What would your steel supplier do to correct this problem?
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  1. #1
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    Default What would your steel supplier do to correct this problem?

    We have about $600.00 labor into a part of 440C stainless steel and have found an inclusion that makes the part unusable (medical metering pump). Cannot weld or go under size. I have asked for a replacement piece of material ( 2 by 2 1/4 by 10") at no charge and told the steel supplier about my labor costs and asked what they are willing to do. Waiting for an answer. Been doing business with this supplier for 25 + years. Picture attached.img_20210303_070909164.jpg

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    That's a tough one. Is that $600 actual labor dollars or $600 shop rate dollars?
    I think I'd be happy if they were willing to cover my actual labor dollars, but in reality I don't think you'll get anything other than a new pc of stock.

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    It sucks, but I suspect if you get some compensation for labor it'll be a courtesy from the steel vendor, not policy.

    If you get a replacement piece from the company, either do a radiology test (Xray) on the part, or cut into waste areas and do a penetrant test (much cheaper) to look for cracks or voids.

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    If the steel order hadn't specified with full ultrasonic or radiographic inspection or certification of no inclusions, I'd expect them to supply you with another piece of the same stock at the most. Possibly not even that. Without that, the amount of labour you've put into the stock is not really their problem.

    Sorry.

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    Replacement material and a box of doughnuts with an apology note.

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    $600.00 shop rate dollars. They are supplying a new piece at no cost, asked me to hang onto the part in case they want to analyze it. It's kind of what I expected, but I like the doughnut idea.

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    One thing to possibly consider, if your supplier is a middle man and not the steel producer. That somewhat puts the issue going back up the supply line. Not saying they won't make it good but puts them in the spot as well.
    Hodge

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    Yep, a new piece of stock at no charge is going to be the best you could hope for on that one. No supplier I've ever heard of will do much beyond that. Machine at your own risk!

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    I think they should replace your material & if they covered any outside heat treating cost, that would be good customer service.

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    Material flaws are an ongoing issue and it seems to be getting worse, and worse, and worse, and material stresses!!!!!

    There's one type of parts I make in 316 that I lose about 10-15% due to material flaws(voids/cracks). Doesn't matter if its USA, India or whatever else material. It's been steady like that for the 10 years I've been making them.

    One time I got replacement was when I was sold the wrong alloy. I ate the cost of the hours that had been spent roughing it out, thankfully they weren't completely finished and delivered. I just happened to do a scrap run and when they scanned it, chips came up as not 316...
    oh and there was one time I was sold the wrong thickness of sheet, I didn't notice it was missing .010", bandsawed it all and then noticed on the first piece that went in the machine that something didn't look right.... so they replaced the sheets and I threw the blanks in the scrap bin. I was ok with that, life went on.
    I've seen other issues before when I had a day job, usually the supplier only sent a new piece and we all hoped it wasn't gonna be another bad one.

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    As others have said anything above replacing the bad material would be them going above and beyond what anyone else would do. I am sure you have heard the horror stories of anodizing shops scrapping expensive parts and only being liable for the cost of raw material. Threads like this sure make me glad I make small parts where it is rare if my material cost per part exceeds $1. Mostly bar fed lathe stuff. I never have to be anxious every time I do a line inspection if I let something run too long without checking it.

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    Given a long good relationship I wouldn't expect them to do more than a new chunk of material, and only then if it's not a frequent thing. We can debate which direction the donuts should go. If this is one of the bigger issues you've had in that many years I'd say you're doing well.

    Former job we had a higher volume (100k/year) sort of part where the incoming steel occasionally had a cold seam. Somewhere between finish machining and the end customer they part would just up and split in half at the seam every now and then. We would complain and the suppler of the blanks basically said:
    1. We can send you a new blank in exchange for that one. Honestly though at 100k parts/year the cost of the blank isn't the issue.
    2. We are willing to guarantee this doesn't happen, but only if we 100% radiology test the parts, you give us a spec., and pay for the cost of the testing.
    3. Additional note that the mill we had making the steel was known for having this issue a bit more than others. We were buying mill runs of material, so that was a realistic thing to change. However, all other mills were more expensive (guess why), so there would be a cost increase to cover that delta.

    At the end of the day we either kept complaining but did nothing, or changed the mill, I don't remember. We did put a note in future RFQs not to use that mill.

    Point being, this falls under the cost of doing business. It's a risk you take. It can be avoided with material testing, but just eating it every now and then carries less direct costs than properly preventing it.

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    Supplier relationship, volume bought, contract wording.... and lots of other things.
    In the auto world god forbid bad stock gets into a car.
    Worse yet by miles if a safety recall. Not only unsafe but one has to give out free loaner cars as the problem is fixed.

    Money is lost and everyone works their butt off to pass the charges and costs out of my account and onto someone else.
    Buying material on price alone seems great until the day with such problems.
    Over the last xx years did this supplier save you money in raw stock? If so will this loss and frustration be a bigger dollar value.
    Bob

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    Yes, its a good suppler (distributor, not manufacturer)and I don't expect them to do anything other than replace the materiel. Don't know if the mill will do anything, they are ultimately the responsible party.

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    We have used Jorgensen (EMJ) as our steel and aluminum supplier for over 40 years and rarely have any defective material issues. However, when they took over a big tubing supplier (Kilsby-Roberts IIRC) they inherited that supplier's mill sources.

    We use a lot of 1-1/4 OD DOM and got a batch with a visible seam, deep enough that it could not be "removed by machining to the nominal diameter" (the accepted standard) and the mill, after examining a specimen we returned, rejected my complaint. I got on the phone and said, "this tubing becomes the steering column of a Cup car, would you accept it being rejected by a NASCAR technical inspector? We can't use it!" and even that didn't faze them.

    So we just had EMJ exclude that mill as a source for our material and have never had a problem after that. If you have a good relationship with your supplier you can almost certainly do the same.

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    Our heat treater cracked an expensive piece and they reimbursed us for labor but not overhead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdlinger View Post
    Our heat treater cracked an expensive piece and they reimbursed us for labor but not overhead.
    That's pretty good - usually you just get your scrap back...

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    We had a supplier give us aluminum that didn't meet our expectations. They said it was technically in spec, but agreed it wasn't great and replaced the sheet and no longer bought from that mill in Egypt.

    We had a lot of labor into it as we were able to work around the warping of the material and cut a few sheets just to find it cracked in half when bent. The were not able to cover labor but did supply a few condolences remnants of material we often use, and they did look into whether they had any way of getting the parts we already cut heat treated but it was found not to be a temper related issue.

    We haven't had any issues getting sheets with delaminations, gouges, inclusions, etc rejected or returned with any supplier.

    We have learned that tolerances on 5052 are very, very wide and pretty meaningless. We had material 0.01" too thin and another sheet with very extreme distortion and it was all in spec. Hell, we had a batch of sheets that was 60 inches wide and 120 inches long, as it's supposed to be, except it was sheared at 89 degrees so none of our nested files fit.

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    I expect any of our suppliers would tell us it's our fault for not UT-ing it first, and maybe replace the piece of material.

  26. #20
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    I'd be concerned in a situation like this that the replacement piece may be another cut off the same bar and I'd find the same problem again after investing a second $600.


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