As technologies advance, OEM companies are investing in newer pieces of equipment that can help speed up their production runs, increase productivity, and provide cost solutions to their operations. Yet connecting new equipment into legacy component systems and existing workplace spaces can be a trying task. Connecting tubes and pipes that transport gas, liquid, water and other products from station to station can encroach into workspaces used by technicians and other operations.
Is Welding the Only Solution?
Most companies simply don’t have the available floor space to have straight pipe and tube runs, which means tubes must be bent to get around other pipes, corners, equipment, and workstations. So they turn to welding applications to join metal and plastic tubes.
However, these welding applications require the addition of fittings and joints to maneuver the tubes in the desired direction. Elbows, tees, barbs and couplings add more material, which extends the tube length and takes up more space. The additional equipment may simply not fit into larger machinery or processes when trying to connect gas or liquid pipes.
Tube Bending Companies Offering Workspace Solutions
Instead of welding, consider tube bending as another solution to add into your operations. Tube bending can be performed on both metal and plastic as the existing tube is bent into the desired shape and size. This means fewer fittings and couplings will be needed to join tubes to new and existing equipment or components. As one of the countries top tube bending companies, Axenics uses a variety of methods in our tube bending processes. We can use automated CNC bending machines and hand-bending tools to shape the tube to meet a wide range of specifications.
Bending can be done to a wide variety of materials. Metals that can be bent include stainless steel, Inconel, aluminum, copper and titanium. Plastics such as PTFE, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, and many others that are crafted into tubes can also be bent without having the integrity of the material compromised.
Tube Bending Capabilities Without Compromises
Axenics has the bending capabilities to shape tubes that are as small as 1/16 inches and as large as 2 inches. OEM companies can work with our engineers to plan out how new equipment and components can be added to their existing machinery without compromising the integrity of the tubes or systems. Precision tube bending will lessen the likelihood of leaks that can be a problem with welded joints. In addition, OEM companies that are using metal and plastic tubes for high purity applications can rest assured that there will be less of a chance of contaminants being placed into gas and liquid supplies that can often be a problem created by flaking welds when high pressure gas and liquids flow through pipes.
Another benefit from bending tubing instead of welding is that welds can deteriorate faster from vibrations when placed into large machinery. Vibration fatigue and failure can be a problem with some moving mechanical systems and equipment. Tube bending can decrease the likelihood of failure.
When you need to upgrade equipment or add more machinery in your processes due to expansion, consider metal and plastic tube bending from Axenics. Save on space in your operations and inside large machinery by bending tubes to fit existing spaces. OEM companies don’t have to avoid purchasing the equipment they need due to space issues, or renovate and move existing facilities to accommodate the additional equipment and components. Instead, we can redesign your tube systems to fit into limited space requirements without slowing down your operations or hampering your available work spaces.
If you’re considering working with a contract manufacturing company, it’s important to analyze a variety of factors before making a choice. Above all else, your choice should ultimately be about much more than the cost of the services. It should also be (and maybe even more so) about the value of the services being provided.
We understand cost matters. Everyone wants to get the best quality of products and services for the best possible price. However, there are times when quality takes precedence over price. When it comes to manufacturing, the quality of the products — from individual components to complex assemblies — really matters. If you’re looking for a contract manufacturing partner that values quality as much as you do, it’s worth paying the price.
When reviewing quotes from contract manufacturing providers, you may want to take the following into consideration before making a final choice:
1. What’s Included?
When reviewing a quote from a contract manufacturer, it’s important to understand what is included in the price. Are they just quoting you for materials and labor? If so, it’s possible that there will be some hidden costs that get added on, such as overhead fees for equipment and tooling, as well as any packaging or shipping that they might provide for you as well. Be sure to outline as specifically as possible what you want the company to do for you – beyond the manufacturing – so you can get a clear picture of the total cost. Otherwise, you may think they’re pricing is better than the competitor’s while the services aren’t comparable.
2. What’s Their Skill Level?
Don’t assume that all contract manufacturers provide the same level of skilled labor. It’s important to verify the expertise of the technicians that will be doing the work for you. It’s also important to verify what certifications and processes the company has in place to ensure the project is completed to specification, and on-time. Ask for copies of any applicable certifications, and take a look at online reviews, testimonials and information provided on their website, so you can confirm the expertise of the company you’re considering working with.
3. Do They Offer Quality Testing?
Some contract manufacturers may not clearly indicate whether they offer quality testing services along with – or as a part of – their fabrication services. This is a highly valuable service, because it ensures the quality of the components and/or assemblies produced matches industry standards, as well as any specific requirements your organization may have. If this service is included, it will be reflected in the price.
4. Is it a One-Time Project, or Ongoing?
If you have a contract manufacturer that you use for ongoing work, the price estimate you receive for additional projects may be lower than if you were to price out a new provider for a one-time project. Contract manufacturers often negotiate volume discounts from material suppliers, and will pass on some of that savings to you. If, however, they are being hired for a one-time gig, or one that requires uncommon materials, the estimate may be higher. It’s important to keep this in mind when shopping for a contract manufacturer.
Ask for a Bill of Materials
All of the above can be verified with a detailed bill of materials (BOM), which reputable contract manufacturers should always provide to you. The BOM should include specific information about what is included in the quote, and the factors affecting the total. This empowers you to make an educated decision about which contract manufacturer can best meet your quality needs, while also meeting your budget limitations.
Remember – the lowest quote is not always necessarily the best. Be sure to consider the contract manufacturing services being provided, the expertise of the company, the quality of products and services delivered, and the potential for long-term cost savings opportunities. The value of working with the right contract manufacturing company is often worth a slightly higher price tag.