Plastic Injection Molding: Outsourcing to China
Nowadays, almost everything we use has plastic in it. Plastic has become one of the most sought after materials to use because of its availability, weight and pliability.
Items made of plastic are cheaper than other materials and metals. Using plastic injection molding, plastic can be molded into any shape or size with great precision. Depending upon what type of product and what amount of finishing is needed, plastic molds are created. Once the molds are checked for quality, it’s decided what type of plastic is needed to give the product its required rigidity, color or flexibility.
Plastic injection molding techniques now allow plastic products to be created with incredible efficiency and precision. Plastic is injected through the hopper in powder or liquid form, into the barrel, which is heated up to the required temperature. Melted material is forced into a mold or dies. The material takes the physical properties of the mold after cooling down. Every plastic product you see today undergoes this process.
Free trade and globalization have encouraged American businesses to move their manufacturing facilities overseas, where they can employ less expensive labor which greatly reduces the cost of manufacturing.
China has advantages when it comes to manufacturing over other Asian countries. One reason for this is the experience and education the country has in delivering products that adhere to the rigorous standards that are required by both western legislation and consumers.
Many retailers are growing less dependent on brand names; this is partly due to their suppliers demanding and receiving good value from Chinese suppliers. When a retailer has two products of equal specifications and one is considerably cheaper, he can provide great value to the end customer by choosing the less-expensive product. Many large, well-known American retailers are thus no longer willing to pay premiums for brand-name products when they can get products of equivalent quality for less money.
China’s low product and labor costs are well known; its advantages in services are often underestimated. Today, when a small or medium-sized importer needs labor-intensive, value-added services, Chinese suppliers and logistics service providers are capable of responding. Since Chinese labor costs a fraction of US labor, it is worth examining whether a particular service can be performed in China.
Regardless of your industry and the injection-molded products you decide to mold in-house, the parameters and rules remain the same. Manufacturing plastic injection molded components in-house as part of a customer’s end product can prove to be a major challenge from an efficiency, quality and cost perspective.
Most companies who successfully outsource plastic injection mold tooling to China have been doing it for many years and although it requires good management control, the total cost reduction is substantial.