FULL Disclosure for optimized solutions

It never ceases to amaze me how customers feel the necessity to withhold pertinent information when seeking a competitive quote.  A few days ago I was approached with the opportunity to quote a 1+1 family tool to prototype parts for a customer.  The customer made it clear that this was to be strictly a prototype tool with a production tool to follow for the program.  After reviewing the 2D and 3D data, I produced a quote for the customer to evaluate and hopefully launch the design and build. Upon the completion of a successful design, build, and part production run on the tool, the customer came back to RMS for the quotation of the production tools.  The modifications to the production design were reviewed and I went back to the customer with my normal “battery” of questions in order to facilitate a complete and accurate quote.  Among other questions: What are the lifetime expectations for this mold?  What are the anticipated annual and lifetime volumes?  The “jaw-dropper” came when I was informed that the anticipated lifetime accumulation of shots from the tool was less than 100,000.  The Rapid Mold Solution to this entire program was bouncing in front of me, but because of the lack of information sharing between the customer and RMS, the opportunity for a more profitable and less timely solution for the customer was missed. Typically, the “under the hood” automotive components that we do a lot of tooling for are formed from pretty abrasive resins and the standard production tooling quote is for an extremely robust tool with special wear areas addressed with some proprietary “tricks” in order to meet tool longevity requirements.  These extremely low volume requirements could have easily been achieved in what we call “prototype with production intent” tools.  In lieu of the customer spending the time, energy, and monies necessary to design and build a prototype tool and a production tool as part of totally separate bidding, building, and qualifying processes, this solution could have bridge the gap between the two.  Our “prototype with production intent” tools are a perfect fit for this situation.  The initial prototype is designed and tooled for “lower” production volumes at the initiation of the project.  This tool is designed and constructed such that prototype part quality can be achieved in a timeframe similar to a production tool build’s first shots.  However, now the first shots are representative of prototype parts.  While the prototype parts are being utilized by the customer for design validation and testing, we are tuning the tool to PPAP capable performance. The result of obtaining program information in its entirety up-front enables more opportunities for the customer’s long term benefit.  In this situation, the customer could have produced one mold to handle both prototype needs as well as a viable production tool capable of meeting the pre-determined life expectations for the program in one process, saving them time, monies, and consequently making their program more lucrative.

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Address:Rapid Mold Solutions

4820 Pacific Avenue Erie, PA 16506

Telephone:814.833.2721

FAX:814.835.6658

E-mail: [email protected]