What is the difference between assembly and manufacturing?
Assembly and manufacturing defined
Assembly encompasses the steps of constructing a finished product from components or partially-compiled units. Assembly results in assemblies and/or sub-assemblies that are ready for sale and/or implementation by a customer.
Manufacturing comprises the transformation of raw or semi-raw materials into a finished product ready for sale or implementation by a customer. One of the steps in manufacturing can include assembly.
Axenics has 40+ years experience in both assembly and manufacturing jobs. Our expertise lends itself to either a full production, or parts of a production, depending on the final product.
When should you choose an assembly partner?
Expanding production or adding a new product line are both opportunities to partner with an outside assembly team to assist your growth.
It’s essential to find a partner that shares your expectations and delivers high-quality assembly services. Also, look for an assembly partner that offers quality control services to ensure the quality of the assembled components or products meet your exacting standards.
Examples of when it’s time to partner:
- A project arises that needs thermoplastics, whether manifolds, weldments or tube assemblies if your in-house production capabilities do not include plastics assembly.
- A new project requires a cleanroom to prevent contamination and you don’t have production space allotted to build your own.
Axenics operates a Class 100 cleanroom, and many clients rely on us to produce assembly projects in that space.
Our assemblies are all carefully inspected and helium-leak tested before leaving our facilities to ensure they meet or exceed customer expectations. Axenics is also ISO 9001-2015, and AC7004 certified, and our staff members are all trained and certified for the tasks they specialize in, to assure superior products and service.
When should you choose a manufacturing partner?
Determining which company makes the best business partner is time consuming. Asking the right questions up front helps confirm a good fit. Consider these factors and related questions:
Facility Size and Efficiency
- Does the potential partner have enough space to meet your demands now and in the future?
- Are facilities well-managed?
If facility space is limited, and/or operations aren’t run efficiently, this could increase lead times. Tour the facilities before making a final decision if you’re able to get an idea of how space is utilized, how the facility is run and how the business operates as a whole.
Equipment and Technology
The right manufacturing partner uses a variety of advanced equipment and technology to meet clients needs. With advances in technology changing constantly, manufacturing partners must continually innovate to keep pace.
If equipment is outdated and/or technology is behind the times, a partner may have difficulty meeting your standards of quality and accuracy. If the partner isn’t willing to regularly invest in up-to-date equipment and technology, they’ll have trouble keeping up with industry demands and challenges. It’s important to consider whether they’re the right choice today 一 and for the long term.
Flexibility and Customizability
Not all solutions are simple and straightforward. Manufacturers must consider the degree to which a component manufacturing company is willing and able to provide flexible and customized solutions. It’s important to work with a component supplier that understands the changing and often complex demands of your industry.
Manufacturing Skills and Capabilities
The right component manufacturing company specializes in producing different types of components specifically for your industry. They should also be able to perform a wide range of manufacturing services, such as welding (ideally, both metals and plastics), tube bending, tube cutting, simple and complex assembly services, and more. You may not need those additional services today, but knowing you have room to grow with this partner will alleviate the need to start over again when your needs change.
We’ve all experienced the shift in market demands over the previous year. One major challenge for all tiers of manufacturers is fluctuation in business volume. One day demand is high. The next it dips. A strong manufacturing partner brings balance to your production by meeting demands on a temporary basis when needed without the requirement of investing in production space and technicians that sit idle.
A lean manufacturing partner is also a wise choice. We utilize a fully-integrated material requirements planning system for planning and inventory control to minimize wasted materials, space and time.
Component manufacturing solutions
Component manufacturing services are another solution to many manufacturing business challenges. It is an ideal way to handle one-time projects, where a certain level of expertise and access to advanced technology and equipment is required temporarily.
Axenics offers both component manufacturing and contract manufacturing services. Although component manufacturing is often seen as a subset of contract manufacturing services, the terms should not be used interchangeably.
Component manufacturing produces individual components of a system. Component manufacturing refers to metal and plastic manufacturing services including simple weldments, manifolds and tube assemblies. If you have a particularly sticky problem to solve, component manufacturing may be the answer.
