Transferring a mould tool to a new manufacturing partner can be a big challenge. The existing part supplier may not be happy to lose the business and will often make the process as difficult as they can. This could be particularly true if the moulds were sourced and then moulded in a Far East location. Even if you paid in full for the mould, they will often contest ownership and will invariably not release a mould until all outstanding invoices are paid. At this time, disputes over past orders and quality issues often arise.
In the perfect world, all the mould cavities will be operational, and the tool has been well maintained. They will supply you with the latest tool and part drawings along with moulding parameters and any validations undertaken. The sprayed and cleaned moulds will arrive with your new supplier with all this information, and off they go. Obviously, they will have supplied you with a few weeks stock to cover the transfer.
But we don’t live in a perfect world!
It is often the case that not all cavities are fully operational, and tool maintenance may not have been as desired. In some cases, the moulder may have been manually de-flashing the components, and you didn’t even know. They may even have done mods on the tool and not updated the drawings. The processing conditions or material grade may have altered over time, which could have necessitated a polymer specific screw profile or different material drying conditions.
As such, you need to get as much information from the moulder before you conduct the transfer. If not, you may not see any production for an extended period of time. In some cases, companies have made a duplicate mould and not informed the existing supplier of the transfer until they were getting approved parts from the new supplier. In such cases, the original mould can be retained as a backup or to meet additional production requirements.
Before any tooling transfer, we strongly recommend you go and physically see the mould in production. This will help you understand the running conditions and what remedial work may be required.
At Webb Injection, we are highly experienced in the transfer of moulds. We can help you reduce these risks and make recommendations to ensure a seamless transfer.
Contact Us to discuss the transfer of your moulds