Custom plastic parts can turn design ideas into reality and make mass production possible for new companies. However, custom plastic injection molding is a nuanced and highly technical process that requires the skill and expertise of molding experts. While plastics, molds, and presses are more innovative and efficient than ever, it’s still important – and practical – to rely on professionals to handle your custom plastic injection molding needs. But how, exactly, do you find a good supplier?
Any dependable supplier should be eager to answer questions about their materials, equipment, and business practices. Before you settle on a molding supplier, make sure to ask the following three questions in order to gauge their quality and prevent delays, inconsistencies, and other problems.
1. What quality systems do you use to ensure quality products and on-time delivery?
You should always order custom plastic injection molding from a supplier who has top-notch quality systems in place. Ask potential suppliers about their quality systems certifications, including existing and in-progress certifications. If their products aren’t backed up by a standardized management system, they may not be able to account for possible delays or quality problems.
Two quality management systems are especially common in aerospace and defense: AS9100 and ISO 9001. These systems require certain plans for realizing products, assessing and minimizing risks, transferring work, and more. If your supplier is certified in one or both of these systems, it’s a good sign they’ll be able to overcome obstacles and delivery quality parts on time. QT Manufacturing is on track to be fully certified in both quality systems by October 2016.
2. Who will maintain my molds and fix issues as they arise?
After you receive your custom plastic injection molds, you’ll want to protect your investment with a proper maintenance schedule. It helps to choose a supplier who makes molds and injection molding parts, because they have in-depth knowledge about maintaining and preserving the efficiency of your molds.
Fortunately, we are mold-makers in addition to being injection molders, so we understand how to keep your molds in ideal condition so you are not down when your productions needs are most critical. Our mold maintenance systems are in-house and our tooling repair department is ready to go. Ask about our maintenance options to help your processes and equipment stay as efficient as possible.
3. Can you handle product lines from low-volume inception to high-volume production?
Production needs will vary, so it’s important to have a supplier who can handle fluctuating demands and weather high-volume needs without big delays. Find out how much capacity is available and the ability to scale production volume in the future. For reference, we inject mold from low volume prototyping to full scale high production volume. We keep available capacity in place at all times to ensure we can fulfill our customer’s needs as they grow their business.