08 Nov 2021

How to Reduce the Cost of your Foundry Tooling

Cost. It’s one of the most important considerations when sourcing foundry tooling.

And more often than not, there are simple ways to prevent pattern costs spiralling. 

With that in mind, here are 5 ways to reduce the cost of your foundry tooling.

1. Get your design & specification right from the start

More cost avoidance than cost reduction, but important nonetheless. Obviously, one way to optimise your spend is to avoid add-ons and modifications in the first place. For that reason, it’s important that you get your design and specification bang on from the very beginning.

Here at Central Patternmaking, we allow for some mid or post manufacture revisions. However, significant mid or post manufacture changes could lead to additional charges for modifications, pushing your project over budget. And some suppliers will charge you extra anyway, no matter how miniscule the modification.

Find out more about how to get the most accurate quote possible, and avoid additional charges, by reading our blog: ‘Getting The Best Quote From Your Foundry Tooling Supplier’.

2. Simplify the tooling design

The fewer the individual elements, the lower the cost of the tooling. So, an aluminium pattern machined from a solid billet may well be cheaper than a tooling board equivalent fitted with steel reinforcing inserts (and will last longer in use).

Want a bit more detail on what specification elements drive pattern cost? Check out our blog ‘how much does a foundry pattern cost?

3. Go for technology

You may think you only need a 3-axis equipped patternmaker. However, one equipped with 5-axis CNCs could offer a more cost-effective solution.

Using 5-axis CNCs can result in better quality machining, meaning that there will be less need for hand finishing, which is time charged to you. Your tooling is much more likely to be 100% accurate, first time, too.

Learn more about the benefits of 5-axis machining by reading our blog

4. Give the patternmaker enough manufacturing time

We know it's unavoidable sometimes! But, unless you’re working to a last-minute deadline, try to ask for a reasonable lead time when you send out your RFQ. Requesting compressed lead times can lead to your supplier working – and charging – overtime hours.

5. Source from multiple suppliers

You might be well-versed on the issues of a crowded supply chain. But did you know that having too few suppliers can be a problem, too?

Fair value can only come from competitive tendering – and feel free to negotiate with suppliers. That way, you’ll get the best deal possible.

Final thoughts

The cost of foundry tooling is a key concern for every buyer. By considering the details of your design & specification, the manufacturing process, the requested lead time, and by sourcing from multiple patternmakers, you'll avoid unnecessary cost and ensure your tooling is exactly what you need.

Have a requirement for foundry tooling you’d like to discuss? Then please get in touch. We’re always happy to advise and work with our customers to ensure they get maximum value and quality.

Learn more about how you can save both time and money sourcing foundry patterns with our free guide, Buying Foundry Tooling Better.