Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Aluminum Extrusions

Skippy – We heard a question about aluminum extrusions and (potential?) die modifications –

“I have a simple L-shape extrusion that is currently produced by a supplier. We have need for an additional L-shape extrusion with a shorter length on one of the legs. The supplier has stated that a whole new die is needed. Why wouldn’t the supplier be able to use the existing extrusion die by blocking off part of the existing die with a removable plate that covers part of the leg?” [similar to plastics extrusion – S - ]

Buzz - as far as tooling for aluminum extrusions go, the die charge (with any volume) for a new die is probably only around $1200 to $1600. You might be better off if the quantity is small working with a someone to trim off a small amount of aluminum and sell the scrap to recover the cost -

Example -

Normal extrusion costs $.80 per foot

Corrected extrusion costs $.68 per foot

Retail value of aluminum difference $.12 per foot

Recovery cost of scrap aluminum est. max 50% or $.06 per foot

Cost to machine off aluminum portion not needed est. $.10 per foot

$.80 extrusion + $.10 fabrication cost -$.06 aluminum recovery = $.84


$.68 and a die charge of guesstimate - $1600

Difference is $.16 per foot - so until you buy 10000 feet ($1600 divided by $.16 per foot savings) it is cheaper to work with someone to fabricate what you need.

Note - The guesstimate for the foot cost on the current extrusion might be somewhat smaller if you go up in total volume - buying the portion that is normal PLUS the portion that you will have fabricated -

Substitute in your own numbers and see what looks best -

Good luck.

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