Hybridized Mold Builds, the best of both worlds

In today’s world of extreme cost prejudice and shorter and shorter lead time requirements, Rapid Mold Solutions has again taken the initiative to find innovative ways to meet our customer’s needs, with the introduction of the Rapid Hybrid. The Rapid Hybrid is a fusion of the benefits of the skilled craftsmanship and timely precision of the American mold maker and the cost cutting benefits of inexpensive materials and labor from “low cost” country tooling suppliers. This fusion results in a product that is less expensive than a mold built exclusively in the United States, but retains the integrity of our skilled craftsmen in an acceptable time frame, slightly longer than a strictly domestic build.

The Rapid Hybrid is a mold that is designed by Rapid Mold Solutions’ seasoned team of design engineers. Once the design is completed, a design review with the customer and the selected molder assures that a quality, robust tool will be built that meets the requirements of the customer and the press and functionality requirements of the molder. The largest material portion, but least complex aspect of the tool, the mold base, is then sent to our offshore facility, RMS Shanghai where it is manufactured. In some cases, when large tools are required, the cavities and cores of the mold will also be “roughed” out at RMS Shanghai resulting in further cost savings. The materials used in all segments of the tool to be produced by RMS Shanghai are certified, insuring that a quality mold is built to the stringent requirements of our material specifications. Rapid Mold Solutions provides its customers with weekly progress reports including Gant charts and digital photos of the offshore portion of the build and typically has a daily interface with the Shanghai manager addressing any issues or concerns that may arise affecting tool components and the timeline that has been quoted.

While the offshore portion of the tool is being manufactured, the “guts” of the mold go into production at RMS Erie. The production of the complex, integral components of the tool in Erie is completed by the skilled team of Rapid Mold Solutions’ toolmakers. The quality and precision of our toolmakers is spent on the critical portions of the mold including the molding areas and actions necessary to form a part meeting our customers’ tolerances.

Once the mold base and any other components that are “roughed” offshore are completed, they are promptly crated with care and shipped back to RMS Erie in a five week process that includes sea time and customs clearance. Rapid Mold Solutions handles all the logistics and customs requirements to deliver the components to RMS Erie for final assembly. Upon arrival at RMS Erie, all offshore components are checked to verify production to design requirements and the fitting of “guts” components manufactured in Erie begins. This process verifies and then assembles all of the components of the mold into one, final finished product that is now ready for its first mechanical sampling to verify mechanical performance.

When mechanical performance and part specifications are verified, the tool is then delivered to the customer or their molder of choice along with a team from Rapid Mold Solutions for first product sampling. The first product sampling establishes a basis for the process the molder will use to mold the parts and verifies that the parts created meet the tolerances provided by the customer. If parts vary from the tolerances required by the customer, RMS stands behind its product and will make the appropriate tool modifications in order to produce quality parts, molded to customer specifications.

The Rapid Hybrid is a viable solution for the current market’s extreme requirements. This tooling option is competitively priced and produced in a time-frame slightly longer than a domestic build, but in less time than a strictly offshore build while still insuring a quality, robust tool is manufactured with the accuracy and precision required of today’s strict part tolerances.

RMS Shanghai facility

RMS Shanghai facility

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