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AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL COMPANY BLOG


How Metal Stamping Can Impact Your Bottom Line

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If you’re looking to increase your bottom line without sacrificing the quality of your product, consider metal stamping. To create new components, stamping presses transform metal blanks into desired shapes through the use of a tool and die. With a variety of modifications, metal stamping can create numerous shapes for your product, giving you greater versatility. It also offers a number of benefits including reduced product costs, shorter production time, and extended product lifespans.

To maximize metal stamping’s impact on your bottom line, here are some helpful tips:

1.      Reach out to your metal stamper early in the process

Getting your stamper involved from the start can save you considerable time and money later on. Often, there is a disconnect between the manufacturer’s envisioned design and what the stamping engineer can actually do within the limitations of metal stamping. If the manufacturer and metal stamper collaborate together early, however, they can eliminate such disparities and make improvements to optimize the design –– ultimately saving you production time and money.

2.      Forecast your requirements & Reduce costs

It’s important to share with your metal stamper your assembly process, projected volumes, release dates, and lead times for your product. If they have as much information as possible upfront, metal stampers can ensure a smoother production process from start to finish. For example, they may be able to redesign the stamp to reduce costs and streamline manufacturing.

Since production volume directly impacts costs, be sure to let the stamper know the volume at which you plan to produce the parts. In addition, providing your expected lead time can remove the need for rush jobs and build in time for extra review, modification, and production changes — eliminating extra costs.

3.      Assess the dimension for final assembly

Knowing exactly how a single part will fit into the overall design is very important when assessing your project budget. If you provide accurate dimensions for your part’s assembly, the metal stamper may be able to use in-die assemblies that can eliminate unnecessary manufacturing steps, reduce labor and production costs, and speed up the time to market.

4.      Evaluate simulations and prototypes

Be sure to test the design and functionality of your product before fully launching its production. Metal stampers have the ability to create prototypes and simulations that test how well the designed product will perform under certain conditions. If you find problems or issues, you’ll then be able to adjust the design to improve the product’s durability and function, as well as optimize its production. By using these simulations and prototypes, you can perfect your design before wasting any valuable time or resources in making something that won’t actually work.

Metal Stamping from American Industrial

At American Industrial Company, we specialize in complete turnkey packages, from prototype design to completed precision metal stampings, for companies worldwide. To learn more helpful tips from our dedicated staff or to see how we can help with your next project, please submit our contact form for more information.


AIC Earns ISO 9001:2015 Certification

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American Industrial Co. (AIC) is thrilled to announce that we are now ISO 9001:2015 certified. A global standard that dictates requirements for effective quality management systems (QMS), its primary purpose is to assist companies in developing efficient processes that ensure products and services consistently meet customer and regulatory requirements.

ISO 9001 provides a process-oriented approach to documenting and reviewing the structure, responsibilities, and procedures required for organizations to implement successful quality management. Specific topics include documenting a quality manual and determining process interactions, the responsibilities of management, management of resources including human resources and work environment, product realization from design to delivery, and how the organization uses internal audits and corrective actions and risk management to measure, analyze, and improve its QMS.

ISO 9001 certification gives customers peace of mind that they’ll be provided with high-quality products and services, while management and employees also reap the rewards of a better organized, safer, and cleaner workplace geared toward continual improvement. The new, revised version of ISO 9001 puts greater emphasis on leadership engagement and creates more structure for addressing and managing risks as well as identifying opportunities for improvement. Its use of simplified, easy-to-understand language is particularly useful for businesses using multiple management systems or those involved in knowledge- or service-based sectors. The updated standard also more effectively addresses supply chain management and takes into account the increasingly connected, globalized marketplace.

As an industry-leading precision metal stamper, the team at American Industrial is committed to continual improvement in everything we do. We sought out the revised ISO 9001 certification in order to provide customers with the best products and services available, with the most stringent possible quality assurance.

