Collaboration at the RFQ stage of gasket manufacture can save significant money and time. Recently a new customer, Swope Design Solutions a mechanical engineering and product design company; SwopeDesignSolutions.com sent a RFQ asking us to manufacture some custom gaskets.
Their engineer, Stephanie Whalen linkedin.com/in/sawhalen/ had a good idea of the gasket need for the application but wanted to use our expertise and open to any suggestions we had for finding a better solution.
Over the next couple of days we developed a very effective communication interchange on various questions, issues and clarifications. We discussed and agreed on some minor drawing changes regarding material thickness and material hardness. Even with this dialogue we were able to issue a quote within 3 business days of the original request.
This collaborative style of working allowed us to utilize our die cutting expertise resulting in a custom gasket which fit their exact application but was also less expensive than anticipated and delivered earlier than the initial quote.
An additional change was that we added a second gasket which was nested inside the initial gasket.
This change had the double benefit of reducing the material waste and as both gaskets could be produced on the same die enabled us to produce double the parts per hit. We love to save the customer money and at the same time reduce waste.
As the customer wanted an initial demand of only 100 parts we sourced the Silicone Rubber, 40 duro, red color, 0.062” thickness material from a national distributor. We find McMaster Carr a good source of material if the customer has a low demand quantity and requires a quick delivery.
Because the customer provided a forecast future demand of around 1000 over the next year we are able to source the equivalent material as we purchased from McMaster Carr but at a lower price. We could use one of our strategic suppliers quote on a higher amount of material. This practice has a down side in that the material delivery is usually 2-3 weeks and has a higher MOQ than McMaster Carr. But the big advantage is that the manufactured piece part cost is much lower. Using the McMaster Carr material the piece part cost for qty 100 = $4.70 each. Using the strategic suppliers material the piece part cost for qty 100 = $3.50 each and for an order of qty 1000 the price would decrease to $2.25 each.
About the Author
With over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Martin Chell brings a wealth of knowledge to his client projects. He has worked with large companies including Qualcomm and completed projects in a variety of aerospace, biotech and other applications.
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