Unknowingly you have touched an area which is very important to me.i.e How to build a team of people who would be good at custom injection mold making. That is the genesis of all solutions to good injection mold making. I shall definitely try that pproach. Participative analysis of problems by people with experience will definitely result in better custom injection molds.
This is an area where older experienced people as Interim managers and mentors is over looked. There are many top class people made redundant in the later stages of their career and due to the age barrier (which of course officially does not exist) can not find a position again. There are hundreds of such people who will be very happy to take an interim (mentoring) position for one or two years.
I'm not sure what your specific application details are, but if you are converting a Metal Die Casting to a High Temperature Resin to be used for an Inlet Manifold I would suggest that you look at some of the automotive applications that have been used over the last 20 years. Many of the German cars have excellent examples of this type of custom injection molding----BMW and MB are long time users.
Knowhow is indeed a priceless asset, but there are a lot of techniques or ideas which senior plastic injection makers/businesses have stopped using long time ago, and now consider obsolete. These could help generate profit and maybe more business. There would be a number of areas where collaboration may result in bigger business for all those involved. It is always a choice to mentor or not.i think we should give it a try.i propose to start another discussion on the same lines let us see where we end up.
I didn't know you could get only the custom plastic injection mold imported from China. This would allow manufacturing in USA. How do the custom plastic injection molds match the production machinery? Are there standards or brand driven concerns with the interface?