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?
Smaller precision roll-forming suppliers can still get the job done, too. Want proof?
A PRECISION ROLL FORMER 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 machinery 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 any metal manufacturing process, roll-forming design 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 metal 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
Your 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 reduce costs, check out the free e-book below:
(Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2016 and was recently updated.)
There’s nothing new or mysterious about “just-in-time” or JIT manufacturing. The idea has been around since the 1970s, and all it means is that you receive what you need, just when you need it -- hence the popular term just-in-time delivery.
Yet, when it first came into practice, it shook up[...]
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.