There’s no denying the fact that almost everything seems to be made in China. It is, after all, because of how China has become a superpower in manufacturing. They know the right tools to use and proper processes to apply to make the process easy-breezy.
China is revolutionizing the way manufacturing processes are done. What would’ve taken a much longer time now is cut down in its time frame. And the costs are reduced as well. Hence, the whole world is approaching China for its business, supplier, manufacturing, and production needs.
One of the processes that China has been a global leader on rapid tooling. This is like a union of the traditional rapid prototyping process, blended with conventional means. The result? A sped-up process of producing mold.
If you’re in the business of needing this mold, rapid tooling works to your advantage because of the lower cost that it entails, and faster production time.
If you don’t know much about rapid tooling, read through the basics about rapid tooling through this website, https://prototechasia.com/en/the-process-of-rapid-tooling, before proceeding with the benefits.
That said, here are some of the benefits that you can gain from rapid tooling:
Tooling Time Is Drastically Reduced
Rapid tooling uses a variety of techniques that drastically reduces tooling time. You can receive your cast or mold orders faster than the usual time that it would entail for it to be finished.
Rapid tooling uses techniques such as:
- Selective Laser Melting. This process is mainly used to create 3D prints and prototypes. This is achieved by using high power density laser to melt and fuse metallic powders. In more common terms, it’s referred to as laser bed infusion.
- Laser Engineered Net Shaping. This is a rapid tooling process that relies on computer-controlled lasers. This cuts down the process of welding, as metallic powders are directly formed into manufacturing molds. The by-product of this process is so precise and accurate that it often cuts down the need to go through rough machining.
- Direct Metal Deposition. This is a fabrication process used in rapid tooling to form metal 3D parts. It uses lasers to melt the metallic powder.
Without sacrificing its quality, these three techniques form the backbone of a speedier process of creating molds.
Tooling Cost Is Lesser
A lower cost is precisely the reason why rapid tooling in China has become so popular. If you can source out your raw materials for a much lesser price, wouldn’t you go for it as well? The lower the cost of your raw materials, the lower your production cost is. If you’re using these casts and molds for products that you’re going to sell, this means you can sell your products for a lower cost without sacrificing its quality and the markup that you’ll have to add.
Rapid tooling, for instance, can lower the cost even considerably, especially when producing in quantities more than a hundred pieces of molds. In rapid tooling, Hord Standard shared mold base is used. Hence, the only production aspect that needs to be made is the core inserts. Because of this, the unit price is lesser. You can go for a unit price per sample that’s at least 1% less than other prototype molds.
The direct domino effect of this is that your business becomes more attractive to customers. Because your products are cheaper, all the more that you’re going to have customers patronizing you as well. Through rapid tooling, you can price your products more competitively.
Versatility Is Offered
Another advantage that rapid tooling can give your business is its versatility. Because of its precise and accurate processes, it can produce more products, using a more extensive range of raw materials. When you get to enjoy this option, you get to provide more useful and more exciting products.
For a lower price and the varied raw materials that you’re using, your business is even able to introduce more product options. This level of versatility makes your business more attractive to your customers, as you’re able to introduce a broader range of product offers to them.
Quality Isn’t Sacrificed
One of the biggest misconceptions about products that are made in China is that quality is always bad. While this may be true for some cases, in rapid tooling, it isn’t the case.
Even if the materials are cheaper, the quality still isn’t sacrificed. In fact, the quality of molds that come from rapid tooling is also said to be just as similar as well as the quality of other traditional molds, which may be more expensive. The color, the strength, and even the surface finishing aren’t affected at all.
Design Imperfections Are Easily Corrected
One of the challenges in production and manufacturing is that design imperfections are usually discovered later on in the creation phase. Perhaps the mold has already neared its completion when possible defects are seen.
If these imperfections are significant, it can mean a severe financial constraint for the company. You’ll have to go back with your production process, which means that you’re back to zero with paying for the fees. That’s paying double for molds that aren’t even perfect.
With rapid tooling, this problem is addressed. Because of the accuracy of the lasers used, design imperfections can easily be detected early on. Hence, there’s a higher probability of better correcting any problem areas that can hamper your mold’s quality. In this manner, once the molds are already done, you’re also better assured that your business is producing quality products. With lesser wastage, you’re becoming more effective as a business in general.
Product Consistency Is Achieved
One of the primary purposes of the molds created through rapid tooling is to create multiple copies of the same product or model. This can mean anything in your business, such as lids, cups, water bottles, and whatnot.
When you’re creating multiple copies of the same product or mold, you’ll want to make sure that the quality is the same throughout. There should be consistency in the thickness, quality, size, and even in all other factors that are going to affect your product. Through rapid tooling, this product consistency is better achieved.
