Whether it’s moving between in-house facilities or to a new injection molding company, moving your molds from one location to another is a major project. For some companies, it means moving dozens of molds and involves a significant amount of money being invested.
Despite the large scope of such a task, there are a number of reasons why a manufacturer may want to transfer their production molds to another location.
When transferring molds from one location to the next, follow these eight simple steps:
Preparing for the Transfer
The first four steps are all done before the molds are packed up and moved. By putting time and effort into preparing for the transfer, you can make the actual task itself easier.
Step 1: Have a Contract
As with any partnership or contracting out of services, you want to have a signed document that lays out the responsibilities of each party. This legal paperwork also protects you and all other parties involved in case something goes wrong.
Step 2: Communicate with Your Partners
Clear communication is key to almost every project, and that’s true with mold transfers. You want to make sure all individuals involved in the transfer are kept informed of decisions and changes to the schedule. Otherwise, the transfer is likely to be delayed or face other obstacles that could be very costly in terms of both time and money.
Step 3: Do an Assessment
It’s important to do a detailed assessment of your operations at your current location before the transfer begins. This may also be the only chance your team gets to do such an assessment. It’s likely that this process hasn’t been fully documented in quite some time. Even if it has, those historical documents may no longer be accurate.
Step 4: Agree on a Schedule
Now that you’ve documented your process, it’s time to decide on a transfer schedule. Use what you’ve learned about the process and work closely with all of your partners to determine the best timetable for everyone involved.
Physical Preparation and the Transfer Itself
The next four steps involve the receiving company and the physical preparation they may need to do to handle the on-boarding of new molds they’re about to receive. This can range from preparing new shelving to buying new equipment. However, before that can begin, the original company does have one more step in the process.
Step 5: Prepare the Molds for Transfer
This step involves building safety stock as needed to successfully transfer the mold. Again, the on-site assessment will serve as a guide to how much safety stock is needed. In most cases, it will take about six weeks to prepare all of this stock, although it depends on how many molds will be transferred and the amount of manpower available. This schedule needs to be carefully examined and built into the agreed-upon timetable.
Step 6: Consider the Equipment
The receiving company may need to purchase additional equipment to accommodate the new molds. In some cases, the molder may not receive auxiliary equipment necessary to manufacture the parts. In other cases, they may take over the consignment equipment, accepting the responsibility of maintaining these items.
Step 7: Validate the Parts
The last thing you want as someone who is taking over another company’s molds is to learn that the parts produced do not meet the customer’s needs. When taking on a new set of molds, always validate each part with the customer to ensure that it meets their needs and approval. The best course of action may be to PPAP the parts once the molds arrive.
Step 8: Begin Production
Once all of the molds have been validated, it’s time to begin production of the actual parts and move into a “business as usual” process.
Are You in Need of a Mold Transfer?
If you’re preparing to transfer your molds, or if you’re in talks to receive a large number of molds, the process may seem daunting. The logistics involved with a mold transfer are demanding, but you don’t have to do it alone. New Berlin Plastics can assist you in preparing for and executing a mold transfer. Contact us today for more information on our transfer services.