For most customers, when it comes to buying foundry tooling, there is one over-riding consideration: cost. And whilst the cost of foundry tooling is primarily dependent upon factors such as its size, material, and cavity geometry & complexity, optimising the RFQ process – and getting an accurate quote in return, is very much part of the equation too.
Providing your foundry tooling supplier with a full RFQ means:
You’ll get a quote tailored to your unique requirements.
Pricing will be accurate, protecting you against unforeseen costs.
You’ll be able to compare different suppliers more efficiently.
You’ll spend less time (=money!) going back and forth over specification details with your supplier.
Your lead time is less likely to be compromised.
To that end, it’s in your best interest to work with your suppliers and get your RFQ right. Here’s how to do just that.
Specify the specifics!
Loose running system for your Disa pattern? Or is it to be an integral feature?
Double-sided board or airset frames for your boxless moulding? If the latter, do you want wear strips fitting? Retention pins?
Give your supplier the detail they need.
Leaving it to them to determine your requirement for themselves isn’t ideal. Their interpretation may not be as you intended. For example, you may want a two-part hand ram corebox, while they may assume a single-part strickle corebox is what you’re after.
Misunderstandings like this could hinder your ability to compare apples with apples, and lead to a poor buying decision with oncosts and additional charges requested.
Give your supplier as much information as possible right from the start. Doing this at the RFQ stage will give you the best chance of receiving the most accurate quotation.
Provide a layout for your tooling.
Or a sketch at least. Show your supplier how many impressions you want, and the extent of your running system requirement (if any – you may want to do the system yourself).
You’ll be helping them better determine the scale of your tooling, improving the accuracy of their quotation and giving you both the confidence to proceed without worrying about requoting.
Specify the material needed, or, if you don’t know, discuss this with the supplier.
Foundry tooling can be produced from a variety of materials – tooling board, aluminium and cast iron, for example – offering an array of price points, durability, and suitability for casting processes.
‘Softer’ materials may require the inclusion of metal features: steel lifting eye inserts and brass feeder tops in tooling board patterns are typical. But this can be a false economy – the cost of their inclusion can actually outweigh upgrading to an aluminium pattern without such features.
If you’re not sure what material your tooling should be manufactured from, ask the supplier. They’ll be able to evaluate the best option available based on your desired price point, the durability of the material, and its suitability for the intended application.
So, to get a quote for tooling that best suits your needs, make sure you specify the appropriate material in your RFQ.
Let them know your lead time requirement.
If you have an order to place, and a specific date you need to have received your tooling by, then tell your supplier.
If they can’t achieve your lead time, then there’s no need for them to quote. You’ll be saving them the bother, and you’ll avoid considering an option that doesn’t actually tick all of the boxes.
Often overlooked, but a critical (and welcomed) part of the process. Show that you value your suppliers by taking the time to provide feedback, and you’ll find that they put more emphasis on you as a customer (potential, or otherwise).
Providing feedback will guide your suppliers with future RFQs. Positive or negative, all such communication will be welcomed. It will help them better shape their understanding, and help you improve the quality of their future offerings and, ultimately, your buying choice.
Knowing what to include in an RFQ will help you save time and money. It’s all about giving full and accurate information, so that you receive a quotation that is bang-on for your specification. You’ll be able to compare suppliers effectively, avoid unexpected costs and save yourself a lot of hassle!
Learn more about how you can save both time and money sourcing foundry patterns with our free guide, Buying Foundry Tooling Better.