Note that in rapid tooling, the process that you go through is digital, through lasers. To assure this consistency, you can ask your manufacturer to use the same digital file or prototype. This lowers the chances of any inconsistencies or errors in your production process. Even more so, the process is sped up. To produce more quantities, you’ll no longer have to go back to square one in the creation of the digital file.
Processes Are Varied
In rapid tooling, the processes are also varied. These are often dependent on the products and molds that are needed to be accomplished. Because the processes are varied, more product options can be presented to your business. This can range from the most minute and hard-to-do molds to the bigger and easier ones to mass-produce.
All thanks to the following processes of rapid tooling:
- Low volume processing, which is reserved for molds that only range from tens to hundreds in volume. This includes processes, such as soft mold tooling, bridge tooling, and reaction injection molding.
- Intermediate volume processing, which is necessary for molds that are in hundreds to thousands in quantity. This includes powdered metal tooling and metal-filled epoxy tooling.
As you can see in the abovementioned point, there are numerous types of tooling options available for each kind of processing. This enables you to have more options to choose from, depending on the quantity that you need to produce.
Bridge Production Is Possible
Through rapid tooling, bridge production is possible. This refers to the process of first creating a few sets of products. This first set is going to be released to the market before a brand new batch is going to be mass-produced.
For a business entity like yourself, this can prove to be more beneficial for the following reasons:
- First, you get to introduce new products to the market at an earlier timeframe than expected. This means that profit starts to come into your accounts, even before you’ve finished mass-producing the rest of the batch.
- Second, any errors in the design can be corrected before you’ve mass-produced and mass-introduced the products. Mistakes can be harder to fix once the products are already in the hands of the general public. Else, you’ll have to go through a product recall, which can be costly to your business. This can lead to a negative connotation as well in terms of quality and efficiency.
- Third, through bridge production, you’ve got more leeway to improve your existing products. Remember, before you mass-produce the rest of the batch, the first batch of products through the first mold is already in the hands of the public. Should there be anything wrong with these products, you’ve got ample time to ask for the comments, feedback, and suggestions of your loyal patrons. Whatever their complaints are, you can efficiently correct through the batch that you haven’t manufactured yet.
Through rapid tooling, you’re able to achieve bridge production. In effect, you’re enabling better relationships with your customers, through the better support and feedback system that you now employ.
Production Teams Are Experts In This Field
China is sought after by the world for its business manufacturing processes for a good reason. Even for specialized procedures, such as rapid tooling, China is an expert in that field. They’ve studied the details of rapid tooling, leaving no matter untouched. After all, for the companies that you tap to do this for you, this is what they do for a living. They’ve mastered the ins and outs of this manufacturing process.
For the success of any product or manufacturing process, the depth of experience is always crucial. This can be the make or break point as to whether or not you’re going to come up with molds or casts that are of good quality.
Because numerous businesses all over the world run to China for their rapid tooling needs, this is a process that they’ve mastered. Their wide range of clients has allowed them to gain more expertise in this field. Hence, you can do no wrong with entrusting your rapid tooling needs in the hands of expert Chinese companies.
Rapid Tooling Types Are Mastered
For accuracy in your molds and casts, sometimes you may need to employ more than one type of rapid tooling type. How are you able to distinguish this difference? Only through the ascertainment of these expert Chinese team.
In general, there are two types of rapid tooling:
- Direct rapid tooling. This type of rapid tooling is used to create the actual core and cavity mold inserts. This type of rapid tooling comes in beneficial for creating tools that are complex geometrically.
- Indirect rapid tooling. This type of rapid tooling is useful to create master patterns. These master patterns come in beneficial for plastic production and metal investment casting.
These rapid tooling types, when used successfully, becomes the secret as to why the costs of production are reduced.
Smaller Molds Can Be Done Accurately
When creating casts and molds, it usually isn’t a problem for the bigger ones. For instance, the molds for plastic bottles, figurines, or other figures. The difficulty comes in the smaller molds. In most cases, these molds are too small for a human being’s hands to perfectly create.
With rapid tooling, these smaller molds can be done more accurately. As mentioned earlier in this article, rapid tooling uses techniques or technologies like lasers. These lasers can target even the smallest and most minute of all things.
If you’re in the business of creating small and delicate things, such as jewelry, rapid tooling is the key for you to have more accurate molds.
If you can produce raw materials for a much lesser cost and timeframe without sacrificing its quality, wouldn’t this sound tempting to you? This is what rapid tooling in China can do. In fact, because of its efficiency, it has seen the light of day as one of the most critical tools and processes in manufacturing industries all over the world. China has just led this process.
If you’re a business looking to revolutionize the way that your business is operating, rapid tooling in China can be a good resort for you.