4 steps to successful aluminium profiles:
Consultation, development, production and finish
Manufacturing of aluminium profiles
Put your aluminium product in experienced hands! With our expertise you can go in the right direction from the start in order to exploit all potentials later on. We do not know how many tools we have successfully developed and built – probably thousands!
- The consultation
In the beginning you may have many questions about aluminium and profiles. If not, we have lots of questions for you. Almost no other material has as many design options. It is our task to show you these options:
- Where exactly will the required profile be utilised? What kind of strains does it have to withstand and which material is thus most suitable for your product?
- Which final product do you want to manufacture and which exact functions should the profile have?
- Which quantities are you planning with? Would a single tool be sufficient or would a multi-strand tool on a larger press make more sense?
- Which lengths do you require for the aluminium profiles? It doesn’t always have to be 6,000 mm. Optimised lengths for fixed lengths are possible or even pieces that are sawn to fixed lengths.
- Will the aluminium profile be visible? Are there any highly decorative claims? Which surfaces do you require?
- How is your production organised? Which level of vertical integration do you need?
- Do you have your own warehouse and which replenishment lead time is tolerable? Or do you even require just-in-time delivery?
- How will you be handling the aluminium profiles? Do you have a forklift at your disposal or is hand unloading necessary?
We work thoroughly with the intellectual property of our customers. Confidentiality is therefore a matter of course for us.
During the consultation, we also would like to illustrate the process of extrusion. As a result, you will get a better idea about the possibilities of production.
Perhaps you’re already an “old hand” and looking for a new supplier for an existing tool. In that case, we can more or less skip steps 1 and 2.
Now it’s our turn! Together with the toolmakers, designers and CAD illustrators, we will create the first drafts and present them to you. Of course, you will also receive an official offer including the costs for the tool(s) and the material price. We always keep an eye on profitability as we know that profit lies in procurement. And only by making profit from the beginning will your product become a success, and subsequent orders will follow automatically.
Rapid prototyping is not an alien concept to us. We have the possibility to erode small profile pieces (approx. 20 mm) from steel. There are, however, limits when it comes to shape. 3D printing opens up other possibilities. Within a few days, you will be able to carry out functional tests using a 3D model and hereby protect your investment in a tool.
Speaking of tools; the cost of the tool will be pro rata, that means you acquire the sole right to use this tool. This makes sense because tools for extrusion are not compatible with other works and you will have no use for the physical tools. However, this has the enormous advantage for you in that you will have nothing to do with the cost of storage, maintenance, repair and replacement tools. Current extrusion tools have a lifespan of approximately 80,000 kg depending on the geometry of the profile.
We will also intensively discuss the intended finish with you. Which sides will be visible? How should the outlet of the aluminium profile on the press be designed to keep the visible side from damaging? After anodising hollow profiles, bar marks can arise when a ridge abuts the outer wall. The material cools down more slowly at this point simply because there is no material left. The structure is different here and this can lead to a stripe after anodising. Therefore this issue should be avoided from the outset. But also for other finishes, such as bending, profiles can be optimised before the cross-section.
In this phase, we will also introduce the first countersignature and discuss important dimensions, so-called functional dimensions. Many tolerances are regulated in the DIN EN 755-9 or DIN EN 12020-2, such as cross-sectional or contour dimensions, wall thicknesses and straightness. Ultimately, however, it depends on your purpose and we will discuss the required functions as well as their verification and compliance at the profile cross-section.
The packaging of extruded profiles is often neglected, although it is an important point. By means of our packaging catalogue, we can define exactly the packaging you require. This is the only way the profiles can be delivered to you without any damage. The packaging is of course down to your logistics. How do you unload? How many kilograms can your forklift handle? How much weight can your shelf hold up? And those are only some of the questions that will come up regarding the packaging. Packaging is an important component of our overall quality.
Our goal is to create a developing partnership with your company and to quickly implement the knowledge obtained about your product in the first project in the following developments.
Now we can get started! You order the tools, the patterns and possibly even a serial delivery from us. We will continue by providing you with the countersignature that you will then check and approve to us in writing. Within the framework of ISO 9001, we need to provide certain documents in writing, such as the technical drawing and the order. The sample quantity is usually 1-2 pieces à 300 mm in the desired finish (e.g. silver anodised). In this phase, the tool is not yet hardened and small changes are still possible. However, it is also possible to order larger sample quantities, while the sample quantity should not exceed100kg due to the non-hardened tool. The maximum length should also not exceed 2,000 mm to ensure the transport by plane or, for example, DHL. Along with the sample, you will get a first sample test report in which all the important dimensions, in particular functional dimensions, are measured and compared with the nominal values.
Now you approve the tool for serial production. The tool will then be hardened by us and prepared for the start of series production. We are able to press about 5,000 kg in one go. After this, the tool will be too hot and we have to stop the presses. After cooling for about 2 days, deterging of aluminium, cleaning and maintenance, the tool can be used again. Depending on the quantity framework, it can make sense to acquire a second or even a third tool in order to extort larger orders in a production lot.
After packing the profiles in the packaging of your choice, they will be delivered to you by truck unless you have already determined the finish of your profiles, which will be attended to in the fourth step.
You determine the level of vertical integration! From the mill finish aluminium profile in manufacturing lengths to the final product in shelf-ready packaging. Everything comes from a single source.
Of course we do not intend to compete with your business. But especially regarding surface finishes, it makes sense to get these from a single source. Surface finishes before transport make the surfaces more resistant and discussions with subcontracting companies where damage might incur are no longer required. The finishing possibilities are many and varied:
- Anodised (electrolytic oxidation of aluminium) surfaces in manufacturing lengths or as individual anodisation
- Powder-coated surfaces in manufacturing lengths or in pulverised fixed length
- Colourings according to the RAL colour standard, NCS, Sikkens or special colours are possible
- Sawing to fixed length low burr or additionally deburred or barrel finishing. Precision cuts using high-tech sawing equipment
- Conventional treatments such as drilling or punching using drilling machines or punching tools
- CNC vertical machining (rotary transfer machines) for large numbers (100,000 and more)
- CNC machining using CNC systems with up to 5-axis processing and a maximum length of 7,000 mm
- Thermal separation and curling of bars up to 13,000 mm length
- Assembling of all modules and adding of other components, for example plastic. These components may be obtained by you or us.
- Commissioning of orders and neutral delivery to your customers or construction sites (drop shipping)
- Labelling and cartoning
- Packing your products into shelf-ready packaging
- Stockpiling and minimum inventory planning. Just-in-time delivery
But we are not finished after these four steps. It is never finished for us. The process of continuous improvement begins. Where can we improve things, not only technically but also commercially? Were you happy with our communication? Have you been properly supervised by our field service? Are you satisfied?
Challenge us! We are looking forward to your inquiry.