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Top 3 Questions to Ask and Details to Consider When Moving Tools
We hope that you have not encountered the reality that your huge investment in molds is invalidated by the actions of your metal stamping supplier. Because your metal stamping die depends on partners and qualified suppliers to produce high-quality parts, there are many things to consider in this case.
The three most important questions:
1. How do you know when to move the tool?
2. What are you looking for in new suppliers?
3. What information does the new supplier need to assess whether you are suitable for each other?
1) Time to change tools
Let's solve a basic question here: how do you know when to move the tool? There are some indicators that may be signal for changing.
Quality issues. You may find stamping quality problems, which damage the quality and performance of the product. This fully shows that you need to treat the tool as a potential cause. If your current supplier is unable or unwilling to solve quality problems, now is the time to find a supplier. Remember: your quality issues may be built into the tool or process. You cannot bring the tool to a new supplier and expect that all quality issues will disappear. Moving to another supplier may also require reworking the tool to solve quality issues, so when considering moving the tool to improve quality, this must be part of the process.
The supplier goes out of business. Yes, it happened. Quite simply, you are forced to find new suppliers. We hope you have received a warning that is about to be closed, and that your old vendor is willing to work with you to release tools. The best suppliers will even work with your new supplier to switch tools to a new home, and they may charge a reasonable fee for their service quotes.
Reduced running volume. Usually, the old parts running for production will decrease over time. If you think that the production volume is too small, so that your supplier (hoping to obtain higher production) does not want you to become a customer, then it is time to find a new production partner.
Cultural conflict. In this case, when your supplier feels that you are no longer suitable for you, you will be at the wrong end. Suppliers may have changed their focus (working more with OEM products), have been acquired by competitors, or are unwilling to comply with certain quality standards. These may cause general cooperation problems or production problems, but either way, it will make you look for other suppliers.
2) Looking for a New Metal Stamping Supplier
What are you looking for in new suppliers and what needs to be considered in the process? This is the question and consideration factor that should be considered in the selection process.
Shop around. This is not a whim for you. You need to shop around, not just for the best price or the fastest repair. Look at the elements in the list above and consider all these possible scenarios. In the relationship with production partners, we will face you and you with their corporate vision at any time. Are these potential problems for you and the supplier? Measure these risks and determine the degree of fit.
How invested are they, literally? Signing a contract with a supplier to build and operate the tools used to produce metal stampings means that you are committed to building a relationship with the supplier. The same is true when placing existing tools with a new metal stamping supplier. You need to assess their level of commitment. How do they invest their energy to ensure that your tools are well maintained and stored? Do they need a certain amount of output to prove that the maintenance and storage of the tools are correct? Can you reach and maintain these levels?
A poorly constructed tool will produce bad parts, no matter where it is. Therefore, if the tool is moved due to quality issues, part of this move will require modification, repair, or even complete reinstallation of the tool for you by the new supplier. Of course, you need to consider the cost of repair. Your concerns, especially if you are producing low-volume old parts, will expand to ROI (return on investment), will it generate enough income to recoup your money?
Professional knowledge and ability. Ask these questions to each new supplier you consider.
· Do you have sufficient press and production capacity to run the die and produce the quantities required?
· If necessary, do you have the expertise or ability to repair, rebuild, redesign or reinstall tools?
· Is it internal or are you outsourced?
· Can you solve the quality problems that the tool may cause?
· Can you repair and maintain the tool?
· What is the fixing and maintenance policy? Is it billable?
· Do you have enough presses and production capacity to run the mold and produce the required number of molds?
Who owns the current tooling? It may be necessary to move the tool, and special consideration may be required to release it from the current provider. You need to solve the following problems:
· ·Do you have the tools?
· ·What constitutes a tool? Is it a permanent tool or a temporary short-term tool that needs to be re-tooled every time it runs?
· ·Will the current supplier release tools to be relocated to the new supplier?
· ·Is there a charge? In most cases, you pay them to build tools, although not always.
Remember, the reasonable expectation is that if you are to provide a tool, you cannot expect the supplier to rebuild it for free. Most places may have a tool maintenance department, although they may not be able to rebuild it completely. The company usually has only a small group of employees who maintain molds but do not manufacture molds. If you are considering signing a contract with them and agreeing to do some work in the tool, you need to find out in advance whether they are responsible for the quality of the parts after work. If they rebuild the main department to improve the quality problem, do they own it? The bottom line is: if you pay them to meet specifications, make sure that the scope of work they do to fix or improve the tool is clearly defined so that you understand how they will take responsibility.
3) What a New Tooling Supplier Needs to Know from You
Of course, the new supplier will ask you questions. They will involve some of the same considerations you have of them. The new tool supplier will ask you to provide some standard information. They will need details about materials, consumption and production expectations.
Current status. Potential new supplier will ask you if you need to move the tool. They will want to know if you own it.
Details. In some cases, literally, it is important to understand whether these partnerships are appropriate. Information you need to answer:
· Is it suitable for their media coverage?
· What materials are needed?
· How many operations are required to produce a part?
· Press operation, cleaning, deburring, finishing, etc.
· Can the mold be used directly to complete the part?
Any good partnership starts with clear expectations, and answering all the above questions will help you successfully complete the process from the beginning.
Is it time to move the tool?
If any discussion is helpful to you, it may indicate that it is time to move your tools. From tooling to production, Zechin works with customers on all deep drawing and precision metal stamping. Over the years, we have created a process to help customers seamlessly transfer tools and transition to production. The first part of the process involves completing the tool survey. This survey provides the new supplier with all the details of the stamping process to accurately evaluate the tools and processes you produce in the new factory. Contact us : Info@zec-industrygroup.com