One of the big advantages powdered metal can offer is the opportunity to combine multiple parts into one. This is a primary reason Catalus Corporation engineers often ask customers for the opportunity to walk their production lines.
A couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to walk the production line of an over-the-road truck manufacturer. During the walk, we came across a part that was being used as an oil plug. The part consisted of a stamping and screw machine part that were welded together, painted and had a rubber seal assembled to them. Working with the client’s engineering group, Catalus was able to take the two-piece welded assembly and convert it to a single PM component. After the PM part was designed, Catalus and the customer worked with various plating houses to come up with a coating that not only equaled corrosion resistance offered by the paint, but we significantly improved it.
The net result was a cost savings that allowed for tooling payback in less than a year, and a lead-time that was reduced significantly because the number of processes needed to make the part were reduced by 50 percent.
If you are looking for ways to reduce cost, Catalus would welcome the chance to walk your production line to look for opportunities.