Engineer metals to transform product design and manufacturing
Many companies claim to be innovative. But, they completely overlook metals engineering as an approach to innovate better, lower-cost products that are easier to manufacture and have fewer quality problems.
Why is metals engineering overlooked?
Most engineers and engineering leadership know little about the science of metals. They are excellent engineers, but they took one college course in metallurgy, and many recall hating it. So, they have little experience using first-hand metallurgy knowledge to make decisions and solve problems. Instead, they rely on handbook data, Google searches, and suppliers, which only exacerbates problems.
This is especially noteworthy considering metals are a large portion of the cost of many products.
Innovating with metallurgical engineering
Using metallurgy to design and engineer products is innovative. My customers find it is one of those rare transformations that costs little to do yet brings significant business value. It does not require retooling assembly lines. Nor does it require much effort by an engineering team. Of all the design and manufacturing innovations to choose from, metals engineering ranks among the best in terms of ROI.
Failure to take advantage of metals engineering leads to needless expense, sub-optimum designs, and most important, lost opportunity.
We help solve that problem.
Business reasons to innovate using metals engineering
- High bill of materials costs because metals are too expensive or difficult to source.
- Product failures during testing and use because metal components degrade too fast.
- High cost of poor supplier quality and lingering quality problems.
- Components difficult to fabricate (adding cost) because of poor design for manufacturability.
What does innovating metals look like?
Proactively applying metallurgy knowledge to design and manufacturing decisions and problems enables…
- Selection of metals that enable products that exceed performance and cost expectations.
- Reduced component cost.
- Selection of metals that enable easier component fabrication, resulting in better quality and reduced cost.
- Meeting product development deadlines, without last-minute surprises.
- Systematic process for addressing quality problems to reduce chronic quality problems and quickly resolve future quality problems.
- Systematic process for evaluating suppliers to prevent selecting and suffering incapable suppliers.
Stop treating metals as a commodity. Stop focusing on component form as the only design consideration. Simultaneous consideration of component form and metal alloy will enable design optimization, including ease of fabrication (DFM). The result is components that meet all design requirements at low cost, with no quality problems.
Sometimes it’s even possible to find a design innovation that provides a competitive advantage or enables a design that was thought to be impossible.
Innovating metals also helps manufacturers:
- Find ways to use the same materials across product lines for similar components to reduce cost.
- Develop a supplier evaluation and selection process that includes consideration of a supplier’s ability to consistently provide metal stock and components that have the metallurgical attributes needed to meet performance and reliability requirements.
- Develop design rules and specifications for materials selection.
Reduce cost, reduce design time, improve quality with this simple transformation
Want to learn more?
Call or email to arrange a 15-minute discussion about your products and how metals engineering will help you innovate better products and engineering processes, enabling you to be more productive and profitable.
We offer different arrangements for providing engineering services, coaching, and training.
About Mike Pfeifer, PhD, P.E.
I am a 25-year veteran metallurgical consultant, coach, and trainer for manufacturers. I am also a published author. Read more about how I work with clients at www.imetllc.com/consulting. Also, our library of free articles will give you a sense of our approach and expertise.