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The Hidden Costs of Dies Built Overseas

July 20th, 2015

A lower purchase price looks great on paper, but you should consider the added and long-term costs of dies sourced overseas.

You may have heard that having metal stamping dies built overseas saves money. A common perception we hear is that you can “save 30 percent” by having dies built overseas. But does this really save money? We find, for the vast majority of customers who have tried it, no – it’s not a money-saving process long term. It’s one of several reasons why many customers are more successful using locally built dies.

We see companies spending a lot of money and downtime to maintain poorly made dies and get them to run automatically. When you look beyond purchase price, these are some of the reasons that can make locally built dies a smarter, more economical choice:

  • Communication time – More time is required for communications with overseas operations to ensure accuracy and that nothing gets “lost in translation.”
  • Travel time and expense – Long-haul travel is necessary to properly get a complicated die-making project started, and the time and expenses add up fast.
  • Overseas suppliers often don’t get involved with the design review process, but we do.
    If quality issues arise with the die, you can be slowed down by virtual communications and time zone issues – whereas we can meet with you quickly, locally and in-person to resolve any problems and keep your operations running.
  • When we design and build a die, we keep in mind its maintenance and sharpening needs. We can also quickly perform maintenance and repairs at our facility or yours, an advantage over suppliers halfway around the world.
  • Lead times can get out of control when using overseas suppliers. We can engineer a reasonable lead time into the design.
  • Overseas die builders normally don’t have a return or quality policy so when the die doesn’t perform as expected, you’re options are limited. We stand behind our products.

Wisconsin Metal Parts works to build strong, long-term relationships with our customers, so we closely understand how a die will be used in its manufacturing environment – from part run quantities to tolerances and other requirements. We get to know your operation, so we can suggest cost-saving improvements along the way.

In metal parts stamping and manufacturing, tooling is not a place you want to cut corners. Consider the advantages of a well-engineered die and a responsive local supplier to ensure your parts production and assembly run smoothly. Contact us to ask about your tool and die needs.

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