Production Equipment Management for Contract Manufacturing

It seems not necessary to know much about production equipment, however having some basic knowledge on how the contract manufacturers should manage their production equipment would be much helpful for business runner to get their supply chain, especially for product quality well controlled. We strongly recommend those why are working with contract manufacturers or are willing to work with contract manufacturing companies.

Here below we would like to share some useful tips to manage production equipment.

Injection molding machine, blowing molding machine, and silicone molding machine

Injection molding Machine, blowing molding machine, and silicone molding machine

are the most common equipment to produce plastic parts. If you are working to monitor your supply chain, you should always know how your manufacturers maintain or manage those machines.

Per our experience, a contract manufacturer should always maintain those machines quarterly, some critical components should be maintained monthly, like reciprocating-screw, hydraulic drives, and control broad. As those components might effect product quality directly or indirectly.  

Mold Tooling

Mold tooling is the mother of product, any imperfection on the mold tooling would reflect defects on the molded products. When working with a contract manufacturing project, we should request the contract manufacturer to provide mold tooling list with timely maintenance report. Because most of contract manufacturers only care about few mold tools that is being used recently. And ignore those mold tooling that pending for order, that’s also being said, we should get all of mold tooling listed and maintained frequently. Otherwise it might delay our schedule and lead-time.  


Fixtures is used to fasten some work process temporarily for assembly, it directly determines product quality and production efficiency. A good fixture design should be based on product structure, assembly convenience, and assembly type.

Prior to a fixture to be used for production, it must be calibrated and qualified via dimension check, using simulation test, and consistence verification. Meanwhile the fixtures must be monitored from hours to hours, because any fixtures could wear out or deviate from original condition, which could lead to defect rate while contract manufacturing production.

Ultrasonic welding machine, drilling machine, punching machines

When contract manufacturing, some assembly process must be pre-processed before final assembly, ultrasonic welding machine is a very common welding machines that used for plastic parts connection, this machine should be adjusted properly to adapt for appropriate work

Tools, and it should be maintained monthly and quarterly to ensure consistency. Meanwhile a regular maintenance for drilling machine and punching machine is also necessary.

Testing Equipment

The testing equipment is one of the most important tools to control product quality, it could be used to check dimension, geometry, position and profile tolerance, etc. however those testing equipment must be calibrated before using. When you work with a contract manufacturers, you should always check their measurement and testing equipment to see if their quality system is on track or not.

However, for different size of contract manufacturing companies, they facilitated with different level of inspection and testing equipment. Basically a medium size or large size of contract manufacturer should be equipped with CMM, projectors, micrometer, pin guage, etc. If you are auditing an old manufacturer or evaluate a new contract manufacturer, checking out their measurement and testing equipment is an essential.