Whatever the reason, sourcing the type and quality of plate you need can be a little overwhelming. That’s why, in addition to competitive pricing, you may want to look for the following elements to identify the ideal supplier to meet your needs:
- Source of origin. Depending on your industry, the first thing you may need to ask a potential supplier is whether or not their aluminum is domestically sourced in the United States.
- Flatness and/or lot-to-lot inconsistency. If your materials don’t conform to ½ standard aluminum association thickness tolerance, this may force you to complete extra skin passes, which will inevitably lead to unnecessary production time.
- Residual stress consistency. You want to make sure your aluminum plate is the right hardness consistency, which makes set-up easier, prolongs your tool life and allows for fast cutting and drilling speeds.
- Uniform grain structure. Consistent plate-to-plate grain structure maximizes an aluminum plate’s mechanical property performance and anodizing results (which leads to less rejected parts).
- Use of precision plate saws. If a supplier has these tools on hand, they’re able to cut closer tolerances, which saves a bit of money and leads to less machining.
- Stock levels. Once you find the right material at the right price, you want to make sure your supplier has sufficient stock to meet your needs.
A good metal supplier should be able to answer these questions and then some. They should be well-versed in all things related to materials manufacturing, and be available to sit down with you to understand your most pressing challenges. Whether you’re struggling to manage your diverse material requirements, struggling with undiagnosed supply chain inefficiencies, drowning in excess inventory or using sub-optimal materials based on your specs and budget, your supplier should be able to identify missed cost-saving opportunities, and help you implement them.
When searching for this type of supplier, a strong reputation and in-depth metal expertise are critical. It also helps if they have an extensive global network. The more resources at their fingertips, the more likely they’ll be able to meet your diverse material requirements—or your complex inventory needs.
Fortunately, you don’t have to look far for this type of support because, as it turns out, Samuel just happens to check all these boxes. If you’d like to learn about how we can help you enhance profitability by increasing your tool life, reducing your costs, improving your product quality and strengthening your design processes, contact us.