Manufacturing the ideal product requires many different elements. The design must be perfect and there has to be consumer demand for your intended product. As this article highlights, the materials used also must be appropriate. If these materials don’t meet your budget requirements or fail to match up to property specifications, your product will be in trouble long before it’s ready for sale.
Are you wondering how to get it right with your material choices? Before jumping into production, here are the steps to take when picking materials for your manufacturing project.
The right material properties
Many different material options will be available for a single component of your product. However, the properties of these options can differ significantly – and it’s up to you to recognize which properties are most important. Do you want a lightweight product? Perhaps it needs to be waterproof? Maybe the surface has to be reflective? These are the types of questions you will have to answer.
For example, say you’re manufacturing a product that requires metal plates. FastMetals has a selection of metal plate stock for sale. However, it’s not a case of simply selecting any option available.
Performance and function are the primary elements when choosing materials. However, you cannot underestimate the importance of aesthetics. The materials you select will play a role in the appearance and personality of your product. Remember that processing can supply a different dimension to the material’s design. For instance, metal parts can be anodized or given a powder coating.
Cost will always be a key factor when selecting materials. If you’re intending to create a luxury product, less focus should be put into this aspect – unless your budget is restricted of course. Yet when designing a product that is being sold for a high-volume market, concessions have to be made. If not, there’s no chance you will be able to make a profit from your products.
The main aim will be to find materials which hit all of your criteria points at the lowest possible cost. Don’t simply settle for the first supplier or price that you see. Plus, if you’re buying in bulk, it won’t hurt to reach out to suppliers to receive quotes and see who offers the best deal.
As part of the manufacturing process, you should be testing out the potential materials of your product. You might have a general idea about how these materials will function, but real-world testing is necessary to acquire actionable, accurate data. Whether you’re measuring the tensile strength or temperature resistance, these tests are essential to know if your materials are up to the task.