Five Things You Need to Know Before Sending an RFQ for Precision Casting Products
Investment casting is also known as precision casting. This is a lost wax metal forming process that generally involves using a wax pattern surrounded by a ceramic shell to form a ceramic mold. Useful for complex designs and intricate shapes, precision casting produces net shape parts that have an excellent surface finish and a high degree of dimensional accuracy.
When a company has a need for a precision casting product, it will submit an RFQ to various potential suppliers to obtain a written confirmation of estimated costs and timeframes. This article looks at what you need to know before submitting an RFQ for precision casting products.
What is an RFQ?
A Request for Quotation, or RFQ, is submitted when a company is in need of a partner to provide precision casting products. The requesting company has a good handle on the design specifications, and usually knows its design and budget parameters.
The RFQ spells out exactly what will be required. It asks any potential vendors to present a written cost quotation. The requesting company may send RFQs to several investment casting manufacturers, so that it can compare the cost, and lead time.
An RFQ is typically sent when a company knows exactly what it needs, and just wants to compare buying options. This process is usually also used if there will be a need for prototype sample parts.
5 Things to Know Before Submitting an RFQ for Precision Casting Products
Submitting an RFQ is an important way of transmitting information to potential vendors about your specific precision casting needs. It should explain exactly what is required, and document any unique needs. The goal is to provide clarity, which will prevent any potential misunderstandings. An RFQ will generally include:
- Part prints and specifications (raw casting and after-machining drawings and most importantly, to the latest engineering revision levels)
- Unique requirements (special processes such as heat treatment, surface treatment, specific types of testing requirements)
- Estimated annual purchase volumes
- Submission deadline
- Special certification requirements
When completed correctly, the RFQ process can serve to help manufacturers present their most complete cost quotation. Here are five things to know before submitting an RFQ for precision casting products:
- How will the component be used? It is important for the precision casting manufacturer to be able to understand exactly how the end component will be used. Some components have less strict requirements than others, which could make them more cost-effective to produce. Components that will be used in safety-critical functions, on the other hand, will have much more rigorous requirements. Specify what kind of environment the part will be used in. If a component will be exposed to extreme temperatures, marine environments, or harsh weather, your precision casting manufacturer will need to take that information into consideration when presenting its cost quotation.
- How much flexibility is there in your specifications? Know exactly how flexible you can be in your surface and tolerance specifications. Producing something exactly to spec can require a higher time investment from the manufacturer, thereby requiring a higher cost quotation. If there is some flexibility in your specifications, you may be able to benefit from lower pricing.
- What type of metal is really required? Sometimes, a lower-cost alloy might serve the purpose just as well.
- What is required after casting? Think about what heat treatment, machining, surface treatment, or testing processes need to be employed after casting to bring the component to a desirable state. All of these may add to your cost factor.
- What do you really need? Be real in what you are asking in your quote. Don’t suggest a high quantity to get a lower per-unit cost, and then try to negotiate based on that price. Let the manufacturer know your exact deadline – don’t ask for a long timeframe if you really need the pieces delivered by a specific date.
Learn More About Precision Casting Products
Leveraging advanced equipment, techniques, and an ability to offer one-stop solutions, Impro is ranked among the Top 10 investment casting manufacturers in the world, according to Roland Berger’s 2019 report. This is, and will continue to be, our largest business segment. Catering to sectors ranging from the automotive, aerospace, hydraulic, industrial equipment, oil and gas , and medical industries, Impro provides a wide array of investment casting solutions to our customers. If you are interested in finding more information about submitting an RFQ for precision casting products, please contact our team of experts today.