this perspective, purchasing plastic injection molding equipment and adding that capability to the plant may be attractive. On the surface, this seems like a sound idea, but is it?
Acquiring the skillset for successful custom injection molding takes time—not to mention a significant investment. However, before taking that route, it's wise to reflect on some benefits of outsourcing this specialized process.
The first thing to consider is the scale of your project. Purchasing industrial plastic injection molding systems represents a substantial capital investment. The trick is knowing the infrastructure capacity you will need on an ongoing basis.
If you start too small, upgrading to the needed capacity once in production will be costly. Typically, it's less expensive to buy everything you need at the outset. However, if you invest in too much equipment, you will likely have long, costly periods when machinery sits idle.
Outsourcing puts the control of how much to invest back in your hands. You can start with small runs until a design is perfected and ramp up production as needed. In addition, outsourcing custom injection molding allows you to pay only for the capacity you need during production.
As an additional bonus, outsourcing gives you the use of a dedicated plastic part manufacturer's economies of scale. As a result, you will receive savings on parts, materials, and supplies. Additionally, maintenance costs, which are sizable on plastic injection equipment, are incurred by the owners.
Injection Molding Expertise
Successfully manufacturing plastic components is an art form. Researching process techniques and implementing them from scratch is more complex than most people imagine. Dedicated mold designers and plastic process engineers are needed to solve problems and achieve high-efficiency production.
Custom injection molding specialists stay abreast of the latest processes, materials, and techniques. However, available experts are in high demand and are hard to find. As a result, trying to hire these individuals takes much work.
However, outsourcing provides you with an assigned team of experienced individuals who oversee every aspect of your production run to ensure its success.
These professionals fully grasp what it takes to manufacture plastic parts in the real world. Their expertise is not from books on processes but from hard-won experience. They've found what works and avoid what doesn't, and that knowledge will only benefit your project.
Again, attempting to incorporate a lifetime of learning into a short training program is not feasible. Plastic injection molding jobs contain too many intricacies that can vary significantly and need the eye of a seasoned veteran to discern and navigate.
Design and Production Support
One goal in manufacturing is getting the design right before production is too far along. A faulty design can delay—or worse, totally abort—a run. The financial results can be devastating.
The support available when you outsource can be invaluable, helping you avoid stoppages while your engineers rethink design. Often, inexperienced plastic part designers will overlook flaws in their work. For example, a squared-off corner or varying wall thicknesses can be enough to make a part impossible to manufacture.
A thorough understanding of plastics and their behavior in every situation is required to move successfully from designing the part to producing it.
Plastic manufacturing experts can typically identify design problems early. Then, sometimes with a tweak or a simple rework, they can solve the problem. Or, when the flaw is more pronounced, they can help rethink the part and create a more straightforward design that is efficient to produce.
Successful production runs feature the most efficient and cost-effective methods available. However, turning a profit depends on how well decision-makers weigh the advantages of outsourcing specialized processes when necessary. There may be better solutions than tying up large amounts of money on highly specialized equipment that requires two sets of high-level experts to operate and maintain. For example, outsourcing removes the financial burden of incorporating designs requiring custom plastic molding into your product.
Entering the world of obscure details associated with producing plastic parts can include unanticipated financial shocks to your cash flow in several ways.
Supply Chain Issues
Supply chain issues can delay or completely stall a production run without an established network of suppliers to turn to. Therefore, going it alone and trying to develop backups is risky and will likely result in a significant investment loss when time-to-market is delayed.
Additional Supplier Costs
Shortages during periods of high material demand can create surprise expenses for your project. Experience working with a trusted network of vendors is the only way to prepare in advance for potential scarcity.
Without support, the inevitable issues arising from inexperience with plastics and the equipment's advanced technical nature typically require the services of a consultant. These fees can eat away at your profit margin depending on how long it takes to get back up and running.
Without skilled plastics experts helping to guide the design, process development, and production of plastic components, you will likely experience a good amount of rejected parts due to defects. When you discover your piece has a design flaw, you need quick action provided by a proven expert in the field to correct the problem.
Crescent Industries for Custom Outsourcing
With over five decades of service to the medical, pharmaceutical, dental, defense, and OEM/Industrial markets, Crescent Industries is qualified to handle any precision plastic parts production for your project.
Working with an employee-owned, USA-based plastic injection molding company ensures you keep your operation within the United States. Crescent offers a turnkey, single-source solution for all your custom molded components. At the heart of our operation are our advanced engineering capabilities. We can guide you using the latest processes and materials to gain the best return for your project.
Crescent is here and happy to discuss how we can help make your next project requiring plastic components successful. To learn about more advantages offered by outsourcing services from Crescent Industries, reach out to our support team today.