How to Save Money on Heat Treating
Advanced Heat Treat Corp., based in Waterloo, Iowa, USA recently posted to their website an interesting little article about how manufacturers can save a few dollars when sending heat treating out to a commercial heat treater. Some of these thoughts are relatively obvious but others we would not have thought of. We would consider it a good, quick read. 5 Cost Savings Tips for Heat Treat (ahtcorp.com)
“We continue to see costs rise – the cost of material, the price of oil, the expense of chrome plating, etc. Due to this, many businesses are assessing their bottomline and trying to figure out additional ways to reduce expenses and save money. In this blog, we’ll offer five tips to help you save money as it relates to heat treating. As always, please contact your AHT representative for details and quotes.
COST SAVINGS TIP #1: Lot Size / Price Per Piece
Most heat treatment is specified with a piece-price and/or a minimum lot charge. The piece price is the cost to treat an individual part. The minimum lot charge is the smallest transaction the heat treater is quoting, regardless of the number of pieces you are sending. How the minimum lot charge works, for example, if a part is priced at $6.00 each and the minimum lot size is $900:
- If you send two pieces, the total invoice is $900
- If you send 150 pieces, the total invoice is $900
- If you send 151 pieces, the total invoice is $906
It is usually in the buyer’s best interest to maximize the number of pieces in a lot.
NOTE: If you have a high minimum lot charge, it likely means your work is running by itself. If it can be included with other parts, it may save you money. This may not be an option for very specific orders.
COST SAVINGS TIP #2: Masking
While induction hardening can selectively treat (and not treat) specific areas of a part, other heat treatments require masking (or tooling) to do this. You can save money on this added labor a couple different ways:
a.) you can avoid the expense altogether by masking the part yourself
b.) consider what actually needs to be masked and specify with simplicity in mind.
TIP: If you want your parts to be returned with or without the masking paint, please specify this on your purchase order. This may impact the price.
COST SAVINGS TIP #3: Freight
Heat treatment is often the last operation prior to assembly. Instead of shipping back to you, we can often drop ship directly to your end customer. This saves time and freight cost.
Communicating when your parts will arrive can also help to reduce your costs. For instance, if your work can run with something else, we might be able to delay that run until your parts arrive.
COST SAVINGS TIP #4: Set-Up Fees
Induction hardening is not a batch process, and similar to a machine shop, when you change jobs, you are “breaking set-up.” Because of this, set-up fees are common in induction hardening. You can often reduce your per-piece cost by increasing the number of parts you send.
COST SAVINGS TIP #5: Packaging
Unless specified, it is assumed that parts will be returned in the same packaging they are received. Using reusable dunnage can be a great cost saver as there are fewer boxes to dispose of and fewer damaged parts. Pre-racking can also be a significant cost savings.
We continue to see costs rise – the cost of material, the price of oil, the expense of chrome plating, etc. Due to this, many businesses are assessing their bottomline and trying to figure out additional ways to reduce expenses and save money. In this blog, we’ll offer five tips to help you save money as it relates to heat treating. As always, please contact your AHT representative for details and quotes.
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