You might think that you’re better off being specific as to the grade material for your part. The thing is, we’ve actually found that specifying a grade material in your blueprint can cost you time and money.
This is because the raw material industry is in a constant state of flux. Materials companies are buying, selling, and merging. Product lines change… or are eliminated! That’s why you only want to cite specific grades if absolutely necessary.
We do understand that there are times when customers must have a specific grade material on their blueprints (i.e. for UL approval or for Medical parts). It’s no problem but please remember that if you do have a long list of product validation requirements to prove out new materials, you need to be sure to plan extra time for it. If possible, try to specify multiple grades from different material sources. This could give you the time to come up with alternatives when needed.
The better way is to specify a generic material grade along with the actual requirements of the finished part that you consider important. Things like heat requirements, flammability ratings, UL and/or FDA requirements, chemical resistance etc. help us find the right material to make the best performing part possible.
Specifying generic grades and the part’s important requirements allows us greater flexibility in choosing the material that meets the demands of your part’s performance at the lowest cost.
As always, if you’re unsure or have questions, call us and we’ll talk about the materials that will make you the best part at the lowest cost.
Until next time,