Are you looking for a high-capacity manufacturing partner? Those are everywhere, even in the niche world of roll-formed parts. But how many of those possess the agility and communicativeness of a small business?
Small metal roll forming suppliers can get the job done, too. Want proof?
A Metal ROLL FORMing partner DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A GIANT
An OEM can get great use of a small or mid-sized roll-form manufacturer. Benefits of working with a more tight-knit operation include:
- The same standards as larger manufacturers
- Custom, vendor-managed inventory systems
- A dynamic in-house engineering team
- Trusty tools it's happy to share
1. The Same High Standards as Larger Manufacturers
If they're willing to put in the investment, smaller roll-forming companies can run a great operation, too.
Some of these smaller manufacturers are fully ISO-certified to meet ever-changing quality standards. Many produce shapes using advanced metal roll-forming machines to meet the demands of some of the most prominent manufacturers in the world.
A just-right size allows a roll-formed components manufacturer to focus on doing great work for a handful of OEMs. That's always better than a supplier spreading itself too thin and letting quality suffer.
2. Custom Vendor-Managed Inventory Systems
A roll former should have no problem storing your stuff -- and only just the right amount. This is easier when you have a close, long-term relationship with a partner capable of giving your supply chain the attention it needs.
A roll former should tailor each system specifically to your company's product demand. Its fundamental roots should sprout from just-in-time (JIT) delivery and pull system concepts.
A vendor-managed inventory program can:
- Reduce inventory investment
- Lower administrative costs
- Free up space in your building
- Improve logistics management
A customer-friendly roll forming company will collaborate with you to build a strategic material purchasing plan. Your manufacturer is familiar with the raw materials market; as such, it should be watching long-term trends and predictions. The right partner will have the expertise to get your materials at an optimal price, based on market movement.
3. A Dynamic In-House Engineering Team
The way you design your roll-formed component impacts:
- Overall costs
- Lead times
- Quality consistency
So why wouldn't you work with a manufacturer that has the time and experience to help you succeed?
Like other metal manufacturing processes, the roll forming process has its quirks and pitfalls. Working closely with a small team on the vendor's side may better educate you on how to optimize your part. That doesn't just mean performance, it means cost-efficiency too!
4. Trusty Tools It's Happy to Share
Do you seek precision metal manufacturing, but fear the investment required for custom roll-forming tools? There’s a chance your manufacturer can help you out there, too.
For example, our 118 years of work has left us with more than 1,400 sets of Dahlstrom-owned tools. All of them are available for your use, at no additional cost.
Consequently, Dahlstrom Roll Form is capable of producing low-to-medium-sized orders that range from 100-5,000 linear ft. This is a service not typically offered by other roll forming companies, so check out our catalog to see the shapes our tools produce.
If you're looking at another manufacturer, ask how much pre-existing tooling it has on hand. There's a chance you can score yourself a freebie, as long as your partner offers this perk.
MORE TIPS FOR A HAPPY PARTNERSHIP With a metal roll forming partner
Your metal roll forming partner should remain flexible and meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.
It’s worth your while to set up a supply agreement with your roll-forming partner to make sure you both are on the same page.
The benefits include:
- Cost savings
- Knowing the specifications of your supply system
Want to Keep Your Roll-Forming Costs Down?
We get the need to keep a careful eye on your budget. To learn how a precision metal forming company can improve your processes and make them more cost effective, check out the free e-book below:
(Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2016 and was recently updated.)
You need long, slender, L-shaped metal components for your project.
Several metal forming processes can achieve the desired result, such as stamping, press braking, or extrusion. A comparison that isn’t talked about enough? The differences between metal roll forming and angle iron.
While it's certainly niche, roll forming is still like any other metal manufacturing process. A little collaborative engineering and a lot of lean manufacturing practices equal mutual success.
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