Balancing costs and quality is an ongoing production struggle. It can be difficult to know where to cut costs that won’t sacrifice the quality of your project. When working with metal machined parts, there are a few ways to meet your budget while still producing a high-quality component. As you examine your project’s bottom line, consider these cost-cutting tactics for metal machined parts
4 Cost-Cutting Tactics for Metal Machined Parts
1. Choose the Right Materials
This is the first and one of the best cost-cutting tactics for metal machined parts. While quality is essential—and the materials you use are a key factor in quality construction—it’s important to balance quality and expense. In many cases, you can still get the functionality you need from your metal machined parts while still cutting costs.
To find the right material for the job, it’s important to address the part’s function and utility. This way, your part will still function the way that it’s supposed to, without adding extra expense from materials that are unnecessarily tough or complex. For example, if your component is going to be used indoors and won’t be subject to intense temperature extremes or moisture, a carbon alloy will probably meet your needs, and stainless steel may add unnecessary expense.
Consider the following to guide your decisions about materials:
- Force: In the component’s common and regular use, what type of force will it be subjected to? This includes regular wear and tear or abrasion, weight and pressure, pushing or pulling, and more. If the component must withstand heavy force in its regular use, a tough steel will be important, but a component that won’t see intense use can be made with a lighter, more affordable alloy.
- Temperature: Temperature considerations are especially important for metal machined parts. Temperature swings will cause some metals to expand, contract or warp significantly, while other metals will hold their shape more consistently. Consider any aspect that might create temperature swings, such as friction, outdoor use, cooling fluids or heating elements, and more.
- Corrosion: All metals corrode in some form, though some are much more resistant to it than others. If the metal machined part will be subjected to moisture, including washing water, steam, high humidity and other aspects, the metal must be resistant to corrosion. If the component will be mostly enclosed and used indoors where corrosion will be much slower, corrosion resistance probably won’t add much value to the component.
2. Leverage Supplier Relationships
Once you’ve decided on the right material for the job, the next step is deciding where to source the material. If you’re working with a subcontractor for the components, they have existing metal supplier relationships that they can leverage. Or, if you’re subcontracting the labor, but you already have valuable supplier partnerships, you can supply the materials yourself. Choosing the right type of contract and partnership can help you take advantage of the skills and equipment you need.
3. Plan Your Purchases Carefully
Pre-planning is another important cost-cutting tactic for metal machined parts. With a reliable timetable and production schedule in mind, you can take advantage of blanket purchases. These pre-arranged orders with delivery across multiple dates can help your manufacturing partner plan production more easily, and they can help to cut costs.
With a good idea of your production needs, you can also place a bulk order, which can reduce per-unit costs for metal machined parts significantly. Set up costs often account for the bulk of an overall order’s expense, and bulk orders help to spread these expenses across more units. You benefit from economies of scale, and you can be more confident that you will have the components that you need when you need them.
4. Simplify Your Design
Even small details can quickly add expenses for metal machined parts. Simplifying your design is one of the most effective cost-cutting tactics for metal machined parts. Small divots, cuts or holes that are excessively delicate or excessively deep creates unnecessary complexity and expense. Once again, a clear understanding of the component’s common use can help to streamline the design and cut costs.
If you’re unsure how to streamline or simplify your component’s design, talk to an experienced metal fabricating partner. With a detailed understanding of the machines and processes needed to produce the part, an experienced fabrication partner can suggest ways to simplify the design without sacrificing product quality or utility.
Working with an experienced manufacturing partner can help you cut costs on metal machined parts in multiple ways. Experienced designers, engineers, fabricators and project managers can all help to keep your project on-time and on-budget, while still delivering on quality and consistency.