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  • Sheet metal material question

    Discussion in 'Sheet metal' started by GarethW, Aug 12, 2009.

    1. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      I am trying to cost-reduce a current part. The part is the lid of a 19" rack assembly.

      Currently the part is made from 1mm thick zintec and is painted. I would like to remove the paint to save money, but very often zintec often doesn't look that great on its own (often gets scratched up by the supplier).

      I have considered using stainless steel 430 DP1 instead (we make the chassis part of this product from this), but this picks up fingerprints and looks awful after a while.

      Can anyone suggest a low-cost sheet material that is aesthetically pleasing without having to apply a special finish or surface treatment?

      One other question - we deply these products to hot humid countries, and my company has disapproved of zintec in the past because the edges where the metal is cropped will corrode after a while. My experience tells me that every VCR, DVD player, washing machine etc etc etc in the world is made from this stuff. Is their disapproval an overreaction?
       
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    3. mEvenden

      mEvenden Member

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      What about sheet aluminium with clear/colored anodizing?
       
    4. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      Anodising is non-conductive, and I need electrically conductive areas on the inside faces of the lid (for EMC compliance). I do not want to add cost by having to mask areas off.

      I think that unplated aluminium sheet material may not be an option due to fingerprints. I am also concerned about cost...

      ...or does anyone know better?
       
    5. fababei

      fababei Member

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      If you want to save money, try to find a manufacturer in a low-cost country (not China, of course). I think Eastern Europe could give this possibility.
       
    6. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      Hi fababei. Well, we already have suppliers in China. Do you have any suggestions on good suppliers in China? How do costs compare with suppliers in Shenzhen, China?
       
    7. fababei

      fababei Member

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      I remained speechless :)
       
    8. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      Oops I meant Eastern Europe. It's been one of those days :D Any suggestions?
       
    9. Famet

      Famet New Member

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      If it's not about mass production then for a British company it's much better to outsource in Eastern Europe than in China. There are no (big) cultural differences and if you need really urgent a part you can have it in 2 days, it hasn't to cross the ocean.
      Costs for Romania for example are a little bit higher than in China but if you consider the transport costs etc the final costs are similar. And you will work with a country inside EU so there are no customs taxes.
      A good solution is what many British and German company already did: they moved some of their old machines here and opened from scratch a small shop with a Romanian partner. I can give you the example of the British company MEC COM (working for Siemens and other big guys): they have suppliers in China but in the same time they opened a small sheetmetal shop in Romania (called European Fabrications) having only 12 people but several CNC machines (2 CNC punching, 3 CNC press brakes - moved from their UK factory) - details here http://www.mec-com.co.uk/global/index.htm
      The Romanian branch it's quit busy working now in 2 shifts for the UK mother company despite the crisis (it's the only company I know which increased actually the number of people in the last months). They make small cases for UK and due the fact that salaries are much smaller and because they buy locally many things the costs are totally under control. The quality level is excellent. The only customer for the small Romanian company is their mother company in UK therefore there is no marketing dept. here locally, nothing but the production guys and a smart chief. They receive even the CAM programs from UK and only edit them if there are troubles (however there are other similar companies having a guy for CAM)
      If you will look in the future for such a partner in Romania to open a small and flexible please check the website http://www.famet.ro , we have huge experience in sheetmetal.
      Of course for mass production (several thousands of cases for example having the exact same dimensions) then China could be a better solution.
       
    10. bigbamboo

      bigbamboo Guest

      Aluminium with alochrome 1200 may work for you.
       
    11. kgosselin

      kgosselin New Member

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      Gareth,
      New comer to this forum but thought I'd weigh in anyhow in the chance that I might be able to help you.

      LTV Corporation used to have a product called LOC-AF. Not sure if its still available but might be worth checking into. Here's a link http://www.ltvsteel.com/htmfiles/loc.htm. Perhaps you could even look into using HRPO versus CRCQ. I am quite familiar with two major OEMs who have successfully used HRPO without plating but have powder coated all surfaces to prevent corrosion.

      Best of luck.
       

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