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Mold Design & Manufacturing

What is mold design?

Mold design is the process of taking a finished CAD part model and constructing a functional mold for manufacturing purposes. Our in-house tooling engineers evaluate your part for manufacturability, review gate locations, size runner systems, evaluate material flow, and design a lasting mold to service your production needs. Once the mold design is finalized our engineering team hands it over to our machine shop to bring your mold to life. With a host of tooling options available, we can certainly come up with a mold solution the fits your budget and exceeds your expectations.

What tooling options do you offer?

Proprietary Prototype Injection Tooling

Recommended for low volume, production quality parts. Assuming 3D printing doesn’t suffice to meet the functional requirements of your part, BeraTek has developed a proprietary prototype molding technique that offers a reasonably priced mold designed to produce a few hundred parts. This technique is great when production equivalent product is required to pass a test or further validate your target market. A great example is Repour, production parts were required to evaluate the oxygen consumption properties of various materials. Prototype molding allowed the inventor to select the ideal production material and pass all necessary testing before jumping head first into manufacturing.

Production Tooling

Production tooling is a dedicated mold with the maximum number of cavities to optimize the piece part cost and cycle time/unit in the press. Production tooling often comes into play when a client has validated the market and is ready to go full speed to meet market demand. Production tooling could contain as many as 32 cavities of a part in the mold in effort to maximize the number of units completed within a given cycle time. Production tooling is often necessary as volumes scale and market demand increases. As a byproduct of a production mold investment, you’ll often see a significant reduction in per unit cost simply because more parts eject each cycle. It is far more expensive from a per unit cost perspective to produce a single part every 30 seconds when compared to producing say, 24 parts every 30 seconds.

Master Unit Die (MUD) Base Tooling

MUD base tooling sits right in the middle of the tooling cost spectrum and is often viewed as a hybrid of the two above options. MUD Base tooling reduces your up-front tooling investment while maintaining a production per unit cost (unlike the per unit cost increase was seen when utilizing prototype tooling).

MUD base tooling is a case where the manufacturer (such as BeraTek) owns a base mold that contains the bulk of the equipment necessary for full automation. For the sake of conversation, let’s assume BeraTek owns a 12”x20” MUD Base. As opposed to cutting you a large dedicated mold, MUD Base tooling allows you to cut a smaller 12”x20” insert that slides nicely into our base and offers a fully automated production environment. Your tooling cost is reduced because machine time is significantly lower since the manufacturer’s time is only spent cutting the cavity detail for your product. All the automation features are housed in BeraTek’s base so the excess cost in a traditional production tool is eliminated.

Upsides of MUD Base tooling:

  • Reduction in up-front tooling investment
  • Maintains a production level per unit cost
  • Quicker tool changeovers reducing associated setup fees

Downsides of MUD Base tooling:

  • You are limited by the footprint of the MUD base which can reduce the number of cavities that can be nested in the insert. Once volumes scale into the hundreds of thousands you will inevitably need to consider a dedicated production mold. 

Offshore Tooling

BeraTek is fortunate to have a long-lasting relationship with a partner company in Guangdong, China. We are often faced with scenarios where price is the driving force behind a given project. In effort to reduce upfront tooling investment, we often consider offshore tooling options to obtain a production or MUD Base tool at a lower cost. BeraTek manages the process, reviews all mold designs, and ultimately guarantees the mold functionality. Our partner company facilitates the sampling process and allows our team, along with the customer, time to review and approve a series of production samples. Upon sample approval by the customer, the finished mold is shipped to our facility to oversee all manufacturing services. BeraTek maintains the tool in-house and ensures your finished product meets strictly defined quality standards.