Quoting is to give you an estimated price of a job. It is estimated as we first use and educated guess to determine how long a part will take to made by the auto lathe machine.
The company has done over 11 000 different types of components so far. We call that educated guess the cycle time of a component. Depending on the cycle time we can estimate how many components we can make in a day. Lets use and example: say a components cycle time is 1 minute 30 seconds.
That means we can make 40 components an hour and 320 components if we work for on average 8 hours per day. So if you order 5 000 components it will take you 15,625 days for the first operation. When we have established your actual cycle time; say that take 1 minute 45 seconds then the quantity will be as follow. Using the previous example; that means we can make 34 components an hour and 272 components if we work for on average 8 hours per day. So if you order 5 000 components it will take you 18,38 days for the first operation.
Also we calculate the 2nd operation, that can be to drip and form thread for example. Lastly the component can have a certain finish on it like nickel plated. We take all of that into consideration when we work out a price for you. If you need the components very urgently we run that machine on overtime to compensate for the quantity that needs to be manufactured.
When you are happy with our prices we quoted you, you need to place an order with us with the quantity that you gave us when you asked us to do the estimate. Now if you gave us a quantity of 5000 and all of a sudden you reduce that to 100 we still have to recuperate our setup cost. (The setter may take an hour or three to set up the machine) Then the price per component will be more.
After we received the order from you we need to set up drawings that need to be approved by you. You can either send us your drawing or send us a sample we will then use to set up a drawing. You do not pay us for setting up drawings it is included in the price of the components. If you need samples you will first have to pay us for that as well, if you want to make sure say for instance the insert for your plastic injection moulding is sufficient for your operations. Sometimes we need to revise the drawings to accommodate your revisions to fit your operational requirements
After you approved the drawings which can take a day or longer; we see when a machine can become available to make your component. We have 25 different machines in our shop. Different machines handle different components. We have a machine for example that maybe can only chop the component and we use them for making pins. Other machines are more advanced and can do a number of other functions like drilling and tapping which we use to make say; spacers or inserts.
So depending on the complexity of your part and tolerances we have to select the right machine for your component. If you tolerances are more critical we have to set the machine slower to make sure we come in at the right tolerances. Your machine might be on a job for 10 000, 50 000 or say 100 000 parts and will take a time to complete the previous part queued. Just remember that at any given time we might be manufacturing 75 different components with different cycle times and different quantities allocated to them that will finish at different times depending on when they were started. That is not taking into account that a machine might break a belt on the night shift or the machine start making scrap due to a malfunction or a dull tool that does not cut the components correctly. So depending on quite a few factors as mentioned we try to complete your parts within 20 days after we started production.
Depending on your part that we have to manufacture there might be a 2nd or 3rd operation that is necessary to give your component the functionality it requires. That can include milling, slotting, tapping, drilling, etc. Depending on the number of 2nd & 3rd operations your part might take longer than usual to complete.
We outsource our plating and are therefore dependent on their priority that they give your components. Depending on the type of plating if any of your component there is different processes for different plating methods. We can also anneal or temper your components to either soften or harden it. Your plating, annealing and tempering is included in the 20 day we allow ourselves to manufacture your components
We normally allocate different areas to days to deliver during the week if it is in the Pretoria / Johannesburg area. Otherwise it is your responsibility to organize your own courier to come fetch the components. Also you can come fetch the components for yourself.