I hear from many manufacturers about how busy they are. I participated in an industry videoconference just the other day where an injection molder, blow molder, painter, foundries, metal forming, machine shop, all had backlog at record levels.
It’s times like these that we start getting calls and emails from OEMs that are being shunned. Their product, their quantities, their need for support, doesn’t fit with their current supplier, and are being told to find a new source. Mostly, it is times like these that customers with small and medium volume profiles get shown the door. We welcome these OEMs with open arms. While we regularly design and make new molds for new programs, we also transition in existing molds for numerous reasons. We have received molds from other US shops, but we have also received molds from Eastern Europe, Mexico and East Asia. Often, we receive molds without any insight on its history. A mold sits before us, not able to say anything. Its “handlers” don’t know much about its “history”. We must figure out its current state, its health and how it works, and how to help it become productive again.
Regularly transitioning in molds that were built and run elsewhere requires a systematic plan to transition them in, assess them, and integrate them into production through validation. That process also includes the end part(s) the mold provides, assessing the BOM and integrating the part(s) to be made into our ERP system. This is true when it is just one or two molds, it is even more important when it is a family or collection of molds.
When talking to a potential mold source, even when in the context of just a new mold and part program, assess them for what got you into this place. Do they have the system and desire to work with small and medium sized releases? Then look at their process for mold transfers.
Are you not getting the response to your questions in a timely manner? Are your deliveries delayed even though you know the resin isn’t the cause of the delay? You may be sourced at a molder that likes the revenue but doesn’t appreciate your part package for its volumes. Give PlastiCert a call. We live for small and medium sized releases.