Many die castings used in the UK are sourced from the EU or Asia. The EU has traditionally offered fast access to high-quality castings, slightly higher unit costs and better service. Whilst the common perception has been that Asia offers lower unit costs, this is no longer the case. The commodity price of zinc alloy has risen globally in recent years and coupled with the exchange rate and freight/duty taxation, diecasting pricing is now comparable with the UK and EU.
Ensure your supplier can deliver quantities to support your production requirements. Agreeing with a steady supply of products as required, rather than large batches, enables you to free up more storage space and reduce warehousing costs.
Ensure your supplier can provide as much or as little engineering input as is required. It is also worth confirming if they can work with you at every stage of a project from design and development to manufacturing, finishing, bespoke assembly, warehousing and delivery.
Ask suppliers if they have:
• The ability to work from existing component designs and help configure completely new designs
• CAD/CAM capabilities
• Rapid prototyping abilities
• Experience in Design for Manufacture to help optimise production quality whilst minimising costs.
Tooling can represent a significant proportion of any new diecasting project costs so identifying suppliers who can demonstrate a proven ability to provide cost-effective solutions can help you get the most from any budget.
One of the key questions to ask is whether diecasting manufacturers have their own in-house tool making capabilities. Those that do are better placed to carefully control the entire process for you along with associated timescales and costs.
It is well worth looking at diecasting suppliers who can also provide any engineering support that you may need now or in the future. Manufacturers can add considerable value by dovetailing with your own in-house design teams to evaluate component designs from a very early stage in the development process.
Design for Manufacture and Assembly methodologies can also help to perfect component configurations in order to optimise production and assembly so that both are made as simple and efficient as possible.
Ask suppliers what processes they use to finish diecastings. If you require high-quality mirror-like chrome-plated finishes, then opt for suppliers who can demonstrate the skill required to polish parts and electroplating capabilities.
Assembly and packing can be extremely beneficial. Here, look for suppliers who can assembly die castings with other components in order to deliver sub-assemblies that can be integrated with larger finished products and also those who can pack parts to your individual specifications.
|UK / EU||ASIA|
|• Better Quality|
• Better Communication
• Pricing Parity with Asia
• Shorter Lead Time
• Superior Service
|• Unit cost can be cheaper for |
|• Unit cost can be more expensive |
for very high volume orders
|• Inferior Quality|