To view our new ISO 9001:2015 certification, download a copy today, and feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding this certification or our quality management practices in general.


Three Metal Stamping Trends to Look Out For in 2017

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Thanks to several innovative technological developments, the metal stamping industry has seen steady growth. Advancements in robotics, automation, and numerical controls have all helped improve stamping precision and speed, while virtually eliminating setup time.

Metal-Stamping-Trends-2017With rising global consumer demand, the industry is expected to continue riding this growth wave through 2017. Here are three major trends you can expect to see in the coming year.

  1. Reshoring and the Growth of Manufacturing in America

You’ve probably heard about the surging reshoring trend in American manufacturing; after decades of outsourcing production and contract manufacturing, many companies are now considering the financial benefits of moving their operations back to the United States.

Today, reshoring actually results in a higher total cost of ownership than domestic production — despite the higher labor costs at home. Advanced automation techniques will allow the precision metal stamping industry to easily take advantage of the various business opportunities that will soon be sprouting up as more OEMs reshore their operations.

  1. The Rise of Solar Paneling

Significant price drops for photovoltaic (PV) systems have made solar power much more popular. Not only can metal stamping companies benefit from the energy costs savings and federal tax credits associated with switching to solar, but they are also uniquely positioned to service this growing industry; PV installations require many kinds of precision machined parts to support the metal panel frames.

  1. Integrating Automation in Production

Automation integration yields a two-fold benefit for manufacturing companies: higher production rates at lower costs. Utilizing advanced equipment such as laser cutters offers metal stampers unparalleled precision and speed for optimized production. Meanwhile, implementing robotics for repetitive tasks lowers the headcount in the shop while freeing up skilled machinists to take on more challenging work, such as programming.

Want to Learn More?

To get the full rundown on reshoring, solar paneling, and automation integration, as well as what these trends mean for the metal stamping industry, download a free copy of our eBook, “Trends Report: What to Expect in Metal Stamping for 2017.”

2017 METAL STAMPING TRENDS REPORT

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METAL STAMPING TRENDS


America’s Renewed Focus on Manufacturing

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Over the past several years, the American manufacturing industry has seen significant shifts with new initiatives in place to propel small businesses and independent manufacturers forward on both a national and global scale. While new resources and better information are helping manufacturers succeed, many businesses — particularly smaller ones — are also actively tapping into new, innovative marketing opportunities to increase exposure. (more…)


Metal Stamping in Aftermarket Auto Part Manufacturing

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While the automotive aftermarket is just one step of a lengthy development and sales process, it is in itself a diverse field, encompassing everything from entertainment features and accessories to replacement parts and car servicing.

metal-stamping-aftermarket-auto-part-manufacturingAs the industry shifts, various automotive aftermarket industry trends are emerging. For instance, within the B2C auto aftermarket, sales are shifting from traditional methods to e-commerce. Direct selling — from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to consumers — is also becoming more common.

Aftermarket car parts manufacturers, such as automotive metal stamping companies — and the garages, service centers, and fleets they sell to — are also part of this shift; as B2C sales shift toward e-commerce, so too do B2B sales.

Get an Inside Look Automotive Aftermarket Infographic

Finally, factors such as vehicle lifespan and improved quality of aftermarket car parts are allowing the automotive aftermarket industry to grow.

The market will continue to shift as digital service aggregation becomes more prevalent, integrating B2B and B2C business models and allowing consumers to easily connect with suppliers to procure aftermarket auto body parts and accessories through third-party aggregators.

Popular Aftermarket Auto Parts

At American Industrial Company, we can produce a wide range of aftermarket auto parts, from small prototypes to high volumes of complex parts.

For instance, one of our clients required a part that would safely secure an automotive floor mat. We formed a cold rolled steel (CRS) bracket utilizing cold tooling and created the profile on a press brake. To provide strength cost-effectively, we then utilized spot welding for the assembly.

