Ball Park Estimate for Custom Hex Aluminum Standoffs
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    Default Ball Park Estimate for Custom Hex Aluminum Standoffs

    Hi all,
    Been modifying stock male to female aluminum M3 and M2.5 hex standoffs (4.5mm hex) to length (12.2mm and 39mm lengths) and re-drilling/tapping for a client with a small run operation for a few years. They would like to quote the parts from bar stock. Let's say qty 100, 250 and 500. Any guesses?

    I'd guess it will be hard to beat the cost of the common sizes that I can buy now at $0.40 and put about a minute each into them to get them to the spec but who knows...hopefully someone out there. Thanks!

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    Or not, haha. I'll take the silence as a resounding "no way in hell your making them from bar stock at that low of quantity for less than $1.75ish/each."

    Feel free to correct my ignorance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BugRobotics View Post
    Or not, haha. I'll take the silence as a resounding "no way in hell your making them from bar stock at that low of quantity for less than $1.75ish/each."

    Feel free to correct my ignorance.
    Hi Bug,

    You are likely better off contracting the job to someone with a good Swiss or other screw machine. At reasonable quantity it's likely a $.50/pc part, just let folks who are set up for it do the job and add your markup.

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    Hey Milland, appreciate the response. Yea, I hear you. Was trying to get some input from those swiss operators to see if they mess with those low quantities at a price that makes sense.

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    It would take a little foresight from your customer to buy in larger numbers, I don't think anything less than a thousand pieces would be sensible.

    Are lengths or other features varying a lot?

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    Yea, therein lies the issue. Large profit margin and small quantity (100 units a year) with potential for changes. I personally don't see the need to outsource as I make these things as they need plus some extras within a few days of their needs. I don't sell these to them because I work quite a bit with them on all types of electro-mechanical designs and prototyping so just bill hourly for my time. They just want to take stuff off my plate (which is cool) so I can work on more demanding projects.

    Four different standoff sizes currently modified to length and re-tapped from a few different stock units purchased from various distributors.

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    Just thinking out loud here....

    To make it profitable at 50ish cents a piece, I think the parts would need to run for an entire day, i.e. 24 hours.

    No Swiss experience here so my numbers could be way off, but let's say the parts take 30 seconds a piece: that's 2880 parts, minus a few for bar load/remnant ejection.

    How's M2.5 tap life in aluminum? Running straight oil, I'd imagine no issues?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Vise View Post

    How's M2.5 tap life in aluminum? Running straight oil, I'd imagine no issues?
    A quality tap with proper chip control should last indefinitely. If you make your own use 7075 rather than 6xxx (presuming these don't get anodized) for easier machining.

    Heck, if we use Orange's one-day production as a standard and it's a modern machine, might be able to program it to cut the four lengths on a time basis (i.e. at 6hr intervals). After that, just minor end trimming if required for the final part at time of need. That would save a bug of bunch's time, I mean, a bunch of Bug's time.

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    I barely read over this and I am worn out so bear with me.

    I have screw machines. I am straight out though.

    A 20 second cycle time is essentially 1000 parts a day. 5k a week. I can get to 5k-7500 a week, but thats if everything runs perfect.

    I am currently running a 22 second part at 4k a week. a 15 second part at 1500/day.

    These are $40/hr jobs that are free machining and I can walk away for an hour or 2 at a time.

    my machines like 2000-10000 part runs. I will make 500-1000 parts if the setup isnt time consuming and the customer is nice and not a penny pincher.

    Politeness goes a long way with me.

    I hope this helps.
    I will read this over some more when my head is clear. Im on day 22 of working straight through. As soon as I get caught up, I get loaded up. I gotta hire a few people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Vise View Post
    How's M2.5 tap life in aluminum? Running straight oil, I'd imagine no issues?
    Like Milland said...forever. I run form taps in M2.5, M3, 0-80, 2-56 variants forever in aluminum (until I screw something up) and get a few hundred blind holes in 17-4 before I change out due to wear I can see on the lead in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    I barely read over this and I am worn out so bear with me.

    I have screw machines. I am straight out though.

    A 20 second cycle time is essentially 1000 parts a day. 5k a week. I can get to 5k-7500 a week, but thats if everything runs perfect.

    I am currently running a 22 second part at 4k a week. a 15 second part at 1500/day.

    These are $40/hr jobs that are free machining and I can walk away for an hour or 2 at a time.

    my machines like 2000-10000 part runs. I will make 500-1000 parts if the setup isnt time consuming and the customer is nice and not a penny pincher.

