It seems every week there’s another story of tension between China and the U.S. ratcheting up. International trade is becoming more difficult, raw materials are becoming harder to import, and those low costs of imported goods aren’t what they used to be. If you offshored injection molding dies, manufacturing, or assembly to China in the last two decades, you may be ready to reshore your manufacturing from China given the current business climate.
Washington has considered a US$25 billion “reshoring fund” according to a May 18 report by Reuters. That is enough incentive to consider bringing your contracts back within our borders, but you may find that your partners across the Pacific Ocean aren’t willing to return your dies with just a phone call or email. They may have long-term contracts that you need to renegotiate, they may be unresponsive to your request, or that language barrier is finally enough to recall your tooling and assembly equipment. Do you really own the tooling? What condition is it in? And will your supplier allow the tools to leave without becoming hostile?
Who Can Help Return Our Tools to the U.S.?
SEA-LECT Plastics can help with the recovery of your tooling and assembly equipment should you need support in China. We have American partners in China ready to show up at your supplier’s doorstep. Our partners speak their language and know their etiquette. We can support your decision to remove your tooling, move it to a secure location, then we can evaluate its condition thoroughly. We have mold experts that can give you a quote for any repairs, cleaning, or modifications necessary to bring them up to the American standards for injection mold tooling and safety.
What Risks Are There with Injection Mold Recovery?
You may find that your tooling from China isn’t what you thought it was going to be. Unless you specifically asked for a certain type of mold in your initial contract, molds that stay in China are not built to any specific standard or mold classification. They may not have the manufacturer warranty that you initially thought to cover any damage, nor will they be cleaned and ready to comply with American processes and safety standards.
What Can SEA-LECT Plastics Do to Mitigate the Risks?
We’ve performed mold recovery operations and helped fellow American companies regain control of their tooling. Some recovery has been straight-forward, while others have been difficult. It’s a tough road to figure out as the twists and turn of cultural differences can add challenges you didn’t think existed. Once we recover your injection molds, we can prepare each mold for shipment back to the United States.
Once your injection molds are back on U.S. soil, you can finally experience the shorter and more reliable lead-times you were promised, receive prompt responses to your requests, and achieve an overall better experience with competitive prices. SEA-LECT Plastics has an elite in-house tool and die making department. Our master toolmakers utilize old school trades with modern technology, world-class design capabilities, and we lead and mentor the next generation of skilled craftsmen through apprenticeship education.
How Can SEA-LECT Plastics Get Started with Reshoring Our Tooling ?
Fortunately we have a recovery plan that can help you gain control of your tooling and bring your manufacturing back to the USA. The best way to start the process is to give us a call, discuss what you have offshore, and we can start to formulate a plan for recovery. The more information you have available, like pictures of your mold, mold CAD drawings, 3D mold files, mold test videos, process data sheets, and material datasheets will help with the recovery process. However, we understand that sometimes you won’t have a lot of information.
Our recovery plans will point out all problem areas and give you cost information, so you can decide on the most economical solution for recovery. You want to work with an experienced injection mold recovery company, and we have worked with many companies to return their tools to home soil. We’ve navigated our way through the necessary tariffs and other red tape that you might find holding you back from doing so. It is important to understand the legal and proper ways to get your tool back. We’ve been there and done that already, and we can help you navigate through every step to safely return your injection molding tools.
Don’t let your overseas operations intimidate you. You have an American partner that can help recover you’re your tools and reshore your manufacturing business. Beyond tool recovery, we offer state of the art turn-key manufacturing in Everett, Washington. We can offer a great solution to help you figure out what you currently own, its opportunity for domestic production, requirements to get your injection mold back to the USA, and how to get them immediately back into production. Our overseas operations are managed by American born and trained citizens who will coordinate the injection mold recovery process and keep us up to date. You don’t have to start over with your products.
We have an elite team that produces world-class prototypes and products, and can offer support to decide who and where to send your future business. Give us a call at (425) 339-0288 or email us at email@example.com. We look forward to offering support and advice on your next project. In the end, the material and process chosen will benefit your product design by having a prototype made to show employees, potential customers, current clients, and future investors.
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.