(If so, who owns the die?)
This is a crucial two-part question. A lot of aluminum extrusion manufacturers have extrusion dies to make structural round tubes, channels, tees, and angles. Any customer can typically use these.
If they have something right for your requirements, it will considerably reduce the lead time for shipping and your total cost for tooling.
If a standard extrusion is unsuitable for your needs, you must find out who will own the die. Some businesses have implemented a policy whereby they own the tool you purchase. You are simply paying the price to have it constructed and maintained.
The good news is that you typically only need to pay for the die once. After your initial outlay, any die replacement or maintenance that is required will be paid for by the supplier.
What sort of input or interaction can I expect from your team?
Some aluminum extrusion companies are established to create exactly what you need, no questions asked, and with minimal input needed from your end. They will simply pass on the project if your requirements exceed their capabilities.
Other businesses will work a lot closer with the client. They aim to fully understand what the client needs so they can determine the optimal approach.
You must thoroughly understand how the extruders you are considering hiring work. You also need to consider what sort of relationship you are looking for so you can find someone who best matches this.
Can you achieve product tolerances?
One thing that will set an excellent aluminum extruder apart from the crowd is their ability to achieve tight product tolerances. Typically, those in the aluminum fabrication sector will set tolerances aside, depending on the kind of product and specification.
For example, pipes, tubes, and other hollow aluminum extrusions can reach up to +/0.124 inches, or the client’s exact specifications. Different sorts of accessories made from aluminum, such as slugs, billets, bars, and such like, could have varying tolerances based on the design.
With this in mind, you should always ask your prospective aluminum supplier if they can manufacture aluminum products at stringent tolerances. You want to be safe in the knowledge that any aluminum extrusion product you purchase from them will be suitable for the use it is intended for, whether it is for decorative, construction, or structural purposes.
How do you determine the complexity of an extruded profile?
No matter which custom extrusion company you work with, they will tell you that “complex profiles” are more expensive. However, what one company defines as “complex” may not be the same as another business, so it is vital to explore this further.
In the aluminum extrusions world, complexity will typically hinge on what is called the shape factor. The shape factor of an extruded profile is the amount of surface area generated for every unit mass of extrusion.
It is more expensive to have a complex profile produced because the cost of tooling (creating a die) and the production rate are both impacted. For instance, a little force is needed when extruding a perfectly circular cross-section, whereas more complex extruded shapes require more force. So, different extruded shapes have different complexity levels and, consequently, prices differ.
How do you determine aluminum extrusion weight per meter?
Aluminum extrusion manufacturers have different calculation methods, so you need to find out about this.
After all, cost-effectiveness is critical for any company, so it is vital to compare the prices of different extruders and assess them based on your requirements.
While a lower initial price can mean more significant savings for your business, ensure this does not come at the cost of quality.
Aluminum extrusion weight per meter is calculated from the extruded profile’s surface area. Extruded aluminum profiles come in a never-ending number of sizes and shapes, so the aluminum extrusion weight per meter is utilized to calculate the $/kg cost.
A lot of companies will seek to simplify this by using the aluminum extrusion weight per meter to determine a cost per piece, meaning clients know precisely what they will need to pay for every production run.