After your injection mold is finished and parts have been approved, the next step is to find an injection molding company that will be able to run production of your parts. The injection molding company will estimate the cycle time and also find out the material cost. Additional costs to consider include boxes, special packaging and any assembly that might be needed. Usually the injection molding company will perform a sample run to verify that the mold runs well and produces approved parts. The color of the part must also be approved which means the majority of the time the injection molding shop must purchase and match the coloring of the original parts. On the quote for your injection molded part there should be a lead time that indicates how long it takes to start running your order.
Additionally, it is extremely important to know who is responsible for the maintenance of your mold. There really is no standard protocol on this. This item is very significant especially as the quantities go up and the number of cycles increase. Your injection mold must be cleaned and inspected. Issues can arise such as worn out ejector pin holes, parting line edges, gas build up in vents and potential problems with flash. The injection molding company that is running your mold will usually clean the mold and spray a rust preventative before the mold is taken out of the machine after the production run. Toth Mold/Die Inc. located in Ohio provides routine maintenance on all molds that we run production on at no additional charge to the customer. Most of the injection molds we run we have built and as long as we run production on them in house we routinely clean and inspect them. Only if there is a problem with normal wear on the mold is there any kind of charge involved.
However, if the injection mold you have is being run at a place other than where it was built then there must be clarification on who is responsible if something gets damaged on the mold. Sometimes this situation can cause problems. Someone needs to determine if there was negligence on the part of the injection molding company or whether something failed on the mold. If neither party takes responsibility, then a third party might have to get involved and determine who is responsible. That is why it is always better to have a shop build the mold that also does the injection molding of the part.