Being able to purchase 80 to 90% of machinery components off the shelf from anywhere in the world is highly advantageous in terms of equipment maintenance and repair. British special machi nery manufacturer Inventive Design and Automation Ltd. ('IDA' for short) is also aware of this fact and therefore relies on the standard, purchased and custom-made parts in the MISUMI product range.
The medium-sized private company Inventive Design and Automation Ltd., based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, develops and manufactures client- specific special machinery for the automotive industry, and has clients that include third-tier automotive suppliers from Great Britain, Germany, Spain, China, the USA and Brazil.
„Over the years, IDA has developed close business relation- ships with selected blue-chip companies seeking to benefit from its industry expertise. "We provide high levels of quality at excellent value for money, which our clients really appre-ciate", says Chief Engineer Brian Calder.
Rapid delivery of customised parts
Die Adhering to agreed delivery times and costs is a cha l-lenge faced on a daily basis when developing and producing a new machine. It can also be very expensive if a client's concept is not understood correctly. As a result, having an excellent understanding of client requirements is vital for the success of Calder and his team. The installed components also contribute to the company's success. "Of course, it would be possible for us to manufacture all components for our machinery in house, as well as the common purchased and standard parts, but that would quickly become rather expensive", says Calder. He uses several anodised-aluminium or nickel-plated parts in his machinery to ensure that the appearance of his products is as impressive as their quality. Nevertheless, 80 to 90% of the individual parts for Calder's machinery are off-the-shelf parts, and for good reason, as standard components can be purchased from all over the world. This approach offers particular advantages in terms of maintenance and repair work..
Calder therefore purchases as many standard compo-nents as possible from the MISUMI product range and produces only a small selection of special com-ponents in house. The Japanese manufacturer and catalogue-based sup-plier of mechanical stand-ard, purchased and cus-tom-made parts for auto-mation technology and special-purpose machinery also supplies ordered parts such as complete bearing housings in a range of designs. Parts are supplied ready to use and at unbeatably low prices. "By doing business with MISUMI, we can be sure that the supplied parts also corre-spond to our specified quality levels and the configured CAD models —a crucial requirement for us", explains Cal-der. He goes on to explain tha t the delivery times offered by MISUMI are often shorter than those of other partners from the field of mechanical production and that the company's products are highly cost-effective. MISUMI is a "one-stop shop" with a wide range of parts, good prices andreliable delivery times. "I have been doing business with MISUMI for approximately 10 years and have always been satisfied. Everything has always run smoothly —from the ordering of the parts to their final nstallation", adds Calder. He also praises MISUMI's highly professional services, which he considers as being in a league of their own withinthe sector.
One of the more recent applications to be produced by IDA was a product hold-down roller for an automotive supplier, for which IDA ordered parts including chemically nickel-plated, maintenance-free bushings with square guidingflanges, non-contact seals and long housings. Calder opted to use MISUMI ground shafts with an inner thread on both sides for the version of the hold-down roller fitted with wrench flats, as well as hollow shafts with configurable shaft ends.
CAD data download
MISUMI provides free component drawings for almost every product as a matter of course. Drawings for all components are displayed in both the printed catalogue and the online catalogue on the company's website and can be download-ed as 2D or 3D CAD files in all standard formats. The engi-neers at IDA naturally make the most of this option, as it means that they do not have to produce their own drawings. Being able to download the3D CAD models, in particular the native CAD formats, is a deciding factor in their work, as engineers tend not to use components if models can only be downloaded with difficulty, or not at all. Indeed, customers all agree that MISUMI has one of the best configurations in the industry for model downloads. What's more, MISUMI has no minimum order quantities or values and no small-volume surcharge. This is particularly useful for special machinery manufacturers like IDA, as they very rarely need to order comp onents in large quantities. "The current price per unit display is another feature that helps when selecting and sizing up the parts", says Calder, who no longer has to make specific and drawn-out enquiries if he needs to pur-chase a part with particular di mensions or a special surface treatment for a specific application.
Transparent product range
As all IDA products are application-specific, made-to- measure components, every individual part that does not have to be designed and drawn on site, but instead can be ordered ready to use, helps save capacity. This is why the IDA design engineers hold the comprehensive and trans-parent product range from MISUMI Europa GmbH in such high regard. The range of materials, sizes and designs available is virtually unlimited,and, with over a million items in stock, the product range is in a league of its own. "Thanks to the various configuration options offered by the MISUMI online catalogue, standard mechanical production parts are available as purchased parts, and the prices can be viewed directly from within the catalogue —we don't have to request this information separately. The discount tables provided also make it easier for me and my colleagues to order larger quantities", says Calder, thereby indicating the reliability and transparency of the MISUMI online catalogue. This online solution is also very user-friendly: All components can be freely configured in increments of as little as 0.01 mm. Dimensions, material options, surface treatment and hardness are linked with the relevant price and delivery times in clearly laid-out tables. This speeds up the costing process significantly, even for custom solutions. It is also possible to convert standard and DIN-compliant parts, and several companies have taken advantage of th is option in order to keep the storage requirements for screws and small parts to a minimum. The result is quality in every detail: Also the biggest car manufacturers rely on the know-how of the smaller, specialized suppliers such as the “Inventive Design and Automation Ltd.” The MISUMI components support the product quality of the mechanical engineer.Therefore Brian Calder and his team will continue to use the MISUMI catalogue to purchase standard, purchased and custom-made parts in the future,as according to Calder, "MISUMI provides very professional services and sets an excellent example in its field".