Plas-Tech Fabrications differentiates Flexible Manufacturing from Custom Fabrication because each deploys different methods and business models. Fabrication uses plastics forming and welding which tends to use manual and semi-automatic technologies that drive longer somewhat lead times and higher set-up costs, and is therefore meant for low to medium volume production. We use lean manufacturing methods to ensure the cost curves remain as low as possible regardless of volume but there are limits that eventually come into play.
Flexible Manufacturing uses CNC machining and automated processes to reduce setup costs and lead times so that volume can range greatly with almost no impact on piece costs. This kind of production is economically sustainable across low volumes of several pieces per year up to hundreds of thousands per year. The greatest advantage to this approach is the flexibility it affords the customer when it comes to design changes and the creation of part families (similar parts ranging in design and size). Literally different parts and assemblies can be made for a customer at the same time on the same equipment, so that the only variation is by design only.
The core of Plas-Tech’s Flexible Manufacturing is our CNC technology and we are always scanning the horizon for what’s next. Customers interested in partnering with us to explore new technologies and manufacturing processes for plastics will find us to be very knowledgeable and accommodating when it comes to on-boarding new applications and business models. Many of the items we now manufacture actually started at Plas-Tech through the earlier consultative design and prototyping stages. Customers find that it’s our openness and our willingness to stay with and invest in the customer’s vision that sets Plas-Tech apart from the competition.