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Thread: What should anodizing cost?

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    SRT Mike is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default What should anodizing cost?

    I have some parts I make out of 6061 aluminum, it's basically a 0.475" cylinder, 3.5" long in total with a round hemispherical shape on one end, and the other necks down to a 5/16-24tpi thread and it has a 0.125" hole drilled down through the threaded end, and a pocket machined in the side. It looks like those little C02 cylinders you get for air powered BB guns.

    I get these anodized in black (type II). I only have a couple anodizers I've dealt with locally and the prices and quality have varied widely. The part has 5.2 square inches of total surface area, and I put the final finish on the part before delivering it to the anodizer.

    Is there a rule of thumb for anodizing based on square inches? The parts should be very easy to rack, I imagine. I know there are minimum lot charges, but I always tell the anodizer I will bring them more than enough to exceed any lot charge. I would love to get this job more broadly quoted but every anodizer wants me to send them parts and won't accept drawings or images output from my CAD program, or pictures of machined parts.

    Thanks for any insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT Mike View Post
    I get these anodized in black (type II). I only have a couple anodizers I've dealt with locally and the prices and quality have varied widely. The part has 5.2 square inches of total surface area, and I put the final finish on the part before delivering it to the anodizer.
    Thanks for any insight.
    You write that prices and quality vary widely. Is the high price where the quality is best and how much (percentage wise) is "widely"?

    This is like solving an equation where there are too many unknowns. Prices will vary from source to source just as quality will.

    What would you consider a fair price for the quality you ant and or expect? A picture of a good and bad one might help. I get most of my aluminium parts anodized and I've never had a problem with price or quality regardless of who I've used. Prices vary slightly but as are as good as negligible. Of course my anodizing suppliers (to you ) aren't local.

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    Kyle Smith is offline Hot Rolled
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    Similar parts here are $0.10 to $0.25 with a $65 minimum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Smith View Post
    Similar parts here are $0.10 to $0.25 with a $65 minimum.
    Going back to the OP I'd consider that quite a spread price wise
    is there a noticable quality difference within that price range?

    The $65 minimum is relevant but we don't know how the .10 to 0.25 compares with what the OP is experiencing.

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    I pay between 2.5 cents and a nickel an inch depending on how much work they have to do to rack them. Clear parts are cheaper than black (I think that it is easier to screw up any parts with color and they charge more because of this).
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    in2glamisgirl is offline Aluminum
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    Default Anodize prices

    The plating shop I use has a $75.00 min. lot charge. Most of my parts are about the size you described and my guess is the lot charge would anodize 100-150 pcs. For a larger qty. the plater just raises the lot charge. Rarely do I get each pricing unless lots of masking or mixed types of plating.

    Send a few samples out for quote, small parts like yours are easy to ship. You are correct that plating shops greatly vary in quality and price.

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    I for one am just going to wait until we hear more from SRT Mike. I'm interested in what he regards as good and bad quality plus the price range he's expecting/hoping to pay.

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    Eric U's Avatar
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    I only wish my minimum lot price was as low as yours are. The closest anodizer I could find to me is about 75 miles away and they have a $125 minimum charge. Others up in the Atlanta and Birmingham areas were even more. I've yet to exceed the minimum charge though, and my last order was 156 parts that are much bigger than the OP's.

    Eric U

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    SRT Mike is offline Hot Rolled
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    Well, it sure looks like I am getting rooked on the price then.

    On this part I had two quotes, one was $0.70/ea with a 250pcs minimum (and that was along with 1,000 other unrelated parts he quoted me also). The other quote was $1.02/ea with minimum 150pcs/$150 lot fee.

    Based on the prices others are saying of $0.025 to $0.05 per inch, that should be more like $0.25/ea or less to get anodized.


