A potential customer contacted Steel Forming Systems with a concept for a new part they had in development. The client had been quoted $35,000 in new roll form tooling by one of our competitors, an investment they did not have the cash to make. The alternative was to have the product made with a brake press which would eliminate the tooling investment but result in a much higher per-piece cost due to the labor-intensive nature of this manufacturing method. Another issue would arise if the demand for the product increased over time, as they expected, the press braking operation would not be able to keep pace.
Reviewing their drawings, we discovered that the new tooling would indeed cost almost $35,000. So, we decided to take a different approach. The engineering team at Steel Forming Systems dug deeper into the function of the part and asked the important questions about how the finished product would be utilized. In collaboration with our client, we were able to make some design changes that allowed us to use existing tooling. We own several sets of non-proprietary tooling and found one that could be altered slightly to form the part in question.
The cost of new cut-off die inserts along with the 16 hours of labor needed to modify the existing tooling added up to an initial investment of about $2,800. Steel Forming Systems was able to turn a concept into a production part while saving our new customer about 92%. Roll forming the parts with our modified tooling cost the customer about 40% less per-piece than they would have been if they’d used a press brake operation. The parts are run efficiently, with consistently high quality, and a production capacity that far exceeds our customer’s largest quantity needs.