The mold boss analyzes how to reduce the manufacturing cost of molds

In recent years, the cost of mold manufacturing has continued to rise, so we always discuss some topics about how to reduce mold costs no matter when and where. Therefore, this article tries to analyze each link of mold manufacturing in order to reduce mold manufacturing costs.

Quality, price, cycle, service, these are the four major elements that mold producers and users are very concerned about. In recent years, mainly due to the continuous increase of labor costs and the continuous increase of raw material and energy prices, the cost of mold manufacturing has also continued to rise, and inversely proportional to the profitability of mold manufacturing enterprises has been continuously declining. Some mold manufacturing companies once reported that the quality and level of some molds currently produced is worse than five years ago. This sounds really puzzling at first glance: Technology has improved a lot in the past five years, but why has the quality level dropped? They explained: Because some users (or mold purchasers) are one-sided and purely demanding lower prices, but are indifferent to the quality of molds, they have to choose low-priced materials, low-grade mold standard parts, and unreasonably simplify the mold structure and It has been dealt with by reducing the process and processing costs. So this is not that the company cannot produce high-quality and high-level molds, it is really a helpless move for the company. Although this phenomenon exists in the industry, this kind of abnormal low-cost manufacturing not only cannot be promoted, but should be diverted and suppressed. Therefore, we must advocate low-cost manufacturing under the premise of ensuring and improving the quality and level of molds.

Analyze the manufacturability, reasonably determine the mold type and structure, and select materials as required.

Now most users will provide digital information of products to mold companies when ordering molds. However, product companies that use molds are often not familiar with molds and do not consider manufacturability when designing, so they have poorly considered processes or even manufacture at all. Phenomenon that does not come out happens from time to time.

In order to avoid repetition and waste in the mold design and manufacturing process, mold companies should conduct manufacturability analysis before mold design to ensure the success of design and manufacturing. After that, the mold type and structure should be determined. Starting from cost reduction, fast economical molds, aluminum alloy molds, cast iron mold bases, etc. should all be considered if they can meet user requirements. Ingenious structure can sometimes greatly reduce the cost of mold manufacturing.

In addition, the correct selection of materials is also very important, so in addition to user designation, we should follow the principle of making the best use of materials. The use of high-grade materials to manufacture medium and low-grade molds will increase costs and cause waste. The corresponding heat treatment should be considered in conjunction with technical requirements and materials. Therefore, it is sometimes advisable to use low-melting point alloys, aluminum materials or processed plastics and resins to make molds if they can meet user requirements.

Shorten the mold manufacturing cycle from all aspects.

Shortening the mold manufacturing cycle is not only a requirement of users, but also a common pursuit of mold companies, because in general, for mold companies, shortening the mold manufacturing cycle means improving efficiency and reducing costs. Mold production can generally be divided into several main stages such as design, processing, assembly and debugging, so we must grasp the key links of each stage, so as to effectively shorten the entire mold production cycle.

1. Efforts to shorten the mold design time.

Today, computer-aided design (CAD) has become popular, so choosing good software, using good software, and gradually popularizing 3D software is the key. Therefore, accumulating experience, digitizing knowledge, and building databases have become very important. The use of CAD rapid design technology and optimization technology, combined with computer-aided analysis (CAE) technology, and the use of special mold software, and try to advance the design work, etc., are some effective methods. Intervene and participate in product development in advance, and design together with mold users. Not only can the mold design work be moved forward, the mold production technology preparation time can be greatly shortened, but also the mold and its products can be more rationalized, and the mold users’ Modifications and poor product manufacturability caused repeated production.

2. Realize digital manufacturing and information management.

It is the general trend to use high technology and informatization to transform and upgrade traditional industries, and to do a good job of deep integration of industrialization and informatization. CAD/CAE/CAM integration technology, C3P, C4P, KBE technology, flexible mold manufacturing (FMS) and automated processing technology all rely on digitization. Reverse engineering, concurrent engineering, agile manufacturing and virtual manufacturing (including virtual design, virtual processing, virtual assembly and even the formation of virtual enterprises and virtual reality, etc.) also rely on digitalization. Therefore, digitization is the key to mold manufacturing from “experience” to “science”. Realizing digital manufacturing can not only shorten the manufacturing cycle and reduce costs, but more importantly, it can improve the quality, accuracy and reliability of the mold.

Doing a good job in informatization construction and realizing informatization management is another important issue for mold companies. The information management of mold enterprises has developed from financial management in the past to process management, product data management, project management, manufacturing process management, knowledge base management, product life cycle management, cost management, e-commerce and resource management, etc., advanced and Convenient bar code and chip technology and management software suitable for single-piece and small-batch production have been applied to the information management of mold companies. Good application of information management can not only greatly shorten the mold production cycle and reduce costs, but also improve the management level and efficiency of the entire enterprise. Now, the development and application level of enterprise informatization has become a significant indicator of the comprehensive competitiveness of an enterprise, and intelligence, integration and networking have also become the development direction of informatization.

