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Enter into the Weird World of Toolmaking - with your eyes open...(updated!)

Part one of an occasional series on some do's & don'ts of project management.

Us pesky Toolmakers eh? Always want to know the in's & out's of everything don't we?

Well, we have our reasons. Check the following points - use it as your bible (if you can be bothered).

  1. Know what you want:You've got your design, and the possibilities seem limitless! But seriously, how many are you going to actually sell?. No, I'm not taking the p***, or doubting the brilliance of your design, but why pay for a Rolls-Royce when a nice little Fiesta will do?
  2. Understand the requirements of your design: There are lots and lots of different plastic materials on the market. Some of them cost 50p per KG, some cost £10 per KG. If you have some idea of the physical requirements, we can narrow the choices down.
  3. Have a budget in mind:Don't overreach by kidding yourself that your product will be an overnight success. In my experience, even the best products take time to find their natural place in the market, and instant returns on your considerable investment are unlikely.
  4. Have patience! Toolmaking is not an exact science. Design changes, tweaks, delayed decisions, unseen problems et al all take there toll on delivery dates.
  5. Be wary: This is something which is cropping up regularly at Celect nowadays - don't always believe the hype. Materials manufacturers make great claims for what their products can do, particularly with relatively new techniques such as 2-shot moulding. This has been lauded as the answer to all your problems, the panacea which will fix all your production problems and boost your sales and profile. I would like to put on record that it isn't, and even if it was, it would probably cost you an arm and both legs at least. It's fine for big multinationals to invest in things like this, because they know they will make the investment back, but cutting edge don't come cheap - ever. Not here, not in China, not on the moon. And in the words of a wise person, if something looks too good to be true, it generally is. Plus, if a technique is new, you are doing the development for the materials people. Now that really bugs me.
  6. Nobody does something for nothing: Not even me, and I'm generous to a fault. Remember that only Bill Gates and Colombian cocaine traffickers can make 85% profit, but everybody needs to make some profit if they would like to stay in business. Consider this when you are placing orders - get a few quotations and you should only see small percentage difference between them. Anything too high, you'd probably bin regardless of what you've read here! Anything too low - well, you get what you pay for.

This is a very brief list - the many, many things that have not been listed will/won't be added at a later date...

*These are the views solely of The Author and do not, in any way, reflect the views of Celect Tools or any other person connected with Celect Tools.*

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