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How to cooperate with China injection mold manufacturers?

Over the years we have been taken advantages of with the low cost of plastic injection mold manufacturing in China. You get what you pay for. I have heard of an injection mold cracking in half just last year from China, water poring out of it in the press. As an injection mold maker back in the 80's and 90's we started to see import steel making its way to our machines. We could tell on the CNC's or polishing we were not getting what we bargained for. After heat treat OMG, warp. We use to say they put old "bed springs" in the alloy mix. When drilling a hole in this steel it would not be constant feed rate by hand, you could feel the drill push easy then hard etc. So we had to be very precise in ordering our plastic injection molds with certification. We ordered 4 large injection molds from a Chinese manufacturer in 2004, the heat treat was horrible, we did not get our certification, it looked fake. Someone was trying to pull a fast one. I hardness tested several blocks from the plastic injection molds, not good. We spent approx $450,000 for those injection molds back in 2004 and we tried to outsource and handle the engineering real close. We tried to do everything real and it back fired. These injection molds were for electrical components and tolerances on my parts were critical, 4 to 8 cavity molds, the quality was just not there. Glass filled nylon wore down these plastic injection mold in 8 months, we had to retool.

We paid high school fees as you call it for faulty/inferior injection molds from China. The only way to cooperate with a Chinese injection mold company is to specify the grade of material you want, shore hardness, heat treatment and certification on the quality of steel on the plastic injection molds. The guarantee from any manufacturer in China is not worth the paper it is written on, unless you are willing to ship any product back and forth to China at your own cost for repairs.

Get tool drawings first and get a qualified designer to check them and accept. On completion of injection mold do a minimum production run of 3 days in China factory and see the quality of the molded product. If you are happy with what you have then get them to strip the injection mold and check for any wear and tear on mating surfaces. If this is ok then purchase it and the production run. Trust me this is the only way as I am still recovering from the financial loss from 10 years ago. This is what we do now and it seems to work for our business in cooperating with Chinese mold manufacturers.

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