Buying Plastic Injection Molds and Plastic Injection Molded Parts from China. What Are You Really Saving?

July 5, 2011
Calculating the savings value for tooling and part cost after adjusting price with additional freight and program management.

Recently, more and more American and European companies source molds and productions from Asia. What these companies are trying to calculate is the savings value for tooling and part cost after adjusting the price with the additional freight and program management.

Chinese plastic injection tooling and injection molding manufacturing has significant cost advantages. Countries such as the United States, Canada, Portugal and China, are knows for good tooling abilities. Mexico, Canada, the United States and China are among the more popular countries for part production. The comparison below is an average of 50 quotes submitted to each country over a one year period.

Cost and Tie advantages for using China Manufacturing

  • Tooling Cost Savings after freight
    • Compared to America 35% savings
    • Compared to Canada 40% savings
    • Compared to Portugal 20% savings
  • Injection Molding Parts cost savings, after freight (small to midsized parts)
    • Compared to America 20%
    • Compared to Canada 25%
    • Compared to Portugal 15%
  • Tooling lead time (tooling of medium complexity, 8 cavity)
    • American tooling lead time 12 weeks
    • Canadian tooling lead time 12 weeks
    • Portugal tooling lead time 10 weeks
    • China tooling lead time 9 weeks
  • Challenges and special consideration with China Manufacturing
    • You must provide good clear tooling specification
      --Make sure your manufacturer is not outsourcing your production unless you have given approval.
    • Know your customer service person can speak English and is available to react quickly to concerns.
    • Select a supplier that has logistics experience for tooling and production.
    • Review the packaging specification fro tooling and production to insure safe transportation.

Here is an example of a recent successful China Tooling and production sourcing project.

The project name is "Test Plug." The market is industrial piping and fittings. The program was quoted in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Portugal fro both tooling and part production. The program was sourced to China at a total cost savings of $12,000 in tooling and $0.03 per part, an annual saving of $50,400 (compared to the next most competitive quote, Portugal).

To learn more details about the program, please visit