Designers / Molders questions and issues

The upcoming Structural Plastics conference will feature a panel discussion including a number of designers and plastic molders. The panel’s working title is “Molders are from Mars, Designers are from Venus.” The idea is that molders / manufacturers and designers need to work together, but often have a hard time doing so.
I’m soliciting input for possible discussion topics for this panel. What are the issues that designers face when working with a plastics fabricator? How can the two sides better work together?

The real issue is that manufacturers and fabricators who cannot offer additional services beyond the factory (including design) are already seeing their business flee to less expensive overseas operations. Are designers currently working with manufacturers as peers to expand the offerings on each side?

Are there other ways that designers find it hard to work with molders and fabricators? Please post suggested discussion items here. You can also email with your replies.

3 whole years later and still no answer…makes me want to shed a tear…

I come from a town that made its money in the plastics and mold business. Its all going away. Sad part of life.