When a machine goes down and a line stops or an operator in the field can’t work, the rate at which costs can mount up is alarming. That’s why getting replacement parts quickly is a must. If those parts are custom or even worse – discontinued due to the age of the equipment, then the problem is accentuated. That’s where, in the case of sheet materials for gaskets, thermal management of reflective applications, tool-free, quick-turn custom parts can save the day.
The severity, impact and cost of equipment failure and downtime does not relate to the cost of the part that has failed. For example, the failure of a gasket worth just a few pence can have just as serious an impact as a motor costing many hundreds or even thousands of pounds burning out. That’s because both result in the same problem – downtime, lost production and potentially lost revenues.
Obtaining parts to satisfy the maintenance, repair and overhaul requirements of old equipment or to deal with obsolescence can be a real challenge. If tooling were used for the original parts – perhaps die-cut tooling in the case of sheet material based parts – it may be old, damaged or have just worn out; it may be geared only for the manufacture of 1,000s of parts when just a handful are needed. And perhaps in a worst case scenario, it may have even been discarded by the part supplier; it is not uncommon for this to happen (and indeed is often written into contracts), especially where the tool may have not been used for some years and is taking up expensive space in the supplier’s factory while generating them no revenues.
In this situation, and so long as a drawing exists, tool-free manufacturing – in the case of Materials Direct this means computer programmed profiling – can provide the ideal solution for customer needs. Parts can be made in just the right volume to solve the problem and put a few into stock to satisfy any future failures. In addition, with Materials Direct’s rapid 24/7 online service, downtime is kept to an absolute minimum so that customer production or productivity is not too adversely affected and customer’s customers do not start looking for alternative suppliers or try to make compensation claims for failure to guarantee continuity of supply or service!