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How can you reduce custom part cost?

We are often asked the best ways to reduce the cost of a part. Luckily for our customers, there are countless ways to accomplish this. Here are the top 7 ways to reduce the part cost by slightly altering the custom part design.

7 Ways to Reduce Part Cost

1. Material

Many times, our customers designate their part to be made from carbon steel because they think it will be less expensive. Believe it or not, it may be cheaper to make a part using stainless steel or aluminum rather than using mild steel with plating or painting.  This is typically true with low volume and/or low weight parts.

2. Tapping

If the volume is high, extruding a hole in a sheet metal part and tapping is cheaper than adding a press-in fastener.

3. Tolerances

As discussed in our article “How do tolerances affect price?”, unnecessarily tight tolerances can greatly increase cost. When designing a part, we suggest double checking that the included tolerances are appropriate and not costing you excessive dollars.

4. Secondary Operations

Along with requiring unnecessarily tight tolerances, customers sometimes ask for heat treatment, plating, or other secondary operations where they are not essential. For example, unnecessary features, surface finish requirements, deburring, or tight corner radiuses on milled parts can drive up the price. Just like with tight tolerances, these unnecessary operations cost lots of extra cash.

5. Bending

Reducing or eliminating welding in sheet metal parts typically results in lower cost. Adding a bend and/or fasteners is typically cheaper. Sometimes by making more bends on a part, you will reduce the amount of welding required.  If the part can have inside or outside radii that will still be in spec by bending versus welding, it will usually reduce the overall cost of the part.

6. Quantities

Increasing quantities can also decrease individual part cost. One-off items or prototypes will always cost nearly double what quantities of 2 or more will cost. Complex or multiple setups on low volume parts is also costly. For more information on this, check out our articles “Why is one part so expensive?” and “The Quote Process: How are parts priced?”

7. Deadlines

Expedited orders are also pricey. Very urgent lead times will usually require an expedite fee to push through production in order to meet quick deadlines.

Along with the tips above, our staff at Axis Fabrication has even more knowledge about custom part design. We are dedicated to making you the best product at the best price. Contact us if you have any further questions about how to more efficiently and effectively design your part!