Mold manufacturing is a tough business. On the one hand, manufacturers need to help customers design products right the first time. On the other hand, they have to deliver molds faster (and cheaper) than others.
Product estimates are another challenge. Most tool and die companies quote estimates at the initial stage of the design. However, production costs continue to escalate during the product’s life-cycle. That’s why it is crucial to come up with accurate tooling estimates.
But this is easier said than done. That’s why in today’s blog, we discuss all the factors that influence die and tooling costs.
Challenges Of Tool & Die Cost Estimates
Tool and die companies have several factors to consider when giving price estimates on custom orders.
Manufacturers have to price their services competitively to survive in the global market.
Maintaining part quality is of the essence; otherwise, the manufacturer will lose business.
Part of the mold builder’s job is to spend a significant amount of time (and money) each month to provide estimates on projects they will never receive.
For all these reasons, mold builders need a system to quote prices that are not so high that they lose the order to a competitor and not too low to incur a financial loss.
How Manufacturers Estimate Costs
There is no uniformity among tool and die companies on how to calculate the cost of production. It’s also not uncommon to see different ways of quoting the same project in the same company.
So, how do manufacturers estimate tool and die making costs? Most companies calculate costs based on similar past orders, while others use spreadsheets.
Manufacturers can also consider using an integrated application or third-party applications for tooling and die costs in CAD software. This will include surface area, volume, wall thickness, feature ribs, and other geometric parameters that influence costs.
Things To Consider When Requesting Die Estimates
It is difficult to price custom products uniformly, which is why you need to consider these factors to increase estimate accuracy:
The cost of the die depends on its type. For instance, progressive dies are designed to make, feed, and sequence carrier strips through each station. Strip lifters are also used in the process, and each station also needs to be timed. As a result, progressive dies will be more expensive than single-station dies.
- Geometry, Tolerance, And Material
Tooling cost also varies with how complex the geometry is. Likewise, the die’s cost will vary with the tolerancing requirements (tool and die parts with small tolerancing generally cost more since they require additional stations).
Material strength also affects the overall price of the die. Using a higher grade of tool steel will raise the tooling cost because you will need a higher grade of tool steel to cut and form the material.
Other factors that influence die and tooling costs include:
- Delivery time
- Location of the die shop