3. At the same time advanced technology and details.

High-speed machining, including high-speed cutting and high-speed electrical machining, is an effective method recognized by the mold industry to shorten the mold production cycle. Statistics show that high-speed cutting combined with CAD/CAM technology can shorten the mold manufacturing cycle by about 40%, and CNEDM attached robots can increase productivity by 50% and reduce costs by 30%. Use a manipulator to install the workpiece, select appropriate high-quality tools and fixtures, select appropriate cutting fluids, electrical machining media, and lubricating fluids, use corrosion-resistant and low-loss electrode materials, and quickly manufacture electrical machining electrodes based on RP technology combined with special processing techniques. Spark mixing and powder processing, as well as the application of rapid prototyping technology and rapid molding technology, can effectively shorten the mold production cycle. Finishing and assembly debugging also have a great impact on the mold manufacturing cycle. Efforts to reduce the time of finishing and assembly and debugging, gradually increase the ratio of machine to clamp (that is, the ratio of machining man-hours to fitter man-hours), and gradually develop CNC automatic polishing technology and digital analog test and debugging technology, as well as compound processing, flexible processing, automation and intelligence Chemical processing technology, etc., can effectively shorten the mold production cycle, and it is also conducive to the improvement of mold quality.

4. Standardization and standard parts.

Statistics show that doing a good job in mold standardization and widely using mold standard parts can shorten the mold production cycle by 30% to 40%. In terms of standards, in addition to national standards and industry standards, it is more important for the majority of mold companies to establish their own corporate standards. This is because standards are the foundation, and digital manufacturing and standardized automated production are inseparable from and even dependent on standards. . The practice of many companies has also proved that standardization can greatly improve labor productivity and shorten the mold production cycle. Therefore, it is very important for the development of mold enterprises to do a good job in standardization and establish various standardization systems.

“Professional, refined and special”, social collaboration and corporate culture.

According to the country’s classification standards for the types of industrial enterprises, the vast majority of mold manufacturers are small and medium-sized enterprises, and large-scale enterprises are less than one in a thousand. For the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises, it is very important to be refined, special, new, strong, and efficient, and to make benefits. The state is also vigorously supporting “specialized, refined, and special” enterprises. “Professional, precise, special” can reduce costs and benefit; “professional, precise, special” can improve product quality; “professional, precise, special” can promote the transformation and upgrading of enterprises, and “professional, precise, special” can promote technological progress And industry development.

Specialized division of labor is continuously refined along with social progress and development. With the continuous refinement of specialized division of labor, social collaboration has become more extensive and deeper. For mold manufacturing, it is self-evident that the specialization and refinement of labor and the extensive and deepening of social collaboration can reduce costs, improve efficiency and benefit, but the key is how to do it. In addition to the previous outsourcing of parts and processing procedures, the combination of production, education and research, the formation of various industrial alliances, technology outsourcing and the use of public service platforms are gradually emerging. As long as they are used well, these can also reduce mold manufacturing costs.

Individual design and single-piece manufacturing for specific users is one of the characteristics of mold production. Because the requirements of different molds are different, different processes and different equipment must be adapted to it, so even if attention has been paid to and social collaboration has been carried out, the utilization rate of some equipment of the mold manufacturer is low, and some links have become ” The “bottleneck” phenomenon is still relatively common. At this time, enterprise managers must take effective measures based on analysis and research to maximize equipment utilization and eliminate “bottlenecks” as soon as possible. With the aid of information management, it is very effective to balance the load and do a good job of balanced production. The utilization rate of equipment is increased, the “bottleneck” is eliminated, and the cost of mold manufacturing is reduced.

A good company will inevitably have a good corporate culture, and “people-oriented” should be the core of the corporate culture. A good corporate culture can fully mobilize the enthusiasm of employees. When the enthusiasm of employees is mobilized, they can put forward many good opinions and suggestions. Everyone pays attention to the management and development of the entire enterprise, from small reforms and various aspects of rationalization suggestions, and everyone uses their brains to think of ways. The mold manufacturing cost will naturally be reduced, and the company will naturally continue. Develop and grow.

Traditional mold manufacturing mainly relies on the skills of workers, so debugging is essential, so the delivery time will be extended. With the development of technology and social progress, now and in the future, it is necessary to gradually make good molds without relying on skills; mold manufacturing gradually realizes a high degree of automation; it will become possible to only install without matching and save trial engineering; mold delivery The period is getting shorter and shorter, and the mold cost will be lower and lower.

Finally, I think we should analyze the relationship between low-cost manufacturing of molds and low-cost production of mold users. Reducing the manufacturing cost of the mold can generally reduce the production cost of the mold user. The two should be consistent, but there is not only a degree problem, but also a problem of reasonable matching between the two. The so-called “degree” means that the cost of mold manufacturing must be reduced, and must not be excessive. That is, as stated at the beginning of this article, the cost of mold manufacturing must be reduced without reducing the quality of the mold and meeting user requirements. This is It’s easier to understand. Regarding the issue of reasonable matching between the two, the core is to consider comprehensively, so that the mold can bring the greatest benefits to users. If the product requirements are low or the batch size is small, the cost of the mold is even more low, but if the product requirements are high or the batch size is large, then the low cost of the mold cannot be simply pursued. This creates the problem of reasonable matching. For example, a set of conventional molds and a set of hot runner molds can meet the requirements of users to produce a certain amount of qualified injection molded parts. From the perspective of mold cost alone, the price of conventional molds is lower than that of hot runners, which seems to have an advantage. From the point of view of the total cost of the user’s production, the use of hot runner molds not only guarantees product quality, but also greatly improves production efficiency and raw material utilization. Therefore, from the perspective of the user’s comprehensive calculation of the total cost, it is much more expensive to use than conventional molds. The hot runner mold can reduce production costs even more. The key here is reasonable matching. There are many examples of this, and most of the high-efficiency and multi-functional molds have similar situations. Therefore, mold companies should strive to reduce mold manufacturing costs, and at the same time, they should consider the interests of user companies, put forward reasonable matching suggestions, and communicate and negotiate with users. They are all considered in an all-round way, together to decide the most reasonable plan.

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