It’s a question we get quite a bit from OEMs and engineers, what is the lead time for micro molding? Generally speaking, the lead time for micro mold tooling is 4-7 weeks, but depending on the project, the time frame can change.
Factors that determine micro mold lead time
Depending on internal work load, our existing queue and even part complexity, lead times can vary. Mold complexity is the largest issue that impacts micro mold lead time. How many slides, core-pulls, what kind of tolerances are all top considerations when we are nailing down an accurate timeline for our customers.
Precision micro optics projects, for example, adds weeks to lead time, perhaps 10-11 weeks due to diamond turning process times. Also affecting lead time can be the time required to wait for overmolding inserts from other suppliers.
Automation is another factor. If complex automation or robotics processes are required for us to develop in-house due to higher volume or complex projects (insert/overmolding) the lead time for micro molding could be around 8-12 weeks or longer depending on the complexity of the project.
When does the clock start ticking?
The official micro mold lead time begins after the DFM team presents to the customers and the customer signs off with final frozen files. At this stage, our in-house team and the customer’s designers are in agreement with project out comes.
The reason our lead time can be as fast as 4 weeks, is because of our in-house micro mold tool room resources. Not only can our tool room handle large volumes, but keeping projects in-house allow us to communicate with ease and minimize communication delays, not to mention shipping. This is an advantage for us.
Why Accumold’s Lead Time For Micro Molding Is Short
While it’s important to communicate clearly about micro mold lead time, don’t worry. All these factors are communicated up front to our customers to make sure your deadlines are honored. To ensure lead time for micro molding is shorter, it’s always a great idea to bring us in as early as possible, so we can communicate with your engineers, designers and other suppliers. Our fully in-house teams are typically quite fast.
Jeremy Klisares has over 20 years experience in developing micro plastic components. Focused markets experience include Medical, Electronic Connectors, and Optical components.
Shawn Thibeault is a Senior Sales Engineer in the plastics and the medical industries. Nothing satisfies him more than developing new relationships, solving problems, and contributing to the overall growth and success of a project.