After a quality check, the bracket components were zinc and clear chromate plated to prevent rust and corrosion. All of the brackets were produced well within the ±0.010 inch tolerance requirement.

These types of brackets are among the most common aftermarket parts requested from automotive metal stamping companies. Steering wheel spokes and other components, horn buttons, and rearview mirror mounting plates are also common, as well as motorcycle parts, such as GPS mounting plates, motor mounts, foot pegs, and bearing retainers. These parts and accessories can be made from various materials, including cold rolled steel, stainless steel, aluminum, etc.

Metal stamping and automotive metal fabrication companies are particularly well-equipped to handle the diverse demands of the automotive aftermarket, as state-of-the-art equipment can produce parts with great precision and accuracy, handling mass-market-sized runs efficiently and inexpensively. Many manufacturers also offer comprehensive value-added services, such as heat treating, finishing, and painting.

How We Help Automotive Aftermarket Companies

As the industry shifts, it becomes increasingly important to keep up with automotive aftermarket news and trends. American Industrial Company — a family-owned business specializing in precision metal stamping and laser cutting — is here to help you find the right approach for your next project.

To learn more about how metal stampers can help you with your automotive aftermarket needs, download our free automotive aftermarket infographic.


3 Steps to Sourcing Materials for Manufacturing

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Sourcing materials is essential to ensuring a project runs smoothly and cost-effectively. Vendor qualification serves as an important step to ensuring a successful sourcing process. Each project requires a different set of standards and can determine a vendor’s ability to match your needs. For example, your thermoforming vendor will be quite different from your precision metal stamping vendor.

material sourcingBy qualifying vendors, a company gains product and service consistency to its desired requirements. Going forward, they also have a tried-and-true choice to source materials from.

1. Set a process

Initiating and maintaining a process for vendor sourcing allows for consistency and proper analysis of vendor selection each time. First determine material specifications. Know what your goals are and be able to interpret these to the potential vendor. This will allow you to properly evaluate the validity of a sourcing partnership.

Next, establish fee restrictions, as well as any service requirements. Once you evaluate risk, set up and send out questionnaires to potential vendors. Within these steps, material failure evaluation is crucial. Understanding the risk associated with a vendor and their supplied materials helps prevent catastrophic failures in manufacturing.

2. Customize a questionnaire

Beyond the general and informative questions, include questions that are specific to the type of vendor you are looking for. A customized questionnaire will help to ask questions specific to the manufacturing process that could impact your project’s timeline.

While it’s great to get specific with your questions, avoid invasive questions. Asking about a manufacturer’s backend finances may deter the vendor from completing the qualification questionnaire. Treat the questionnaire as an introduction to what vendors can expect from working with your sourcing company.

3. Track and EvaluateMetal Stamper Must-Haves

If you have a set process and questionnaire in place, it only makes sense to have a set evaluation process, as well.

Recording capabilities, certifications, quality assurance, equipment, referrals and more lets you put the data side-by-side. Each candidate will have to stack up to your standards at the very least, with one prevailing above the rest as the vendor for your project.

As metal stamping experts, our staff at American Industrial Company created a helpful guide for choosing a metal stamper. Access our Metal Stamper Must-Haves Guide for useful information on sourcing companies and vendor selection. For more on selecting the right vendor, especially for metal stamping, get in touch with our team today.

 

 

 

 


Let’s Work Together: A Message from Dave Dunn to Injection Molders

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One of our most important goals is to grow our business — I’m sure that’s one of your goals, too. Every business wants to grow, but what’s the best way to make it happen? In the case of metal stampers and injection molders, the answer is very simple: Let’s work together. If we pool our resources, we can get more done by better serving our customers as we expand our businesses.

Meeting the Challenge

Many of today’s most highly sought-after components contain metal, plastic, and rubber elements. At American Industrial Company, we want to forge partnerships with injection molding companies to give our clients complete turnkey solutions for their toughest projects. Working together not only helps our mutual businesses to grow, but it also provides our customers with convenient solutions that are completed in one go.

