Estimating and planning to manufacture product is one of the most important stages of the entire manufacturing process. Both set the stage for how the manufacturing will be performed as well as determine the cost. Here at VIP, we find these two stages of pre-manufacturing to be the most important to invest time to ensure parts can be made effectively and with the capabilities in-house. There’s nothing worse than bidding a job without fully estimating the costs and planning out the manufacturing process, and find out you underbid it or you didn’t have the right equipment or tooling to actually fabricate. Here at VIP, we take everything into account when planning and estimating. So for this blog post, we are going to share some of the important types of information we look for in order to properly estimate and plan a request for quote:
Before we jump into how important tooling and fixtures are in manufacturing, let’s take a step back for a second. It is important to mention that there are three different types of manufacturing: Prototype, Production, and Mass Product. The largest distinction between the three types of manufacturing, besides the quantities produced, is how the product is fabricated. Prototypes are more hands on fabrication due to the low quantities. Whereas, when a product reaches the production and mass production stages, fabrication is mostly automated. A single product may go through all three of the different manufacturing types, come out with the same result, but the method of how it was manufactured is completely different. For more information on the individual production types and how they differ, click here. Continue reading
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
So just how influential is domestic manufacturing to the US economy? We came across some facts and statistics that we found very interesting and wanted to share:
Just recently, the New York Times came out with an article about how there’s so many job openings available in the U.S., specifically in the manufacturing world, and yet the unemployment rate is still soaring. This article touched home for us because here at VIP, we can relate! We have been in the metal fabrication business for over 56 years! Long ago, many people worked in factories and most jobs were skilled labor. Now that manufacturing has gone overseas and people are now going after the higher educated jobs, labor jobs have slowly diminished. Due to this movement of employment trends, schools and universities have also adapted. In other words, they no longer educate on things like welding, metal work, and other fabrication type skills.