In the process of going from idea to product, time can be one of your biggest obstacles. No matter how eager you are to get your product to market, each step of the process takes time — which goes hand in hand with monetary investment, to say nothing of the challenges that can rear their heads at every stage. For all too many inventors and product developers, the time required to go from idea to product can be discouraging, which can further slow the process. Or, in some cases, can cause you to abandon it altogether. In fact, until recently, prototypes could take four to six weeks — or longer — to create.
Let’s start with a few things you might not know about low-volume manufacturing: First, it covers a broad range of production quantities, typically from 50 to 100,000 pieces. Second, it can be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs getting a new product or business off the ground, and established manufacturers alike. Finally, despite the conventional wisdom that part cost decreases as quantities increase, low-volume manufacturing, when strategically implemented in the right situations, can yield overall cost savings that can make a major difference in your investment costs and your bottom line.
Plastic injection molding offers nearly unparalleled versatility and quality in manufacturing. The ubiquitous nature of the process means that it’s rarely a challenge to find an injection molding manufacturing partner, whether for tooling or for the process itself — another quality that makes injection molding a popular choice for products (though finding the right manufacturing partner is a different story). The cost of a plastic injection mold can, however, often stop entrepreneurs and engineers in their tracks as they experience a bit of “sticker shock,” especially if they’re unfamiliar with the process