Low-Volume Production with Aluminum tooling
At Kaierwo Rapid, with orders of more than 100 parts, we will consider Quick Turn Tooling, Injection Molding for plastics and Die Casting for metals. Materials could be plastics and metals. We can make rapid tooling for various plastics with different finishing, like sand blasting, texture, painting, plating and so on, depending on our customers’ requirements. We can make tool life to be 5k to 100ks or more. So if you have any projects that you would only like 100pcs or 100ks pcs parts, you are welcomed to contact us for a quote.
What is rapid tooling?
Rapid Tooling is a way to simplify the mould structure for low cost & short lead-time. It’s commonly used in the field of rapid injection moulding, based on the low-volume requirement. Kaierwo Rapid manufactures its own rapid tooling in 7075 aluminum(moulds can be textured) and pre-hardened P20 tool steel, to make the cavity, core and ejector plates. They are then fitted into a Master Unit Die(MUD based system) with standard tooling components, in order to produce injection moulded parts.
Rapid Tooling vs Conventional Tooling?
Aluminium tooling is very suitable or low-volume production prototype runs, providing a cost effective solution with shorter lead-time than traditional production tooling. For rapid tooling, we can typically be 30-50% cheaper than full production tooling, with a 40-60% reduction in lead-time compared to traditional moulds.Typically, we are able to go from initial DFM design through to tooling manufacture, mould flow analysis, and initial samples in approximately 5 to 28 calendar days(depending on product complexity and tool functionality). Kaierwo Rapid’s professional knowledge and expertise in rapid manufacturing really does cut down a lot of the time & cost of producing your prototype!
What metal material are used for rapid tooling?
We manufacture our tools from aluminium, P20, NAK80 and S136 tool steel, which can be run in a standard injection moulding machine to produce production quality parts in low-volumes. These moulds are generally serviceable for 5000 to 100,000+ units(depending on tool steel type, prototype material and tool functionality).
If a part requires a normal surface finish, we use aluminium or P20 steel in the injection moulding process.
If a gloss or clear finish is required, the mould material would consist of NAK80 or S136, which are types of polishing steel.
Advantages of Rapid Tooling
Rapid tooling time is much shorter than for a conventional tool.
Rapid tooling cost is much less than for a conventional tool.
Challenges of Rapid Tooling
Tool life is less than conventional production tools.
Tolerances are wider than conventional tools.
Benefits of Rapid Injection Moulding
Prototypes produced in production material in shorter timeframes.
Allows for full fit and function testing.
Discovery of any design flaws early on, low cost tooling allows for easy geometry modification and refinement of design.
Bridge to Production Process
Prototype tooling in 5 to 28 calendar days.
Rapid aluminium tooling for volumes up to 5000+ shots.
P20 prototype tooling for volumes up to 50,000+ shots.
NAK80 or S136 prototype tooling for volumes up to 100,000+ shots.
Low-Volume Production with Aluminum tooling
• Mold production AND parts within 15 days or less
• Low manufacturing costs with molds beginning around $1,500
• Production quantities of up to 10,000 parts or more; depending on material type and geometry, some molds are capable of producing hundreds of thousands of parts
• Simplified mold designs decrease manufacturing time and cost
• Single and multi-cavity tooling: 1-, 2-, 4- and 8-cavity molds are possible depending on part size and complexity
• Thermoplastic and thermoset materials identical to that of high-volume production materials; more than 100 different materials can be used including ABS, PC, PP, LCP, POM, and liquid silicone rubber
• No maintenance fees and lifetime replacement of mold if damaged
• Improved heat dissipation and without the need for messy cooling lines
• Inexpensive mold-safe tooling modifications
If your part volumes don’t stretch into the millions, if you need on-demand production parts within days, and if you’re looking to avoid risky tooling investments before your part design is truly validated, low-volume injection molding with an aluminum tool might be good option.
Once an aluminum mold is ready, part production begins almost immediately. This allows manufacturing to finish every order in three weeks or less.
Aluminum has a reputation for being the material of choice for prototype and short run production. In the last few decades, pressures to shorten cycle time for both making the mold and molding parts has driven the interest level to a new level.
Under the right conditions, aluminum has become a great choice for long-run production as well.