Bruder is known as one of the best toy manufacturers in the world, with their scaled-down versions of trucks and vehicles popular with collectors. However, many may wonder how Bruder toys are made.
Making Bruder toys is broken down into the following steps: development and design, prototyping, construction and molds, mounting the plastic parts, and assembly and packaging. Bruder manufactures all toys at their plant in Würth, Germany, and all materials are sourced exclusively from the European Union.
This article will explore how Bruder toys are made, looking into each step of the manufacturing process.
Step 1: Development & Design
The development and design stage usually involves developing a design plan using computer software before generating a 3D model. Bruder does this to confirm the accuracy of measurements.
The first step starts with development and design. Bruder decides which model toy to create based on consumer feedback, internal research, and partner relationships.
Bruder uses CAD technology to develop and design new products. CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design. Doing so allows Bruder to use computers to create plans with detailed measurements.
The software-generated plan allows them to break down the model into specific parts, which they can then produce separately, and later assemble to form the final toy model.
Bruder designs toys that are safe for children. The plastics are high-quality and non-toxic. There are also minimal screws or overly sharp parts that may hurt children. Rarely are there detachable parts that children may accidentally put into their mouths and swallow.
Step 2: Prototyping
During the prototyping phase, an engineer builds a prototype of the toy based on the design plan. The parts are laser cut out from plastics before being fitted and tested for performance.
After finalizing the designs with CAD software, it is time to build a prototype. A prototype refers to the first or preliminary version of a product.
The prototype builder will also test and confirm other details, such as the colors. They will then complete tests to ensure the functionality of the toy works as expected.
Once a prototype is complete, they will make suggestions to improve the design plan further.
The graphic designers may receive the feedback and then implement changes, only for the 3D builders to rebuild the parts to test the new design again. There may be many back-and-forths between the design plan and prototyping before moving to the final design's actual construction.
Step 3: Constructing the Molds
Engineers now take the finalized design plan and build the mold to mass-manufacture the plastic parts. These molds are usually laser milled from steel, with copper used in some parts of the mold.
Now that the design plan has been confirmed and finalized and the 3D prototype is up to mark, the manufacturing process can move into mold constructions.
Bruder manufactures their toys through the injection molding technique. This technique injects hot molten plastic into molds. The plastic then cools down and solidifies before being removed for assembly.
As such, Bruder needs to manufacture the molds first. The mold must be precise, ensuring the plastic parts fit perfectly with each other during later assembly.
Bruder engineers use CNC milling machines to construct the mold. The molds are milled out and then test fitted for fit and precision. The molds are usually made from steel, although copper may be used in some parts.
They will then take the mold off the milling machine and perform manual finishing if such action helps improve the mold's precision and accuracy.
Step 4: Molding The Plastic Parts
The mass manufacturing of plastic parts can now begin. Bruder utilizes the injection molding technique. Once cooled and hardened, they remove the pieces for assembly.
With the molds now ready, production can begin. Plastics are heated to become a liquid, pushing the molten plastics into the mold before being given time to cool down.
These plastic parts are premixed with the color intended for the final product. For example, they will apply a green dye if Bruder is making a John Deere Tractor model toy.
Once the plastic hardens, they open the mold and remove the pieces. They recycle any unused plastic for reuse in the next batch.
Bruder uses robots and machinery during this process to reduce health hazards, as molten plastics can burn and may emit toxins that could be hazardous to breathe in.
Step 5: Assembly & Packaging
Bruder assembles the plastic parts into their final form with automated systems and manual assemblers. The toy models are then packed into Bruder's signature packaging before being shipped worldwide to over 70 countries.
Are Bruder Toys Made In China?
Contrary to what some may think, Bruder toys are not made in China or other lower-cost manufacturing countries such as Vietnam or Indonesia.
Instead, Bruder toys are manufactured in their main plant in Würth, Germany, and they source all of their materials within the European Union.
You can count on the high quality of German engineering and manufacturing.
Buying Bruder supports fair labor practices. Germany and the European Union have strong labor laws, ensuring Bruder workers are treated well, given adequate training, and protected from workplace hazards.