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The Prototyping Blog

the prototyping blog

How To Get An Affordable Part Price On Low Volume Production Quantities

Posted by Molly Skiba on Mar 3, 2017

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It’s pretty common knowledge in the manufacturing industry: “The more you buy, the cheaper it is”. But what if you don’t have a choice? What if your annual volume is only 4,000-5,000 injection molded parts per year and you don’t want to pay $5 per part?  At the Engineering Resource Center, we figured out a few ways to efficiently produce your low volume parts without charging you an arm and a leg for them.

Modular Tooling System: Our engineers designed proprietary mold bases that allow them to build inexpensive prototype molds for most of the parts that come across their desks. Building a prototype mold insert requires significantly less time and less steel in comparison to an entire mold base. This means we can make our customers a prototype mold faster and at a fraction of the cost. Because we only use hardened steel, customers can use their prototype molds to produce small annual production part volumes. This offering can save customers the expense of purchasing production tooling for small annual usages.

Longer Runs: There are a few factors that determine your part price: material cost, press time and labor.  When it comes to producing a few hundred parts per month, you can't do anything about the first two factors...which leaves labor. The majority of your part price is the labor it takes to set up the mold each month. By running 6 months to 1 year's’ worth of production, we cut the labor, lowering your part price dramatically.  

Minimum Order Quantities: We won’t ask you to purchase an entire year's worth of parts at one time but we will have an upfront discussion to determine what minimum order quantity is mutually beneficial for both of us.  By planning the MOQ’s up front, we can efficiently plan our production runs making the most out of the time the mold is in the press. 

Lights Out Manufacturing: At the Engineering Resource Center, we practice Lights Out Manufacturing. This means we produce parts even when no one is in the building. Every night, on the weekends, even over the holidays, we are making parts with little to no labor tied to each part. As stated in the first point: when you cut labor, you cut your part price. We are able to do this by investing in proven technology to monitor quality without human interaction.  

Conclusion

By exercising these three practices, we are treating your low volume part as a high volume production run.  This gets you the best of both worlds: volumes to meet your needs and an affordable part price.  Check out the Low Volume Capabilities at the Engineering Resource Center and send us a CAD Model to receive a Rapid Quote for your prototype/production tooling or Part Pricing needs.   

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