When is it worth making your own mold and starting production of plastic products instead of using standard products?

26 April 2023

Overview of covered topics

By reading the article, you will learn:

  • What is involved in creating a mold for your specific needs and when it is worth doing so, along with examples
  • What catalog products are and when it’s cost-effective to use them.

What does starting your own production involve, and what are catalog products?

When there is a need for using plastic components, you have two options to consider – either using catalog products readily available on the market or initiating your own production, which involves creating custom molds to meet specific requirements.

Catalog products are those available on the market without any initial costs, for example, in big stores or in the catalogs of various manufacturers.

Implementation, on the other hand, refers to the creation of molds, followed by prototypes and preparation for mass production. It can be time-consuming and involves significant initial costs. Often, this is the only option when there are no existing products on the market that meet our needs. In this article, we will present 6 situations when it’s worthwhile to implement your own product and 3 situations when it’s better to use solutions available in the market.

Mold design and mold

Market products or in-house production?

There are many ready-made plastic products available on the market. Often, they more or less fit a specific application. Using them frequently comes with many limitations and the need to compromise. These include, among others:

  • the shape and size of the plastic product
  • the quality of manufacturing
  • the placement of assembly components
  • color
  • etc.

Before making a decision, it’s important to ask whether it’s better to accept the compromises mentioned above or invest in a mold.

When is it worth implementing your own products for production?

The initial implementation cost can be high, ranging from a few hundred to even several hundred thousand PLN (depending on the technology and the scale of the intended production). Nevertheless, there are many situations where implementing your own mold is justified.

1. You want to tailor a plastic product to fit your manufactured equipment/machinery/solution, not the other way around.

When similar solutions are available on the market to what you are looking for, you need to consider whether you are willing to adapt your design/equipment to them or if it’s better to create your own, custom-tailored product that will directly meet your needs.

2. The required product is unconventional.

Often, there are no similar solutions available on the market to what we are looking for. Additionally, we may need to implement something exactly according to our own model/drawing, and we are not willing to make any compromises.

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3. You are looking for long-term cost savings.

Implementing your own product can have a positive impact on costs in the long run. If the produced item is precisely what you need, you pay only for that, not for a general solution. Calculating ROI (Return on Investment in the mold) is crucial, and if you need assistance with that, feel free to contact us.

4. You need better production control, and meeting deadlines is crucial.

If you need to have control over production, implementing your own mold will be the best solution. In this case, “on-demand production” is possible, and lead times can be 2-3 times shorter. Additionally, certain production changes, such as wall thickness adjustments, can be made quickly.

5. Market-available products do not meet your needs.

It often happens that the solutions available on the market have certain drawbacks, such as a decline in quality, lack of dimensional repeatability, and so on. Products may also have inferior strength parameters, leading to future complaints. Sometimes, a particular product or material is hard to come by, or the manufacturer faces various issues. In such cases, it’s worth considering mold implementation and in-house production.

6. The possibility of further distribution and placing your own logo.

After implementing your own product, you can become its distributor and continue selling it to companies in the market. Furthermore, you have the option to add your own logo, incorporate custom assembly components, and achieve better durability precisely where it’s needed for a specific application.

When is it not worth implementing your own products into production and better to use existing solutions on the market?

There are situations where it’s worth using solutions that are already available. In such cases, you don’t incur implementation costs. These include:

1. Production in small quantities.

Very rarely can we produce small production runs cost-effectively

2. The products are very popular.

For products like bottles, jerry cans, buckets, boxes, it is very rarely cost-effective to create a dedicated product because there are already many different types of such products available on the market.

3. You are looking for short-term cost savings.

If the sole reason is to seek short-term cost savings, it won’t be achievable through implementing your own product. The initial cost is relatively high and may only amortize over a longer period.

Examples of implementing in-house production despite the presence of products on the market:

1. Implementing customized manholes in the custom size.

These manholes serve as enclosures for underground tanks. It was possible to use ready-made solutions offered by the market in a different size. By implementing our own mold and starting production, it was possible to better package the device, facilitating its installation. Furthermore, thanks to the use of the customized size, the company achieved savings over the course of several months by not having to purchase larger-sized manholes.

2. Implementing tanks in a customized size.

The company used to order tanks available in the market but decided to start its own production. As a result, it achieved financial savings over a two-year period. The tanks were designed perfectly to accommodate their own equipment, ensuring durability in the right places. Additionally, the company placed its logo on the tanks. These tanks were characterized by better durability and quality.


Despite the high initial cost, there are many situations in which creating your own mold and starting plastic production is cost-effective. At Plastipol, we carry out many such implementations.

If you are wondering whether creating a dedicated product makes sense in your case, consult your project with us and obtain the necessary knowledge to determine its profitability.

Adam Bernacki

Adam Bernacki

Technical director at Plastipol Poland. Popularizer of knowledge about plastics processing. Industry experience gained through education at Scandinavian polytechnics, work in global corporations in the plastics industry, and by managing technical issues in a Polish company. Specialist in plastics batch and mass production technologies. Author of articles and industry texts for clients in various industry sectors. Training Advisor.