Blog | | by Julia

How to reduce the costs of sheet metal parts

Cost pressure is a well-known challenge, especially in industries such as mechanical and plant engineering, where even small cost savings can determine the success of winning or losing a contract. Thus, any opportunity to save costs is highly valued.

Below, we present various approaches to guide you step-by-step in significantly reducing the costs of your sheet metal parts:

1 I Design optimization

Analyze the design of your parts to identify potential simplifications without compromising functionality. By optimizing your part design, you can minimize material waste and lower manufacturing costs. Clever redesign or reengineering can lead to cost-efficient parts and result in savings of up to 20-30%.

2 I Material optimization

Reevaluate the choice of materials and select more cost-effective options that still meet your part's requirements. Review material specifications and explore the use of thinner or more affordable materials without sacrificing strength and functionality.

3 I Choice of manufacturing method

Evaluate your chosen manufacturing methods. Optimized designs may allow you to replace welding with bending, reducing production costs. Additionally, utilizing manufacturing processes like laser cutting can be faster and more efficient compared to post-process drilling.

4 I Process optimization

Review all production processes and seek opportunities to enhance efficiency. Automation, improved tool utilization, and optimized workflows can help reduce production costs. The abundance of options makes deriving concrete action measures complex. You can find initial approaches on the TRUMPF Smart Factory Consulting page.

5 I Increase batch size

Increasing the number of parts to be manufactured spreads fixed costs over a larger quantity, resulting in lower unit costs. IMPORTANT: Evaluate whether larger order quantities are economically and environmentally viable. Another approach is to reduce the variety of variants, transitioning more parts into production with shared or carry-over parts. A methodical analysis, supported by software, can simplify this process.

6 I Quality management

Effective quality management can decrease costs by minimizing scrap, rework, and complaints. Implement quality control and inspection procedures to ensure your parts meet the required standards. However, the best quality assurance is prevention: During the product development phase, assess design for manufacturing feasibility concerning the available machinery.

In summary:

At the beginning of the sheet metal processing chain, the design significantly influences the overall cost of your parts. It lays the foundation for subsequent manufacturing steps and determines the appropriate manufacturing methods in sheet metal processing. Alongside design optimization, material selection also impacts costs. Simultaneously, efficient nesting helps optimize material usage and reduce scrap. Long-term process costs can be reduced through automation, effective quality management, and improved efficiency. Increasing batch sizes for cost reduction should only be considered if it is economically and environmentally sustainable. Implementing these measures allows for production optimization without compromising the quality or functionality of the manufactured parts, helping your company become more competitive and increase profitability.

Written by

Julia Kleindienst

Marketing & Sales Specialist

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