tooling specs importance

Tooling Specs: Why you should care

This week on Tooling Tuesday, we answer why tooling specs are so important.

As a rule, in our business tooling is usually a means to an end. Call it a “necessary evil.” Our customers are primarily interested in an ongoing supply of tubular products that meet their quality, cost and delivery requirements. They know they will have to pay for dedicated tooling, but the main objective is to keep tooling costs down and get into production as soon as possible.

So why should a buyer care whether or not their supplier has tooling specs? Isn’t that the supplier’s problem? If the first sample products are good, what does it matter? Here’s a breakdown of why it is important:

  1. Project lead time

    Tooling specs tell you something about the supplier you are dealing with. Well-defined, professional tooling specs show that a supplier has an understanding of what it takes to manage and launch projects. They likely have an in-house toolroom or local tool shops that know their requirements, stock key components and “hit the ground running” on new projects.

  2. Ongoing Quality and Delivery

    The degree to which tooling is standardized affects maintenance and repair. Common components are designed, cataloged, stocked and readily available to keep the job running. Operators are not tempted to “jury-rig” the fixtures on the shop floor to meet production requirements, which leads to poor consistency and quality.

  3. Bargaining Power

    It’s not always something considered during a project start-up. But what happens if you, as the buyer, want to move the tooling to another supplier, or just make sure the current supplier’s costs are competitive? When we are in this situation, one of the first questions we ask the buyer is “What tooling is available and what condition is it in?”

Taking the time on tooling helps you keep your project running smoothly. For us, it helps stay ahead of the competition.

Check out our other blog posts in our Tooling Tuesday series.

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