Your tooling is a critical investment and if you’re getting it fabricated in China, as many companies do, you can’t afford for it to arrive at your production facility with any defects that prevent it from functioning correctly and producing products in the volume and at the quality you require.
It’s normal for your toolmaker to test and validate the mold production capability before shipping it out, but, as with most products manufactured in China, it is essential for you to have visibility and control over the process and not rely solely on their report.
This solution puts control back in your hands and reduces the risk of receiving defective or sub-standard tooling.
What is the mold capability validation supervision solution?
A Sofeast technical engineer travels to your toolmaker’s facility and supervises their validation of the mold’s capability, reporting back findings to you so any issues can be addressed by the supplier long before the mold is shipped out.
This solution makes sense for particularly expensive molds, or when issues during injection molding would be very expensive.
- You are duplicating some existing molds and already have specifications for the molds.
- You are buying 2 molds which are being fabricated in 1 factory in Shenzhen.
- You have specific requirements to validate the capability of the molds to make good parts at a certain speed in a production setting.
- After validation, the molds will be shipped to a factory in another country. It is very important that no problems are found in the molds once they have arrived.
If you are buying 1 or more molds, our engineer supports your interests by being your eyes and ears on-site and assuring that the molds perform as you need them to. This solution makes the process of purchasing injection tooling from China a lot safer.
Each project has its own unique points, but typically our engineer will do the following:
- Check the mold based on our standard checklist, and write our observations
- Record the setup parameters (time, pressure, temperature…) based on our observation
- Record how many shots are necessary before the parts off the mold are good based on our observation
- Record information on the machine
- Record the effective cycle time
- Check if the factory checks the parts periodically (every 1 hour), especially for CTQ points
- See if the factory records their QC findings and use them to calculate the Cpk index
- Check if there are quality issues on the parts that are made
All of this information will be reported back to you in English in good time before anything is shipped out.
Our recommendation is as follows:
- Request the supplier to set up a 32-hour pilot run for each mold.
- After running for 16 hours, the mold has to be taken out of the machine for preventive maintenance and then later be put back into the machine to keep going.
- If the parts are out of tolerance at one point, the process has to be stopped and re-started.
For 1 mold (or for 2 molds that are validated in parallel), the engineer’s supervision process would probably be scheduled as follows:
- Day 1 – 4 hours at the start when the process is set up.
- Day 1 at shift change – come back for about 2 hours, observe, check some parts.
- Day 2 early – after 16 hours of operations watch the preventive maintenance + setup, and stay for about 8 hours.
- Day 3 middle – after the 2nd 16 hours run – observe and check again.
It would take a total of 3 days if all is good, but it’d be reasonable to plan for 4 or 5 days because the fabricator has to stop and start over again if there are issues.
How much does mold capability validation supervision cost?
We charge for our engineer’s time per man-day, from 400 USD per man-day.
Using the example given of 2 molds being checked, it might be up to 4 days x 2 molds = 8 days of work. More probably around 5 days, if they can be validated in parallel.
Additionally, the engineer will probably also have to stay in a hotel near your mold fabrication factory some of the time.
After understanding your project and needs we will give you an estimated cost that covers the man-days required and accommodation.
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