Industries that Rely on Metal Prototype Manufacturers
Metal prototype manufacturers provide valuable support to industries that utilize their metal prototyping manufacturing services. This allows engineers to build the product, test it, and make any necessary adjustments to the design based on the customer’s specifications; helping to avoid negative impacts to the production schedule as well as an unnecessary waste of money and resources. Professionals who provide this kind of service use metal prototype techniques that provide the most realistic test results possible. Although multiple industries rely on metal prototyping suppliers, the following are notable for the reasons described below:
Similar to the automotive industry, these sectors rely on prototypes for all types of parts and components, many of which have intricate details. With aerospace, however, a couple of additional factors come into play. First of all, production volumes are often an order of magnitude smaller than automotive, thus making machining more attractive economically when compared to complex tooling and manufacturing fixed investment. Secondly, the unique requirements of the aerospace industry sometimes lead to product geometries or materials that are not easily processed in traditional ways. Jet engine components that are made from the ultra high strength nickel-chromium superalloy inconel are one such example.
Through advancements in prototyping, the automotive industry has reduced lead-time and now saves millions of dollars annually. Whether using metal or plastic, a product can be machined that closely replicates the final design intent in both geometry and material properties. As the testing and evaluation requirements in automotive product development are extremely rigorous, these machined products allow some testing to be done prior to tooling and thus expedite decision-making. Not only does that validate the design, but in some instances, it also helps determine if going forward with the production of the component as designed is the right course of action.
The industrial equipment industry can find particular value in prototype manufacturing. This is because many industrial systems are in plant or field service for long periods of time where the necessity to avoid downtime is imperative. These systems often involve detailed bills of material with custom components that potentially require spare parts. Because of this high mix, limited pull situation, storage and maintenance of molds for the periodic replacement necessary traditionally would require significant mold warehousing or part stocking costs due to the minimum molding lots necessary. By archiving equipment designs digitally rather than through physical molds, on-floor stock can be minimized, and replenishment of stock can be made on-demand thus eliminating the need for tool archiving.
For the medical sector, prototype manufacturing is not just helpful but critical. Equipment used by surgeons or components implanted in patients must match the design intent precisely. Prototyping can offer this precision and repeatability. Thanks to the prototyping and manufacturing process, experts create precision products that can enhance overall health and safety. As products used in the medical field are sometimes custom-made, traditional tooling and manufacturing techniques do not allow the cost efficiency and flexibility that custom machining provides making it an invaluable tool.
This industry utilizes prototypes made with CNC machines, which leads to a superior quality product used by consumers. In addition to a safe product, prototype manufacturing confirms that a design is aesthetically pleasing, which, in turn, helps with brand visibility.
For prototype manufacturing or manufacturing in product development, you can count on our experience and knowledge at Prototype American Wire. For information about our company and the full scale of services provided, please visit us online.