Completing your sheet metal fabrication project can be an expensive process. From the design and prototype to the production and finishing process, you will spend money every step of the way. Other than the work that will go into the project, you’ll incur expenses to get the materials themselves from suppliers like, TRUECORE Steel. If you have a tight budget, you require a well-optimised design as well as a cost-saving plan. Here are essential tips that can assist you to save money the next time you have a fabrication project.
Select a suitable material
It’s critical to pick the best material for the fabrication project to avoid spending more money unnecessarily. Consider using the stock sizes of the materials and use less costly materials, like aluminium over stainless steel, for prototypes. Also, when selecting the final material, use an affordable material that will suit your requirements.
Work with in-house engineers
Consider working with a fabricator who has employed in-house engineers to provide design services. Usually, such engineers possess social skills and experience required for different fabrication processes. They can work to assist you to optimise the design, recommend a suitable material and in-line processes you might not know.
With in-house engineers to handle your projects, more perspective will be added, which will assist you to minimise your material, production, as well as shipping expenses. While you can still complete your project to your specification without these engineers, you risk making design mistakes that could affect the quality of the final product.
Buy materials directly from a supplier
Some fabrication companies buy mill-direct supplies, meaning they get the materials at an affordable cost on their customer’s behalf. Other than negotiating the better prices, they also get the best products for the job. Due to the experience and relationships, they build with suppliers, you will benefit directly. What’s more, if the fabrication company buys materials from the millers like TRUECORE Steel, they will ship, store and process the products on your behalf.
Hire a local fabricator
Proximity is one of the biggest advantages you will enjoy when you work with a local fabricator. If you want to check if the facility is up to your satisfaction, you can quickly drive or walk there instead of planning a costly and time consuming trip to a far place just to visit the facility and confirm that it’s to your satisfaction.
Additionally, meetings will be easier to organise and coordinate with a local business. This can either be done by a one on one meeting or phone, which is more productive and easier to handle regularly. This means you can communicate all the details regarding your plans and business objectives. If sudden adjustments have to be made, or unplanned problems come up, handling it together will be much easier.
All you should do is to ensure you find a perfect partner and inform them about your project objective, including the materials you would like to work with. Line this up with a fabricator who has the capability and experience to handle the job. If done right, this can lead to a fruitful and long term partnership.
Use a common gauge
As you design the part, consider using a standard sheet metal gauge. The thickness limitations are determined by the part’s geometry. A thicker material can make it hard for the fabricator to attain the right bends. So, it’s advisable to have a common gauge to reduce expenses that come with using variable gauges.
Have simple folds
Generally, the more complex your parts are, the more you will pay for the project. For this reason, consider having designs that have simple angled bends which have a radius that’s greater than or equal to the sheet thickness. Making small bends on a thick and large part will often be inaccurate, expensive and challenging to produce. As you design a part, aim for simple designs and your project will be more affordable.
Maintain uniform bends
When you opt for a design that maintains uniform bends, the cost of your project will decrease significantly. Bends that are in the same area should face the same direction to prevent part reorientation; this saves both time and money. Moreover, keeping consistent bend radiuses will make parts more affordable since they’ll be easy to produce
It’s evident that your sheet metal fabrication project doesn’t have to be expensive. With these outlined tricks, you should be able to minimise the cost and still get quality products.