At OMICO Plastics, we specialize in custom blow-molded plastic solutions. The process enables us to create a variety of hollow parts and products for customers across a wide range of industries.
As blow molding experts located in Owensboro, KY, we are the ideal partner for companies in the United States. We have extensive experience, dedicated employees, and stringent standards, all of which help us create and deliver high-quality blow-molded plastic parts and products. Additionally, we provide the opportunity to bring outsourced manufacturing operations back to the US from overseas countries (i.e., reshore), which can lead to significant cost savings.
Overview of the Blow Molding Process
Blow molding operations can be classified into three categories based on method—extrusion blow molding, injection stretch blow molding, and injection blow molding. Regardless of the method used, most modern blow molding operations are largely automated, which enables thousands of pieces to be produced within a short production period without sacrificing quality.
The blow molding process generally proceeds as follows:
- A hopper or screw feeds plastic pellets into the blow molding machine.
- The machine melts the plastic pellets and shapes them into a parison (i.e., a tube with a hole at one end).
- The machine clamps the parison in place inside of the mold.
- Compressed air inflates the parison until it fills the cavity of the mold.
- The mold remains closed until the piece is cooled and then opens to allow for part removal.
- The molded part continues to any necessary finishing operations.
The Cost of Creating Blow Molding Molds
The molds utilized in blow molding operations can be manufactured from scratch or from existing, used molds. The latter option—commonly referred to as mold refurbishing—allows old molds to get a second life. Because the cost to create new blow molds can be expensive, repurposed blow molds can also be a more cost-effective alternative to new molds.
Existing blow molds can be sourced in various ways, including from companies with obsolete product lines or companies that went out of business. In any case, the mold must be a good match for the new part. The parts the old mold makes must be similar in layout and size to the parts the new mold will make. If 80–90% of the existing mold can be used, it can be refurbished and rebuilt into a new mold cost-effectively.
How Does Reshoring Affect the Cost of Blow Molding?
While using refurbished molds can help lower the total cost of blow molding operations, reshoring mold creation and blow molding operations offers greater cost savings. Reshoring refers to the practice of bringing operations back from a foreign country to the country in which the parts/products are distributed and used. It can offset the cost of operations in a variety of ways, including by:
- Lowering the total cost of ownership: Over the years, increased labor and shipping costs and newly introduced tariffs have significantly reduced the cost-savings once experienced by choosing an offshore manufacturing solution over an onshore one. Reshoring operations allows companies to avoid paying import and export tariffs on their goods (up to 25–35%), which can mean much lower overall product costs.
- Shortening lead times: Companies worldwide are currently experiencing massive shipping delays and global supply chain disruptions. Moving manufacturing operations back to the United States decreases the amount of time it takes for finished products to be delivered to domestic distribution facilities or end-users and reduces the cost of shipping the products.
- Increasing product quality: In the United States, manufacturing operations are subjected to strict standards that help ensure the production of quality products. As a result, there is less risk of subpar products being created and shipped to customers, which can lead to lower waste generation and higher customer satisfaction.
Reshore Your Blow Molding Operations with OMICO Plastics
Looking for an experienced and knowledgeable blow molding partner for your next project? The experts at OMICO Plastics are here to help! To learn more about our blow molding capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your project details with one of our team members, request a quote.