How to Improve Quality and Cut Costs when Sourcing Materials

How to improve quality and cut costs when sourcing materials

When it comes to metals for laser cutting it’s vital that you choose one that’s ideal for your individual requirements to make sure you receive the most benefits and are happy with the final results. Alongside the metal type, quality assurance and cost are important considerations when searching for a suitable laser cutting company to complete your work.

Enter Yorkshire Profiles.

We are ISO9001 quality assured, family run laser cutting specialists here to provide quality for cost effective prices.

So, you ask, how can we promise to maintain quality and be cost effective in sourcing your metal? Here’s how:

It all starts with putting an idea down on paper. All sheet metal work starts with the sheet stock. To know what size is needed, we start with the flat pattern: the footprint of the part as its unfolded and laid flat on the sheet of metal from which it will be cut.
Once you have your design in mind, if you’re not skilled in CAD programming, you will need someone to create the flat pattern for you. This takes time. Time costs money.

If you are able to create a flat pattern yourself as a .dwg or .dfx file you can drag and drop this in to our online ordering system for an easy, cost effective quote and order for your requirements. Please note that the online system only deals with profiling, not bending or fabrication.

Once the design work is done you can see what size of metal you need. Our F1 Laser bed can fit a sheet up to 1500mm x 3000mm.

If you hadn’t already decided before designing your part, now you will need to decide what metal you are going to use.

Metals to use depend largely on what the part will be used for. As a general rule, mild steel is the cheapest because it has no corrosion resistance. Aluminium is next, with very variable pricing depending on the market. Stainless Steel is the most expensive of the metals we work most with and it has several grades for different uses.

At this point it’s also a good idea to consider the finish you would like. It’s cheaper to cut galvanized or zinc-coated mild steel (available up to 3mm) then it is to coat the steel after it’s been cut.

So, now you have your flat pattern and we’ve ordered the sheet of metal to meet your requirements. The flat pattern is then used to calculate sheet yield. Nesting (that means programming onto one sheet) flat patterns together on a sheet improves yield and cuts costs without decreasing quality.

There are several more stages to our processes, getting you from design to finished product, but this is where the sourcing of metal ends.

So, let’s recap.

So far, to maintain quality we order the required grade – we can advise you on which would be best for you – from our reputable suppliers, we’ve checked it on delivery according to our ISO quality checks and together we’ve designed and nested your part. What more is there in quality and cost effective metal sourcing?

The Metal Marketplace:

Metal prices fluctuate throughout the year, depending on available supply and UK demand. For instance, between February and May 2012, the price of milled stainless steel from America changed 4 times; almost monthly.

A key area that we consider in maintaining our quality standards and keeping your costs as low as possible is making sure we stay up to date on current trends in the metal market. To do this we monitor the marketplace and obtain individual quotes from our metal suppliers, choosing the best and most cost effective for our customers.

Another key area in quality is where the metal comes from. European metals have to conform to strict quality guidelines and requirements during milling and this creates a quality sheet of metal to be purchased by us. Asian metals are considerably cheaper, but can be of lower quality because they are far less regulated.

Although European metals are more expensive, this cost is desirable because of the vastly higher quality in the metal compared with Asian milled metals. Also, European metals are recycled and therefore more cost effective in themselves as well as being better for the planet – 90% of stainless steel is recycled, and Aluminium too, the third most recycled material (after steel and paper).
And that’s why our metals always come from Europe!

So there you have it!

When considering the question “how can I keep my costs down and have high quality metal?” the answer is simple: give us a call! At Yorkshire Profiles we specialise in laser cutting and metal fabrication and are happy to help you with your requirements while maintaining our own ISO 9001 quality standards and ensuring you have the finest quality for the best price available.

Yorkshire Profiles Ltd

Yorkshire Profiles Ltd