Top 5 Benefits of Using Off-The-Shelf Items

The process of designing metal parts is time consuming in itself. As we all know, time is money, and one of the great ways to save time and money is to design parts using off-the-shelf items. We occasionally come across a customer who designs fully custom parts including the hardware, brackets, tubing, and other custom components. We often times make suggestions to use off-the-shelf items if they serve the same or similar purpose in order to cut costs and save time. It should be known that it is acceptable and encouraged to used off-the-shelf items. Some engineers may believe that by having fully custom parts help to set their design apart from others, but this isn’t economical or efficient in the long run. Here is a list of the top 5 benefits of using off-the-shelf items in the design of your metal parts: Continue reading

Material Grain Direction

One thing some engineers forget about when designing a sheet metal part is the material grain direction. During the fabrication process, most of the time, the sheet of metal will go through a line grain machine prior to forming, hardware, and finish. Line grain can also be known as Satin Finishing, Metal Brush Finishing, and Time Saver Finishing. Line grain is a uniform linear sanded finish that is used to remove and minimize scratches, blemishes, material defects, and mill scale. Continue reading

Top 5 Tips to Design for Manufacturability

design for manufacturabilityBeing a manufacturer of precision sheet metal, CNC machined, and welded parts, we strive to manufacture parts economically and cost effectively. We often receive prints of newly designed parts to manufacture that are poorly designed. Since we provide value-added engineering to all the jobs we manufacture, we will often discuss design changes to the mechanical engineer in order to make the part less expensive and more economical. Here are some design mistakes we often see: Continue reading

Intro to Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

We are going to review Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing¬† (GD&T) and what it is, why it’s important, and how we use it today. GD&T really began after World War II when the US fabricated parts to specifications, but did not successfully assemble. This created major issues especially since it was during a very critical time. Prior to GD&T, there was conventional tolerating methods that were used, but were not very accurate or reliable. After WWII, a committee investigated many of the defective parts as to why they were not accurately made to assemble if the parts were made to their specifications. They found the parts varied in dimension which caused the parts to be out of spec for assembly. As a result, the committee developed GD&T which allowed for a certain degree of variation of a dimension (tolerance) in order for parts to remain within its specification, properly assemble to mating parts, improve quality, and to essentially reduce cost. This great finding reached other industries other than the government sector, and companies and institutions began adopting the use of tolerances. Since then, new industry standards have been created and are regularly used in today’s manufacturing. Continue reading

Custom Manufacturing vs. Mass Production

Custom Manufacturing

Custom Manufacturing

Mass Production

Mass Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog post will distinguish the difference between Custom Manufacturing and Mass Production. Having knowledge of the difference between the two greatly influences two things, 1. how the part will be made, 2. the cost to make the part. Simply put custom and mass production are polar opposites of each other. Here’s why: Continue reading