Need your product or production element to be mass produced? Plastic injection molding may be the answer to your needs. Whatever your project, choosing a plastic injection molder isn’t a simple task. Before selecting a custom injection molder as a partner for your project, consider these specific questions to make sure you have a good fit.

Quality Standards

There are a few different national quality standards that a plastic injection molder can achieve. If you plan on shipping the plastic molded product internationally, you need to make sure the company upholds international quality standards. Ask questions about the quality of equipment and the company’s ability to fulfill your order.

Additionally, asking if the injection molding company has a framework or procedures in place such as Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) can help you know how the company values quality and performance planning. Asking your new potential partner if they have a quality assurance program and if they are ISO certified critical for your long-term planning.

Production Capabilities

How do you know if the molder has the production capabilities you need? The variety and number of machines available at the molder will be a deciding factor. Expressed as tonnage, machine sizes determine the size and complexity of parts a company is able to manufacture. The number of presses a manufacturer has in a particular tonnage range also determines capacity issues.

This may affect your overall production costs. The number of machines the molder has can make or break your decision.

Value-added production services and determining how robust the prospective molding partner’s services are can also affect your decision. If you’re in need of add-ons like design, prototyping, and assembly assistance having access to these services through your molding partner can be important. More than anything, finding out how highly the company values quality work should be a top concern.

Previous Work

It’s always a good idea to ask for recommendations from the prospective company. It can be a red flag if your prospective molder doesn’t have an accessible portfolio of work for you to view. Feel free to contact some of their customers and see examples of their work before signing a contract.

Ask questions about the process used to make the examples shown. While they may not reveal the “secrets” to their methods, the prospective company should be able to reveal general information such as:

  •  What machines were used?
  • Which types of plastics were utilized?
  • What was the turnaround time?

Material Familiarity

Whether you need FDA-approved plastics or some other type of material, inquiring if your potential partner can fulfill your order is a key component of your decision-making.

If the company has experience with the resin you need and currently molds the material you require, you can feel more confident they can meet your needs. Additionally, if they already use the materials, they may be able to pass on a more competitive material cost by leveraging a larger purchase from their material vendor.

Customer Service

If you’re not looking for a long-term partnership at this time finding a company that will offer you stellar customer service is invaluable. Excellent customer service is the glue that holds business relationships together. Make sure you have a dependable point of contact that will help you throughout the process.

Strategic Fit

  • What type of partnership are you looking for?
  •  Are you hoping for a short or long-term relationship with your new injection molder partner?
  • What’s the company’s reputation in the industry?
  • Do your companies have shared values?

Learning how they have worked with others and knowing the types of companies they have worked with in the past can also help inform your decision.

These 6 areas are critical when choosing a custom plastic injection molder. Take your time to go through each of these steps and evaluate the potential partners thoroughly. Our final tips? Don’t forget to take an extensive factory tour and don’t skip the reference checks!