Tooling schedules all follow a typical sequence. If the program requires further assembly or secondary operations they can increase the number of steps. These are the typical steps of our tool building programs.
|I: Final 2D, 3D Drawings and all specifications submitted.
Down payment received
|II: Tooling Design & DFM
3-5 days typical
|III: Tooling Design & DFM Approval1|
|IV: Tool Build
3-12 weeks typical
|V: Samples Molded and submitted for approval
T1 or FAI samples2
|VI: Tool Rework if required3|
|VII: Tool final polish or texture and re-sample if required|
|VII: Final Approval|
|IX:First Run and delivery can start4|
1Design approval includes design for manufacturing (DFM) approvals, as well as gating and ejector pin locations, shrinkage factor, witness mark approval and more.
2Sample and process approval can be a significant step particularly if the samples must have other agencies' approval. If full FAI approvals are required time must be factored in for those. If further polishing or textures are required the full FAI process would occur at final approval.
3Tool rework or changes can take considerable time. We almost always suggest prototypes be printed or fabricated to sort out any fit and function issues.
4If final approval process is timely then typically production can start immediately. If the approval process becomes drawn out it can take 1-2 weeks to work the program back into our molding schedule. Your quote will also list a delivery for production parts. This delivery is for subsequent deliveries, after your initial production run.
Overseas Tooling and Pars
Tools built overseas will typically have the first run made overseas before shipping the tool in order to proof the mold capabilities and to provide product to cover the transportation time.
Tools may be shipped by sea or by air depending on schedule and costs. The customer is responsible for shipping and import costs. Estimates are provided before shipment.
You can find more information about tooling descriptions and the tooling quote here: Mold Quote Terminology.