Offshore parts, including those made in China, remain an integral part of today’s global supply as next-gen innovations such as the Internet of Things (aka Industry 4.0) transform how companies communicate, share data and track goods. Of course, such innovations favor the domestic supply chain as well, and while China-made parts may be more aggressively priced, recent events—the trade war, tariffs and the current coronavirus—seemingly signal that this may be an important moment for engineering teams assessing whether to source parts, including laser-cut offerings, from global or domestic partners.
If that’s where you and your colleagues are, SendCutSend, a leader in laser cut metal parts, stands ready to meet your laser-cutting needs with rapid turnaround, responsive customer service, and unparalleled product quality. With that in mind, consider these factors when making your sourcing decisions:
While laser cutting remains an extremely fast and precise manufacturing method, you and your team must allow time for production, post-processing and shipping. When considering China, look for a one-stop service that manages manufacturing, quality assurance, customs clearance and shipping. While all of these are critical, extensive documentation, proper packing and even Chinese holidays such as the New Year, when much of the country shuts down, can make shipping a challenge. Factor in unexpected calamities such as the current coronavirus, and shipping from China could be deal breaker for time-sensitive shipments.
In the United States, where your parts won’t be slowed by the hassle of customs clearance and international-shipping documents, you can expect SendCutSend to ship your parts in 3 days or less and as few as just one part. And, if you need your parts in a flash, the company offers expedited shipping and rush fees. With their revolutionary eCommerce platform, customers are able to track their order at every step of the way.
When considering having your parts made in China, cultural differences in the way we communicate need to be understood. It’s been said that Americans are more direct in what and how we communicate, while the Chinese often imply and infer, relying a great deal on non-verbal communications. A direct speaking tone could be considered offensive as can a blunt email meant to express an immediate concern.
Sourcing from a U.S. supplier removes language barriers and cultural differences, lessening the risk of missing vital information in orders such as materials, dimensions, etc.; misunderstanding schedules; and unintentionally offending someone due to cultural differences. It’s true that the process for ordering prototype and market-ready laser-cut parts has become simpler, but clear communications remain important.
Then there’s the quality factor. You and your team may believe that you’ve designed the perfect laser-cut parts for your applications, but have you? Whether you’re sourcing from China or the U.S., there are several basics that easily could be overlooked. For example, did you know that each object you want the laser to cut needs to be separate and spaced out by at least two times the thickness of the material to ensure reliability? What about materials? Your choice of material—whether it’s aluminum, brass, carbon steel, copper, Cor-Ten, gold, Inconel, mild steel, nickel, nitinol, stainless steel, or titanium—will help determine part detail, durability and appearance.
SendCutSend’s team of fabricators, designers and software engineers can answer your laser-cutting questions and help ensure a seamless process. Users simply submit their designs in any vector-based file format, including ai, dxf, dwg, and svg.
To manufacture your parts as fast as possible, please make sure your files meet our guidelines.
Using advanced, fiber-optic laser equipment that cuts up to 2200 in./min., parts produced for myriad OEMs and industries include custom tooling, signs, aerospace, robotic and electronic parts to experimental aircraft parts and jewelry.
“Our business model, accessible to makers of all capacities,” explains CEO Jim Belosic, “bypasses having to go through a mass manufacturer for small batch parts.”