Methods to Reduce the Prices of Metal Castings
With the global economic crisis, reducing
prices and production costs have been paid more attention for the
buyers of metal castings, such as iron and steel castings. According
to our experience in Dandong Foundry in China, we suggest the
1. Negotiate prices with your suppliers.
If you think some suppliers are qualified, and you like them, but
their quoted prices are higher than others, then you should let them
know your target prices, and give them a chance to consider if they
are willing to meet your target prices.
In the same way, if the supplier like you and believe that you may
be a good customer for them, then they may be willing to reduce
their profit to produce some metal
castings for you.
2. Bypass intermediate links of purchasing.
Purchasing directly from metal foundries will effectively reduce the
prices. However, I am not saying that trading companies are useless.
Many good trading companies are helping their customers to
purchasing iron and steel castings from China.
3. Light weight design.
If you are the designer of the metal castings, you could try to
reduce the unit weight of castings. The unit weight is the base of
price, so if you could reduce the weight, then you will reduce the
prices. Normally, you could try to reduce the wall thickness or
increase the hollow areas. Of curse, the strength of casting parts
should be met.
4. Clarify and reduce machining works.
Sometimes, the drawings can not denote the machining works clearly,
so the buyers should clarify or denote them. Otherwise, the
suppliers may increase the machining works, and so increase the
Moreover, as for some unimportant surfaces and positions, if some
flatness and straightness is allowable, the buyers should consider
to keep them as cast.
5. Choose suitable casting process.
There are many metal casting
processes, and different casting processes will cause big
difference to casting prices, so choosing the suitable one could
effectively reduce the prices. Talk with your suppliers and learn
about what casting process they will use, and consider if could use
Normally, the manufacturers will use the suitable production methods
considering your requirements and their production conditions, so
choosing by you is also important.
6. Choose suitable materials and grades.
Some designers may choose the higher material grades to guarantee
the reliability of casting parts, however, higher material grades
and requirements will cause higher production costs, so suitable
grade will be more economical.
The buyers should check if lower grades could meet the application
if the high grades have increased the costs largely.
7. Lower your some requirements at certain level.
In other to keep high quality, some clients may have some high
requirements to the surface quality, defects requirements, special
surface coating, painting and packing requirement, and also some
inspection works. If you really think these are necessary and are
willing to pay for them, then it is ok, however, if some are not
important for you, please try to lower your requirements with them.
All these works will be considered during price calculation, and if
your manufacturers could not do them in house, then the production
costs will become high when they entrust others to do.
8. Reduce preliminary investment to investigate suppliers.
You could check the website of your suppliers, and ask any question
to them. In this way, you could know that if they are professional
and reliable. You also could learn more about them during making
samples and small batch production in the early stage.
Only if you are a very large company, and you are very rich,
otherwise, it is unnecessary to invest lots of money for visiting
and quality investigation to the manufacturers. Most of metal
foundries have similar production equipments and administrative
level. Even some foundries are small, it not means that they can not
produce some casting very well. Although some foundries are very
large, it does not mean that they are suitable for you either.
Only samples and POs delivered one by one could prove that if they
are qualified. Of course, you should pay attention to cheaters and
9. Reduce defective rate during finish machining.
Sometimes, the buyers may eliminate a potential supplier just
because their quoted prices were 5% higher than others. However,
when you receive 10% or 30% defective casting parts, you will
understand that the 5% higher prices are reasonable.
Some clients will do the finish machining by themselves, so the
defective rate during your finish machining stage will be
inevitable. Therefore, your suppliers should have enough inspection
capability to control the quality of delivered castings. Asking your
supplier to do the rough machining before delivery will be a good
10. Reduce the numbers of your suppliers.
If your supplier has produced several types of metal castings, then
you should entrust them to produce more types for you. It is easier
to negotiate prices with your existing supplier, and they could
accept lower prices and smaller orders in order to keep producing
your other profitable products.
As for the new suppliers, although they may quote lower prices, but
their capability and quality may not be as good as your current.
Moreover, fewer suppliers will reduce your costs for quality
inspection, sea freight and long-term cooperation.
11. Pay attention to the change of pig iron costs.
Pig iron prices have directly influence to iron and steel casting
prices. The buyers should pay attention to the change of pig iron
prices, so you could understand when your suppliers may request
price adjustment. In our website, we are updating pig iron, cast
iron and cast steel prices timely.
12. Help your suppliers to clarify technical issues and solve
If your supplier asks many questions for the detailed issues, you
should try your best to help them for the clarification. This action
will not only help them to improve quality, but also could reduce
the unnecessary production costs.
For example, if there is a dimension in the drawing, its tolerance
is +/-0.2 mm. Ok, your manufacturer can only guarantee +/-0.3 mm, so
they will have to machine it. Therefore, they will have to increase
its machining cost. If you could help them to clarify it with your
end user, or final client, maybe +/-0.3 mm could be acceptable if it
will not affect the assembly and application. Finally, the price
will be reduced because of less machining works.
Many clients and buyers thought the best method to reduce prices was
developing new suppliers, and choose the supplier with lowest
prices. This method is workable if your suppliers are making the
same parts and they have the same quality. However, making metal
castings is not a simple work.
At quotation stage, all suppliers will promise that they could
produce your castings very well, however, you should check if they
have considered and understand all your requirements. Moreover, if
they have capability to keep the quality consistent and stable.
Always, cheaper will mean something.