Today's Industrial Products and Solutions November 2018 - Page 14

to 5,000 units per month, the customer can move from fabrication to hard tooling in a smooth transition with the same supplier. In one real-world example, Denholtz says a customer was spending $18 for a power supply chassis with a $4 cover. As volume requirements increased, DureX suggested it was time to move to hard tooling. This reduced the over- all cost from $22 to $14. “The customer is saving $8 a unit and now they are up to over 3,000 units a month,” explains Denholtz. “The tooling cost $80,000, so at $24,000 in savings each month it took 3.5 months to get the money back.” The Progression of Options According to Bob Denholtz, president of DureX Inc., deciding on the best technique to manufacture a part in- volves a careful analysis of the production volume versus the cost of the hard tooling. “With a sheet metal part that costs $10, it may cost $6 for stamping, but the OEM may have to spend $30-40,000 in tooling. So for that $4 saving, they need to make sure they have 10-20,000 pieces so they can pay off the tooling quickly,” says Denholtz. Founded in 1946, DureX, Inc. operates a 120,000 square foot facility that provides metal stamping, sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining. The company has more than 50 presses with capacity up to 400 tons, along with laser cutting equipment and turret presses - in addition to value-added services such as powder coating, assem- bly, packaging and fulfillment. According to Denholtz, a one-stop-shop can work with a customer by offering a full progression of options based on what he calls “the ROI threshold.” For example, for a startup that needs 500 units per month, it may not make sense to spend the money for stamping, so the part can be fabricated. As the program matures and the OEM goes from 500 12 TIPS Magazine • November ‘18 Had it not been cost-effective to use hard tooling for the box, it many have been for the cover because it is a cheaper tool. In that case, the customer could continue to receive a set of parts from the same supplier. A hybrid approach can even be used. “I may fabricate a part on our turret press or use laser cutting and then use a hard tool to form it into a box,” says Denholtz. Tools can also be staged to create a blank, before a sec- ondary press is used to form it into a box with another hard tool. Finally, if it is determined that it is worth the cost, a full- blown progressive die can be purchased that will form the entire box completely with very little labor. Air Conditioning Parts For Michael Milazzo, CEO of Simon-Aire, working with a metal parts supplier that actually initiates suggestions is highly unusual. “I’ve worked with many sheet metal fabricators over the years and they are often silent, says Milazzo. “They just keep moving forward without stopping to say, ‘listen, if you do this, you can save yourself 12 passes,’ or ‘the weight of the sheet metal is too heavy, if you use a lower gauge, you can reduce your costs.’“ Simon-Aire Inc. manufactures Packaged Terminal Air