Value-added services can encompass a broad range of services in many industries, for a sheet metal shop it provides strategic advantages far beyond metal fabrication. OEMs in construction, oil and gas, agriculture, and other industries can benefit more from their custom metal fabrication partners than just the delivery of high-quality metal fabricated products. From fabrication, welding, and painting to assembly (link to Sheet Metal Assembly blog) and export crating and other logistical support, companies can realize cost savings and cut production time with a one-stop-fabrication shop.
In custom metal fabrication, value-added services are those optional features offered to streamline manufacturing processes to improve the production time of bringing products to market. Value-added services are designed to:
- increase productivity
- decrease time-to-market
- lower costs
- reduce waste—of time, resources, and money
Faster Product Launches: from Design to Production
Simplifying production methods is one example of a value-added service. From design to production, custom fabrication shops offer an enormous amount of technical knowledge, capabilities, and manufacturing technology for their OEM partners. They can provide input on concept and design, consistent communication and feedback, testing and prototyping, and manufacturing on-demand production runs which can all be tailored and integrated into a streamlined process.
Reduce Setup Time During Manufacturing
Reduced setup time is another value-added service custom fabrication shops offer. An all-in-one shop can lower production costs by reducing the length of set-up time for manufacturing a product. Custom fabrication shops can manufacture to demand, a lean manufacturing method that creates an environment where shops only make the product required to meet the demand of the customer. Rather than batch manufacturing which involves increased lead times and longer set up times, the basic premise of manufacturing on-demand is in its flexibility throughout the entire production process, from very short set-up times to output, lean manufacturing reduces the time required to get a finished product into the hands of the customer.
Ability to Eliminate Unnecessary Part Features
Another value-added service provided by a one-stop custom fabrication shop is the elimination of unnecessary part features, resulting in improved manufacturability of products. Essentially, one way to streamline production is to simplify assembly. This can be achieved by reducing the steps it requires to complete a product. It may be designing a product with fewer parts. Though it seems obvious—the fewer parts, the easier the assembly—fewer parts also streamline the entire chain of production. There are fewer CAD drawings and designs to follow and keep straight, fewer tools and tooling, fewer issues relating to tolerance, fewer assembly stations and less assembly labor required, and so on. It saves time and money.
Another value-added benefit OEMs receive from their custom metal fabrication partners is in logistical support. The manufacturing and distribution logistics in today’s market are complex and global. Sourcing and manufacturing of parts, and moving those pieces around the globe, is exceptionally time-consuming and a waste of resources. One-stop shops provide such value-added services as:
- material handling
- export crating and packaging
- other customized logistical support
Quest-Tech is an all-in-one custom sheet metal fabrication shop that offers several value-added services for its OEM partners. This service allows our partners to have nearly all phases of production performed under one roof. Rather than shuffling parts and components from one location to another, having the punching, laser cutting, metal forming welding, painting and assembly taken care of at only one location can save time and money. An increased sourcing of parts to different locations only delays the completion time of the project, adds costs, and may also present inconsistent quality issues.
Quest-Tech’s value-added services offer a complete range of fabrication and finishing services that include shearing, laser cutting, punching, forming, welding, painting –wet or powder—silk screening, assembly, and custom packing and export crating. By simplifying production, reducing setup time, improving manufacturability, or logistical support, Quest-Tech offers all aspects of the manufacturing process that allows us to provide superior quality, competitive pricing, and shortened lead times for our clients.