31 Mar 2022

5 Common Mould Tooling Buying Mistakes

Buying tooling from mould tool manufacturers can often seem like a complicated process.

As a buyer, you need to balance your mould tooling with value for money, lead time and specification requirements.

Mistakes can be costly. Limiting these will ensure the production of your mould tooling will run as smoothly as possible, reducing stress and saving you time and money.

To help make this process as easy as possible, we've put together a helpful list of common buying mistakes when it comes to mould tooling, and some simple steps you can take to avoid them.

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5 Common Mould Tooling Buyer Mistakes (and some easy ways to avoid them)


  1. Presuming your mould tool design specification is obvious to your supplier

While you know what you want when it comes to your mould tooling, assuming that your mould tooling manufacturer is also on the same page as you would be a mistake.

Instead, make sure you invest the time at the beginning of the process to create a thorough, robust and in-depth specification.

Taking the time to do this will pay off – you'll reduce the risk of mistakes or best-guesses, which can lead to over or under specified quotes.

It's also essential to make sure that you include any specific instructions to your supplier in writing. Relying on conversations and verbal instructions can lead to expensive mistakes!

  1. Presuming your supplier has internal control systems in place

While it's critical to be as detailed and accurate as possible in your specifications, ensuring that your supplier has a robust system for controlling this information can reduce the chances of costly errors.

During the initial stages of your project there may be design changes & revision levels. Your supplier will need to demonstrate that they are working to the latest information including CAD, drawings, written or verbal instructions. This will reduce the risk of misunderstandings prior to the manufacture of the tooling.

  1. Under or over-specifying your mould tooling design specification

Buying precision mould tools is often a balancing act between your project budget, timescale and purpose of your tooling.

Ensuring your supplier is aware of the lifespan of the tooling required is important. You may require only a small number of components where a prototype mould manufactured from a cheaper material will suffice, or, on the other end of the scale, the mould may need to perform for a number of years.

Not establishing the lifespan of the mould initially can be a very costly mistake down the road. Your mould tool supplier will be able to advise you on the best way to balance your different needs, so make sure you work with them from the start of the process.

  1. Not fully understanding your complex mould tooling design specification

Or, more specifically, the impact that design complexity has on cost. When it comes to making mould tooling, component dimension and design complexity will directly impact the cost of the final product.

These complexities can include:

  • If separate insert cores are required to remove the component from the mould

  • The number of impressions required

  • The geometry of component dimensions

  • The feeding / runner systems of material into the moulds. Gas & vent systems required.

  • How the mould is to be mounted in production and subsequent peripheral parts required

  • If over moulded components are to be held within the completed mould

  • Cooling or heating systems required

Assuming that your design specification can't be altered or optimised can be a costly mistake.

Instead, take the time at the beginning of buying mould tool services to work with a supplier on reducing design complexity- their experience and understanding of precision mould tooling can often lead to cost-saving design modifications.

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  1. Choosing the cheapest mould tooling supplier

Choosing your next supplier based purely on which one is the cheapest can be a huge mistake.

You might reduce your initial product outlay, but going cheap can also put tool functionality, precision, timeline and durability at risk.

In addition, costs that haven't been factored into the 'cheap' quote can also pop up, with necessary design changes or increased manufacturing time quickly adding to your final cost.

Final thoughts

When you're buying mould tooling services, there are many things to consider, which means that mistakes can and do happen.

Hopefully, our quick guide will help you avoid the most common mistakes, making your mould tooling buying process smoother, more efficient, and without costly errors.

To discuss your next mould tooling project, please get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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