    Politeness goes a long way with me.

    I hope this helps.
    I will read this over some more when my head is clear. Im on day 22 of working straight through. As soon as I get caught up, I get loaded up. I gotta hire a few people.
    Appreciate the reply Dan and hope you get some rest soon. Excellent info regarding part quantities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BugRobotics View Post
    Appreciate the reply Dan and hope you get some rest soon. Excellent info regarding part quantities.
    Now that its first thing in the morning and my head is clear I will try to make things clearer for you.

    I see these parts are very small. Probably looking at part length + .050" for cutoff (maybe longer if threads are coarse).

    Material is going to be 100 bucks for 1,2,3,4,5 bars. Min cost is 100 bucks for small amounts.

    Set up charge $150, Consumable tooling ($50), Cycle time 10-15 seconds (.01/sec = $36/hr).

    .500" long part = 250 parts per 12'.

    250 parts/hr (roughly)

    Sound like a 1000 part run could be 450-500 bucks. If I have the time and desire to do it.

    I hope this helps you out. Make them yourself until you need 2000+.

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    Thanks for that breakdown, Dan. Glad my guesses weren't totally off the wall...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BugRobotics View Post
    Hi all,
    Been modifying stock male to female aluminum M3 and M2.5 hex standoffs (4.5mm hex) to length (12.2mm and 39mm lengths) and re-drilling/tapping for a client with a small run operation for a few years. They would like to quote the parts from bar stock. Let's say qty 100, 250 and 500. Any guesses?

    I'd guess it will be hard to beat the cost of the common sizes that I can buy now at $0.40 and put about a minute each into them to get them to the spec but who knows...hopefully someone out there. Thanks!
    We just did some 1.5" brass, flange bushings for $1000 each. I hope that puts it into perspective.

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    What was that place in I think NJ that used to put out a catalog....yellow I think.....every imaginable spacer and standoff.....I called them to buy their standard panel screw without the screw slot because the customer wanted a different slot.....and because I never shut up I mentioned I would be doing the slots myself....Woman on the phone is like, 'we can do whatever you want' ........I have told this story before in the context of I gave the quote to the buyer and they bought them at 1/4 the price they used to pay, and I earned the endless trust of the buyer.

    Point being if someone is doing this kind of thing all the time you know it is one line of code to make your size, it ought to be cheaper than setting up from scratch.

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    I was going to say, wouldn't a place like Unicorp that knocks these out with custom part numbers be a good source? I'm guessing they have minimum quantities but who knows - it is only a few lines of code difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BugRobotics View Post
    Hi all,
    Been modifying stock male to female aluminum M3 and M2.5 hex standoffs (4.5mm hex) to length (12.2mm and 39mm lengths) and re-drilling/tapping for a client with a small run operation for a few years. They would like to quote the parts from bar stock. Let's say qty 100, 250 and 500. Any guesses?

    I'd guess it will be hard to beat the cost of the common sizes that I can buy now at $0.40 and put about a minute each into them to get them to the spec but who knows...hopefully someone out there. Thanks!
    suspicious measurements....sounds like ½" and 1 ½" could they just use SAE parts? with 3-48 and 4-40 threads?

    dee
    ;-D
    Last edited by dcsipo; 05-04-2021 at 11:47 AM.

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    Thanks for the explanation Dan. Excellent info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcsipo View Post
    suspicious measurements....sounds like ½" snd 1 ½" could they just use SAE parts? with 3-48 and 4-40 threads?

    dee
    ;-D
    These lengths and threads are required to interface with existing assembly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    What was that place in I think NJ that used to put out a catalog....yellow I think.....every imaginable spacer and standoff.....I called them to buy their standard panel screw without the screw slot because the customer wanted a different slot.....and because I never shut up I mentioned I would be doing the slots myself....Woman on the phone is like, 'we can do whatever you want' ........I have told this story before in the context of I gave the quote to the buyer and they bought them at 1/4 the price they used to pay, and I earned the endless trust of the buyer.

    Point being if someone is doing this kind of thing all the time you know it is one line of code to make your size, it ought to be cheaper than setting up from scratch.
    Yea, a quote is out to RAF, the outfit who already supplies to Mcmaster for the specific parts. We will see what they say. Most times in the past they want a few thousand units (which makes sense). Just not sure the client wants to pay for that amount right now.


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