Everything we can do with metal components, we can do with plastics. Our expert technicians are dedicated to producing high-quality, reliable components that are ready for installation.
One of the most common component manufacturing services is welding, due to its affordability and repeatability. Weldments performed on stainless steel and plastic include but are not limited to:
- Piping assemblies
Quality manufacturing service providers can produce weldments in various shapes, sizes and configurations.
Another common component manufacturing service is simple and complex manifolds. Manifolds come in both stainless steel and several types of plastics. Manifold design and fabrication depends on the application, and often must meet strict quality specifications and criteria required by a given industry.
We create tube assemblies with stainless steel or various types of plastics. They can be simple or complex. Metal tube assemblies are often produced for the semiconductor industry and contain a combination of welded Ts and elbows.
Saving money with manufacturing services
1. Use a Nitrogen Saver
A nitrogen saver is a tool commonly used when performing hot gas welding with plastic materials. Use of an N2 Saver allows the welding technician to save Nitrogen while performing hot gas welding. It works by automatically switching from feeding nitrogen (while welding) to compressed air (while at rest).
This process greatly reduces nitrogen consumption, and ultimately lowers the cost of welding services. The Nitrogen saver also prevents a hot gas welding torch from overheating, eliminating the need to replace torches frequently, adding further cost savings to the process.
2. Choose Precision Tube Bending
Manual TIG welding and orbital welding are common manufacturing processes that are used in a variety of industries and a wide range of applications. In some cases, however, it may make sense to utilize precision tube bending in place of welding to manufacture certain components or systems. Although tube bending isn’t always feasible depending on the type of material or the product being manufactured, it is a highly cost-efficient alternative to welding in a range of applications.
Bending tubing to a smaller radius significantly reduces the overall length of a product, which results in a smaller overall assembly. Tube bending also eliminates the need for multiple fittings within a system or complex assembly, which can help manufacturers save a significant amount of space, time and money in a variety of industrial applications.
3. Utilize a CNC Tube Bender
Utilizing a CNC tube bender allows manufacturers to create a more precise, automatic, and repeatable process than manual tube bending. CNC tube bending machines can more accurately control the degree of a bend, the distances between bends, and the plane of the bend, which allows for a much higher level of accuracy and control within the process.
CNC tube bending is a computerized and automated tube bending process, which allows manufacturers to perform more complex bending processes. This flexibility results in increased operational efficiency and significantly lower costs.
4. Order Piping Kits
Speciality piping applications include specialty piping kits for gas delivery, DI/RO water and chemical delivery for manufacturing processes.
Some components in a manufacturing system may wear out over time or require replacement due to the materials they handle. This is where a specialty piping kit becomes useful, as we have your design specifications on hand to quickly create the tubing that fits perfectly within your systems. This reduces installation time and downtime.
We manufacture and direct-ship specialty piping kits for many of our clients, which reduces the need for custom tube bending to be done at the client’s site.
These are just some of the ways for OEMs, contract manufacturers and others in the industry to efficiently lower the costs of manufacturing services. Contact Axenics today to find out how we can help you lower your operating costs and help you increase profits.
Forming a vendor partnership
There are many benefits when you evolve your relationship with a vendor into a long-term partnership with a trusted company. Bundling services together turns a component job into what we characterize as complex assembly services. Consider hiring Axenics to perform more than tube bending or welding services. We can perform both services, as well as ancillary services that result in a component or assembly that will streamline your production.
Our clients see many benefits when they transition to complex assembly services, including cost savings, decreased lead times, and increasing control over costs and delivery of products, to name a few. Plus, working with one trusted vendor that understands the full scope of the project, vs. having to hire multiple vendors for single-process projects that must be coordinated results in much smoother project management on your end.
“Axenics is very good at what they do. They learn very quickly, and they put out a quality product. [Engineers and original equipment manufacturers] could do no wrong if they decide to make Axenics one of their contractors. Axenics has proven that they can be a top assembler, manufacturer and QC. I recommend them highly,” said one of our longtime customers.
“Axenics is very good at what they do. They learn very quickly, and they put out a quality product. I recommend them highly.”