Vorse also notes that there is a modification that occurs for each closed molder. “You have to teach yourself,” he says. “You can have someone come in and talk to you about how to do it, but if you talk to five different people at five different companies, they all do it differently because they’ve all evolved their process from the basic.”

In the end, manufacturers will have to decide for themselves if open or closed molding is right for their company, sometimes on a per-part basis. The investment is significant—Vorse estimates it costs twice as much to get started as it would with open mold. There are also significant challenges. “One of the biggest things we’ve learned is that if something can be done improperly during a molding process, it eventually will,” Ball says. “The key is, every time something goes wrong, create a control that doesn’t allow it to happen again. Needless to say, we have a lot of controls in our process.”

Still, says Boothman, to him it’s worth the trouble. “Despite its challenges closed mold is still the way to go,” he says. “The level of quality and consistency we get is far superior and outweighs the issues you can have in your production.”