With its cost competitiveness, skilled workforce, and latest technologies, China has established itself as a global powerhouse for moulds of all types including chair moulds and automotive injection moulds. China has huge manufacturing capacity for all types of moulds including automotive injection moulds and chair moulds. But navigating China’s vast mould industry and buying quality tools can be challenging, especially for first-time importers.
However, navigating China’s vast mould supplier base and buying quality tools can be challenging for overseas buyers. As per industry estimates, China supplies over 60% of all chair moulds in the world, with major markets like North America and Europe heavily dependent on Chinese mould makers.
This detailed guide will equip you to source top-notch chair and automotive injection moulds from China through 8 proven steps:
Here is a quick overview of the 8 steps we will cover:
- Determine your chair/automotive mould specifications
- Shortlist qualified mould makers in China
- Send RFQs and evaluate quotation responses
- Negotiate price and terms with the supplier
- Verify certifications, credentials and past work
- Establish stringent quality control processes
- Monitor production and transportation
- Payment terms and post-order support
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Determine your chair and automotive mould requirements
First, gather inputs from your internal teams to define your exact specifications. Key points to identify:
- Mould type – chair, automotive component etc.
- Required capacity – number of cavities, shots per hour etc.
- Material used – PP, PE, ABS etc.
- Proposed mould base dimensions and footprint
- Cooling design, ejection system, slides/lifters needed etc.
- Surface finish and tolerance requirements
- Estimated annual quantities
- Target budget and timelines
Having clear specifications will help convey your needs correctly to suppliers. It also aids in comparing quotations.
Step 2: Shortlist qualified chair/automotive mould makers in China
With thousands of suppliers in China, begin with creating a longlist of mould makers to evaluate:
- Search industry directories like China Mould Network to find China vendors specific to your mould type.
- Attend trade shows like Chinaplas to interact with hundreds of suppliers directly.
- Ask peers for referrals – importers who already source moulds from China.
- Review online presence – website, catalog, videos etc.
- Give preference to experienced vendors (10+ years in business).
- Check expertise in manufacturing similar complexity moulds.
- Shortlist 5-6 qualified suppliers for further assessment. Cast a wide initial net.
Step 3: Send RFQs and evaluate quotation responses
Once you have prospective suppliers, send RFQs stating your mould specifications, quantities, timelines, quality expectations and other requirements.
Ask the suppliers to provide a detailed quotation including:
- Technical proposal covering mould features, materials, construction etc.
- Itemized cost breakdown – material, machining, sampling etc.
- Proposed project timeline from design to delivery
- Applicable payment terms, warranty etc.
- List of customer references
Analyze all quotation responses on parameters like:
- Technical ability to manufacture the mould as specified
- Overall cost reasonability
- Production capacity to meet timelines
- Quality control competencies
- Customer reviews and feedback
- Willingness to provide samples
Shortlist 1-2 suppliers based on the above criteria for price negotiation.
Step 4: Negotiate chair/automotive mould price and contract terms
Do not simply accept the initial quote. Negotiate to get the best possible price from your shortlisted supplier(s):
- Benchmark competitor quotes and highlight where you can get better pricing.
- Discuss bundled pricing if you will award more moulds in future.
- Increase order quantity in exchange for lower per unit rate.
- Request discounts on steel, CNC machining, etc.
- Seek flexible payment terms – 30% advance, 70% post-delivery etc.
Strike a mutually favourable deal while protecting your negotiating leverage. But don’t undermine your supplier’s profits.
Step 5: Verify supplier credentials, past work and certifications
Before awarding the mould contract, thoroughly validate your chosen supplier:
- Check business licenses, import-export codes, legal compliance etc.
- Physically inspect finished mould samples and customer references where possible.
- Review certifications like ISO 9001, ISO 14001 etc.
- Verify results of third party quality audits.
- Research online reviews and feedback.
- Cross-check bank statements and credit reports.
This due diligence helps avoid potential scam vendors or fly-by-night operators.
Step 6: Establish stringent quality control processes
Define a rigorous quality control plan for manufacturing chair/automotive moulds of the highest precision:
- Inspection of incoming raw materials
- First Article Inspections (FAI) to approve initial samples
- In-process quality checks at each critical stage – CNC machining, benching, grinding etc.
- Measurement reports to validate key mould dimensions
- Testing plastic parts from the mould for defects
- Final quality audit prior to shipment
Perform visits or hire third party inspectors at key milestones to ensure optimal oversight. This results in zero-defect moulds fully matching specifications.
Step 7: Monitor mould production and transportation
Actively track order progress post production start:
- Review weekly updates on design, CNC, benching, mould assembly etc.
- Maintain shared access of drawings, 2D/3D files, inspection reports etc.
- Highlight delays/issues immediately for quick resolution.
- Approve payments upon achieving production milestones. This provides working capital to the supplier.
- Oversee robust mould packaging – use sturdy wooden cases, international standards packing etc.
Close monitoring and timely payment enables on-time mould delivery in pristine condition.
Step 8: Mould payment terms and post-order support
For optimum cash flow management, use a tiered payment schedule:
- 30% advance payment to initiate production
- 30% payment upon first article inspection approval
- 30% payment prior to shipment
- 10% payment post-delivery after final QC acceptance
A phased plan allows linking payments to milestones and supplier performance.
Evaluate your mould maker’s commitment to post-delivery support:
- Quick response to technical queries
- Mould modifications, repairs and refurbishment services
- Supply of spare parts/consumables
- Reorders on preferential terms
A transparent, long term association with your chosen mould supplier results in maximum mutual value.
Sourcing high-quality chair moulds and automotive injection moulds from China offers immense benefits but also poses unique challenges. By following this systematic 8-step approach and exercising due caution, you can build rewarding partnerships with top-tier Chinese mould makers.
The key aspects are – clearly communicating your needs, comparing supplier bids, thoroughly qualifying the vendor, maintaining stringent quality control, closely tracking order execution, and defining balanced payment terms.
Using this robust process, you can procure exceptional chair and automotive moulds from China that exceed expectations and deliver maximum return on investment.