Frequently Asked Questions
What are moulds made from?
Moulds intended for mass production are constructed using quality tool steel, made to handle the high pressures used during the injection moulding process. Numerous types of steel are available that can be subjected to various heat treatment processes depending on requirements for toughness, wear, longevity, etc.
For prototype moulds, some non-ferrous materials are used successfully, e.g. aluminium, bronze, and other alloys. Whilst the use of these materials can save time and therefore cost in the machining process, their lifespan is limited.
Do you mould PVC?
We do mould some articles in flexible PVC. However, we do not mould unplasticised (rigid) PVC. This material should be processed on moulding machines equipped for the purpose (i.e having different internal components from a standard machine). We therefore leave this to the specialty PVC moulders.
What is the largest article you can mould?
Articles of approximately a quarter of a square metre in area, and up to approximately 2kg in weight, depending on the type of mould and the raw material used.
Do you recycle?
The majority of plastics used in our processing are capable of being recycled, and where possible, we do so. Unfortunately, a few of the ‘high tech’ engineering polymers cannot be used in their recycled form, as some of their properties (e.g. strength, heat resistance and surface finish) may be significantly reduced.
For suitable articles, up to 100% recycled material can be used. This not only helps to reduce the material cost component of the article, but also allows the customer to advertise that the product is made using fully recycled material.
How much does a mould cost?
There are no set parameter costs for making moulds. Independant costs will be relative to the type of mould, article size, number of articles in the mould, complexity, surface finish, volume requirement plus other factors, all of which must be taken into account to arrive at a final price. It is always best to never make assumptions of cost through ‘google searches’ as this is misconceiving. It is highly recommended that you meet with a manufacturer, discuss your article and find out costs relative to your requirements. You will be surprised how much a short discussion can change the outlook: provide a range of possibilities as well as give you a better understanding of the whole procedure undertaken from designing to manufacture and the relative cost breakdowns that makes the final price.
We offer no-obligation consultations where we can discuss your idea/product, offer advice, share skill knowledge and (if there is option) provide suggestions that may improve the final outlook along with indicative costs. From there, if you are ready, we can offer quotes, prototypes and lead on to design and product manufacturing. We also sign Confidentiality Agreements with you to protect your IP rights with your project
How long does a mould last?
The lifespan of a mould naturally depends on its frequency of use. For example: If a mould only has to produce a thousand articles a year, it should provide good service for many years before requiring an overhaul, if at all. If, however, a mould must produce a million plus articles per year, it may require more regular maintenance, some refurbishment or replacement of any components subjected to wear. We always keep our customer moulds in top maintenance order and advise whenever we see necessity to have maintenance or repairs undertaken. The advised works and costs are discussed and agreed upon before any works are carried out. After all, you own the mould, we caretake it for you.
How long does it take to get a mould made?
The complete process of taking the finished design of a product to production stage can take some months, being relative to the cost of the mould and its features as mentioned above.
The mould design stage may take from 1 to 3 weeks. Time is then required for the actual mould-making stage which can be from 3 weeks to 20 weeks or more. The next stage is trialling the moulds and allowing for any fine adjustments, (particularly where close tolerances or high precision fits are required on articles). This trial stage can also take a number of weeks. When all these stages have been completed, the mould is ready for production.