Latch AssemblyWe’ve already tried this solution, and we know it works. Take our recent latch assembly project, for example. We put all of our capabilities to the test to fulfill our customer’s specifications — but the work didn’t stop there. A partner in the injection molding field then manufactured the rubber component to fully complete the client’s part.

We all know the frustration that comes from turning down jobs because they require capabilities we can’t provide. For example, as a metal stamping company, we can’t help clients who need injection molding and metal stamping for the same part without engaging in a partnership. It’s the same for rubber and plastic companies without in-house metal stamping — a customer may need a part that is both injection-molded and stamped. Without metal stamping skills or a partnership, the potential business opportunity has to be turned down.

Working togetherJoining forces through partnerships doesn’t just benefit our customers and our businesses; it also helps American manufacturing to grow. As our company expands, we are proud to bring more manufacturing jobs to Chicago and beyond. Bringing our resources together will help us to do this — and will help to improve our local economy, job by job.

Help Us Do More, Together

Do you want to expand your business capabilities and reach new clientele at the same time? You can help by uniting your talents with ours.

American Industrial is looking for an injection molder in the Midwestern region to join our Injection Molders Partnership Program. Let’s work together to help more clients. Contact us today for more information or to apply.

Join American Industrial's Injection Molders Partnership Program


The Automotive Industry’s Record-Breaking November

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This past November proved to be one of the most lucrative and successful for the American automotive industry. With the abundance of enticing Black Friday deals and the added benefit of low gas prices for drivers, the industry experienced a record high in automotive sales for the month.

Automotive SalesIn fact, November 2015 was so profitable that it reached a 1.4% sales increase over November 2014, totaling a whopping 15.82 million vehicles sold from January through November of this year. At this rate, 2015 promises to be a likely record-breaking year.  Buoyed by the month’s striking sales numbers, the industry is on track to rival the $17.35 million sales peak attained back in 2000, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Reduced Gas Prices Contribute to Sales

GasolineGas prices, which remained relatively stable throughout the past year, also offered consistency to those who recently purchased vehicles. Averaging around two dollars a gallon, these dependable prices likely contributed to the industry’s successful month – and a successful year overall. Lower prices encourage drivers not only to use their current vehicles more frequently and for longer trips, but to purchase new vehicles with the added benefit of future fuel savings.

Due to this influx of favorable trends, many auto dealers and car makers can now afford to offer competitive financing and significant discounts to consumers. With deals high and gas prices low, the current landscape of the automotive industry is especially conducive to an increase in overall purchases.

American Industrial and the Automotive Industry

Established in 1981, American Industrial is the premier source of precision metal stamping and die cutting services. We are proud to provide high quality and comprehensive manufacturing services to the entire automotive industry. Our ISO 9001:2008 certified facility is located in close proximity to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and offers us the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to all consumer requests.

At American Industrial, we specialize in servicing customers across the automotive industry; we provide precise, reliable delivery to the entire industrial vertical. In order to complete a recent project, for example, American Industrial was tasked with designing twelve custom brackets for a high visibility prototyping venture, each of which would work to ensure a secure floor mat for automotive applications.

Employing top notch operations and spot welding for assembly, we created a bracket comprised of cold rolled steel and formed with cold tooling. After a broad and complete quality assessment, the brackets of the component were subject to a clear chromate and zinc plating in order to resist future corrosion or rust. The project was completed within a three-week delivery frame and thorough documentation of inspection processes was provided.

At American Industrial, we are proud to produce quality parts for a range of services within the automotive industry. To learn more about American Industrial’s ability to produce new and efficient auto products and metal components, download our automotive infographic today.