    Some people mentioned quality and the like... maybe it's just me but I don't care what the price is, the quality should be equal/acceptable. I pre-finish these parts. All the anodizer needs to do is rack them and anodize them. The place that charged me $1.02 produced bad results. 20% of the parts were blotchy and uneven. All of them had water marks where I could see they had been removed from the bath and allowed to dry - leaving a chalky white residue I had to remove with a rag and simple green and wiping them all down.

    I don't mean to diss anodizers but it seems to me that it's pretty much an all-or-nothing job. There shouldn't be cheap anodization and quality anodization... there aren't really tolerances to speak of. I just want the cosmetic surfaces to have a nice even blemish free anodize. There are plenty of non-cosmetic areas to rack the parts by, and I put a nice finish on each part before I drop them off. I don't expect the anodizer to make it nicer, just not to make it worse. I think even if I am getting a cheap price, that such an expectation should be the minimum one should expect, no?

    Anyone want to recommend an anodizer? I am in Boston and used two of the local "big" shops. I don't mind shipping parts if the person is reasonably priced and does acceptable work.

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    QUOTE=SRT Mike;1697401]aluminum, I would love to get this job more broadly quoted but every anodizer wants me to send them parts and won't accept drawings or images output from my CAD program, or pictures of machined parts.

    Thanks for any insight.[/QUOTE]

    I haven't found any that will quote off anything except the parts.

    Non of them will wave the minimum charge with the promise of more later, they've been taken to many times!

    I have also....you'll get the production if you give me a deal now!!!

    I have pretty much figured out how many parts I can get for the min charge of $75 here and guestimate high. also if a client needs it fast and can't wait and it fits into the volume of the min charge, it's $75 bucks to anno period, they don't like it so I send them and they are told the same thing....bitch they do, oh well.
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    SeymourDumore is online now Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT Mike View Post
    I would love to get this job more broadly quoted but every anodizer wants me to send them parts and won't accept drawings or images output from my CAD program, or pictures of machined parts.

    Thanks for any insight.
    Mike, that's strange.
    How would you quote an anodized job to your customer if the anodizer needed a finished part to quote his part?

    Not sure if they are acceptable distance, but Valley Plating and Smith & Wesson is in the Springfield area, and they both will quote from a CAD file.
    So is Har-con in Hartford and Plainville Plating in Plainville CT.

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    SRT Mike is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourDumore View Post
    Mike, that's strange.
    How would you quote an anodized job to your customer if the anodizer needed a finished part to quote his part?
    It always seems to go the same way.

    Me: I'd like to get a quote for anodizing some parts (insert description of parts as above)
    Them: Ok, but I need to see the part
    Me: Sure, I can send you a drawing and some pictures too
    Them: Well, I really need to see the actual part, I have to figure out how to hold them
    Me: It's got a 0.125" hole in one end, and a 5/16-24tpi thread on the end, none of that is cosmetic. I designed the part, so I can tell you it's 5.2 square inches, and I put the final finish on and they will be individually packed well
    Them: If you want me to quote it, you will need to send me one to look at
    Me: (bangs head on wall)



    Not sure if they are acceptable distance, but Valley Plating and Smith & Wesson is in the Springfield area, and they both will quote from a CAD file.
    So is Har-con in Hartford and Plainville Plating in Plainville CT.
    I will try them out - distance is fine. I don't mind shipping them, and Springfield and CT are both 1-day shipping by UPS ground away. Thanks!

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    SRT Mike is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SRT Mike View Post
    aluminum, I would love to get this job more broadly quoted but every anodizer wants me to send them parts and won't accept drawings or images output from my CAD program, or pictures of machined parts.

    Thanks for any insight.
    I haven't found any that will quote off anything except the parts.

    Non of them will wave the minimum charge with the promise of more later, they've been taken to many times!

    I have also....you'll get the production if you give me a deal now!!!

