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a supplier that offers a lead time that matches up to the lead times you give your customers. A buyer also might ask what the


lead times are on specific molding lines or casting cells within the plant, as production rates may differ line to line, machine to machine. Perhaps most importantly, you want to know what the communica- tion methods are for when a delivery date will be missed. When will you find out? Two weeks before the scheduled date or only after the date has passed?


Casting facilities are constrained by the amount of metal they can pour per hour with their furnaces.


facility you plan to work with has the capabilities to achieve your specifica- tions, such as surface finish, properties, and dimensional stability. Also, be wary of being the experi- mental guinea pig for a supplier’s first stab at a new service or process, unless you have the time and desire to be part of the development.


make my parts?” It’s a fair question to ask, along with if the given lead time will be the same whether the sup- plier is busy or slow. You want to find


5


What is your pro- duction lead time?


Casting buyers should


ask, “If I place an order, when are you going to


6


What value-added services can you provide?


Metalcasting facili- ties may offer a range of


in-house services that fits their target niche of casting jobs. Tis can include heat treating, inspection, warehousing, painting/coating, plating, or subas- sembly. If your casting requires any special secondary processes, it’s worth asking to see if those could be covered


Automated molding machines are designed to be most cost efficient when operated at a set number of molds produced per hour. The machine in this picture fits high volume jobs of parts in the 0.25-2-lb. range.


34 | METAL CASTING DESIGN & PURCHASING | Jul/Aug 2016


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