Motorcycle Innovations: Introducing the Amphibious Motorcycle

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Since its advent, the motorcycle industry and its engineers have never ceased to continue developing and evolving. As time has progressed, so have the capabilities and features of the technology used to help the industry evolve. With the recent development of the amphibious motorcycle, it’s evident that a new and exciting level of automotive innovation has been achieved.
amphibious motorcycle
The amphibious motorcycle is a new vehicular concept with the ability to operate on both water and land, transitioning between terrains in a quick and simple manner. When operating in water, the amphibious motorcycle – which resembles both a jet ski and a small motorcycle – raises its wheels and is guided by jets on each side of the wheel.

Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc., the manufacturer of the Biski, Triski, and Terraquad amphibious motorcycles, employs a 55-horsepower twin cylinder engine in their vehicles. The unique motorcycles can offer speeds of up to 80 miles per hour (mph) on land and 37-45 mph on water. Switching modes between terrains typically takes a mere matter of seconds.

At this rate, the future of the automotive industry appears seemingly limitless. The development of the Biski, Triski, and Terraquad amphibious motorcycles illustrates unparalleled advancements within the automotive market, accompanied by the promise of continued innovation to develop even more distinct vehicle designs and capabilities.

At American Industrial, we have years of experience working with the automotive and vehicular industries. As the premier resource of precision metal stamping and die cutting services, we are dedicated to providing manufacturers of vehicular equipment with the highest quality services and parts available.Motorcycle on the road

Our chromate-plated custom brackets serve a wide range of purposes within the automotive industry. Metal stamping is employed in the production of rear-view mirror plates, foot pegs, steering wheel components, track brackets, and more. They are also used to secure floor mats within an automotive application and are essential during prototyping processes.

Our team recognizes how important it is to select the proper metal stamper for your project. Our team of seasoned experts will work closely with clients to create a list of factors for consideration when choosing a suitable metal stamper. Our catalogs and eBooks also provide in-depth information about our high quality stampers.

Contact us today to discuss your automotive and/or motorcycle industry needs. Learn more about how our team of experts can assist your next project, by reviewing our Guide to Working with American Industrial.


What it Means to be a Single Source for Metal Fabrication

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Since our founding in 1981, American Industrial Company has been at the forefront of the metal stamping industry.

Metal stamping may seem like a simple one-step process, but it rarely is. There are processes that must be performed before any actual metal stamping takes place, such as piercing or blanking. After the stamping itself has been performed, any number of secondary and finishing processes must be applied to the part.

Metal StamperWhen a metal stamper has to turn to third parties for certain processes such as laser cutting, this will often result in increases in production time and costs. Working with AIC is different. We are a single source metal fabricator.

AIC as Your Single Source

From prototyping a single piece, to short runs of a simple part, to long runs of complex pieces; AIC is equipped to perform virtually any secondary or value-added process that is required.

Secondary Services

If there is a particular process that your part must go through, AIC is able to perform it. We can perform a wide array of standard stamping procedures, including: deep and shallow drawing, coining, blanking, bending, and progressive stamping.

Unlike other stampers, though, we offer a similarly large selection of secondary and finishing operations. Some of these services include:

  • Laser
  • Tapping
  • Secondary machining
  • Welding
  • Deburring
  • Plating

We also offer a number of value-added services. As a single source, our team offers design engineering and prototyping, in-house die design and building, reverse engineering, sub-assembly and assembly.

Logistical Support

When we say that AIC is single source, we truly mean it. One of the most important ways in which we work to help your business run smoothly is our logistical support.

Whether you use a Kanban inventory control system, work using the Just-in-Time (JIT) methodology, or require Dock to Stock (DTS) compliance, AIC has the infrastructure to meet your needs.

Learn More

We have recently published an eBook, “The Benefits of a Complete Turnkey Partnership,” to help you learn more about our turnkey services and how they can benefit your business. Download your free copy here today.

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Design to Prototype to Production Download eBook What to Look for in a Metal Stamper Download eBook Aluminum Material Selection Guide Download Guide