    I have pretty much figured out how many parts I can get for the min charge of $75 here and guestimate high. also if a client needs it fast and can't wait and it fits into the volume of the min charge, it's $75 bucks to anno period, they don't like it so I send them and they are told the same thing....bitch they do, oh well.
    I hear you on the promise of future work... been there, done that, got a medal

    This is for a part I make for my own product. I only have a 2-axis CNC lathe and it's 2 ops on the lathe and one on the mill, so I do a lot of babysitting of the machine to make these... so it's best for me to make them maybe a couple hundred at a time, but if the ano cost is $0.25 and there is a $100 lot fee, I'll make 400 and toss the rest on the shelf.

    Maybe I am not a good communicator but I always have a hard time getting this across to the anodizer... they ask how many I want anodized, I tell them I'll make sure to give them enough to exceed a lot-charge, so quote me maybe 100 and 250 and 500pcs and I'll pick one and do that many.

    Always seems hard to work it out - and I am trying to work around what's best for them, because I can be a bit flexible.



    I have a product that's made up of 5 parts, 3 of which need anodized. Then this other product is just the one part. I get 'em done in black and clear anodize. After my previous shop quoted me the $1 price, they said the lot fee was for each part... so I needed 150 of each part to avoid the lot fee, and it was for each color... so it was 150 of each part in each color to avoid a lot fee.

    Seems they were just being greeeeedy.

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    John Welden's Avatar
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    Anyone know a good anodizer in the seattle area?

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    Gary E is online now Diamond
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    I'd bet any and all of you guys that NONE of you would set up an anodize biz for the money you want to pay for the product..... If ya think it's so easy and should cost peanuts...DO IT YOURSELF.

    To hear some of you bitch about a $75 or $150 min is pathetic... you and your $60 or $100 an hour shop rate... Ha Ha Ha... You making that much and you complain about a anodizers price? Explain exactly WHY... common... splain your self...

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    Seekins is offline Stainless
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    I dont think your price is all that out of line. I send a bunch of parts out for anodize every month and im in line with your pricing.

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    SRT Mike is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary E View Post
    I'd bet any and all of you guys that NONE of you would set up an anodize biz for the money you want to pay for the product..... If ya think it's so easy and should cost peanuts...DO IT YOURSELF.

    To hear some of you bitch about a $75 or $150 min is pathetic... you and your $60 or $100 an hour shop rate... Ha Ha Ha... You making that much and you complain about a anodizers price? Explain exactly WHY... common... splain your self...
    The variation being discussed is huge.

    If one guy was charging a $50/hr shop rate, and another guy was charging $525/hr, what would you say if someone flamed you for complaining about paying $525/hr?

    Anodizers are free to charge whatever they want... and I am free to get multiple quotes and shop for the best price/quality, right? Or only machinists should bid competitively and anodizers should be paid any price they ask?

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    toolmaker is offline Cast Iron
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    To sum it up, I just recently paid $175 for one piece to be Type 3 hardcoated. Size was 2"x2"x2.5". Customer paid for it so..., but the thing is, that is all this company really does. Salesman told me upfront they run the hardcoat line everyday. Go figure.

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    Seekins is offline Stainless
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    The lot charge is more or less because they have to deal with a customer, put you in the schedule and do all the processing they would have to do regardless of how many parts you send on that PO.

    My min lot charge for my parts is 350$ at some places.

    It might not be easy to anodize, but since day one that has been the one thing we just cant seem to nail down. Its always one thing or another. Most of the time i think they just huff too much acid, or snort it.. If we reach 20k per month in anodize im bringing it in house or starting a new company...

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    If you ever think about starting up an anodizing or plating shop, get your brother inlaw that you hate to do it. Make sure that his startup funds are a gift, and don't be involved in operations or management. Around here everyone either ends up in jail for dumping chemicals when work slows down or dies of some kind of horrible cancer or other disease. This way you can you can get the brother inlaw pricing and kill or at least get rid of him at a later date . That is a business that I would not go into.
    Oldwrench and wingman358 like this.

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