Molds and Tooling Costs

Do you make a single cavity mold at a low tooling cost, or a 20 cavity mold at higher cost, but much greater efficiencies for large volume production?

…assuming the designers got all the flow considerations right.


Because the tooling costs are low in China, on most projects that are new, I like to open the single cavity first and run some production parts. These parts can help secure the contracts with the buyer, then when the big order is placed, open the multi cavity in confidence. BUT, since the multi cavity tool is new, there is always a chance for something to go wrong, and a pre-production approval process should take place to make sure the parts are to spec. Sloppy suppliers will run production without getting approved on the parts from the new tooling. Many buyers don’t even ask about the tooling ownership, let alone cavity count, so the “assumption” above makes an “ass” out of everybody, ha ha. I advise buyers to get transparency about tooling situation with their suppliers before going to production.

Wishing you successful China sourcing!

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, host of “Ask the Experts” at the China Sourcing Information Center.

Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center ( He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” ( and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions ( )

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