Finding the right company to manufacture your product idea is not easy, do you look locally or in Asia. We have given you advice in all areas that you will encounter during the manufacturing stage. Who to use, what price, can you trust them?

May 27, 2012

Samples off the tool

During the latter stages of the tool manufacture the manufacturer will start placing the tool in the machine and generating the first off’s. This refers to the first items off the tool. They will use these first off’s for testing and measurements and then send them for your approval. You have the right to check the parts and make sure you are completely happy before they start to make your first order. You will most probably be asked to sign something to confirm that you are happy with the first off’s. If you are not happy then they need to […]
May 27, 2012

Can you change the tools once they have been made?

Yes You can pretty much do anything to your tools within reason. Your tools are typically made from metal and to apply changes would most probably be in the form of machining or welding and machining. When your designer initially designs the parts he should have been thinking in the back of his mind what areas are of concern and what areas may likely need to be changed to reduce problems like wearing of the tool or potential stress areas that may cause the parts to break by the consumer. When your designer supplies you with drawings he should include […]
May 27, 2012

Can I move my tools to a different Supplier?

So you have been producing parts off your tools and unfortunately you realise the quality of the parts are bad or you are not happy with the manufacturer. So can you move your tools to another company? Depends on the initial contract between you and the company. In most cases the answer surprisingly is no. Although you have bought the tool it does not entirely belong to you, this is the catch. When the manufacturer firsts quotes you for the tooling he offers it to you at a discounted price. This is to draw you in and get your business […]
May 27, 2012

What is the Tool life expectancy?

Typically on receiving a quote the manufacturer should tell you the cost of the tool and the life expectancy. The life of the tool is the length of time measured in “shots” before the tool either needs replacing or major repair work done to it. Based on the manufacturer they will either absorb the cost of repairing or replacing the tool based on them having made a profit already and wanting to keep your business but in some cases you may be forced to pay over some more money. You seriously need to ask this question to avoid any surprises […]
May 27, 2012

What does tooling mean?

When you request a quote of a manufacturer they will always give you a tooling cost. The tooling cost is a cost that is charged for the engineering / fabrication of the tool that will be used to make your product. Typically these tools are called dies. Dies are produced based on your 2D or 3D files of your designs and usually made from a number different types of metals. Once made the dies are made they are inserted into large machines which will then enable you to start production of your parts. Dies will either compress, stretch, form, mold, […]
May 27, 2012

Difference between Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturer

I am often asked why do some choose to get their products made in Taiwan as apposed to China? Typically in my experience china has always been cheaper to get tooling made than in Taiwan. This is because labour costs more in Taiwan. Based on the tooling costs you get what you pay for and cheaper tool means cheaper materials and the life of the tool is compromised not to mention the quality of the machining of the tool.Asian companies realise that they need to offer good prices to get your attention but what exactly are the compromising with to […]
May 27, 2012

Is it safe to use Chinese (Asia) manufacture?

Yes of course it is Without Asia manufacturing many new products would never get off the ground. Using a cheap alternative to your local manufacturer is key to getting a getting your product into the market place quick and with little effort. You do need to be aware that there are some Asian companies who take advantage of new inventors who have no idea about manufacturing and if they can get away with it they will charge you over the top for dies and part costs. Its always recommended to try and get a reference off the supplier to see […]
May 27, 2012

How long will the manufacturing of the tool take?

Its a pretty hard question to answer as it depends on a few factors which are size, manufacturing process and amount of detail to be added to the part.Usually if someone ask me this question I would answer from 8 to 12 weeks. 12 weeks for large jobs and in some cases smaller jobs could be 4 weeks. The time consists of purchasing large billets (blocks) of material which could take a week, programming a CNC machine to machine the billet which combined could take 2 weeks. The rest time would be testing and machining to get your parts correct. […]
May 27, 2012

Fluxuation in material costs

Your manufacturer will always quote you a price and that price is dependant on the cost of raw material at the time. Usually if parts are to be made of plastic then you won’t really see much price difference but if parts are made from steel then you need to be aware that steel prices have the tendency to fluctuate and sometimes a lot. If possible get your supplier to guarantee the steel price before you made a deal. They have the ability to do this and will base their cost on an average of costs they will work out […]
May 27, 2012

Should I use an agent when dealing with Asian Companies?

All over the world you will find some reputable and some not so reputable agents who can help you through your manufacturing stages. An agent is a person who has dealing with a selected few manufacturing companies and they are basically the middleman who can help you with getting your product produced. The agent would normally charge you a percentage of each part made and in some case up to 10%. This is a percentage of the cost of buying the part from the manufacturer not your sale price. To be a successful agent they need to ideally be an […]