Selecting a qualifi ed custom molder is very important for the success of a new program. The molder can bring experience to assist your engineering department to create and make the best plastic product possible within cost guidelines.

All outside vendors should be surveyed for their knowledge, capability, and experience in manufacturing Injection Molded products in the material selected. Selecting a molder not experienced in the materials needed could cause a problem, such as degrading the material and being unaware of this occurring. Experience is critical for structural products as are parts with visible show areas. A high – gloss surface or surface to be decorated must be protected and not contaminated during the manufacturing process. Contamination could occur if the operator transferred hand and body oils on the part surface, if the product was poorly handled, if fans blew dust and fumes around, and mold release was used, even in the next molding cell, as air movements could carry the spray over to your machine. This list includes just a few items to be considered before the vendor is selected.

Get references, talk with their customers, and perform an audit of the molder ’ s facility to learn how it performs quality and molding operations. Also, examine whether the molder can assist you in part and/or product design reviews and mold design. Selecting a custom molder is like adopting a partner into your business plan, as it will be an integral partner in your business.

Evaluation begins by using the Supplier Evaluation Survey for becoming an approved supplier (see Appendix D). The audit should provide suffi cient information on the supplier, along with references, that will allow you to select the best custom molder for the quoted price. One of your best sources of information will be one – on – one talks with your audit team and the supplier ’ s personnel. These talks will provide a good understanding of how it will perform as your custom molder and how it will share knowledge to assist in product manufacturing.

It is important to request quotes from several custom molders, compare the information from the other interviews, and audit the results. Be sure you get similar information from each molder, and if the information is different, ask why the variation. The audit results from well – recommended custom molders should be almost identical when discussing the product and mold design; slight variances may occur based on the molder ’ s experience and knowledge, which is to be expected.
When a contract is awarded, there are legal agreements that include product price, delivery, procedures on how disagreements are to be settled, penalties, and so on. It is best if these elements are reviewed and a determination is made whether they should be included in the contract. Discuss this with your team and determine what elements are necessary.


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