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Eliminate Costs From the Machining Process of Your Extruded Parts

November 01, 2016

Value Added Value Engineering (VAVE): It’s a process designed to cut costs or add value by re-evaluating the design and manufacturing process of your product. If you don’t know it, you should. VAVE is something we often help clients implement at any point in the life of their program. Our team is ready to support any customer’s efforts to find opportunities that reduce costs and add value to their product.

If you’re currently manufacturing extruded parts, you could be in a good position to utilize VAVE opportunities through a switch to forging, resulting in a considerable savings during the machining process. It can produce a near-net finished shape, which means forged parts require significantly less machining than extruded ones. There are a few factors, however, that you’ll need to be aware of when considering forging as an alternative.

  1. Part profile. Some part designs are better suited for forging than others. Does your part have openings or asymmetrical shapes/edges that require machining after the extrusion process? If your answer is yes, then forging may offer you a cost savings. These elements can be formed during the forging process, rather than cut out later. You also won’t have to remove as much excess material during the finishing process.

  2. Quantity of parts. Programs that can see the most cost savings from a switch to forging are ones that have significant production volume, which can offset some of the upfront costs associated with this manufacturing process. This isn’t to say that smaller run programs can’t benefit from forging, but it is a factor to consider.

  3. Tooling costs. An extrusion die is only about ⅓ of the cost of a forging die. While this means forging can require more upfront investment in tooling, it can provide significant savings in scrap and machining costs over the lifetime of the program. 

Switching to forging often provides the most cost savings for high-rate, more mature products, but startups or newer programs can potentially experience overall program savings by starting with this manufacturing process from the beginning. If you’re considering a switch to forging, contact us today to discuss the specifics of your program’s cost-cutting goals.

Attending FABTECH 2016? Stop by our booth (#C22104) to learn more about making the switch to forging as well as the other numerous machining and supply-chain management solutions we offer.