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Getting Custom Extrusions On Time And On Budget
When working on commercial projects or product development, completing the job to the desired standards is a top priority.
15:05 14 June 2021
While many factors can affect the success of your project, the materials and equipment are of foundational importance for the quality of the end product.
If you need a particular shape for your products or project that is not currently available on the market, then you are best off using custom extrusions to manufacture it. Although you might be hesitant about the unknown work, additional costs, or longer lead time of custom extrusions, you can find manufacturers that can work within your budget and timeline and end up with unique and enhanced designs.
Getting custom extrusions on time and budget requires knowledge of the process and providers. It is important to get familiarized with the specifics of the venture to make sure you are getting the best possible outcome for your project.
What Is A Custom Extrusion?
Extrusion is the process of producing products by pushing materials, typically aluminum or plastic, through a mold to form a specific shape. Custom extrusion refers to the same process, but with custom-made shapes or designs.
There are a few techniques for custom extrusions, including cold, hot, and friction extrusion. Plastic and aluminum extrusions, which are the most common applications, use hot friction; they are heated and melted to be pushed through the barrel and molded into the desired shape.
The best material for custom extrusions is aluminum, due to its corrosion resistance. Its lightweight and durability also make it a popular choice for extrusions globally as the global aluminum extrusion market is expected to reach $118.7 billion by 2027.
Getting Custom Extrusions On Time
Lead Time For Custom Extrusions
Before estimating a timeline for your custom extrusion projects, it is important to consider the factors that determine your product’s manufacturing time. Some of the top factors include:
Demand. Production lead time will primarily be affected by the demand for custom extrusions. Due to the vast applications and uses of extrusions across industries, custom extrusion companies might face an increased workload.
Tooling Lead Time. Before the manufacturing process begins, you will need to create a custom steel plate - called a die - that will determine the shape and size of your product. Its completion time will depend on the characteristics of the product, but it will usually take 2 to 4 weeks to finish.
Extrusion Lead Time. The extrusion time will depend on the type of material you are using, and where your product will fall in the production line. You should, therefore, consult beforehand about the intended finish date.
Additions And Revisions. In many cases, the extrusion will require additions such as applying coatings, deburring, cutting to length, drilling hotels, or other activities that follow the actual manufacturing process.
Completing Your Project On Time
To ensure the extrusion is finished on time, you should scope out the provider options and check what their expected completion time is.
The best way to make sure that the company will deliver on its promise is to check its credentials and experience. If a company has little experience with the materials you are using, they will likely take longer to deliver. Experience can also translate to efficiency and credibility - consider companies that are more skilled or have a longer track record.
Getting Custom Extrusions On Budget
The cost of the extrusion depends on several factors that you should carefully consider and control so you stay within budget.
Die. As a prerequisite for production, the die will be a necessary and major portion of the cost. The cost will depend on the complexity and size of the design, and whether it is solid or hollow. Hollow dies are typically more expensive since they require more parts, so before completing the design you should ask yourself if the die has to necessarily be hollow.
Weight Per Meter. The cost per meter of your product will be largely determined by the weight per meter. You should ask yourself if you can reduce the thickness of the walls, remove features, or simply reduce the mass by introducing hollow spaces.
Design. Seeing as the design will directly impact your costs, there are some clever design options that can reduce the price such as screw ports, interlocking joints, non-slip surfaces, or hinges.
Price Of Material. An obvious contributor to the cost is the material that you choose, so you should keep track of any changes in the market price of the material before you calculate the final costs of your design.
Order Size. You will likely be able to negotiate a lower price if you order volumes in chunks, or if the company itself transports larger volumes at once, so you should discuss the pricing options beforehand.
Custom extrusions can produce versatile and high-quality products due to the wide variety of materials and designs they use. However, due to their versatile nature, they all require different production methods, lead times, and costs.
Before committing to a production timeline, you should familiarize yourself with the factors that impact the lead time, such as demand, tooling, extrusion process, and additions and revisions.
Make sure you consider all options before choosing an extruder to ensure a timely and cost-efficient extrusion process.