How to reduce manufacturing costs
Consumers want cheaper products and companies want profit. That’s the bottom line.
In order to achieve this, the perfect balance between quality, manufacturing cost and selling cost needs to be achieved.
The design is important as it can have a huge impact on cost. Here’s a list of our top 6 ways to reduce manufacturing cost. We apply these notions to every product we design, so get in touch with us and we’ll talk about how we can work with you on your project.
1. Simplify the design in order to simplify tooling
The more complicated the tool, the more expensive it is. If your tool has multiple mechanisms such as side actions or up-and-away movements it will cost more. Can you look at simplifying the design so these are not needed, or at least fewer are needed? This means aiming for a part where the line of draw is uniform in two directions with as few different draw lines as possible (the fewer there are, the cheaper the tool will be).
2. Reduce the number of parts
This is a simple idea but it’s one we come across again and again. Does your product need all those parts? Can you combine any parts into one?
Reducing parts will cut down on tooling and probably the amount of material used; therefore reduce cost.
3. Consider aluminium tooling
If you’re looking at low product volumes or for the tool to be redundant after a few years, then aluminium tooling should be considered. Aluminium tooling is cheaper than standard steel tooling because the material itself is cheaper. It’s not suitable for some products or more corrosive polymers such as PVC, so discuss it with us at the beginning of the project if this is what you’re aiming for.
As aluminium tooling is softer than steel, it is more easily damaged. This risk needs to be factored into your tooling decision.
4. Wall thickness
Using the optimum wall thickness for a product is essential. Too thick and you’ll be wasting money in additional material and cooling times; too thin and you’ll be compromising the structural integrity. Uniform wall thickness is also needed for keeping cooling times regular and reducing moulding imperfections such as sink.
5. Use standard components
Using standard components wherever you can will reduce the cost of your product, especially if the parts can be purchased in large volumes. For example using standard o-rings or mechanisms within your part.
6. Get some prototypes made before moving onto tooling
3D printing your product (if applicable), high grade 3D printing or machining a prototype would be recommend in order to fully check the product before moving to manufacture. This can highlight aspects to improve or change before the manufacturing process.
We use our manufacturing and engineering knowledge during the creative design process to think ahead to manufacture. Cost savings can also be looked at for existing products when updating for a new manufacturing run. Get in touch to see how we can help your project at any stage.
Phone: 01620 884300