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How to Calculate Cost for Injection Molding?

by Isaac

There are all sorts of ways to calculate the cost of an injection mold. But each of those ways incorporates a set of economic and technical parameters. By combining them, it is possible to hit a competitive price. What follows is an overview of some of the most common injection mold cost calculation methods.

Empirical Method

In this method, the mold price is a sum of material cost, VAT, packing & shipping expenses, design & profit, and tryout cost.

  • Material cost includes all materials used in the process. That usually adds up to 15 to 30% of the total cost.
  • Design fees are typically from 10 to 15% of the overall cost.
  • Process & profit ranges from 30 to 50%.
  • VAT is 17%.
  • Packing & Shipping expenses make up for approximately 3% of the overall cost.
  • Tryout expenses depend on the size of the mold. Small precision molds account for up to 5%, while medium-sized molds are, in most cases, around 3%.

Injection Mold Valuation & Quotation Strategies

The empirical method is one way to approach this matter and to have some understanding of how injection mold calculation is done. Here is another approach that is very popular with many companies that provide plastic injection molding services. 

  • Tooling cost 
  • Cost of material
  • Labour and machine usage (by the hour)
  • Volume
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Additionally, before they do their valuation and give a quote, they also take in consideration some factors that are not related to the production process. These factors include market conditions, competitors, customer psychology, as well as their business philosophy. That means different companies can give different quotes for the same job. Some enterprises might have better equipment, others can have access to cheaper materials, while others might hold some other advantage over the others. All that translates to various quotes with significant differences.

But at the end of the day, it is not just about going with the lowest quote. One also must consider the competence and experience of the enterprise. Typically, the best ones are the ones with the utmost experience that have been in this industry for many years.

Injection Molding Considerations

Certain factors can influence the injection molding cost more than others. Here are the most common injection molding considerations:

  • The initial cost for small scale series can be quite high
  • Large and complex products can potentially extend the turn around time. An initial four weeks estimate can easily extend to months. 
  • Late modifications of the mold can be quite costly. Therefore, make sure that you address all issues during the designing steps and not after.

Final Thoughts

The two most important lessons here are to take your time to estimate the injection mold cost and to review the designs before production starts. At the same time, keep in mind the fact that smaller, non-complex products tend to cost less than more complex products. That is the case because of the mold that increased the production cost. 

Therefore, be meticulous, leave no stone unturned, and keep things as simple as possible. And if possible, consult with someone experienced in the process of injection molding. Do that, and there won’t be much to worry about.

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